Rain gardens and the pests they sprout

A beautiful Rain Wise garden. Photo courtesy of Seattle Mag

If you live in Seattle you’ve probably seen gardens with signs about the Rain Wise program. Seattle Public Utilities subsidizes rain gardens in certain parts of the city to protect everyone from storm water runoff that causes sewer backups and flooding. You can get details about the program or see if you qualify at the SPU Rain Wise website.

Parker Eco Pest Control Rain Gardens

Diagram courtesy of Seekamp Environmental Consulting

While these rain gardens look beautiful, they can attract unwanted pests like rodents and insects. The rain garden provides added food, water, and shelter – the three biggest attractants for pests. Having one in your yard could leave your house vulnerable to an infestation. Here at Parker Eco Pest Control we often get calls to help people manage ants, spiders, mice, and rats that have been drawn to the home after installing a rain garden.

To get the best of both worlds and protect your home from these pests, make sure you maintain your rain garden on a regular basis. Foliage that falls to the ground should be raked up regularly. Be sure to leave at least a foot of space between any vegetation and your home. If these branches touch your house it can act as a highway for insects like ants, cockroaches, spiders, and more.

Image courtesy of the West Seattle Herald

Even if you don’t have a formal rain garden through the Rain Wise program, you might live in an area prone to the same pests. Take a look at the Rain Wise map and see if your home is at risk.

Overall these gardens provide a public good. With a little knowledge and some careful planning you can keep your neighborhood safe from flooding and your home free of pests. If you’d like more information to keep your home protected from your rain garden, give Parker Eco Pest Control a call and we’ll work together to find a low cost and eco-friendly solution.

We wish you a merry Christmas and a rat-free new year

As the temperature drops you may find yourself with some unwanted house guests this holiday season.  Winter is peak time for rodents as they look for warmth in crawlspaces, attics, and garages. These disease carrying animals make nests in your insulation and chew everything in sight. Rat teeth grow quickly which forces them to chew constantly and grind them down. It’s estimated that rodents cause up to 20% of house fires every year just by chewing on wires. In addition to causing fires they can knaw through pipes and create plumbing leaks within your walls. All these problems are significantly more expensive to fix than they are to prevent. Do yourself a favor and monitor your home for signs of rodent activity this winter to head off any problems before it’s too late!

Notice that the upper wire has been chewed on. The insulation nearby could easily catch fire.

Parker Eco Pest Control offers environmentally-friendly solutions for both preventing and treating infestations.  We use a combination of physical tools to keep the rats and mice out, and chemical tools that kill and repel. Call us today!