Bees, wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets are no stranger to the Pacific Northwest. While these insects offer many benefits to the ecosystems in our environment, you don’t want them living with you in your house. The first step of removal and exclusion is identification – and, when it comes to these flying, “stinging” insects, it can be difficult to tell them apart.

You may be wondering which type of pest is most likely to be a nuisance to you and your home. Read below as the expert team at Pest Pros explains the difference between bees vs. wasps vs. hornets vs. yellowjackets.

Types of Bees

There are over 20,000 species of bees in the world. So – what types of bees may be of interest to a Washington homeowner? The bumblebee and the carpenter bee are two common types of bees that may live around your home. Both types of bees can be easily identified by their furry body which regulates their body temperature and can act as an automatic pollen collector.

Bumblebees are almost harmless to homeowners since they nest in wax combs that hold their honey. Similarly, honey bees nest in wax combs however they produce honey in a much higher quantity and sometimes nest in the walls of houses which can be a danger to a house’s infrastructure.

Carpenter bees, also known as wood bees, raise a mild threat to your house because they nest by drilling into wooden structures such as the baseboards of a house. Although their impact could lead to structural damage, it is uncommon that a carpenter bee raises serious trouble for a homeowner.

Bees, Wasps, and Hornets

The primary difference between bees, wasps, and hornets is the duties they carry out within the natural ecosystem, which also differentiates their diets. Bees are herbivores — meaning, they primarily eat plants and pollinate. Comparatively, wasps and hornets are omnivores, which means they prey on other insects as well as eat plants. As predators, wasps and hornets can help homeowners get rid of other unwanted insects in their homes but bring their own risks to the table.

Types of Hornets

Hornets are not naturally aggressive, but they are aggressive to humans and other nuisances that invade their space and threaten their colony. Bald-headed hornets are a common type of hornet in the Pacific Northwest.

The jack of all trades, the bald-faced hornet, may nest in multiple locations; tree branches, a bush, the side of your home, garages, and other outdoor areas of your house.

Despite being just as aggressive as yellowjackets, bald-faced hornets can be distinguished by their white head and all-black body, which differs from yellowjackets’ black and yellow body.

Types of Wasps

Similar to hornets, wasps will also become aggressive when they feel threatened. Wasps are black and yellow, however, are distinguishable from a bee by their slender and hairless body. Paper wasps are the most common type of wasp in Washington and tend to be solitary wasps.

Social wasps may choose to nest near neighborhoods and houses, especially in park areas. This may be a physical threat where outside activity is common. However, social wasps are less of a threat to homeowners as they typically nest in trees, leaves, branches, and other areas of nature.

Solitary wasps may cause trouble to homeowners as they can nest in sheltered places such as porch ceilings, roof corners, and other partially enclosed areas.

Yellowjackets vs. Wasps

The yellowjacket, a common pest in the Pacific Northwest, is a member of the wasp species. The difference between yellowjackets and other wasps is that yellowjackets tend to be more curious and aggressive than the average wasp. You can easily identify yellowjackets by their black and yellow slender body.

Yellowjackets are attracted to content such as food and garbage. Yellowjackets will swarm areas with these smells to assess whether it’s a good place to find fuel and to nest near. This pest likes to nest closer to the ground in sheltered, dark corners such as house attics and deck stairs.

The good news is that they are known for killing other pests that you may not want in or around your home such as house flies. The bad news is that they are more persistent and aggressive than the average pest they may be preying on.

Why are Bees, Wasps, and Hornets Problematic?

While bees, wasps, and hornets have their differences, they all can be classified as pests that homeowners don’t want to intrude into their homes. Bees, wasps, and hornets all find house structures and backyards the perfect place to create a home for the season, which is a reason to take preventative measures to ensure your house is protected. Pests like carpenter bees, paper wasps, bald-faced hornets, and even honeybees can be a threat to your home’s insulation and infrastructure.

Carpenter bees create circular tunnels throughout the wooden structure of homes causing them to become weak and eventually sink or bust. Similarly, solitary wasps, like paper wasps, will also drill into the wood infrastructure of houses causing damage to the foundation of a home.

Although less common, honeybees will choose to nest within house walls. The honeycomb formed in the nests can directly damage the insulation of your home, especially after the bees abandon the comb, leaving melted honey behind.

Not to mention that an infestation can be a physical danger to you and your family when bees, wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets create a nest on your property.

Signs You Have Bees, Wasps, Hornets, and Yellowjackets in Your Home

Having a bee, wasp, or hornet infestation is often easy to identify due to each of their pesky nature. However, if you are unsure, here are some common signs that you may have a pest problem:

  • Increase in bee activity around the house
  • Smooth round holes in wood infrastructure on the outside of the house
  • Sawdust piles
  • Structural damage to the outside of the house
  • Sound of buzzing in your walls
  • Dark spots on the inside and outside of the house walls

How Do You Get Rid of Bees, Wasps, and Hornets?

