Friday, October 31, 2014

Rats Used to Detect Land-Mines & TB

Rats, those pesky rats! For most of us that's all they are, pests that destroy things, spread their filth and spread bacteria and other disease pathogens. However, rats are also being used to save lives. Specially trained rats are being used to sniff out land-mines.
These rats are a particular species of giant rat from Tanzania. They are trained to sniff out land-mines which, if not detected, keep many thousands of acres of land unsafe and uninhabitable. They are also trained to sniff out TB--tuberculosis, which is still widespread in Africa.
Although these rats are a different species than what we have here in the greater Seattle area, this usage of their larger cousins underscores the acute abilities that all rats have. When we are treating for rat infestations we are up against some very powerful "noses" that leave these challenging pests at an advantage, often suspect of any new they are wary of traps and baits.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Even The Owner of a Pest Control Company - Rats!

Yes, even an owner of Cascade Pest Control can have persistent rat problems. Here I am holding my crawlspace access door, obviously gnawed on by rats. I had heard--late at night--a chewing sound under the house. Being well versed in pest control I did a thorough inspection of the house. I found 6 access points on the roof that, thankfully, rodents--rats, mice or squirrels--hadn't yet found. Then came the crawlspace. I did notice that the crawl access door didn't fit well and their were rat "grease marks" or "rubbings" aright around a gap in the crawlspace access door. It is a 9 year old home and I'd never found rodent droppings in the crawlspace before...but now they were here. They'd found a gap in the crawlspace access door, had created a maze of tunnels in the subfloor insulation--which compromises my subfloor insulation, and gnawing on some wood in the subfloor support area. At first I thought I'd sealed the door. But eventually I had to go the whole route, the way we at Cascade recommend and with the combination of specially placed baits and traps they are just about all gone. And I learned that "hardy board" is NOT rodent proof! And, much to my chagrin, my technicians already knew it. Last but not least is ongoing rodent control to periodically check for activity and new entry points. Also establishing a perimeter defense with bait/trap stations is important. But, just the same, it can and does happen to everyone, even the owner of the pest control company!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seattle Ranked 6th Most Rat Infested City

Huffington post published a list of the 12 most rat infested cities and Seattle came in at #6, Chicago ranks as the "rattiest" city in the nation. But rating number six is no small thing. According to the article 21 million homes are invaded by rats every year. And the fall/winter season is when rats and other rodents infest homes the most as they move in finding shelter from the cold.
Cascade Pest Control delivers solid rat and rodent control throughout the greater Seattle area. We provide a rodent inspection or assessment, rat elimination, and ongoing rodent protection. Cascade Pest Control also provides rodent-proofing, or "pest exclusion." Call Cascade today to protect your home from rats and other rodents. 1-888-989-8979

Saturday, October 4, 2014

New York Restaurant Features Ants in Menu!

The Black Ant, is a restaurant in New York where insects garnish corn cocktails and ceviche. But are they any good? Surprisingly, the menu sounds and looks delicious--if only they had disguised the dead black ants. They--the ants--are sprinkled on top of and sometimes throughout the otherwise beautiful food creations.
Although somewhat strange, I have to admit that the dishes they prepare look delicious...even delicious enough to have me trying them with tiny crunchy black ants included. Check out this video to learn the flavor of ants.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Influx of Rodents on Mercer Island

While we at Cascade always keep customer details confidential, we do have a responsibility to inform our clients--and potential clients--when there trends occur. There are several cities, or areas (groups of cities) where we have received an increase in calls for rat infestations. And our Cascade technicians have also gotten calls from our established clients for renewed rodent activity. One of the predominant locations where we've had such an increase is Mercer Island. Mercer Island is known for it's fine homes and an abundance of tree and waterfront. It is perhaps the amount of waterfront that lends itself to rat infestation on Mercer Island. Also, Mercer Island has a number of ravines and "green belts"--wooded areas--that can harbor rodents. Add all that to the very basic fact that rodents follow residential development as these rodents--old-world rats and mice--are commensal, meaning they "live with humans," and Mercer Island is set up for rat problems.
Our experience is that residents of Mercer Island are very cooperative, and they are usually understanding that homes with complex roof structures and other features can sometimes create vulnerable spots on a home where rodents can gain access. The larger and more complex the home, the more challenging the rat control issue can be. Cascade Pest Control is aware of the issue and ready to respond. We are devoted to responding to and resolving tough rat infestation problems as they crop up on Mercer Island.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wasps Around your Home -new Cascade video

