Crawl-Space Restorations

Venables Pest Management now provides restoration services!

Serviceable vapor-barriers, insulation, and ducts are important for keeping your home’s substructure free of moisture, retaining heat in the interior of the house, and maintaining good air quality. When rats and mice infest a substructure, the vapor-barrier and insulation will become damaged and soiled, harboring bacteria and odor and reducing their efficiency for protecting your home. Click here to see a brief review from a satisfied customer on Youtube about his substructure restoration service.

To have your home’s substructure evaluated, please give us a call at (360) 456-4999 or email us at info@venablespest.com.

If you are currently on regular service with Venables Pest Management, your technician would be happy to discuss the condition of your substructure and offer additional information if repairs are recommended.

Carpenter Ants

During spring, carpenter ants will begin to wake up from diapause (hibernation) and make their way into homes where they will develop “satellite colonies”. These colonies are commonly found in wall-voids, crawl spaces, and attics, where the ants will excavate wooden materials to create space for their nests. When this happens, homeowners will commonly see carpenter ants moving to and from the “parent colony” in trails. The parent colony will typically be located within a few hundred meters from the home, often inside of a tree or a stump, and will keep constant contact with the satellite colony inside the house.

If carpenter ants are left untreated, they can cause considerable damage to the home over time. It is best to initiate a treatment plan as soon as the ants are discovered in the structure. As basic as this may sound, the first step in developing a treatment plan will be to positively identify that the insects you are dealing with are in fact carpenter ants. The biology of each insect makes effective treatment something that cannot be accomplished with a “one size fits all” approach.

It is also important to note that winged reproductive carpenter ants are common to see in and around structures during the spring. Finding these winged ants inside or around your home does not necessarily mean that you have a carpenter ant infestation, as these ants will commonly appear in locations where there is not an active colony. But when the reproductive ants are found, it is best to have a licensed professional assess the home to determine if a treatment for carpenter ants needs to be performed.

We’re here to help! Our inspectors and technicians have years of experience applying the methods of integrated pest management to effectively treat and prevent carpenter ant infestations. Please feel free to give us a call at (360) 456-4999 or email us at info@venablespest.com to schedule an appointment.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

Odorous House Ants

Odorous House Ants, often referred to as “sugar-ants,” are a common nuisance pest here in the Olympia area. Their desire for sweet foods and warmth often leads them inside homes, where they can be very irritating to residents. If you have never experienced an infestation from these ants before, your home is not immune, it is fortunate. Every year ant colonies are changing locations and invading different structures, and the cycle begins anew every spring. Having a program in place to dissuade infestations from these ants before the weather warms up is recommended.

As spring approaches, Odorous House Ants will be waking up from diapause and spreading out to search for new food sources. Homeowners commonly report seeing these ants in kitchens and bathrooms, where there is an abundance of food and water, but they are often found in other locations in the house. We recommend beginning treatment early with this species of ant, because their colonies will only grow bigger and become more difficult to control as the season progresses.

Our inspectors and technicians have years of experience dealing with Odorous House Ants, and have become adept at controlling their infestations. This process will always begin with an inspection to identify the species of the ant as well as its nesting location. Once we know the type of insect we are dealing with, we can prescribe an appropriate treatment. We consider every infestation to be unique, and treat each service according to its distinct symptoms.

If you have active ants in your home, or you would like to prevent them from coming in, we can help! Contact our office at 360.456.4999 or click here to submit a request for more information.

Click here for a copy of our Insect Monitoring Sheet, which will allow you to record information that will help us diagnose your pest infestation with increased speed and efficiency.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

Regular Services are Imperative in the Winter-Time

 

It’s definitely winter: the weather is wet, and the days are short. You may not see active ants or wasps on your property this time of year, but there are still many benefits to having inspections and services performed on your home during the cooler months. Unforeseen issues like water leaks, pest access points, and changes to the sub-structure are not always easy to detect as a homeowner, and if neglected, can degenerate quickly.

Rats are a major concern here in Thurston County. Their populations are increasing rapidly, and unopposed, can wreak havoc in the sub-structure or attic of a home over time. At winter services, our technicians are focused on inspecting homes for pest access points, and controlling emergent populations. This is the stage in the year when rodent pressure on homes is peaking.