Prevention

Homeowners should take preventative measures to stop bees, hornets, and wasps from infesting their homes and property.

  • Repair any cracks along with the siding of your house
  • Repair and seal cracks around house windows and doors
  • Keep all food and garbage stored in tightly closed containers
  • Use natural repellents like peppermint oil or dryer sheets around your home, sunroom, and porch areas

DIY Solutions

If you do encounter an increase in bee, wasp, or hornet activity around your home, you can try these DIY solutions for dealing with these pests. However, dealing with these pests can be dangerous, especially when going to the source of the infestation. DIY solutions rarely solve the problem but instead worsen the issue so it’s more difficult for professionals to solve once they’re called. The best solution for pest infestations is finding professional pest spraying services.

If you do tackle a DIY solution, be sure to take the safety protocols needed such as wearing protective face and body gear and planning an escape route to ensure you have a way out if the bees, wasps, or hornets attack.

Natural

  • Spray an infested area including the nest with a soap and water mixture.
  • Create homemade traps with a sugary substance such as soda or fruit juice.

Unnatural

  • Spray an infested area with insecticides – a product created to kill pests and their nest.

Contact a Professional Pest Control Company: Pest Pros

If you find that you have a bee, wasp, or hornet infestation, the best solution that we recommend is to call a professional pest control company, like Pest Pros.

The Pest Pros Process

  1. Inspect and identify the type of bee, hornet, or wasp
  2. Exclusion – limiting the pest to a confined area
  3. Least-invasive pest treatment
  4. Additional pest services (if needed)
  5. Maintenance

Pest Pros technicians are prepared to provide expert knowledge about the best practices for dealing with each type of bee in the least invasive and safest way possible. Using professional pest control services such as Pest Pros ensures that the job is done right and safely.

It is Pest Pros’ top priority to offer services that will prevent your house from further damage, and future infestations and ensure your house feels like a home. Our team is prompt, professional, and dedicated to taking care of any pest problems in your home and getting your life back to normal. Call us or contact us for your free estimate today!

Do you know how to spot the difference between mice and rats? Knowing how to tell if you have rats or mice is key to keeping your home rodent-free.

Generally in the Pacific Northwest, rats and mice become more active when the temperature cools down near the end of summer and early fall. A drop in the weather’s temperature signals these pests to look for warm spaces to reside in as the seasons change. Although mice and rats do not hibernate, they do seek out a promising shelter to provide protection and warmth throughout the winter.

If you suspect that mice and rats may be active on your property or home, call a professional pest control service, like Pest Pros, to investigate the problem before it’s too late.

Mouse vs. Rat

While the similarities between mice and rats are physically apparent, the differences between mice and rats are also evident – if you know what to look for.

Rats are typically much larger than mice and appear to have more coarse hair on their body. Mice are often smaller and have fluffier hair. Aside from physical appearance, the size of animal droppings is used during mouse identification and rat identification. Unsurprisingly, rat droppings are much larger than mice droppings.

Behaviorally, mice are more curious and less savvy than rats – leaving them more vulnerable to be trapped than rats.

Rats and mice do not share the same appetite. Each pest will scavenge for different types of food and will consume different amounts of food.

While both rodents present a clear and present concern to your home’s structure and your health, rats are often a more significant threat due to their increased size and strength.

Types of Mice

Common types of mice found in the Pacific Northwest are deer mice and house mice.

Deer mice are about 4-inches long, have prominently large ears compared to other mice and have darker fur on the top of their bodies and ears. They may also be distinguished by their white-colored underbelly.

The house mouse, most commonly spotted in and around houses in the Pacific Northwest, is smaller than a deer mouse – reaching only 3 inches long without measuring its long slender tail. A house mouse typically has light brown-colored fur all over its body, medium-sized ears, and a pointy head.

Mouse Identification

Knowing how to tell if you have mice in your home can help you understand what type of pest infestation you may encounter in or around your house.

Mice are only 12 to 20cm long, including their long and thin tails. They are known to have floppy and large ears compared to their body size. A mouse’s whiskers are long and their snouts are triangular. They range from having white, brown, and grey hair. Mice are tiny and weigh little compared to other larger pests.

Mice, a crucial animal in every ecosystem, are territorial and naturally timid yet social creatures. Mice are skilled and active climbers who will prove as such if they infiltrate your home.

Types of Rats

The two main types of rats you may see in your Pacific Northwest house are Norway rats and roof rats.

Norway rats, also known as brown rats, are large in stature; averaging 16 inches in length including their tail. Their ears are average size compared to their body. Norway rat’s hair is typically coarse and grey or brown-colored.

Roof rats, also referred to as black rats, are similar in length to Norway rats however are more slender and smaller. Their hair is coarse and is usually black or dark brown-colored. Roof rats like to climb – leading them to explore rooftops, upper levels of buildings, and trees.

Norway rats and roof rats are both known for their long tails that span longer than their body and head combined.