We are happy to announce our new video on wasps. It can be viewed on our website or on vimeo. The new video takes the homeowner on a tour showing all the places in or around a home that Yelow Jackets might nest. The video also discusses the hazards of wasps and how they can sometimes break through sheetrock into the home's ilving space! Yellow Jacket gound nests, tree or bush branch and ground nests occur in or near yards. Wall void, eave and attic wasp nests occur on or in the house structure. If you suspect a Yellow Jacket nest contact Cascade immediately at 1-888-989-8979

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cascade's Video Approach Headlines Industry Newsletter

Cascade Pest Control was honored by the leading industry newsletter, Pest Control Technology. This is an honor as PCT is the nations leading source for pest control news and information. Pest Control Technology found that Cascade's efforts (thank you, Scott Bouwens) were exemplary in our approach to help the public understand the problem of rodent infestations, especially rats. The video demonstrates how many points there are where rats can enter a house structure and what professional pest control can do to control rats, including exclusion efforts. Technician performing rodent inspection for rats and/or mice.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rats, Mice: What is a Rodent?

We throw around these terms but a "rodent" is a particular animal that seems to have plagued humanity for eons. But what is a rodent? Rodents are mammals, so they are covered by hair, give birth to living young, the young are nourished on milk secreted by mammary glands, and besides molars with only an upper and lower pair of enlarged chisel-like teeth, rodents lack canine teeth. Rats and mice have 4 toed front feet and 5-toed hind feet. They both have skinny, almost naked tails. What's amazing is that rodents 2 pair of incisor teeth are enameled on the front only, the working of the upper pair against the lower ones wears down the large upper ones resulting in a sharpened edge. Rodents have the highest mammalian reproductive capacity. That's just a start when it comes to what constitutes "rodents" and what they can do. Call Cascade Pest Control is you suspect you have any problems with rats or Rodents may eat or contaminate up to 20% of the world's human food supply!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cascade's New Informative Rodent Video

We at Cascade Pest Control are happy to announce a new and very informative video about rodents: Rats and Mice, their behavior and examples of what might be found at a home. In the video we explore rat evidenced and signs, what rodents eat, and the many places in a home that rats and mice can gain entry. We explore the house exterior, roof, crawlspace and more. Rats are an important pest in the greater Seattle area and they run rampant on Mercer Islann, and in communities like Medina, Bellevue, Issaquah and Kirkland laregly due to all the waterfront areas. But rats are not confined there. Rat populations are soaring throughout the eastside (of Lake Washington), south King county and throughout most of Snohomish county due to the growth in human population. Rats are "commensal rodents" meaning they live with or near humans--actually dependent on human habitation. So rats are now being found throughout all residential neighborhoods, whether urban or suburban. Rats also cause considerable damage to homes and can carry harmful diseases. Please take a look at our rodent vieo to learn more.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Abundant Blackberries in Seattle Area Invite Rats

This hot and dry summer has been a boon to the blackberry patches in and around the greater Seattle area. Throughout King and Snohomish counties we have loads of blackberry bushes, sometimes taking over corners of lots, or even whole vacant lots. These berries are a source of enjoyment for all of us each year. However, these same blackberries--along with other berries and fruits--atract rats. And the blackberry vines and bushes create well hidden spaces for them to hide. Rats and other pests thrive on the berries this time of year, encouraging them to bread and multiply while the food is plentiful. Later, after the rat population has increased and it gets cold, the rats will tend to move into the attics, garages and crawlspaces of our homes. This hot and dry summer has been a boon to the blackberry patches in and around the greater Seattle area. Throughout King and Snohomish counties we have loads of blackberry bushes, sometimes taking over corners of lots, or even whole vacant lots. These berries are a source of enjoyment for all of us each year. However, these same blackberries--along with other berries and fruits--atract rats. And the blackberry vines and bushes create well hidden spaces for them to hide. Rats and other pests thrive on the berries this time of year, encouraging them to bread and multiply while the food is plentiful. Later, after the rat population has increased and it gets cold, the rats will tend to move into the attics, garages and crawlspaces of our homes. We're not suggesting you remove all blackberries from you property. Nor could you remove them from adjacent or nearby property without permission. Plus, the blackberries are for you to enjoy. But if you have blackberries growing nearby it is all the more reason to have Cascade set up a protective barrier around your home and service it often enough to keep the rats at bay. So, enjoy those blackberries...and have Cascade protect your home today. 1-888-989-9879 We're not suggesting you remove all blackberries from you property. Nor could you remove them from adjacent or nearby property without permission. Plus, the blackberries are for you to enjoy. But if you have blackberries growing nearby it is all the more reason to have Cascade set up a protective barrier around your home and service it often enough to keep the rats at bay. So, enjoy those blackberries...and have Cascade protect your home today. 1-888-989-9879