There are also a few common pests that are not affected by the weather and will continue to plague homeowners throughout the year. Subterranean termites, spiders, and various types of wood-destroying beetles are just a few that will continue to remain active. Finding one of these infestations before they fully develop can be influential in keeping your home in suitable condition.

We can service homes in the rain, and there are methods for applying products safely during precipitation. An application of this kind on the foundation of a home before spring can effectively prevent an ant infestation before it has a chance to begin. Also, liquid treatments are only one aspect of insect control in the integrated pest management process. Inspection, evaluation, monitoring, and prevention are among the more critical components of this method, and can be accomplished during blustery rain or sweltering heat.

Contact our office with any questions regarding service at (360) 456-4999 or click here to submit a request for more information.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

 

Water Can Lead to Hidden Structural Damage

Our homes are the biggest investments we have and they are under constant assault from the weather, especially here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The rainfall that we receive in Washington is immense, and this precipitation can lead to decay fungus and unseen structural damage. The key to protecting your home from water damage can be found in a thorough inspection. If you can prevent damage from occurring by identifying moisture access points before they become detrimental, you may just save yourself from a costly home repair bill. Hiring a qualified home inspector may be a good investment.

Buildings are constructed to shed water, but they are not completely water-proof. This simple fact is useful to consider when inspecting for moisture access points. Any tiny perforation in the siding is liable to allow water to enter. These openings include spaces around doors, windows, utility pipes and accessories, among others. Clogged gutters are another culprit to look out for, as they allow water to pour over and splash on the siding of the home.

Decay fungus in buildings can lead to infestation from a number of insects. Anobiid Beetles, Moisture ants, and Dampwood Termites are just a few of the common pests in Thurston County that are drawn to wood with high water content. In many cases identifying the location of the water-damaged wood and replacing it will remedy the issue; however each insect’s treatment varies greatly based on their unique physiology, and should be evaluated separately.

Our technicians have received training in identifying points of moisture intrusion and are equipped with moisture meters, which allow them to further evaluate the source of damaged wood. This type of discovery is extremely valuable, as moisture problems will only get worse if they are neglected. Pest management technicians may be able to identify common areas of concern, but consulting with a licensed home inspector is recommended for a more detailed examination of moisture entry points.

Contact our office with any questions regarding moisture intrusion at (360) 456-4999 or click here to submit a request for more information.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

Oh Rats!

Greetings!

 

Roof Rat populations continue to increase significantly throughout Thurston County and the onset of cooler weather has caused the number of infestations we’re experiencing to increase even more! Please read on for a few useful reminders to help keep rats from establishing (or re-establishing) themselves inside your home.

Regular inspections are crucial in the endeavor to stay rodent-free. Crawl space covers must be sealed tightly on all sides so that there is no opening larger than 1/4th inch. Vent screens in the foundation and under the eaves are also common access points and must be kept in good repair. If we are currently servicing your home for rats, rest assured that our technicians are on the look-out for these conditions and are prepared to offer further recommendations for rodent prevention or control as it becomes necessary.

Once rodents establish themselves in an area, their excrement leaves a scent behind which is like an invitation for other rodents to enter. Often these new intruders become determined to gain access into your home or crawl space and will find new ways to burrow under, chew through, or cause damage to newly-repaired screens.

It is also important to keep in mind that control is more successful when neighbors work together to reduce the overall populations within their neighborhood. Please feel free to share this information with your neighbors, friends and family and direct them our way with questions regarding rodent control.

Wishing you a warm, safe, and rat-free holiday season!

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

Spiders: Nuisance, or Environmental Adjuvant?

Spiders are becoming very active in Thurston County now that fall has arrived, and many homeowners are beginning to notice an increase in their activity. Whether you are vehemently afraid of spiders, or you are impartial towards them, it is good to know a little about the arachnids that will inevitably dwell around your home. Although spiders are disliked and often maligned, they are an integral part of our ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest and provide many benefits.

