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3 Diseases Spread by Rats in Washington

Have you ever wondered what diseases you can catch from rats? Although they may look cute and furry, rats harbor a wide range of pathogens that can harm human and animal health. Today, we’ll cover some of the three diseases spread by rats. And, we’ll also discuss the importance of rodent control in Bellevue.

Leptospirosis 

First on our list is leptospirosis, a surprisingly common disease seen in both pets and people. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that usually gains entry into humans and pets through the skin or mucous membranes. The bacteria are shed in urine, aka rat urine, and can persist in water, food, and even soil for a while.

According to the CDC, the symptoms associated with a leptospirosis infection can include abdominal pain, fever, muscle aches, and diarrhea. In more severe cases, often referred to as a second phase, leptospirosis can result in acute kidney, liver damage, or meningitis.

Looking for the best pest control services in Bellevue? We at Parker Eco Pest Control are here to provide you with efficient rodent control services. Talk to us today to learn more about rodent control services in Bellevue.

Hantavirus 

According to UC Davis Health, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is relatively rare; between 1980 to 2014, only 54 cases were reported in California. 

So, how do you get hantavirus? The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) states that viral particles commonly spread through rodent urine and droppings. However, airborne transmission is also possible! But, this often occurs when urine and droppings are incorporated or ‘stirred up” deeply through nesting materials. For example, rodent-damaged insulation in either an attic or a crawl space may contain large amounts of stirred-up rat urine and feces that could put homeowners at risk of hantavirus. These are some of the many reasons why our team of professional rat exterminators examine and perform attic and crawl-space cleaning services throughout Bellevue. 

Lyme Disease

The diseases discussed above generally spread through direct contact with either rodent droppings or urine. On the other hand, Lyme disease is a common bacterial disease that spreads through parasitic vectors—infectious black-legged ticks.

Rats and mice can harbor significant burdens of black-legged ticks on their fur. When these ticks bite pets or people, they tend to cause disease. Symptoms can include fever, erythema migrans (a type of rash), facial palsy, and more. Dogs with Lyme disease tend to show similar symptoms such as joint swelling, lameness, and lethargy. Left untreated, Lyme disease can result in acute nephritis (kidney inflammation) and potentially even acute kidney failure. 

How Much Does Rat Pest Control Cost in Bellevue, WA?

natural rat control bellevue, WA

Rat control and extermination are dynamic processes that involve a thorough inspection and action plan. Here at Parker Eco Pest Control, we provide honest options designed to eradicate rodents and prevent further establishment. 

The process is simple and follows a multi-step approach.

  1. The initial inspection: We need to conduct a full house inspection to determine the severity of the infestation and the potential entry points of the rodents. The cost of our inspection fee is $99.00, but don’t worry; this is waived off if you purchase the 3-Visit Plan.
  2. The first two visits: We continue to set and check physical traps to ensure effective rodent control. In addition, our team of professional pest controllers will address problem areas and may choose to install rodent-proof mesh. The home’s exterior, including the crawl space, is further examined for rodent-entry points. If multiple holes (entry points) are present, they are immediately sealed off.
  3. The third visit: Our team of pest control exterminators is determined to help you and your family address the daunting rodent infestation task! So, we often schedule a third home visit to ensure no new rodent activity and no new access points for rats and mice. 

Don’t let rodents get the better of you! Talk to us today to learn more about rodent control in Bellevue, WA

The Best Flea Exterminator in Seattle

When it comes to getting rid of fleas, a flea exterminator can be your savior! Getting rid of fleas is not an easy task, as these pesky little parasites can thrive anywhere in your house. So, when approaching the dreaded flea problem, we like to take a multi-model approach.

Flea Spray for House: Here’s What You Need to Know

Flea eggs and larvae can thrive on your carpets and within the cracks of your wooden floors. So, vacuuming them up isn’t going to solve the problem alone. Chemical treatment in insecticides is highly recommended for eliminating adult fleas, existing eggs, and larvae in the environment. Professional flea exterminators will often use insecticides containing both an adulticide and an insect growth regulator. 