Rat Identification

If the pest you encounter is larger than your fist, it’s likely a rat. They are notably heavier than mice. A rat’s hair is much more coarse than a mouse’s hair and their long tails will appear hairless.

Rats are known to stay in close proximity to where they find shelter and nest, only leaving to find food, water, and protect their territory. If you have pests scurrying across your kitchen floor during the night, you may be dealing with a rat infestation.

How To Tell If You Have Rats or Mice

Physical Appearance

  • Mice are small and have fluffy hair on their body.
  • Rats are larger than mice and have coarse hair on their body.

Droppings

  • Mice produce more waste droppings than rats.
  • Rat waste droppings are larger in size than mice waste droppings.

Location

  • Mice climb and hide in smaller areas like attics, ceilings, and walls.
  • Rats remain in low areas near the ground such as crawl spaces and sheds.

Signs of Damage

  • Mice chew through small wires and cables.
  • Rats chew through wires, cables, containers, pipes, and other structural materials.

Food

  • Mice seek out fresh produce, nuts, seeds, grains, and unstored meat.
  • Rats are more likely to seek out foods that are packaged such as dry pet food, cheeses, and stored meats.
Droppings
Location
Signs of Damage

Why Are Mice Problematic?

Although mice are smaller and weaker than rats, they can still gnaw at wires and other small electrical cables that run throughout the structure of a home causing a major fire hazard to a home. Damaged wiring can result in long-term wiring issues that can be expensive and complicated to fix.

Mice can spread bad bacteria and diseases throughout a home and cause individuals to adopt health issues and become sick. Female mice are known to have a new litter of baby mice every three weeks and reproduce 300 times in their lifetime.

If you find that you have mice in your home, you will want to call a professional pest control company, like Pest Pros, as soon as possible to be sure the mice infestation does not grow.

Why Are Rats Problematic?

Rats can cause structural damage to a house quicker than mice. Rats are able to damage metal and plastic pipes, plastic, wooden beams, concrete, and cinder blocks along with wires and electrical cables. If rats have time to work on these structural materials, there can be major damage done to the insulation of walls, ceilings, attics, and crawl spaces.

Just like mice, rats can spread bad bacteria and diseases posing health risks to individuals. Additionally, a female rat can produce as many as 7 rat litters per year resulting in 84 offspring per year.

If you suspect a rat infestation in your home – you’ll want to be sure to contact a professional pest control company, like Pest Pros, to identify and resolve the issue.

How To Prevent Rat Or Mouse Infestation:

  • Remove clutter which eliminates hiding and nesting areas for rats and mice.
  • Seal cracks and holes in walls, vents, electrical line holes, and surrounding doors.
  • Store food properly, in airtight containers, lifted off the ground.
  • Maintain a clean house and property. Secure garbage in enclosed containers.

How To Get Rid Of A Rat Or Mouse Infestation:

While these DIY methods will help you offset further infestations, they may also be dangerous to perform and are shown to be less effective than professional pest control services. Avoid using rat poisons that will cause pests to rot in walls, attics, and crawl spaces. Rat poison can be dangerous to humans and animals. At Pest Pros, we highly suggest you contact a professional at the first sign of a rat or mice infestation.

  • Place rodent traps in suspected pest-infested areas. Traps come in a variety of types.
  • Use food such as peanut butter as bait along with rodent traps.
  • Use natural repellents to scare off mice and rats from entering your home.

The best way to get rid of a rat or mouse infestation is to call a professional pest control company, like Pest Pros, to inspect your home for an infestation, identify the problem and find the best strategy to solve the pest infestation.

Contact a Professional Pest Control Company: Pest Pros

At Pest Pros, it’s our goal to provide services that resolve any current rat or mouse infestation issue and prevent further pests from entering and damaging your home.

When you work with Pest Pros, you will receive nothing less than excellent customer service from our team’s prompt, forward-thinking, and professional services. Call us or contact us for your free estimate today!

The combination of warmer, rainy weather and variety in evergreen trees and other native greenery make Seattle, Portland, and the rest of the Pacific Northwest a perfect habitat for pests. As a local pest control company, Pest Pros knows springtime can bring a rise to pest infestations — in particular, odorous house ant infestations. Once the weather begins to warm up and bugs of all kinds awake from their winterly slumbers, odorous house ants begin to create nests outdoors in exposed soil, often looking for indoor habitats after heavy rainfall because honeydew is no longer available when wet outside. If you’ve discovered an infestation in your home, read on to determine how to get rid of odorous house ants.

What Are Odorous House Ants?

There are more than 12,000 species of ants globally, each with distinguishing characteristics.  Luckily for those reading this article, odorous house ants are one of the easiest species of ant to spot and identify; the most distinguishable characteristic of the odorous house ant — also known as, quite aptly, as the “stink ant” — is the pungent stink that permeates the nostrils when you squish them. Oftentimes, the smell is described as similar to “rotten coconut,” though several other interpretations have been thrown around the Pest Pros office. 