Pregnant Mother of Four Dies from Bee Stings

A young mother of four children from the state of Vriginia died from wasps stings. She was only 32 years old and pregnant with her fifth child. While this is rare, the wasps encountered are plentiful here in the greater Seattle area. During August and September wasp nests, particularly Yellow Jackets, have populations of up to four thousand in any one nest! Problems we've encountered with wasps and yellow jackets in the Seattle area, Bellevue and Redmond include wall nests that can break into the living space of the home presenting an escalated risk to people and pests. What happens is the wasps nest in wall cavities or in attics just above the ceiling, and the wasps slowly scratch through the sheetrock until there is only a layer of paper and paint separating them from the home interior. We at Cascade have had a number of people over the years call us from their neighbor's house because they were driven out from the yellow jackets breaking through the wall and invading their home. In a few cases we caught the situation before they'd broken through. If you have wasps, yellow jackets or other pests--or, better yet, to set up pest protection before it's a problem, call Cascade today! 1-888-989-78979 WWW.CASCADEPEST.COM

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Animated Video on Rat Infestation and Control

Cascade Pest Control is delighted to announce that we have released a great animation that depicts rodent problems in a home in a way that is both thorough and entertaining. View the video. The video dramatizes rat infestation and consequences accurately to educate the public. Rats are an important pest in the greater Seattle area, including The Eastside, Bellevue, Redmond, Everett and beyond. The video, while short, demonstrates the "how" and "why" of rat and rodent control, including assessment, initial control, exclusion and periodic service.

Cascade Pest Control's Rodent Service from No Pests on Vimeo.

Spiders Can Kill - Fortunately Brown Recluse Not Normally Found in Seattle Area

At least two people have died in the US in 2014 from the bites of brown recluse spiders. One was reported from Mulberry Conty, Florida, where a 62-year-old man, Ronald Reese, was renovating a home and got bitten on the back of his neck. His father, 89, reported that Ron thought it would heal on it's own but that, instead, it "rotted to the vertbrae." Brown Recluse spider bites often do heal, but because they break down red blood cells and can become systemic they should always be checked by medical professionals. Obviously, some can cause death. The most recent death attributed to brown recluse spiders occured in Michigan--a rare case for that area. The woman was 58 years old and was bitten on her foot. Similarly, she rsisted seeing a doctor until it was too late. Usually, a brown recluse bite on a foot woiuldn't be fatal but the bite ocurred directly into a blood vessel, allowing the venum to ciculate into the blood stream. By the time an ambulence came she was non-responsive. She died shortly thereafter. While we have no resident brown recluse spider population in the Puget Sound region, they can conceivably be shipped from the south central part of the United States. Also, while a spider bite here shouldn't be from a brown recluse, we do have the aggressive house spider and the hobo spider--both of which can cause severe symptoms, apparently including auditory hallucinations in some cases. For more information about local spiders and their control contact Cascade Pest Control.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NPR "Death Of Popular Hawk Highlights Concerns Over Rat Poison"