Adulticide: An adulticide is a chemical compound that explicitly targets adult fleas. 

Insect Growth Regulator: Also known as IGRs, these chemical compounds often target the eggs and larval stages

Spraying for Fleas: A Word on Safety

If misused, the insecticides used to eliminate fleas can be harmful to human health. To minimize adverse reactions and risks to human health, we recommend seeking out the expertise of a professional flea exterminator. Before the is treated with a flea spray, your pest control providers may suggest the following:

  • Unplug any air circulation systems.
  • Put away open food, cutlery, and loose items. 
  • Cover or completely remove any fish tanks from the house.
  • Ensure windows are left open for maximum ventilation
  • After spraying the home with insecticides, do not let pets or people into the house.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in the House Forever

So, you’ve gotten rid of the fleas, and now you’re wondering—how do I get rid of fleas in the house forever? Well, the best way to eliminate fleas is to prevent them from establishing in the first place.

  1. Talk to your veterinarian: Fleas gain entry to your house through your pets. This is why it’s essential to talk to your veterinarian about what’s going to be the best flea treatment for your dog or cat. Flea treatment for pets comes in many forms, but the most popular and effective ones tend to be topical solutions and chews. 
  2. Control the rodent population around your home: Just like our pets, rats and mice can harbor large burdens of fleas and ticks. So, if you have a rodent problem in your home, be it in the attic or within a crawlspace, then it’s time to call a professional pest control team to help you deal with these pesky critters.

Getting rid of rats and mice is no easy task! Talk to us today to learn more about natural rodent control in Seattle

Fleas in House Treatment

The first thing a flea exterminator will address is the potential sources of ongoing infestations. Flea eggs are laid directly on your pet but will drop off into the surrounding environment, which can include pet bedding, couches, carpets, and more. 

To reduce the environmental contamination of fleas and their pesky eggs, we recommend the following:

  1. Vacuum all carpet and furniture your pet could have been in contact with; these couches, rugs, and floors. Immediately dispose of the bag/canister into an outside garbage bin. 
  2. Pet beds and laundry: Clean all pet beds, laundry, and bed covers your pet may have been in contact with. 

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Humans

best-flea-exterminator-seattle

Fleas don’t just harm your pets! They can also harm you. Although these bugs seem too little to do much damage, it’s important to remember that they can carry harmful bacteria and parasites, which can indeed spread to humans. According to the CDC, some diseases commonly spread by fleas include:

  • Flea-borne (murine) typhus: This is often associated with the rat and cat flea. 
  • Cat Scratch Disease: Fleas can transmit a bacteria known as Bartonella henselae to feral and domestic cats. Humans acquire the disease after being scratched by an infected cat. Children appear to be most susceptible to cat-scratch disease.

Flea Exterminator: Getting Rid of Fleas Professionally

Although it may sound easy, exterminating fleas from one’s home is truly a tedious task that can prove to be quite a challenge. Unfortunately, given the resilient nature of these critters, flea extermination isn’t considered a one-time-only kind of job. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with these pesky critters alone! If you’ve got an ongoing flea infestation or if you simply don’t have the time to get rid of the fleas in your home, then we are here to help! 

We at Parker Eco Pest Control can help you deal with any flea infestation! No matter how big, small, or challenging the job, our team of professional pest control exterminators work-one-on-one with you and your family to determine the source of the fleas and the protocol needed to eliminate them. 

So, talk to us today to learn more about flea control and flea spraying in Seattle. 

Carpenter Ant Damage: Getting Rid of a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Did you know that Seattle is home to one of the most destructive species of ants? If you’re thinking about carpenter ants, then you’d be correct! We see carpenter ant damage across the Seattle metropolitan area, including Bellevue, Shoreline, and Snohomish. 

Carpenter Ant Damage: What Does it Look Like?

So, what does carpenter ant damage even look like?