Smell aside, odorous house ants are colored black or brown, measuring 1.5-3mm long. These little stinkers are tiny which makes it harder to deal with a house ant infestation, especially without professional services.

Odorous House Ants vs. Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are much larger than your typical house or sugar ant — measuring at a quarter-to-half-inch length. The most notable difference between odorous house ants and carpenter ants, however, is actually their diet; carpenter ants, as their name indicates, target wood to turn into a nest for their colony, posing a real threat to the structural integrity of your home. They will also leave behind wood shavings, called “frass.” If you discover signs of a carpenter ant infestation, be sure to contact a professional pest control company such as Pest Pros to determine how to get rid of carpenter ants in your house.

Odorous House Ants vs. Pavement Ants

Another notable type of ant that you should be aware of is pavement ants, which are similar to odorous house ants in both size and color. Appropriately named, they often set up shop in the cracks of the sidewalk outside your house. 

Pavement ants are similar to carpenter ants in the way that they nest in houses. These pests create piles of dry particles and loose sand across tiles, baseboards, window sills, expansion joints, and other small enclosures in homes. If you discover signs of a pavement ant infestation, be sure to contact a professional pest control company such as Pest Pros.

Odorous_Ant_Blog
Odorous House Ants
Pavement_Ants_Blog
Pavement Ants
Carpenter Ants

Do Odorous House Ants Bite? 

The question on everyone’s mind! We’re regularly asked whether odorous house ants bite, and we’re here to relieve you of any worries on that front: no, odorous house ants do not bite, nor do they typically pose any real threat to humans. For this reason, most ants — along with other pests like flies and beetles — are often considered “nuisance pests.”

Why Do You Need To Worry About Odorous House Ants Infesting Your Home?

While small in physical stature, the danger of odorous house ants comes solely from the size of their colonies. If you spot one ant in your home, you can bet there are more; ants can create scent trails throughout your home, counters, and cabinets that can lead to an entire ant infestation. These ants’ small stature means they can sneak into your home even with good insulation, primarily looking for nutrients for their colony. Their colonies can quickly go from several ants to hundreds of thousands, making it a serious nuisance for homeowners.

Ants can be drawn to your home for many reasons, especially in areas that are kept unclean, house food, and other sweet substances. Infestations aren’t a matter of putting on your big shoes and stomping around until you’ve wiped out an entire civilization of house ants; these pests are persistent and tough to kill.

If you’re dealing with an ant infestation, you’ve got quite the challenge on your hands. It’s best to call a pest control company.

Signs You May Have an Odorous House Ant Infestation

It’s not too hard to identify an odorous house ant infestation given the number of house ants colonies and their speediness to infest; you’ll see them scurrying across your floors and counters once they’ve made their way inside your home. Because of their distinct smell when squished, odorous house ants are particularly easy to identify if you accidentally step on one. 

Furthermore, ants will swarm during the summer months while winged ants will materialize near the nest. Swarmers are a clear indicator that there’s an infestation present. While it doesn’t take a professional to recognize signs of an ant infestation, it does take a professional to exterminate an ant infestation; be sure to contact a professional pest control company.

How To Get Rid of Odorous House Ants

Getting rid of odorous house ants, or really any pest infestation, can be incredibly nuanced; unless a homeowner has an expert understanding of the behavior of each species of pest, the infestation often returns or worsens after DIY attempts, frustrating the homeowner and making it more difficult for a pest control company to resolve the issue once they’ve been called. Odorous house ants can be particularly tricky as the smell they emit when killed can signal other ants to leave their nests and swarm your home. 

The most effective way to get rid of odorous house ants in your home is to call a licensed professional, preferably one based locally with expert knowledge of odorous house ants in the PNW. To somewhat-unsubtly throw our name in the hat: Pest Pros is one such pest control company, and we’d love to help you rid your home of ants. Get a no-cost estimate on your home to determine the cost of pest control services for your unique situation.

< Get a No-Cost Estimate >

To give you an idea of how a professional would get rid of odorous house ants in your house, we’ve outlined our typical process below:

Step 1: Inspection – Once the Pest Pros professional arrives on site, they will complete a full inspection of your home. They will inspect areas where these tiny ants are commonly found, including within walls near hot water pipes, crevices, heaters, sinks — and anywhere where sugar may be found. 

Step 2: Treatment – After identifying the areas of your home the odorous house ants are living, the pest control professional will use commercial products to treat target areas, including:

  • Treating around the foundation of your home. Ants are very social creatures, so, by treating the foundation of your home, the repellent will spread to every ant that the treated ant interacts with. After 2–3 weeks, professionals will return to the treated area to assess if there is any activity and if the treatment was successful.
  • Drilling tiny holes in the wallboard, and injecting repellent into holes.
  • Treating the interior of your home with repellent during late fall (when ants go dormant). To ensure the safety of the homeowners, professionals like Pest Pros will use a nicotine-based product that human residents of the home cannot absorb; they also ensure the usage instructions are followed, such as the number of hours residents should avoid the home after treatment, either exactly or more conservatively for the safety of the homeowners. 

