How to Prevent Garage Pest Problems

Learn how to prevent pests in the garage in Washington - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestWe all know that pests love to try to get inside our homes. However, there may be an even more suitable shelter for many types of pests: your garage! Whether you keep your holiday decorations stored away in the garage or your gardening tools, you likely want to avoid dealing with pests every time you have to rifle through your garage. Unfortunately, garages can be somewhat of a haven for pests considering the food, shelter, and water they can provide. In order to protect your garage from a potential infestation, it’s important to learn how to prevent pests from getting inside in the first place.

What Pest Problems Are Common in Garages?

Garages can provide pests the perfect shelter, especially in the colder winter months. The most common pests you’ll encounter in garages include:

  • Mice & Rats. Particularly in the winter, rodents will seek shelter in garages. They can easily build nests in storage boxes and wall voids or even sneak into your car.
  • Spiders. Arachnids are known to spin webs in boxes and in rarely-accessed corners. You can be sure to come across spiders when pulling out holiday decorations from your garage every year.
  • Silverfish. These tiny insects are especially fond of garages and cardboard boxes. Once they are in your garage, they can feed on a number of items: paper, glue, clothing, flour, and more. While mostly harmless, silverfish are nonetheless a nuisance.
  • Flies. Especially in the hot summer months, flies can be a major nuisance. House flies can be found resting on nearly any surface including on walls, floors, window sills, and other various objects found in the garage.

How to Keep Pests Outside Your Garage

Similarly as you would for your home, it’s crucial to eliminate pests’ access points and make the garage less inhabitable to them in general. This includes installing effective weather stripping, as well as sealing cracks and crevices with silicone-based caulk or steel wool (or both). Promptly fix any leaky pipes or moisture problems. Lastly, consider storing all goods in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids instead of cardboard boxes, and always store everything up off the ground.

Need Help Pest-Proofing Your Garage?

If you’ve done all you can to prevent pest problems in your property but still have problems, it’s best to consult your local pest control experts. The pros at Western Exterminator will work with you to ensure pests stay out of your garage for good.

Pest Seasonality in the Pacific Northwest

Rodents are a common seasonal pest in Everett and Snohomish WA - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest

Here in Washington, pest problems tend to be in full force in the spring and summer months. But what about fall and winter pests? While you may not see them as often, fall and winter pests can be some of the most troublesome as they often look to get inside your property. With our wet climate, pests of all kinds can infest our homes for warmth and shelter. At Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest, we believe the key to preventing pests is knowing what pests are looking to infest your property during certain parts of the year. With help from the NPMA, our team is here to share information on pest seasonality in the Pacific Northwest.

What Pests Are Active in the Fall and Winter?

Due to our wet climate and mild winters, the NPMA has predicted that ticks may be more active in the fall than usual. In the coming months, a less rainy season and cold weather will drive rodents into homes for water, warmth, and shelter. Other fall and winter pests we need to keep an eye out for include ants, which do not like the rainy weather we are accustomed to. Roaches and spiders are also likely to seek shelter inside our property this time of year.

Winter pests in the Northwestern United States map

Spring & Summer Pests in the Pacific Northwest

A rainy spring and hot summer is a haven for many types of pests, which is why this time of year results in a lot of infestations. Some of the most common pests we deal with in the northwest region this time of year include:

  • Ants. Rainy weather drives ants out of their colonies and into homes for shelter.
  • Stinging insects. Bees, wasps, and hornets will construct nests near residential properties and can be a threat to families.
  • Mosquitoes. These insects lay a lot of eggs in standing water during the summer months, which is when they’re most problematic.
  • Termites. Our climate is a haven for termites, who swarm in the spring and are at full force in the summertime.

Preventing Seasonal Pest Problems in Washington

Your best defense against seasonal pests is to work with a professional pest control company that can protect you year-round. At Western, we believe that pest prevention is the best form of pest control, and we can work with you to ensure you do not deal with pest infestations in the fall, winter, spring, or summer! Call us today to learn more.

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.

Keep Bugs Away From Your Outdoor Living Space

Tips to stay pest-free in your Marysville WA yard - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestBugs and pests are a common part of outdoor life. If you’re spending more time outdoors this year than ever, you’ve likely noticed the influx of insects! Especially here in Washington, pests are at full-force in the summer and early fall. But they don’t have to ruin your time spent outside. To avoid mosquitoes in your birdbath, ants on your barbecue, or wasps in your deck, it’s important to learn how to make your yard less attractive to pests. At Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest, we are committed to ensuring our customers live pest-free—both inside and outside their home. Keep reading to learn more about our best bug-free outdoor living tips and tricks.