Well, first, it’s essential to remember that carpenter ants love moist and rotting wood, so it’s not uncommon to see tunnels and holes in a humid area. So, generally, when we first spot carpenter ants in our home, it indicates a bigger problem. 

Signs of Carpenter Ants in House

signs of carpenter ant in house, ant extermination seattle
  1. You spot these little creatures in your home: Carpenter ants travel a great distance searching for food for their nest. When you first spot either a few carpenters ants within your home or a trail of them, then it’s a good indication of an infestation.
  2. You may hear them within walls or other wooden furniture: Carpenter ants don’t eat wood; rather, they borrow through creating a satellite nest. So, you may not see a carpenter ant, but homeowners often hear faint sounds of rustling within wooden beams and wooden furniture. 
  3. They leave evidence of their digging: One of the key signs of carpenter ants in a home is the mess they leave behind. If you notice sawdust trails in the wood of your furniture or buy your walls, then it’s a good indication of carpenter ant infestation. 

Carpenter ant damage can affect the structure and safety of your home. Unfortunately, exterminating these pesky creatures can be a tedious task; talk to us today to learn more about carpenter ant extermination in Seattle, WA.

DIY or Hire a Pro? Here’s How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ant damage can result in chronic structure changes to your home, which can cost quite a bit! In addition, carpenter ants hollow out wooden beams and baseboards, which can compromise the integrity and safety of a house. So when it comes to exterminating carpenter ants in Seattle, we highly recommend reaching out to a professional team of carpenter ant exterminators. 

Carpenter Ant Extermination Throughout Seattle and Washington, Eastside

The trick to eliminating carpenter ants from your home is to find and destroy the nest. Now, sometimes the nest may not be easily accessible, mainly if it’s within the walls. In cases such as these, we may recommend ongoing pest management to eliminate the nest and its workers slowly. 

At Parker Eco Pest Control, we approach carpenter ant damage and extermination organically. Our multi-step systematic approach is designed to eliminate the problem at hand and prevent future carpenter ant infestations from occurring. So, how do we do it?

  1. Our team of ant exterminators will first identify the pest species and devise the appropriate control measures. 
  2. We inspect your entire property! That’s right! We check every part of your home, interior, and exterior, to determine entry points and pheromone trails.
  3. Once a nest has been identified, we safely and effectively destroy it.
  4. To prevent further infestations, we apply an eco-friendly powder and/or spray around the perimeter of the nest and home. 
  5. We’ll recommend changes you can make to reduce attractants – prevention is the most eco-friendly type of pest control.

A Quick Guide on How to Find a Ground Wasp Nests

Ground wasp nests have become quite the problem; not only can these pests invade your home, but they can also continuously sting you when threatened. So, how do you get rid of an underground wasp nest? And, should you call a pest control service provider to help you? In this article, we’ll answer everything you need to know about dealing with a wasp nest that’s underground. 

There are many different species of ground wasps found throughout the USA. Two of the most common ones encountered include the Yellow Jacket and the Cicada Killers.

Identifying Ground Nesting Wasp Nests

Locating wasp nests in the ground can be fairly tricky! However, these little creatures really do know how to hide their borrows. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can look for when trying to find that wasp nest in the ground. 

  1. The ground wasp loves dry soil! They tend to avoid moisture-rich soil, so they are unlikely to create a nest in an area prone to moisture.
  2. The mound of dirt and an entry point:  The queen is partly responsible for creating the nest, and she does this by digging up dry soil, creating an entry point for her fellow wasps. As well, ground-dwelling wasps are a lot bigger than ants, so the entry point to their underground nest can be pretty large. 
  3. Multiple little holes everywhere: Yellow Jackets are little social insects that form tight-knit communities. In doing so, they may create multiple nests scattered in a particular site. These nests will look similar, possessing a large entry point surrounded by a mound of dirt. 

So, How Do You Prevent Ground Nest Wasps?