Step 3: Ant Exclusion & Maintenance – Our commercial products typically last for 6–8 weeks. Maintenance will be required to prevent the odorous house ants from returning. The maintenance program and intensity will depend on the season and the severity of the problem after an inspection of your home. 

There are certainly things a homeowner can do on their own to prevent another infestation; in fact, following proper exclusion steps on your own is the most natural and effective way to get rid of odorous house ants in your home. No products needed! 

Give these a try: 

  • Remove external access points of your home by trimming back shrubs and trees since ants will find and burrow through cracks after climbing plants. 
  • Clean your surfaces and wipe down counters after use to stop ants from feasting on grease and crumbs.
  • When cooking in the kitchen or eating in various rooms, tightly cover food and properly store it.
  • Remove pet food bowls when your animal pals are done with their meals. Ants don’t discriminate against dog or cat food–neither will mice, cockroaches, or other pests. They want to eat, too! 

Each of these steps can be taken in your daily life to prevent pest infestations and maintain a clean and healthy home.

Call Pest Pros For Odorous House Ant Extermination 

With all that said, odorous house ants and other infesting ants can be a pain to deal with in your home. Even if you have some success, the sheer quantity of ants in a colony means you likely haven’t gotten rid of all of them. 

Where are you to turn if you’ve tried both preventive and extermination solutions and still have a pest problem? Pest Pros, a team of licensed professionals working for you, is here to be your partner in protecting the investment you have made in your home. There are many benefits to having the maintenance pest control service with Pest Pros. When we do find something that is or could be contributing to pest activity, we will make recommendations on correcting the condition.

Our team is prompt, professional, and dedicated to taking care of any and all pest problems in your home and getting your life back to normal. Call us or contact us for your free estimate today!

It may come as a shock that there are over 12,000 species of ants in the world (and we ant joking!). While most species are harmless, there are a few species that can be destructive, especially to your home. Carpenter ants are one of those species. Carpenter ants can cause major damage to the structural integrity of your home, by chewing the wood inside and outside of your home.

As a homeowner, it can save you a lot of stress and money if you can recognize the signs of a carpenter ant infestation and know how to get rid of them. Pest Pros is here to tell you everything you need to know about carpenter ants and the steps to take for ant control and extermination. Read on to discover how to get rid of carpenter ants in your house.


What is a Carpenter Ant?

Carpenter ants are named for their ability to build a nest by excavating wood and forming smooth tunnels inside of the wood. These nests are referred to as colonies and can contain up to 50,000 ants. Unlike other species of ants, carpenter ants will have a main colony and satellite colonies. Satellite colonies will primarily be established within a home and support the main colony located outside a home.

What do they look like?

Carpenter ants can be identified by their color, size, and shape. Carpenter ants are usually black, red, brown, red-brown, or red-black in color. Compared to other ants, carpenter ants are larger, about 3/4rd of an inch. They have six legs, an antennae, are segmented, and oval in shape.

How do they damage your home?

Carpenter ants are considered wood destroyers and are, compared, to termites. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood and only chew wood to create a nest. Additionally, compared to termites, the amount of damage a carpenter ant can cause is far less; however, if the infestation of ants is not addressed over time, the damage can become severe as the nest grows.

What do they eat?

As mentioned, carpenter ants do not eat the wood they destroy. Carpenter ants eat other insects, such as aphids and other sugary insects.

Where do they live?

  • Geographic region: Carpenter ants can primarily be found in areas with a large number of trees, such as Washington State. The rural and recently forested areas of Washington, such as Shelton, Gig Harbor, and Maple Valley, are prime areas for carpenter ants to live as they are heavily wooded and have a large amount of stumps to create nests.
  • Area of home: Carpenter ants will target the large areas of sound woods in your home, such as beams, tresses, and joists. They will travel stealthily throughout your home by using wallboards.
  • Do they bite? Carpenter ants do not bite humans. Thatching ants which are very similar in size and color to carpenter ants are the only ants to “bite” (technically, they sting) humans.

Signs of Carpenter Ants in Your Home

Recognizing the signs of carpenter ants in your home can be beneficial as a homeowner. It is also equally important to know why and how they get inside your home in the first place.

Carpenter ants will infiltrate your home when they’re looking for a new sound home to support their satellite colonies. They enter your house by either chewing their way through wood or climbing in through any crack. They will find their new home by using swarmers, which are reproducers, that fly and drop wings to find wood to create a colony (very few are successful in starting a colony). They will establish their satellite colonies in studs, walls, wood beams, and other areas of your home mentioned earlier. Primarily, carpenter ants prefer to target woods that are softened by water damage.

Unfortunately, finding signs you have carpenter ants can be difficult. One external sign of an infestation is small openings on the surface of the wood. Carpenter ants chew the wood and create galleys to live in, then spit out the debris, which appears as chunky thicker frass (fine wood shavings that are browner than dust). This thick frass is another external sign but can be hard to notice as it often looks like dust.

