Archive | Infestation

Pest infestations can cause serious damage to your home. Are you doing everything you can for your infestation?

Raccoon Infestation

Raccoon Infestation

Portland OR, Vancouver WA

When it comes to unwelcome house guests, raccoons can be quite the nuisance. A raccoon infestation means having clusters of intelligent creatures living in parts of your house, such as your attic, garage, and crawl space. Having a raccoon infestation in the crawl space of a house means sharing 40-60% of the air of your home with these animals, putting your family at risk to the airborne roundworm eggs found in their feces. Raccoons are carriers of rabies, and their feces are bio-hazards, requiring special clean up to insure pathogens don’t spread.

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Life Cycle and Biology of the Raccoon

Raccoons are stocky animals, ranging from about 2 to 3 feet long, and weighing between 10 to 30 pounds. Their bodies are covered with grizzled salt and pepper grey fur, and their tails have grey and black rings; their most prominent feature is the black “mask” over their eyes; they look like cartoon bandits! Raccoons are found all throughout the United States, except for high elevations and arid areas; they prefer habitats of hardwood forest areas near water.

Raccoons typically breed around February and March, with a gestation period of about 63 days. Most litters are born in April or May, and the average size is 3 to 5 offspring. A family of raccoons usually remains with its mother for the first years before becoming fully independent.

Signs of a Raccoon Infestation

Don’t be fooled by their cartoon-ish appearance; raccoons are very destructive animals, capable of tearing off shingles and fascia boards in order to gain access into an attic or crawl space. Because raccoons make dens out of places like hollowed trees, an uncapped chimney can be seen as a suitable dwelling for them as well. The most telling sign of a raccoon infestation is their paw prints around suspicious damage.

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Dangers of a Raccoon Infestation

Raccoons have sharp teeth and claws, capable of chewing holes in walls, through wires, tearing apart air ducts, and pipe insulation. A raccoon infestation of a crawl space also poses health risks to the inhabitants of a home. Their feces can carry roundworm eggs, which can be contracted through inhalation and ingestion. It also carries giardia lambila, a common protozoan for pets that causes diarrhea, that can also be contracted through ingestion and water contaminated by feces. Raccoons are also known carriers of rabies; male raccoons have no problem attacking those who encroach on their territories, making their bites potentially lethal.

Think your crawl space is infested with raccoons? The best course of action would be to call your local animal control to remove them. Once your home has been rid of them, the experts of Bloom can come to assess your damages. Some solutions we offer are:

Entry Exclusion

Vapor barrier replacement

Insulation replacement

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Pest Control, Bloom Editor, Bloom Writer, Bloom Reporter, Bloom Bug Blog, Bug Blog, Blog, pdx pest control

Bloom Reporter Leah Iannacone

Bloom Pest Control, Bloom Writer, Bloom Reporter, Bloom Bug Blog, Bug Blog, Blog, pdx pest control

Squirrel Infestation

Squirrel Infestation in Portland

Portland OR, Vancouver WA

Ah, the common backyard squirrel; just seeing the word immediately creates a mental image of these big eyed, bushy tailed little critters. While most people don’t mind seeing them passing through, you definitely wouldn’t want them as permanent neighbors. Squirrel infestations extend from the house to the property. Squirrels are rodents, who have similar behaviors and looks as rats and mice, so a squirrel infestation can end up being costly as well as a nuisance.

Common Types of Squirrels

Despite all squirrels looking the same as the next, there are divided into three groups: large tree squirrels, pine squirrels, and flying squirrels. The larger tree squirrel group is further divided in four groups: fox, eastern gray, western gray and tassel-eared squirrels. The most common squirrels in the Pacific Northwest are eastern and western grey, red and pine, and northern and southern flying squirrels; these breeds populate densely forested areas. Gray and fox squirrels are capable of breeding at about 1 year of age, and will breed by early January, and again in June. During these times is when you’ll see the males noisily chasing females like teenagers!

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Nesting Habits of Squirrels

Squirrels nest in little dens, like tree cavities and leaf nests (structures made of sticks and dry leaves). Their home range ranges from 1 to 100 acres, depending on food availability. That’s a lot of steps! During the fall, squirrels may travel up to 50 miles for a better habitat, all without the luxury of a U-Haul. Their diet consists of nuts and seeds, but they’re not above eating insects in order to survive.

Mating Habits of Squirrels

A squirrel’s gestation is about 3 to 6 weeks, and they will have about 3 young per litter. These babies are capable of venturing out of their after they wean at 10 to 12 weeks. While the majority of squirrels die within the first year of their lives, the rest can live to around 5-10 years old in the wild, and up to 20 in captivity.