So, now that you’ve dealt with that pesky wasp nest in the ground, we are sure you’re asking, how on earth do you prevent ground-nesting wasps from infesting your backyard? There are many tips and tricks a pest control service will give you, but these are our favorite so far:

  1. Cover any garbage cans in the area and keep areas free of exposed food. 
  2. The nest of a ground wasp tends to be empty (low population) over the winter months, so this is an excellent time to call your local wasp control exterminator as they can remove the nest quickly.
  3. Get gardening! Clove, lemongrass, peppermint, and geranium are just some plants that appear to repel wasps and other insects. 

How Do You Get Rid of Underground Wasp Nest?

Underground wasps are generally not aggressive; however, if their nest is threatened, they can cause quite a lot of damage to humans. Traditionally, pest control service providers and exterminators use various tactics to eliminate a wasp nest underground. These may include a combination of pesticides and insecticidal dust, which can be sprayed directly on the nest, gradually killing its residents.

Don’t Like Pesticides? Eco-Friendly Wasp Control in Seattle

removing a ground wasp nest in Seattle, Washington

Looking for a natural wasp control and extermination in Seattle

When dealing with an underground wasp nest, the Parker Eco Pest Control team always recommends seeking the advice and skills of a professional wasp nest exterminator. Our focus is to provide homeowners with the option of choosing natural wasp removal and control methods.

So, how do we do it?

  • We can physically remove any wasp nest that’s lingering around your property.
  • We set traps around nuisance areas decreasing the ground wasp nest population.
  • We only use insecticides when it’s safe to do so! Insecticide dust is commonly on underground wasp nests and can be very effective when out of reach, in the ground, or walls.

A Fool’s Proof Guide to Dealing with Crawl Space Pests in Seattle

Dirt crawl spaces in Seattle are the perfect breeding grown for a range of pests! Cheeky rodents, cockroaches are just some of the common Seattle pests that can invade your crawl space. At Parker Eco Pest Control, we see many homeowners struggle to keep rats out of a crawl space! In fact, providing adequate rodent control and crawl space repair is one of our most requested services. So, in this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about dealing with crawl space pests in Seattle. 

Help! How Do I Keep Rats Out of My Crawl Space?

Rats dwelling in your crawl space can leave quite a mess behind! Feces, urine, and damaged insulation are just some of the problems you may face. There are a few things you can do when it comes to keeping rats out and away from a crawl space!

Remove damaged insulation: Insulation can retain urine, and it’s a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. In the long run, urine-damaged insulation can lead to increased humidity, odor, and mold growth, all of which can affect your health and well-being. 

Rodent control is key: There are many different ways you can choose to control the rodent population around your home. Talk to us today to learn more about how we handle rats and mice naturally and effectively

Managing Rodents in a Dirt Crawl Space

diagram of how to manage rodents in a crawl space, seattle home

When it comes to crawling space rodent control in Seattle, we have your back at Parker Eco Pest Control. Managing rodents like mice and rats within a dirt crawl space will require skilled pest control professionals and time. At Parker Eco Pest Control, we deal with the problem using a 3 visit plan approach. 

So, how do we do it?

  1.  Remove those cheeky pests! Of course, it comes without saying that as part of the pest control protocol, we must remove as many rodents as we can from the crawl space. This may involve setting various mouse traps and baits to decrease the rodent population gradually.  Don’t worry; we have organic pest control options too!
  2. Seal those entry points! Mice and rats can find many ways to invade your home. A skilled pest controller will examine the exterior of your home and crawl space to determine potential entry points and openings. The aim here is to seal any cracks or holes, which decreases the risk of a population of rodents from establishing.
  3. Rodenticides and rat baits for better control: In some cases, we may recommend placing rodenticides throughout your crawl space to control the rat and mice population. 

We Have Options for Pest Control Crawl Space Barriers

Installing galvanized steel mesh along the foundation of your home and sealing off your joists will prevent rodents from damaging crawl space insulation. Buried galvanized steel mesh can also prevent rodents from entering the living area of your home. 

Got Rodent Damaged Insulation? Talk to Us About Crawl Space Repair

Rodent proof insulation diagram

Rodents can not only leave behind feces and urine, but they can also damage the insulation of your crawl space. In the long run, this can lead to many problems, including poor insulation, further pest problems, and more! 