Since external signs are hard to identify, it can take a while to notice serious damage. The time it takes to notice external signs can also depend on the line carpenter ants create.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in Your House

As a homeowner, there are limited things you can do to help get rid of carpenter ants in your house if you notice the signs. Many homeowners opt for over-the-counter repellents to push the ants away; the issue with repellents, however, is that they will only kill ants if they come into direct contact with them, ultimately pushing the surviving untouched ants to an area that is more hidden and harder to reach. While repellents give off the illusion of a resolved issue, they will not push the satellite out entirely — and they also do not confront the original colony.

Over-the-counter repellents are not only ineffective at resolving the issue, but they also make the job more difficult for pest control professionals as they push the ants to harder-to-reach areas. For the sake of efficiency and effectiveness, we recommend contacting your local Pest Pros before attempting to resolve the issue yourself; this will ensure you have access to the best products and techniques for removing the entire colony.

To give you an idea of how a professional would get rid of carpenter ants in your house, we’ve outlined our typical process below:

Step 1: Inspection – Once the Pest Pros professional arrives on site, they will complete a full inspection of your home. They will tap wood beams to see if shavings fall out, check for small holes in other sound woods throughout your home, and check your crawl space to see where the ants are living.

Step 2: Treatment – After identifying the areas of your home the carpenter ants are present, the pest control professional will use a nicotine-based, commercial product to treat target areas, including:

  • Treating around the foundation of your home. Ants are very social creatures, so, by treating the foundation of your home, the repellent will spread to every ant that the treated ant interacts with. After 2–3 weeks, professionals will return to the treated area to assess if there is any activity and if the treatment was successful.
  • Drilling tiny holes in the wallboard, and inject repellent into holes.
  • Treating the interior of your home with repellent during late fall (when carpenter ants go dormant). To ensure the safety of the homeowners, professionals like Pest Pros will use a nicotine-based product that human residents of the home cannot absorb.

Ideally, ants from the satellite colony within your home that are treated with a commercial product will return back to the main colony, carrying the treatment with them and spreading it throughout the main colony. In contrast, the majority of over-the-counter repellents take 48 hours to kill the first ant, which oftentimes is not enough time for ants within the satellite colony to build up food resources and bring back to the main colony.

Step 3: Maintenance – Our commercial products typically last for 6–8 weeks. Maintenance will be required to prevent the carpenter ants from returning. The maintenance program and intensity will depend on the season and the severity of the problem after an inspection of your home.

In addition to the outlined steps, we always recommend homeowners keep vegetation off their home as much as possible, trying not to stack wood around their homes (or up against the home), and avoiding buried railroad ties in the garden. All of these features of a home are perfect habitats for carpenter ants and can encourage them to take up residence in and around your home again.

Call Pest Pros for Carpenter Ant Removal

A broad understanding of the intricacies of colony dynamics and behavior make professional exterminators like those at Pest Pros the most qualified people for the job. The signs of a carpenter ant infestation are hard to identify and, you might not be able to identify the extent of the infestation or the current damage. Additionally, over-the-counter products will only produce a placebo effect — meaning the ants will be pushed away by the repellents, but won’t have died. Ultimately, in our somewhat-biased opinion, we recommend hiring a professional if you suspect a carpenter ant infestation in your home to ensure the problem is properly resolved.

Professionals like the team at Pest Pros will be able to complete a thorough inspection of your home, assess the damage, and create a course of action based on the most compromised, at-risk areas of your home. In addition, professionals are careful to avoid impacting off-target pests, like bees, ladybugs, or any pest that cannot survive in your home but are beneficial to the larger ecosystem.

While there is no shortage of exterminator companies you can call for carpenter ant removal, we humbly put our name in the hat. Pest Pros has built a reputation on genuinely caring about their customers and getting the job done right the first time. Get a free estimate from Pest Pros today!

Squirrels, while a delight to see roaming the trees in the wild, should do just that — stay in the wild. Squirrels in your home, specifically in your attic, can cause serious damage to your property. This damage primarily includes biting electrical wiring, insulation, and boards.

To preserve the integrity of your home, it’s important to get rid of squirrels in your attic as soon as you identify them. In this article, we’ll cover how you can tell if there are squirrels in the attic, how squirrels get in the attic, what to do if you discover them there, and how to prevent them from returning (hint: it’s best left to the professionals like those at Pest Pros).


How to Tell if There Are Squirrels in Your Attic

Hearing scratching, scurrying, or chewing sounds coming from the attic? It’s likely squirrels! A few signs of squirrel infestation in your attic include the sounds mentioned before, as well as teeth marks in the wood, air vent damage, or chewed electrical wires. Squirrels will chew through anything to find warmth and shelter, and that includes all entryways to your attic and anything that may get in their way.

