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Pest Info

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We know our pests!
Find out more information here about pests that are common to the Northwest and how we control them
Wood Destroying Insects

Wood Destroying Insects

The Facts

With our wet climate here in the Northwest, our structures are constantly exposed to rain and the elements.  This increases our risk for water intrusion and dry rot.  Although moisture is almost always the underlying issue, once wood destroying insects take hold they can speed up the damage exponentially.  However sometimes their presence is noted before we are aware of the moisture problem and can be a helpful warning that repairs are needed before the problem gets any worse.



Termites are not as common in homes as carpenter ants are here in the northwest, but when they do make there way in they can cause serious damage. In most cases, the damaged wood is usually noticed before seeing the actual insects, as termites travel in protected mud tubes or inside the wood. Unlike carpenter ants, termites actually feed on the wood fibers. Dampwood termites are the most common here, and their presence indicates that there is already a leak or dry rot in the wood. The workers are very light in color, while the large winged termites are an amber color, and we often see them swarming here in the fall.

Moisture ants are small, amber colored ants that are fairly common around here. As their name indicates, these ants only infest wood that is wet, usually in an advanced stage of decay. They will construct their nests from the decaying wood, and will grow to have very large colonies that may thrive for decades! Even though they may cause further damage to wood, in most cases their presence is an early indicator that there is a leak or moisture problem that needs attention that may have otherwise been overlooked until the damage was far more extensive.

Powder post beetles are another wood destroying insect, and in most cases are associated with high humidity. There are many cases however where these beetles are introduced with the lumber when a home is being built, only to emerge later. Adults deposit eggs inside the wood where the larvae spend months, even years developing, until the adults emerge from the wood, leaving behind pinhole sized openings all over the surface of the wood. They also leave a very distinct powder when exiting the wood that is about as fine as flour. These beetles prefer hardwoods, but if the conditions are right they will readily re-infest lumber and begin the process over again.

The Solution

Because different wood destroying insects leave behind different signs, it is important to identify which pest species is causing the damage. Termites deposit fecal pellets, which are easily distinguished from powder post beetle evidence. In almost all cases, these insects entered the home to do their jobs in the environment - help break down decaying wood! This means that the first half of remediation is repairing the leaks, and replacing the dry rot and decaying wood with dry, sound wood. It is also important to make sure that there is no wood underneath or around the perimeter of the home that is in contact with the soil, which will wick up water and invite insects inside. The second part of the process is where we come in with specialized products to target the pest species and prevent the infestation from spreading. We give a 1 year guarantee on all wood destroying insect treatments!

Odorous house ants and pavement ants are the most common in the PDX area.  Find out more information on their behavior and about our approach to control them.

The recent resurgence of bed bugs may leave you sleeping with one eye open.  Learn why you can sleep worry free by choosing us to solve your bed bug infestation.

Most flying insects stay outside, but there are a number that have become household pests.  Learn about house flies, box elder bugs, and stink bugs here and how we control them.

Carpenter ants are them most common wood destroying insect here in the Pacific Northwest.  Find out how to identify them and learn about our approach to keeping them out of your home.

Flea eradication can be difficult for a homeowner using over the counter flea bombs.  Find out why our treatment methods provide more effective and consistent results.

Mice and rats can cause serious problems when they have made their way inside your home.  They require different methods to control for various reasons.  Find out why and learn how we use our experience to keep your house rodent free.  

We may think of birds as cute and innocent... That is until they make a nest in our home.  Learn more about how we can both evict and exclude birds from nesting or perching in unwanted areas.

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Even though german cockroaches aren't native to the Pacific Northwest, they are often brought in on packaged food items.  Find out more about their behavior and our methods to control them.

Spiders may be the king of creepy crawly and the source of many phobias.  These are definitely not something that you want in your house.  Learn about our approach to effective spider control. 

Any insect that can both fly and sting is something we definitely do not want anywhere near our home or family.  Find out about the most common stinging insects and how we keep them away.

Termites, powder post beetles and moisture ants are not very common, but an infestation can indicate a serious problem.  Learn how to identify them and about our control solutions.

Moths, beetles, weevils...  These aren't what we want to find when we open our kitchen cabinets.  Learn about the behavior of these insects and the best approach to eradication.

Wildlife can cause a lot of damage and be the vector of may diseases.  As licensed wildlife control operators, learn about common nuisance wildlife and about our eviction and exclusion solutions.

Moles are a thorn in a homeowners side when they begin to tear up a nicely manicured lawn.  Learn more about their behavior and why we are the choice for successful mole control.

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