Spiders feed on many nuisance insects that are prevalent in and around homes, and in turn are eaten by various insectivores. For this reason, many homeowners prefer to allow their presence as a natural part of our environment, and do nothing to hinder their activity, which is ideal. But for those who seek to reduce and limit the population of surrounding spiders, there are preventative measures that exist which can make homes less attractive to them.

 

– Trim vegetation that is in contact with the exterior of the home

– Eliminate clutter on the interior and exterior

– Regularly clean and remove webs in spider harborage areas

– Maintain control of insects in and around the home

 

Our regular service program controls insect activity, which in turn lowers spider populations because of their dependence upon insects for food. This treatment will reduce the number of spiders in a given area, but not eliminate them completely, as a project of that magnitude would be inessential. Our service technicians are prepared to offer recommendations and apply integrated pest management measures for spider control at each regular maintenance visit.

Although spiders can be alarming when you find them around the home, they are in most cases benign and are disinterested in being anywhere near a human. That being said, spiders do possess the ability to bite if they are defending themselves, which is why it is a good idea to become familiar with the venomous spiders that reside in Washington. There is the Black Widow spider which is found in eastern Washington, and the Hobo spider which can be found anywhere in the state. Both species typically prefer to live outdoors and cannot survive in an indoor climate.

The Hobo Spider is commonly misidentified with a number of other species that look nearly identical. The subtle differences between the Hobo spider and the species which resemble it can usually only be seen under a microscope. Compare the Hobo Spider with the Giant House Spider in the images below for an example of their close resemblance.

 

Black Widow Spider                   Hobo Spider                              Giant House Spider

         

 

Want to learn more about spider control services? Contact our office at (360) 456-4999 or click here to submit a request for more information.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

Preparing for Fall: Has Your Home Been Inspected?

As we approach this year’s autumn season, homeowners should be aware of the pests that commonly invade structures in Thurston County, and how to protect against them. Preventative maintenance programs can help to identify these pests, and prevent infestations before they become harmful to people or damage structures. This short guide will give you a basic overview of conditions that Pest Management Professionals look for when inspecting your residence.

Yellow Jackets

With the culmination of summer, Yellow Jackets present a threat to residents as their populations are peaking, and their behavior becomes more aggressive the closer they come to the end of their life cycle. Be aware of their nests which are cone-shaped, and have a light grey or tan color. A common place for wasps to develop their nests is under the eaves around a structure, but they will also create nests in nearby vegetation, wall voids in the house, and in the ground. Ground nests are particularly dangerous because they are difficult to see until you are close to them, which increases the likelihood of being stung.

Rats and Mice

When the weather begins to cool off, rodents will start seeking shelter in crawl spaces and attics where insulation provides a warm place to nest. It is crucial to have your home inspected to identify pest access points so that repairs can be made to exclude rodents before they become established in the home. Residents are often unaware that they are sharing their home with rodents until a large population develops. In the event that rodents are discovered in the crawl space or attic, your technician can take steps to control and ultimately eliminate the population.

Termite Reproductive Swarms

Reproductive Termites are emerging this time of year and are commonly seen throughout Thurston County in and around homes. These insects have 2 sets of wings that are identical in length and straight antennae. In western Washington we commonly see 2 types of Termites, the Subterranean Termite and the Dampwood Termite, which vary in size and coloration from each other. It is common to see reproductive Dampwood Termites around the exterior of your home and does not necessarily mean that you have an infestation. These insects appear randomly throughout the area during late summer and early fall as they fly in search of mates and a place to start their new colony. Dampwood Termites are attracted to wood with high moisture content, and if there is an infestation in your home, these insects will disappear once the damaged wood has been found and replaced.

Subterranean Termites, in contrast, live in the soil underground and do not require wood with high moisture content. This can make them a structural threat as most homes are comprised primarily of wood. If you find reproductive termites in your home it is possible that you have an infestation, or that there is wood in the home that has been damaged by moisture. In either case, it is important to have the insect identified by a professional and an inspection to discover whether there are active termites in the home.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

Are you letting the bedbugs bite?

 

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Bed bugs can be highly irritating and unwanted inhabitants in your home, even if you are under the impression that your house is the most unlikely place for them. Though they are not as scary or gross looking as most other insects like cockroaches or spiders, they can be equally (if not more) annoying. They usually enter homes undetected, hidden in clothing, used furniture or luggage.