When it comes to cleaning up, sanitizing, and re-insulating a crawl space, our Parker Eco Pest Control team is here to help. Our highly trained team of professional pest controllers works one-on-one with homeowners to sanitize, re-insulate, and repair crawl spaces throughout Seattle. 

What’s Included in Our Rodent Crawl Space Clean Up?

We understand that repairing and cleaning a rodent-infested crawl space in Seattle can sound costly! But, it doesn’t have to be. At Parker Eco Pest Control, we offer homeowners several service levels to cater to their needs and budget. 

Refresh:

This option is perfect for crawl spaces with minor rodent damages. Refreshing your crawl space will include:

  • Vacuuming rodent dropping and sanitizing the area with an industrial fogger
  • We can replace the vapor barrier
  • Our team can remove sections of contaminated insulation and replace insulation as needed. 
  • As part of our protocol, we install permanent rodent barriers and rodent-proof insulation. 

Remove:

This option is perfect for crawl spaces with moderate rodent damages. In particular, it’s a great option for homeowners who lack a permanent rodent barrier within their crawl space. This option is similar to our refresh selection which includes

  • Vacuuming rodent dropping and sanitizing the area with an industrial fogger
  • We can replace the vapor barrier.
  • Our team can remove sections of contaminated insulation and replace insulation as needed. 
  • We provide an air gap sealing service that can cut your energy bill by 15%. Air gap sealing will also stop drafts and heat loss. 
  • As part of our protocol, we install permanent rodent barriers and rodent-proof insulation. 

Replace

This option is perfect for crawl spaces with significant rodent damages, including damaged insulation. The replace option includes everything listed above.

  • Vacuuming rodent dropping and sanitizing the area with an industrial fogger
  • We can replace the vapor barrier.
  • All insulation is removed and replaced with new rodent-proof insulation. We even insulate HVAC ducts and water lines to prevent heat loss.
  • We provide an air gap sealing service that can cut your energy bill by 15%. Air gap sealing will also stop drafts and heat loss. 
  • As part of our protocol, we install permanent rodent barriers and rodent-proof insulation. 

Getting rid of rats from your crawl space doesn’t have to be a difficult task! Talk to us today to learn more about crawl space repair and pest control services in Seattle. 

Dealing with Rodent Damaged Insulation in Seattle

Rats in the attic or crawl space are common problems Seattle homeowners know all too well. And as the cold Seattle winter sets in, these pesky critters are in search of a warm cozy place to nest. Don’t let rodents ruin your home. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about rodent damaged insulation and effective pest-control

Replace Vs. Refresh your Rodent Damaged Insulation

In the wild, rodents, be it mice or rats, will seek soft fibers for their nests. And unfortunately, insulation found within our crawl spaces, walls, and attics appear to be their favorite nesting material. As a result, rats and mice can damage the insulation in your home by either collecting insulation fibers for a nest elsewhere or directly making a nest within the insulation itself. 

Effective Rodent Control: Crawl Space and Attic Hygiene

In the wild, rodents, be it mice or rats, will seek soft fibers for their nests. And unfortunately, insulation found within our crawl spaces, walls, and attics appear to be their favorite nesting material. As a result, rats and mice can damage the insulation in your home by either collecting insulation fibers for a nest elsewhere or directly making a nest within the insulation itself. These can gradually lead to long-term problems which can affect both your home and health.

Effective rodent control in your Seattle home is essential when it comes to preventing the spread of disease. The feces and urine produced by rodents accumulate over time, leading to an increased risk of spreading zoonotic diseases. According to the CDC rat infestation guide, rats and mice in Washington spread diseases (viral and bacterial) directly and indirectly. Some of these zoonotic diseases include:

  • Leptospirosis: which spreads through urine and waterways.
  • Hantavirus: is a virus that spreads through rodent urine and feces.
  • Salmonella: A bacteria that spread via the fecal-oral route.
  • Rat-Bite Fever: A bacterial disease that spreads through bites and scratches caused by rats. It can also spread through the oral-fecal route (i.e., consuming food or water contaminated by rats).