Today NPR hosted a needed piece about the use of certain rodenticides and their sometimes unfortunately unintended effects on wildlife and/or pets. Some rat and mouse baits can be toxic to wildlife and pets when they consume the mouse or rat that has died (or is ill) from the rodenticide poision. These animals are all omnivorse or carnivores--most notably raptors, birds of prey, becuase they are small and cannot tolerate much toxins. The dead or dying mouse or rat still carries the toxin in their bloodstream which is now consumed by the animal--wild or pet. Part of the controversy stems from consumer use where the average person is not trained, let alone licensed, to handle rodenticides with a full consideration of mitigating risks to children, pets and wildlife. California has banned the sale of some rat and mouse poisons to the general public for this reason. We at Cascade Pest Control greatly rely on trapping to being with. Trapping is likely more "humane" anyway and, besides eliminating secondary poisoning to hawks and other animals, insures that the dead rodent won't die inside a home causing a horrible odor problem. We do use rodenticides, however, they are applied by fully trained abnd licensed technicians and placed in tamper resistant bait stations when needed outdoors. Additionally, consideration of pets and wildlife is fully considered. Obviously, all of this has to be blanced with concern around rats and mice and the diseases they carry, as well as other damage they do. Thankfully, the NPR interview mentioned the fact that we do need effective rodent control because the threat from rodents is very real. They cited the recent illnesses that occurred in a National Park. Red Tailed Hawk, Rat Infestation, Enclosed Rodenticide Bait Station

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Crazy Ants in Seattle? Crazy ants in Northwest? Bellevue?

Crazy ants are tiny, but come in huge quantities--one mane vacuumed five gallons of them out of his air-conditioner that had quit working! 5-Gallons of tiny ants! They don't bite or sting but do smell musty and they are known for their huge numbers and their attraction to electrical and electronic devices. They have been know to shut down laptop computers, televisions and many other devices. This would be an important pest in the greater Seattle area with all our software and aerospace companies--besides all of us being so electronic dependent. But so far crazy ants are mostly remaining in the Texas area and other Gulf States. What we have to watch for--pest wise, here in in King and Snohomish counties would be crazy ants hitch-hiking on people's belongings when they move from a crazy ant infested area. Also, shipments of manufactured or other goods from areas like Texas could also transport crazy ants. Those of us considering pest control here in the Seattle--Eastside--Bellevue--Everett areas need not be too concerned about the widespread and "crazy" nuisance of crazy ants spreading from vacant lands or even necessarily from house to house because they need a warmer climate than what we have to offer. However, our indoor climates are controlled and crazy ants can survive and maybe even thrive within our homes and businesses. Speculating from a lifetime of pest biology and control, if they do get a foothold indoors it most likely could be in larger apartment and condominium buildings. But for the time being we have lucked out! If you encounter ant problems contact Cascade Pest Control today. Crazy Ants Covering Grounds Crazy Ants Shorting Out Electronics

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Boy Dies from Rat-Bite Fever. Could it happen in Seattle?

A boy died from a bacterial infection recently in San Diego, apparenly from his pet rat. The Rat was purchased from Petco by his grandmother as a gift. The San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled that the cause of death was streptobacillus moniliformis infection, commonly known as rat-bite fever, after exposure to an infected rat. What's important here is the fact that, while rat-bite fever is less common from a pet store bought rat, it is far more likely from the wild rats that live here in the greater Seattle area. Cascade Pest Control has long warned residents in King and Snohomish county about the hazards associated with rat infestations, including rat-bit fever and more. Unfortunately, it may take a tragidy like what happened in San Diego for many to pay heed to warnings about real risks from diseases rats carry. There are high rat populations througout Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, Mercer Island and other cities...and rat bite fever is carried within the rat populations. "Most anywhere amongst the urban and suburban areas of the Puget Sound region we have an abundance of rats, and the diseases they carry are a real hazard," says Kurt Treftz of Cascade Pest Control. If you or someone you know has a home that may be encountering rodents call Cascade. If you're already on service be sure to follow recommendations, if any, that your technician provides you to reducse likelihood of rats.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In Praise of Environmental Protection Agency's PESP Program

Image Copyright EPA PESP The EPA's Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) promotes pest control efforts that are ecologically aware and also less toxic for people. The history of Cascade Pest Control as a pioneer in environmentally friendly pest management services spans from the early 1990's. In those days there were few groups or agencies that would work with a conscienscious pest management company. In fact, in those days most of the pest control industry had a lot of animosity toward environmentalists in general. Today things have changed significantly and the EPA has sponsered the PESP program to encourage and promote companies for their efforts in environmental care and the use of safer products and methods. Cascade is a proud member of PESP and our owner, Kurt Treftz, and our IPM Laison Person, Maxine Luna, wrote articles for the PESP newsletter Pestwire. See article.