Bed bugs typically conceal themselves in small cracks and crevices in floors, walls, bed posts, bed frames and mattresses. They prefer to spend their lives clustered together in dark, muggy or untidy parts of a house. Their main food for survival is blood. When it is dark, quiet, and everyone in the house is asleep, these tiny insects crawl out of their hideouts in search of their prey – most likely the sleeping residents.

Reactions to Bed Bug bites can vary greatly. Individuals who have more sensitive systems may experience severe inflammation and itchiness, while others may not even recognize that they’ve been bitten.

Signs of bed bugs include blood stains, fecal spots (from bed bugs), and a musty odor on pillow cases and bed sheets. If you recognize any of these signs, it is important that you address the problem as soon as possible and take measures to control the bed bug infestation.

Here are some useful tips:

  1. Learn about steps you can take to prevent an infestation. There are a number of quick and easy measures you and your house guests can take in handling luggage, clothing, and used furniture to lessen your chances of bringing home these unwanted visitors.
  2. Maintain a clean and clutter-free house. Be sure that walls, furniture, floors, and all the little nooks and crannies in your house are cleaned out regularly. Although no home is immune from these critters, this will at least lessen their chances for survival and minimize populations.
  3. Protect your bed. As their name implies, bed bugs thrive in and around the bed. Installing protective allergen/bedbug casings around your mattress and pillows, changing the bed linens regularly, airing out the mattress, and checking for any suspicious wear and tear in your bed will help minimize an infestation should bed bugs be introduced to your home.
  4. Install monitoring devices. There are a variety of bed bug monitoring devices on the market which will help you quickly recognize if you have a bedbug infestation. The sooner control measures may be taken, the easier and less costly the control process will be.
  5. If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, call in the professionals. Initially, it is extremely important that proper identification of the insect has been made. Treatment procedures vary widely from insect to insect, so it is especially important to know what you are dealing with in the first place. Due to the necessary use of pesticides and the intricacy of the treatment procedures, it is highly recommended that you leave the treatment process to the professionals as well. Treatments performed without thorough knowledge could make the problem even more difficult to solve. Secondary problems, such as spreading the bedbug infestation to other locations or misuse of pesticides, often times occur when an untrained person attempts to control bed bugs.

Bedbugs can be persistent, but with awareness and perseverance on your part you can overcome an infestation.

Venables Pest Management can help! For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (360) 456-4999.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999

Are rats sharing your home?

 

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Have you seen Rats in Olympia, Tumwater or even Rats in Lacey Recently?

 

If so, the memories of one scurrying across your floor, finding excrement in a drawer, or hearing chewing noises during the night probably causes you to cringe.

When the weather gets cooler and food sources diminish outdoors, mice and rats in Thurston County will return to houses and other structures in search of food and shelter.

These critters are not only a nuisance, they also pose significant health risks. Hanta Virus may come to mind, but bacterial contamination from their excrement is a far more common concern in the Pacific Northwest. Bacterial contamination may occur by ingesting contaminated food or water, contacting contaminated surfaces, or by breathing in pathogens that have been stirred into the air.

Mice are also found throughout Western Washington, making all homes susceptible to an infestation. This has not always been the case with rats. In fact, their recent influx in activity has caused quite the commotion throughout Thurston County. This activity Ranges from Olympia and Tumwater all the way to Lacey, where we have seen growing colonies of rats.

For many years only one species of rat, the Norway rat, was found in this area. Their feeding and traveling habits have kept them within about 5 miles of the downtown-Olympia waterfront.

Several years ago, another very prolific kind of rat, the Roof Rat, was introduced. Their ability to travel high above ground on trees and power lines has allowed them to make their way into many neighborhoods throughout Thurston County. They are very smart and can conceal themselves from humans quite well.

After dealing with numerous rat infestations, we strongly recommend taking preventative measures. If you are already on an ongoing maintenance service program, rodent prevention is an important focus of your winter service visit. If your service program does not currently include mice or rats we’re always happy to discuss this option with you!

Click here to download a FREE rat inspection coupon, a great item to share with family, friends, and neighbors.

We’re here to help!
360.456.4999