Additionally, you may notice squirrel footprints (distinguishable by their 4-toed front paws and 5-toed back paws). Foul odors coming from the vents may also be a sign of squirrel urine, or, even worse, dead and decaying squirrels. The potent odors are certainly unpleasant, and a sign of squirrels in the attic.

If you dare venture into the attic, you may also find nests, squirrel droppings, and, of course, acorns. Squirrels will use insulation to build their nests, so any disturbed, ruffled, or destroyed insulation may be a sign. Scattered droppings surrounding the nesting area are also an indicator, as well as dangerous and bacteria-ridden. You may also see deposits of acorns, stored away for winter months, a sure sign of squirrels.

How Squirrels Get in the Attic

There are several ways a squirrel can enter your attic, a space where they are likely to mate, build dens, or hide from cooling weather. The following are the most common ways a squirrel can enter your attic:

  • Roof Vents & Edges: When the weather cools off, the warm air coming from roof vents is a siren call to squirrels looking for a cozy space to nest. With sharp teeth, they can easily chew through the plastic and aluminum vent covers. For the roof edge, an accumulation of water and snow tends to degrade the material faster than other parts of the roof, making it easier for squirrels to chew through.
  • Gable & Wall Vents: Gable vents are designed to circulate air through the attic, and their composition of wood, plastic, or aluminum is no match for squirrels seeking shelter. From there, they are able to find their way up into the attic. Wall vents are often paired with an exhaust on the exterior of the home, resembling a tree cavity in which squirrels can nest. This creates unsanitary conditions and fire hazards.
  • Chimneys: Uncapped chimneys are an unrivaled invitation for squirrels. They may be able to come and go from the chimney into your attic, allowing them to create cozy nests in your home.

What to Do if There Are Squirrels in the Attic

Surely, above all else, you’re curious about how to remove squirrels from the attic. While it’s best left to the professionals, there are a few things that you, as a homeowner, can do when there are squirrels in the attic.

  • Locate the squirrel nest: Materials like cardboard, leaves, and insulation are all signs of a squirrel nest in the attic. There may be baby squirrels present between February and May, or August through October. If that is the case, it’s recommended that you wait a few weeks until they are old enough to leave their mother to remove them.
  • Seal attic openings: As mentioned above, there are several ways that squirrels can enter your attic through the roof and vents. They are able to fit through small entry points, so it’s important to seal them off using wire and caulking. However, to avoid dead squirrels in the attic, leave one entry point open so the squirrels can leave.
  • Trap squirrels using a one-way cage door: To remove the squirrels, you can trap them by installing a one-way cage door outside the remaining open entry point. This way, you can trap the squirrels as they leave, relocate them, and seal that entry point. However, it’s important to check your local laws before trapping them, because it is illegal in certain states to trap and relocate nuisance wildlife.
  • Call the professionals: The best thing you can do to remove squirrels from the attic is to call a professional pest control company. Companies like Pest Pros have the tools to safely and effectively remove squirrels from the attic. Our staff is trained to remove pests and prevent them from coming back.

How to Prevent Squirrels from Returning

Removing squirrels from the attic is only the first step. Next is to ensure that they won’t return again. To prevent squirrels from making your home their own, it can be helpful to trim trees near your roofline to lessen the chance that the squirrels can climb up and onto your roof. You can also use a plastic owl to scare the squirrels (just make sure to move it periodically so it’s effective!). Additionally, a taste repellant composed of garlic, water, and vinegar is a natural and effective way to keep squirrels away. Finally, a motion-activated sprinkler system will spray animals (all pests, not just squirrels) any time they come close to your yard.

Call Pest Pros for Squirrel Infestations

With locations in Washington and Oregon, Pest Pros is the regional expert in pest control services. We understand common residential pest issues in the region, know what to look for, and can offer thorough, accurate explanations and recommendations as a result. If you’re interested in scheduling Pest Pros services check out the areas we serve and contact us by calling us or submitting the form below. We look forward to working with you!

Pest Pros, a Crawl Pros company, offers free home inspections to assess rodent activity in your crawl spaces, attics, and walls. Call our team at (866) 686-3118 or submit the form below to get started. Need more information? Keep reading to learn more about how experts — like Pest Pros — can help remove and exclude rodents from your home.

Finding out you have rats is almost always an unsettling discovery. Unless the idea of rodent roommates is an appealing one, the first thing you’ll probably think is, “How do I get rid of rats?”. The simple answer? Leave rodent removal and exclusion to the pros. 

But let’s first talk about why there’s even a need for rodent exclusion, including the types of rats you might find, a recent increase in rat infestations, and the dangers rats pose for your home and health.


What Types Of Rats Are In My Crawl Space?

There are two main types of rats you might encounter in your Pacific Northwest home — the black rat and the Norway rat. These two species differ primarily in habitat. Black rats, also appropriately called roof rats, like to live up high and rarely come down. These are the rats you’ll see on telephone wires, in trees, and yes, in your attic. They can be identified by their light brown to black coloration, often with a lighter underside.