Do You Need to Replace Insulation After a Rodent Infestation?

replacing rodent damaged insulation in crawl space, Washington

Rats have damaged the insulation in your beautiful Seattle home. What do you do? Replace, refresh, or remove? We completely understand that removing and replacing insulation from your crawl space and attic is time-consuming and extremely expensive. 

If the damage to the insulation is minimal, then our team at Park Eco Pest Control will choose to refresh the existing insulation material. Now, refreshing existing insulation simply entails that only sections (damaged) insulation are replaced. We only ever completely replace insulation from a crawl space or attic when the damage caused by rodents is extensive due to long-term uncontrolled rodent destruction, or if you’d like to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

How to Keep Rodents Out of Insulation in Seattle

Keeping rodents out of your crawl space, attic, and insulation will require some time and effort. And since these pesky critters pose a risk to human health, we recommend reaching out to a professional pest control service in Seattle for an initial first clean.

When it comes to cleaning and refreshing your damaged insulation, our team at Parker Eco Pest Control will:

  1. Locate and seal up any holes, burrows, vents, and gaps that allow rats and mice to enter your crawl space.
  2. Do some dirty work and safely remove all dead rats and mice from your crawl space or attic. We will even humanely remove any active nest sites present in your attic or crawl space. 
  3. Our Seattle pest-control team will most importantly remove and dispose of all rat feces and droppings present in the attic or crawl space.
  4. Sanitize and disinfect the entire area with an eco-friendly, enzyme-based product that actually eats the organic material left by feces and urine. It leaves behind water and CO2 as an odorless, harmless bi-product. 
  5. Replace the vapor barrier in your crawl space if it’s damaged. 
  6. Finally, depending on the degree of damage and contamination, we will either refresh or replace the insulation.

Attic and Crawl Space Cleaning by Parker Eco Pest Control

rodent control services in seattle

Winter is on its way, and so are the rats! Getting a good rodent control regime is crucial in preventing rats and mice from damaging your insulation. Parker Eco Pest Control provides excellent and professional pest control services all the way from Seattle through to Marysville. So, talk to us today about rodent pest control and crawl space cleaning in Seattle. 

Barn Owl Box: The Natural Rat Repellent in Seattle

Are you looking for natural rodent control methods? Well, let us introduce you to the power of the barn owl nest box. Keeping rats and mice out of your home and garden can be an incredibly tedious task. Often we find that rat control options such as rat bait aka rodenticides, only provide short-term control of rodents, not to mention that the toxic substances are incredibly cruel. But, what if we told you there’s a better way to keep the rodent population in your area at bay? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about barn owl boxes as natural rodent control. 

Here’s Why You Need a Barn Owl Nest Box 

Barn owls are exceptional predators that often go unappreciated. These deadly hunters possess powerful vision and hearing, which allow them to track and kill prey quickly. But, perhaps the greatest feature of this predator is its appetite for rodents. Yes, that’s right! Barn owls love rats and mice, and in fact, in a single nesting season, a pair of barn owls can consume up to 30,000 rats.

Installing your Barn Owl Nest at Home

Installing a barn owl box for rodent control in Seattle home

For this natural rodent control method to work, you’ll need to make the nest box appealing to the barn owls. This might be a particularly tedious task if you live in a busy Seattle suburb. So, here are our top tips to consider when installing a barn owl nest in your backyard.

  1. A Good-Sized Nest Box: Barn owls require adequate space to nest and grow their young. We recommend creating a nest box that is anywhere from 10 to 15 cubic feet. Entry holes into the nest box should be a minimum of 6 inches. 
  2. Keep it Attractive: Adding straw and untreated natural fibers in the box will encourage barn owls to begin nesting.
  3. The Right Placement: Barn owls prefer to hunt rodents in big grassy open fields. As such, we recommend installing your barn owl nesting box with the opening facing a wide open space. An ideal position protects the entry hole from the wind while offering a great view of prey.
  4. High Above: In the wild, barn owls nest high up on buildings, trees, or mountain cliffs. So, make sure to place your nest box at least 10 feet above the ground. 

