Rodent Problems Surging Due to COVID-19

Rodents are entering more WA homes during the pandemic - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestWith everything else going on this year, the last thing you have time to deal with is a rodent infestation. Unfortunately, rats and mice are more rampant than ever right now in due part to the pandemic. When restaurants and bars shut down here in Washington, rodents were suddenly deprived of their once-reliable food source. This has directly correlated to a rise in residential rodent problems. And with the weather getting colder, rats and mice will be looking to make themselves at home in your property soon. Because rodent infestations can be so dangerous, it’s crucial to learn how you can protect your property from rats and mice. With Rodent Awareness Week upon us, Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest is here to share their top tips for prevention.

Why Are Rodents More Aggressive During the Pandemic?

The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their hunt for resources. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While their presence may be more prevalent than ever, you thankfully do not need to worry about rodents transmitting COVID-19 to you or your family.

That said, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. They also can cause significant damage to your home. Because rodents are competing for more food sources, they have been a tad more aggressive as of late. This can lead to more dangerous infestations in your home, making it crucial to learn how to prevent them.

Prevent Rodent Problems In Your Home

To avoid a rodent infestation, try out our top tips for preventing them:

  1. Seal off cracks and crevices around openings. Mice can squeeze inside holes the size of a dime.
  2. Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids, preferably above ground level.
  3. Securely store all food in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids.
  4. Clean inside the house and around the garden. Less clutter means fewer places to hide.
  5. Put outdoor garbage bags in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids to stop them from feeding on contents.
  6. If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.
  7. Inspect your garage, attic, crawlspaces, and vents for potential rodent hiding spots.

Rodent Awareness Week 2020

Rodent Awareness Week may just be a week out of the year, but Western strives to educate our customers about the dangers of rodents all year long. With infestations on the rise, now is the time to protect your home. Our rodent exterminators can help. Contact us today to learn more!

Do Termites Stay Active in the Fall & Winter?

Termites can infest homes in Snohomish WA in the fall and winter - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestSome pests are known to overwinter or go dormant in the fall and winter to wait out the colder months of the year. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for termites, which are active all year round. Termites are often seen in the spring and summer when they swarm, but they are very much still around in the other seasons. Queen termites lay their eggs throughout the year, making it easy for a colony to continually grow. Because termites are a year-round threat, it’s crucial to get year-round protection. At Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest, we can help ensure you are protected against termites all year long.

Termite Activity in the Fall and Winter

Termites are most likely to swarm in the months between March and November. However, this doesn’t make it impossible for them to do so in the early fall! Regardless of whether you see a swarm or not, termites remain active as the queen continually lays eggs and colonies grow. The more mature a colony is, the more damage can be made to your home. If you have an infestation festering in your property for more than two years, it is very likely to begin to notice the signs of damage, even in the fall or winter. When we experience colder temperatures in the winter, a termite colony will tunnel deep underground to stay warm until spring rolls around once more.

What are the Signs of Fall Termites?

Termite infestations infamously are often not discovered until extensive damage has been done. During the fall months and throughout the entire year, look for the following signs of a termite colony in your property:

  1. Discarded swarmer wings
  2. Termite frass (feces)
  3. Thin or hollow-sounding timber
  4. Mud tunnels or galleries
  5. Uneven or bubbling paint
  6. Quiet clicking sounds in your walls

How to Prevent Fall and Winter Termite Infestations

Your best defense against a termite problem is to get year-round preventative services. At Western, we offer a number of termite treatment options designed to stop infestations before they begin. To learn more about how our termite exterminators can keep termites away for good, contact us today!

Protect Your Home From Rodents This Fall

Rodents enter homes in Everett and Marysville WA in the fall - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestPest infestations are more common than you think in the fall. Rodents are one of the most common offenders. Just like other pests, rodents will seek out warmth, shelter, and food inside your home. Rats and mice inside aren’t just a nuisance, they can be dangerous as well. Not only are rodents destructive, they can spread germs and disease too. The team at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest knows how important it is to keep your family safe from rodents. We also know you want to feel comfortable in your home and enjoy the fall season without worrying about an infestation in your house. Keep reading to learn our top tips to protect your home from rodents this fall and all year long.

Why do Rats Get Indoors in the Fall?

If you’re hearing rustling in the walls or gnawing noises, chances are you may have a rodent problem. When they get inside, rats and mice will take shelter in the attic, basement, and garage. They also will infest kitchens, laundry rooms, and are highly likely to invade your trash cans if given the chance. A rat or mouse problem often begins when the rodents get in through your chimney, pipes, air vents, and more. With incisors that never stop growing, their chewing habits can be destructive. They also are known carriers of germs and bacteria that can cause disease. For these reasons, it’s crucial to learn how to keep them out.

Tips to Protect Your Home From Rodents

No one wants rats or mice inside their home. Unfortunately, they can get in easier than you want to think. Some of the best ways to prevent a fall rodent problem is to keep them outside. Try out the following tips:

  1. Cover all vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  2. Use a tight-fitting lid on your trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  3. Protect your eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.
  4. Store food and items properly. Securely store food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  5. Seal cracks and crevices. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes.

Year-Round Rodent Prevention

Rodents aren’t just bothersome in the fall. To keep your Washington property protected all year long, the team at Western can help. Our rodent exterminators will customize a rodent control plan suited to the unique needs of your property. Contact us today!

How to Identify Dangerous Fall Spiders

Spiders are more common in the fall in Marysville Washington - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestHere in Washington, we are used to dealing with spiders. Especially in the late summer and early fall months, spiders seem to be out in full force! After hatching in the spring, spider populations boom in August and September. Most of the spiders you come across in your garden or home are harmless (even if they look scary). However, our region is home to a couple of the more dangerous spider species: black widows and hobo spiders. No one wants spiders in their property—especially the more dangerous ones. The team at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest is here to share info on identifying and preventing dangerous fall spiders.

Black Widows & Hobo Spiders

No one wants to get close enough to a spider to identify it! That said, it’s important to know about black widows and hobo spiders. Both of these spiders can bite when they leave threatened, which can be dangerous. Here’s how to identify these spiders:

  • Black widows
    • These spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape on its body.
    • They build sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, sheds, and near the ground.
    • They can bite when they feel threatened.
  • Hobo spiders
    • These spiders are light to medium brown in color
    • They build and live in funnel webs.
    • Can bite in defense. Their bites can cause mild pain and redness.

Keeping Fall Spiders Out of Your Property

No matter whether they’re dangerous or not—no one wants to deal with spiders in their home or business. Because they will gladly take up residence in your home, it’s important to learn how to keep them out in the first place. Our best spider prevention tips include:

  1. Ensuring your lawn is trimmed and neat. Overgrown bushes, shrubs, piles of wood, and more can attract spiders to your property and eventually indoors.
  2. Cleaning your home on a regular basis. Doing so can prevent insects that spiders like to prey on and eliminate hiding spots for pests.
  3. Sealing cracks and crevices. Inspect the inside and outside of your property for tiny spots that may be inviting spiders in, and seal properly.
  4. Installing/repairing screens on doors and windows. Tight-fitting screens are the key to keeping insects, spiders included, out.
  5. Inspecting boxes and used furniture prior to bringing them inside. Adult spiders or their egg sacs could be hiding inside.

Spider Infestations in the Fall

In the Pacific Northwest, spiders are a common occurrence outdoors. That said, spiders can be a nuisance when they get inside your property, and they can be dangerous when you’re dealing with more aggressive species! At Western, our spider exterminators will work to control current infestations as well as prevent future ones.