The Norway rat, also called the brown rat, is one of the most widespread common rat species. It can be identified by its large size and its brown or grey coloration. Norway rats stay low to the ground, infesting crawl spaces and foraging for scraps in your garbage cans. These rats will eat almost anything, including the contents of your cupboards.

The Ratpocalypse Is Upon Us

Normally, here’s not enough territory for a large rat population, which is self-regulated through in-species control methods, including murder and cannibalism. However, with a change in primary food sources, rats have been forced to spread out, often traveling up to one mile to find food and breed. Their territorial area has now expanded, allowing for population multiplication. 

The U.S. has recently seen an increase in rat populations and activity, which some have dubbed “The Ratpocalypse”. This is just one byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic and the migration of humans from shared spaces to their homes.

Before the pandemic, rats’ primary food source was restaurants; but widespread closures pushed them to find food elsewhere, such as grocery stores and residential areas – including your home. These increased rat populations have become emboldened, leading to infestations and requiring residential rodent removal and exclusion by companies like Pest Pros.

Crawl Space Rat Trapping – Are Rats Dangerous?

While rat infestations are unpleasant, rats’ primary goals are to sleep, eat, and breed, which means that there will almost always be more than one rat in your crawl spaces and attics. This can get out of hand quickly because two rats can multiply to over a thousand in one year. This statistic alone is why rodent control is best left to those experienced in rodent removal and exclusion.

While this is undeniably alarming to consider, rats do tend to be afraid of larger animals — like humans — so they stick to walls, attics, and crawl spaces to avoid interaction. You may find them in your trash cans and cupboards, but they don’t like people and won’t attack. This doesn’t mean rats are now welcome visitors, but attacks are one fear that can be assuaged.

On the other hand, rats are known to carry diseases and parasites, transferred by the fleas and mites living on them. Studies have even suggested rats can carry coronaviruses, though the research is still relatively new for COVID-19 specifically. On their incessant search for food, rats can contaminate your home with said diseases and parasites while causing physical damage, including chewing through plywood, metal, and concrete — putting the infrastructure of your home at risk. Because of these dangers, investing in professional rat removal and exclusion from Pest Pros is the best way to protect yourself and your home.

Rat Removal & Exclusion – Removing Rats and Rat-Proofing Your Crawl Space

Pest Pros team rat-proofing crawl space
Blocked rat entry point around pipe

Rat removal is just that — removing existing rats. This is done through trapping and bait stations. One type of trap is a hydro-trap that uses compressed air to kill up to 24 rats at one time. Bait stations are placed outside of the home (not inside) with a chemical that acts as a blood thinner, leaving rats to burrow outside to die. Finally, old-fashioned snap traps, like the kind you’ve seen in cartoons and movies, are also still an effective method of rat removal. 

During the process of rat exclusion — the prevention of new pests from entering the home — cement is poured down burrow holes, larger holes are filled with galvanized screening and mesh, and smaller holes are filled with a product called excluder — a non-rusting steel wool pad that will deter rats by cutting their faces as they try to chew. During the exclusion phase, there are 4 common things we look for: missing doors, busted screens, burrell holes near sewer or water lines in the crawl space, and the area between the furnace and crawl space. 

Crawl space and attic rodent removal and exclusion are best left to the experts, like our team at Pest Pros, where we boast over 92% success in rat control. Using a variety of techniques, we pride ourselves on keeping you and your home safe. With a free home estimate, there’s nothing to lose and so much to gain, including peace of mind. Always included in your plan is removal and replacement (R&R), including 4 months of pest control. We always ask three questions: 1) Did we eliminate the issue? 2) Did we accidentally trap rodents in your home? And 3) Are the pests persistent? We work until we satisfactorily answer all of those questions and the problem is under control. That’s our guarantee.


Are There Any Rat Removal & Exclusion Home Remedies?

 While we strongly suggest leaving rat removal and exclusion to the pros, snap traps are an at-home method you can try to remove rats. Rats are nearly blind, so they rub their bodies along baseboards to follow their scent as they traverse your house. Placing snap traps with peanut butter along your baseboards offers you a good shot at catching some of the rats in your home. 

Rodent exclusion and more effective removal techniques, however, are very difficult for the average homeowner to accomplish, and simply attempting rat removal is only a temporary solution to eliminating rats from your home. To avoid continued rat infestation, consider investing in professional rat exclusion and removal by contacting our team at (866) 673-9626 or submitting the form below to get started. 

Call Crawl Pros for Crawl Space Inspections

With locations in Washington and Oregon, Crawl Pros is the regional expert in crawl space and attic services. We understand common issues with houses in the region, know what to look for, and can offer thorough, accurate explanations and recommendations as a result. We’re so confident in our ability, in fact, that we offer a “Perfect Lifetime Guarantee” with all of our services, including water remediation services.

If you’re interested in scheduling Crawl Pros or Pest Pros services, please submit the form below. We look forward to working with you!