Don’t want to build a barn owl box yourself? Don’t worry we sell the perfect pre-made barn owl boxes that are sure to attract some owls to your property. Make sure you reach out to us to learn more!

Do Fake Owls Keep Rats Away?

Yes! Installing fake owls around your property can act as a great rat repellent. It’s a great little trick that works similarly as a scarecrow on a field, although they do become less effective over time as rats outsmart the decoy. That being said, it’s not the best natural rodent control method as it does not reduce the rodent population on your property like a real owl would. 

3 Reasons for Humane Pest Control

Installing a barn owl nest box isn’t the only way to control your rodent problem. If you’re interested in learning more about natural rodent control methods in Seattle, check out our top tips

  1. Rodenticides kill animals slowly. Did you know that rat bait kills rodents slowly? These poisons result in coagulopathies, which means that the animal will die slowly from uncontrollable bleeding. 
  2. Rodenticides can harm your pets and owls: Rat bait toxicity is a common problem seen in companion animal medicine. It often occurs due to a dog or cat eating either the rat bait directly or eating way too many mice that have consumed rat bait. Wild animals like our American barn owl can also die from rat bait toxicity when they consume large amounts of poisoned rats or mice. So, keep your pets and wildlife safe by avoiding rodenticides. 
  3. Barn owls provide better long-term control: Barn owls that nest in your nest box will continue to nest on your property each season. It’s a great way to reduce the overall rodent population on your property and acts as a long-term rodent repellent. 

Parker Eco Pest Control: Natural Rodent Control in Seattle 

Controlling those pesky rodents is tricky! But, you don’t have to do it alone. At Parker Eco Pest Control, we proudly support customers who choose natural rodent control methods. We can help you create and install the perfect American barn owl nest box, so you don’t have to worry about getting the niggly details right. Correctly installing a nest box to suit the barn owls’ natural behavior is critical to ensure adequate rodent control. So, reach out to us today to learn more about finding and installing barn owl boxes for pest control in Seattle. 

Look who’s on This Old House!

Do you own a fixer-upper? Are you a die-hard DIYer? If so, you probably know and love This Old House almost as much as Wesley Parker, owner of Parker Eco Pest Control. She recalls waking up on Saturday mornings as a kid to watch This Old House with her Dad. Now as a homeowner herself, she and her husband Chris do a lot their owner DIY projects on their 1905 American Foursquare house.

So you can imagine how excited the Parkers were to see Parker Eco Pest Control recently featured in a This Old House article on the Best Pest Control Companies in Seattle.

This Old House has evolved quite a bit since the 1990s. Their website has how-to guides for everything A-Z including attics to yards and loads in between. They have information on common things like how to replace a bathroom faucet or how to level a floor to, the more obscure, like How to Drill into Brick.

If you can imagine your next project, the This Old House website is a great resource will probably have the information (videos or articles) to help you get it done! There are even whole sections dedicated to subjects like Home Office, Patios and Organization and Storage; things that many people are focused on and were very popular during the COVID pandemic.

By far our favorite feature on their website is the Project House and Idea House tabs. There are way too many distinctive and unique houses to pick a single favorite. Each “Idea House” is modeled after a specific style that give ideas on bringing the look to life in your own home.

Should I remove insulation from my crawl space?

Deciding whether or not to re-insulate your crawl space after a rodent problem depends on a few factors. Dirt crawl spaces are incredibly common in Seattle and it’s estimated that 40% of new construction in the area still relies on this type of foundation (per the NAHB, 2013).  Crawl spaces make accessing your plumbing and wiring for repairs simple and they’re ideal for Seattle’s hilly terrain. These benefits aside, they are extremely vulnerable to rodent problems.