Northwest Entomological Research Center certifies Cascade Pest Control

(Image Copyright Northwest Entomological Research Center) Cascade Pest Control was certified to provide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) services by the Norhwest Entomological Research Center (NWERC). NWERC describes themselves as haveing been, "...founded with the mission to provide high-quality entomological expertise to the industry and the general public by integrating research, service and education. Our research and service activities to date have supported academic, government and non-profit research endeavors in the areas of endangered species conservation, biodiversity and environmental monitoring in the Pacific Northwest. We are also working toward the education and promotion of “green” technology for pest management in homes and, integrating management techniques to soften environmental impacts and to enhance efficacy and cost efficiency." Cascade is proud to earn NWERC recognition for IPM certification.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Poultry Plant Closes Again After Cockroach Cleanup

Source: ABC News

While we in the northwest may enjoy relative freedom from cockroaches compared to many other parts of the country, cockroaches are found here and do present a problem in the greater Seattle area from time to time.  What's more is the health issues they present...which is why a chicken growing facility was recently closed due to high cockroach populations:

A California chicken farm that reopened over the weekend after it was shut because of a cockroach infestation says it's "voluntarily and temporarily" suspending operations again.

Foster Farms said Sunday it was closing the plant in Livingston for several days so it can properly implement new food safety measures. The company said in a statement that it is "exercising vigilance" and dedicating additional time to ensure its preventative plan is realized.

Work had resumed Saturday after Foster Farms announced that it met the demands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture by performing a thorough cleanup and treatment of the plant. The company says no chicken product was affected.
As far as protection from cockroaches in your home or business in the greater Seattle area (Bellevue, Redmond, Everett, Federal Way and more) contact Cascade Pest Control.  We care about your health and your property!

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Bed Bugs a Little More Active in Summer

A study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology looked at reports on bed bugs over a four year period in the Philadelphia area and found both that overall populations are increasing and that the highest incidents of calls were in August and the lowest in February.

“There is surprisingly very little known about seasonal trends among bed bug populations,” said Michael Z. Levy, PhD, assistant professor in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), who mapped the bed bug hotspots in Philadelphia in an effort to find more effective ways to control them. “We found a steep and significant seasonal cycle in bed bug reporting, and suspect that bed bugs have different levels of mobility depending on the season, and that their population size may fluctuate throughout the year.”

Although some conclusions have been infered about bed bug populations this study was based on reports, so it could point to activity rather than populations.  It could be that bed bug populations do not "go down" in the winter, but are not as active, not biting people as much.  Either way bed bugs are a an issue that wasn't present through most of the U.S. from around 1950 to about 2005 and now they are back!

"While bed bugs likely migrate actively over short distances, perhaps between adjacent rooms or houses, we think they are starting new infestation hotspots throughout the city by riding on people or personal effects over longer distances," said Mabud.
For more information see

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Research Shows Spider Webs Electrostatic Force in Webs

According to researchers at Oxford University, spiders’ webs electrostatically reach out and ‘grab’ airborne particles, droplets and even insects. Electrically conductive glue spread over the threads of the web enables the web to spring out at passing charged particles (including insects), regardless of whether they are positively or negatively charged. This helps to explain how webs are able to efficiently collect airborne particles and why they actively reach out to passing insects.

Full article from Oxford Student newspaper.      
Cascade Pest Control offers a fully developed spider control program, see

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bed Bugs Coming? Landlords Liable?

With their re-entry into American life, bed bugs have hit hardest on the east-coast as of yet.  We have them here in the Northwest alright, but the numbers back east have resulted in new landlord laws for when tenants move in to find bed bugs...but how do you know who brought them in?  NewHampshire law makes landlords liable in some cases...
read full article

Termites Essential to Humanity

The very voracity of termite's hunger both threatens our homes and saves the planet.  Obviously, we need to control those that attack our homes, but we need them in the wild.
Researchers have fount that termites throughout the planet are essential to the life cycle of soil.  The lack of them would shut down much of our agriculture overnight.
So, we need to keep a balance by controlling those right around our homes yet protect those in agricultural, grasslands and wildlands.  read here for more information

Image of termites