Top Tips to Prevent Pests in Your Yard

Most pests are simply a nuisance. House flies surrounding your outdoor trash cans or spiders crawling around in your garden are to be expected. But what about mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas? Because these pests in particular can be dangerous for you and your family, it’s important to learn what to do to prevent them. Our top tips to keep pests away from your outdoor living space are:

  1. Remove standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
  2. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  3. Be on the lookout for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
  4. Thoroughly inspect wood structures. Your deck or porch may be vulnerable to termite or carpenter bees.
  5. Regularly clean up your outdoor space. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.
  6. Burn a few citronella candles. While not a long-term solution, this will repel mosquitoes.
  7. Try replacing light bulbs. Yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights will not attract as many insects.
  8. Apply an insect repellent. Any repellent with DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  9. Wear appropriate clothing. If you are going to be outdoors for a longer period of time, consider wearing long sleeves or pants to keep pests from biting.
  10. Use a tight-fitting lid on your trash can. Food items in an unsealed container will attract all types of pests.
  11. Store firewood away from the home. Piles of wood are a magnet for multiple kinds of pests.
  12. Plant a garden. Certain plants and herbs, including marigolds, mint, and basil, act as a natural insect repellent.

Hep With Outdoor Pests

To avoid a pest infestation inside, you need to prevent them outside first! If you are looking to implement pest prevention into your yard maintenance routine, the pest control and lawn care experts at Western are happy to help. Call our team today to learn more!

How to Stay Pest-Free This Winter

A rodent is one of the many winter pests that may infest Snohomish WA homes - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt PestPest infestations are most common in the spring and summer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen in the winter, too! In fact, pest infestations this time of year are more common than you think. Just like us, pests and insects seek out warmth in the winter, which is why they squeeze their way inside of homes this time of year. To stay pest-free this winter, it’s important to learn how to protect your property. Keep reading for expert tips on preventing winter pests from Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest!

Pest Problems in the Winter

Some pests enter homes in the colder months to wait out the freezing temperatures in favor of the spring. A few common winter insects are ants, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, and boxelder bugs. These insects typically won’t be seen until the springtime. In addition to these insects, there are a number of other winter pests that may invade your Washington home this holiday season:

  • Rats & mice: The house mouse and Norway rat are able to squeeze their way indoors.
  • Spiders: House spiders and even black widows will hide indoors in dark, secluded corners.
  • Cockroaches: German cockroaches hitchhike indoors in grocery bags and boxes.
  • Bed bugs: Known to withstand extreme temperatures, bed bug infestations are common in the winter.

Preventing Winter Pests Infestations

To properly protect your property from winter pests, it’s important to implement preventative measures into your home maintenance routine. To start, it’s crucial to thoroughly inspect your home before the months of winter hit to locate any vulnerabilities.

If you find any cracks or crevices in the foundation, seal them properly. In addition, you should place screens over vents and chimneys, store firewood away from your property line, promptly fix leaks or broken pipes, and keep a clean home to prevent winter pests.

When to Use Professional Winter Pest Control

Everyone knows pests are a nuisance in the spring and summer months, but they can cause problems in the winter, too. If you’ve done all you can to prevent pests and are still noticing pests inside your property, it’s time to call in the experts for winter pest control services. The team at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest can help with preventing winter pests—call today!

Is Your Christmas Tree Crawling with Insects?

Shake out your Christmas tree to remove insects before bringing it into your Snohomish WA or Everett WA home - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest Few things signal the start of the holiday season like picking out a Christmas tree! Whether you pick a balsam fir or spruce tree, Christmas trees smell delightful and are the perfect holiday decorations. Unfortunately, Christmas trees are reported to harbor as many as 25,000 insects! Although most Christmas tree insects are microscopic and harmless, no one wants them in their home. Luckily, there are a few ways you can prevent Christmas tree insects from ruining your holiday spirit.

4 Tips to Prevent Christmas Tree Insects

Many people don’t think twice about bringing a Christmas tree into their home, but there are a few things that need to prevent insects. Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest’s top tips for preventing Christmas tree pests include:

  1. Give the tree a thorough inspection. Before making the final decision, inspect the Christmas tree for irregularities, spots, damaged branches or trunk, or signs of pests.
  2. Vigorously shake it out! On your own or with the tree lot attendant, shake out the Christmas tree before bringing it home with you.
  3. Leave the tree in the garage at first. Store the tree in your garage or a covered area for a few days to encourage bugs to part ways with the tree.
  4. Use a vacuum regularly. On a regular basis, inspect your tree, vacuum up falling needles, and, if necessary, vacuum up any pests.

Common Christmas Tree Pests

Entomologists have done research to prove that thousands of insects can be hidden away within a Christmas tree. A few of the most common types of Christmas tree insects include:

  • Aphids: Aphids are usually found in the lower branches of evergreen, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser firs, or white fir trees.
  • Mites: These minuscule bugs cause needle loss in Douglas firs, white pines, spruce trees, or Fraser firs.
  • Spiders: Probably the most feared Christmas tree pest is the spider! Spider egg sacs hidden within Christmas trees can cause homeowners a lot of grief.
  • Bark beetles: These wood-boring insects are about the size of a grain of rice. Holes in the branches or trunk of your tree—or sawdust on your floor—are signs of bark beetles.
  • Praying mantises: Adult praying mantises are green and can grow to be quite large. Praying mantis egg sacs are also commonly found in Christmas trees.

How to Control Christmas Tree Insects

It is overwhelming for any homeowner to find out they purchased a Christmas tree covered in insects. If the infestation is serious, you may want to exchange your tree for a new one. If you’re still dealing with insects in your Everett WA home long after you’ve gotten rid of your Christmas tree, give the  exterminators at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest a call!