When to leave a crawl space un-insulated

  • If rodents are tunneling into the crawl space (as opposed to chewing in).
  • If your crawl space lacks a permanent rodent barrier such as a rat slab, trench and screen, or rodent-proofed joists to protect insulation (keep reading for more info).

Don’t spend money on new insulation only to have another infestation next winter!

When to re-insulate a crawl space

  • If rodents are chewing into the crawl space and you’ve done a good job sealing off the entry points you could gamble with re-insulating. They may begin tunneling sometime in the future so this is still a calculated risk.
  • If you invest in permanent rodent barrier like a rat slab, trench and screen, or rodent-proofed joists to protect insulation you’ll have peace of mind that your insulation and your living space is safe for the long haul.

What is a permanent rodent barrier?

Exactly what it sounds like! There are three main long term solutions for protecting a dirt crawlspace from rodents:

Rodent-proofing insulation with wire mesh

Traditional fiberglass insulation is by far the most common type we find in crawl spaces. It is also a perfect place for rodents to nest. Protect your new or existing insulation from nesting by installing galvanized steel mesh to the underside of your joists. You’ll get end-to-end protection for your insulation and your living space if a rodent tunnels back into the crawl space.

Rodent proof insulation diagram

Trench and screen

To install a trench and screen the soil around your foundation is dug away and galvanized steel mesh is buried against the house to prevent animals from burrowing into the crawl space.

trench and screen digram to block rats

Rat slab

A rat slab is a non-structural layer of concrete that completely seals the dirt floor of your crawl space off from tunneling.

Rat slab diagram
Diagram courtesy of energy.gov

Are rodents chewing or tunneling into the crawl space?

We find that rodents are most likely to access a crawl space by chewing a hole or pushing their way in through a vent. Builder-grade crawl space vents use flimsy mesh that doesn’t stand up to a determined rat. Rodents are also incredible chewers since their teeth grow constantly. They will find a small gap around a gas line and gnaw the opening until they can squeeze through. Sealing off openings and setting poison-free traps are your go-to solution.

Tunneling into the crawl space is also very common. Norway rats are aggressive diggers and they will burrow under the side of the house and pop up in the crawlspace. You’ll need a permanent rodent barrier to stop them from entering once and for all.

Need some help with a rodent issue at your house? Give us a call or book an inspection online!

Mice or rodents in the attic? Your roof needs drip edge flashing

One of the most common ways for rodents to enter an attic is through a gap between the shingles and the gutter. Gaps like this are extremely common in Washington State due to a quark in the residential building code. This gap, sometimes called a carpenter’s gap or construction gap, can be sealed off using a piece of metal flashing called a drip edge. This piece of metal is also known as gutter flashing or rake edge flashing.

How to check for drip edge flashing

If you’re stumped on how mice, rats, birds, or squirrels are getting into your attic, we highly recommend looking at the exterior of the roof line. If you have a hipped roof (shaped like a pyramid) you should check the entire perimeter. If you have a gabled roof you likely only need to check the two sides with gutters.

Slide your hand to the back of the gutter where it’s secured against the house. If you can fit your hand under the shingles it’s big enough for a rat to squeeze through. Remember, rats only need a gap the size of a quarter and mice only need a gap the size of a dime. Rodents usually leave signs on the areas they frequent the most. Look for chewing, greasy smears called rub marks, and of course droppings.

Drip edge wasn’t in Washington code until 2015

Washington State residential code only began requiring drip edge in 2015, meaning If your home was built in 2014 or earlier, there is a good chance you have a large gap running continuously around the perimeter of your roof. You can read the code yourself online.

Should you install drip edge flashing to seal the attic from rodents?

Yes, you should definitely install a drip edge (AKA gutter flashing) to seal out mice, rats, squirrels and birds. At a cost of $10 to $20 per foot installed, it’s fairly inexpensive and will save you money down the line compared to the cost of damage from an infestation.  

In addition to blocking pests, drip edge flashing protects your house from wind and water dripping behind the shingles, hence the name “drip edge.” It’s a wise investment for any roof.

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