How to tell if I Have a Squirrel Infestation

Because they look so cute it’s easy to forget that they’re in the same animal group as rats, but squirrels are very capable of similar damage. They like taking up residency in attics and crawlspaces, and are capable of chewing up electrical wires and walls. As an added bonus, squirrels can also destroy your garden and eat any vegetation.  The best way to identify squirrel infestations is by hearing them in the walls or attic. If you hear sounds of scurrying during the day, coupled with chewed up entry holes, then it’s likely to be a squirrel infestation. While rats do have similar tell-tale signs, they’re nocturnal creatures, so you’ll hear rats during nightfall and night time.

It’s no wonder that Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale were after moose AND squirrel. They were making sure that Rocky didn’t come to their home to infest!Squirrels are fluffy tailed menaces, capable of breeding quickly and chewing up a home. It’s best to be mindful of whether they’ve made an entrance in your home to make sure that they don’t infest it.
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Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Pest Control, Bloom Editor, Bloom Writer, Bloom Reporter, Bloom Bug Blog, Bug Blog, Blog, pdx pest control

Bloom Reporter Leah Iannacone

Bloom Pest Control, Bloom Writer, Bloom Reporter, Bloom Bug Blog, Bug Blog, Blog, pdx pest control

 

Opossum Infestation

Opossum Infestation

Portland OR, Vancouver WA

Crawl spaces are ideal environments for an opossum infestation to occur. It’s a cool, damp atmosphere, and coupled with the lack of sunlight, it’s a preferential place for opossums to nest. An opossum taking residency in a home can lead to possible bacteria accumulation, attacks on pets, and spread of disease. An opossum infestation is something to take action against when detected, and can be prevented through routine crawl space clean outs.

Life Cycle & Biology of an Opossum

Opossums are whitish or grayish, and about the size of a house cat. Their faces are long and pointed, with rounded and hairless ears, a rat-like tail, and wide spread fingers. Opossums gravitate to garbage cans and pet food dishes. When threatened, an opossum may bare its teeth, growl, bite, and exude an odorous greenish fluid from their anal glands.

Their mating season is typically from January to July, and raise 2 or 3 litters in a year, with an average of 7 born at a time. Litters are born 13 days after mating, and the offspring will remain with their mother until about 13 to 15 weeks. The young will then go on to roam until they find a suitable living space, and live alone. Opossums are most active at night and have an adverse reaction to daylight, which renders them stupid and inhibited.

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Signs of Infestations

Opossums are nocturnal creatures. They would love remain in the confines of the damp, dark environment of your crawl space; An inspection is a great way to identify an opossum infestation.  Some subtle signs are the sounds of bumping or scurrying under floors, and a musty odor in the home or crawl space.

Dangers of Infestations

Opossum infestations are potentially dangerous to a home’s inhabitants. They gravitate to garbage, gardens, bird feeders, and pet food. Opossums are capable of shredding duct work, chewing on wiring, which creates a fire hazard, and tearing insulation that can be found in the pipes of a crawl space. They can also chew water lines, making your home susceptible to flooding.

Opossums also carry diseases transmittable to humans, such as tuberculosis and toxoplasmosis. As studies have shown that crawl spaces share 40-60% of its air with a home, having an airborne contagion would be putting the whole family at risk. Opossums are also host to fleas and ticks, and are capable of fighting with dogs and cats. That, coupled with their capacity for inflicting serious injury with their teeth, makes them dangerous to the pets as well.

What We Can Do For You

Opossums are capable of biting in self-defense. Having the professional experts of Bloom check your crawl space would be ideal. It would take out the risk of personal injury while getting an honest assessment of any damages that have occurred. Some solutions we offer are:

  • Entry Exclusion, which is the process of closing off all entry points of a crawl space. Cutting off anyway an opossum could find in is a great preventative step.
  • Vapor Barrier Replacement, which would remove any feces, chewing, nesting, and storing of food that would destroy a vapor barrier.
  • Insulation Replacement, which would replace any insulation an opossum might have used for nesting or have become contaminated with their feces, chewing, and stored food.

Bloom Editor Danielle Schneider

Bloom Pest Control, Bloom Editor, Bloom Writer, Bloom Reporter, Bloom Bug Blog, Bug Blog, Blog, pdx pest control

Bloom Reporter Leah Iannacone

Bloom Pest Control, Bloom Writer, Bloom Reporter, Bloom Bug Blog, Bug Blog, Blog, pdx pest control