Friday, August 21, 2015

Opossums In the Bellevue-Eastside Area

Opossums are not native to the Pacific Northwest. Nonetheless, opossums are now wide-spread and have been cited in Seattle, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Everett, Issaquah and just about every other city and town of King and Snohomish counties.

Here's a few facts about opossums:
  1. The only opossum species in North America are the "Virginia 'Possums." 
  2. Males average about 6 lbs. and females normally weigh in at around 4 lbs. But they can sometimes weigh as much as 15 lbs! 
  3. Opossums have a gland somewhat like a skunk and can emit a similar odor. 
  4. When attacked they can "run." But they may also snarl at their attacker. And, of course, they can also "play possum," that is, they hold still and act as if dead. 
  5. We at Cascade get a few calls here and there for infestations in crawl spaces beneath the home. 
  6. On some calls we've encountered them eating copious amounts of dog food. One technician went out into the client's garage--with the client--only to find an opossum starring up at them from the bottom of a large bin of dog food! 

Opossums are just another example of vertebrate pests of homes in the greater Seattle, Eastside and other areas. Of course, rats still cause the most damage and calls. But opossums are strange to encounter. You might at first think you'd found an "atomic rat!" Cascade Nuisance Wildlife Control. Call Cascade Pest Control for all your rat, rodent, insect and other pest needs. 

Ant Researcher Nearly got Arrested!

Dr. Laurel Hansen We at Cascade Pest Control have known Dr. Laurel Hansen for decades. In fact, nearly 40 years ago, and prior to the inception of Cascade, I (Kurt T.) was collecting carpenter ant samples from around the greater Seattle area and sending them to Dr. Akre, her professor. I later found out that I could have been better directed as some of what I collected was not quite what she needed. But I did my best to contribute samples and she went on to earning her PhD. Since then she's been perhaps North America's expert on campnotus...carpenter ants. And we at Cascade have attended her lectures and even brought her in for training. But the funny thing is that some years ago when Ms. Hansen was conducting research at night following carpenter ants with red-shaded flashlights. She had permission of the property owners, but apparently the property owners hadn't mentioned her nighttime studies to their vacation-time house sitter. The house-sitter called the police who found her and her, along with some entomological colleagues, "lurking" about in the dark shining red-colored light onto the ground. It took some explaining but eventually the police let her go, but not without her teaching them a thing or two about ants! :)
Shown here is 'damage done by carpenter ants' and 'lone carpenter ant worker.' For more information on carpenter ants. Cascade Pest Control provides Carpenter Ant and other Ant control in the greater Seattle area, including Bellevue, Issaquah, Everett, Kirkland, Redmond, Kent, Lynnwood, Woodinville and beyond. Cascade also provides rat and rodent control.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Seattle summer means more wasps are about

Summer is still going strong here in the Greater Seattle area, and after another mild winter, this means we'll be seeing large populations of rodents, spiders, and wasps among other nuisance pests.

One of the more notable jobs we handled this week was a call for a wasp nest near a playground at a condo association (COA) in Bothell. Take a look at the size and location of this nest!

Wasps build their nests on bushes or trees, on fences, in attics and crawlspaces, in the ground and even in wall voids. Here in this case we see a large nest established very close to the playground area of a condo association. We see so many of these, in fact, that we've made a short video showing examples of wasp nests.

For further reading, UC Davis has a very good site on bees and wasps

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Seattle is #1....but not in the way you might think.

Seattle leads the country in contact with rodents, according to a recent study released by the US Census Bureau. The agency conducts a biennial accounting of rat, mouse and cockroach sightings across the country. The most recent numbers, collected in 2013, were released in June 2015, and show Seattle is a rat paradise!

Amazingly, this graph suggests that Seattle has more homes with rodent infestation that New York City, the alleged city of 2 million rats, as does Austin, Miami, Tampa and San Antonio.

The same report shows Seattle scoring in the lower-ranking cities with mice and cockroaches. View the Bloomberg article here, and contact Cascade Pest Control TODAY if you have a rodent issue!