What You Need To Know About Pests In Spokane, Washington, And Surrounding Areas
Our pest guide is here to help you learn about the insects, rodents, and spiders that call our area home. Backwoods Pest Control is here to help you with pest control in the Spokane, WA area and maintain your home. Whether pests are flying, crawling, jumping, or hitchhiking their way into your home, we can help!
Ants are social, scavengers, annoying, invasive, and, unfortunately, common. These pests live together in large numbers, can maintain multiple nesting sites, and have learned that where there are people, there are likely sources of food, water, and shelter available. Species of ants common in Spokane are carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and western thatching ants.
Carpenter ants are destructive; they chew through wood to create tunnels and nesting galleries, causing costly and extensive damage over time. Odorous house ants are nuisance ants that we often find in our kitchens. They release an unpleasant odor when crushed. Western thatching ants are eco-important because they hunt and feed on large numbers of insects and carrion. However, these ants are aggressive and spray formic acid when they bite, which causes blistering.
Doing things like sealing cracks in the foundation with silicone caulk, placing mesh covers over vents, keeping lids on trashcans, and installing door sweeps can help to keep ants out of your home. However, the best way to control ants and keep them out of your home is to partner with a professional that can offer local carpenter ant control. Call us today for more information!
Bed bugs are wingless, appleseed-shaped insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded mammals. Human blood is the bed bug's preferred food source, which is why they thrive inside structures where we live or spend time. Bed bugs aren't dangerous, but they are problematic; they bite through our skin to feed, which leads to red, itchy, uncomfortable bites.
Because bed bugs have the potential to be wherever there are people, you can come into contact with them almost anywhere – houses, apartment buildings, airports, hotels, and schools. After introducing them into your home, bed bugs will find a daytime hiding spot, such as cracks in walls, spaces behind wooden trim and baseboards, and the seams of mattresses. Knowing common bed bug hot spots allows you to regularly inspect those areas of your home and identify an infestation sooner than later.
Use the following prevention tips to help avoid discovering a large bed bug infestation inside your home.
- Thoroughly inspect purses, backpacks, and duffle bags that you regularly use for hiding bed bugs.
- Routinely vacuum and shampoo rugs and upholstered furniture.
- Avoid purchasing used mattresses and furniture for your home.
For professional bed bug control in Spokane, reach out today.
Bees and Wasps
Bees and wasps are stinging insects that regularly find their way into our yards. They are opportunistic pests and will take advantage of the food, shelter, and water sources our yards provide them. While stinging insects are eco-important, we can't allow them to take over our yards and make it impossible for us to enjoy our outdoor spaces.
Many stinging insects live throughout Spokane. Asian giant hornets (murder hornets) are the world's largest hornets and can be dangerous. European paper wasps are generally docile, but their stings are a danger to people. Honeybees are important pollinators and are incredibly beneficial. We don't kill honeybees; we rehome the hive to preserve this species. Western yellow jackets are a species that is very aggressive when they feel threatened, will give chase, and can sting more than once.
Use the following tips to help prevent stinging insects from calling your yard home.
- Keep trees, shrubs, and bushes pruned away from your home's exterior.
- Avoid over-planting flowers near walkways, windows, doors, and outdoor sitting or eating areas.
- Fill in ground holes and remove yard debris.
To learn about home pest control in Spokane, call today.
Boxelder bugs are insects that primarily live outside but occasionally find their way into our homes. They have received their name because they prefer to live and feed on boxelder trees. Properties with or near boxelder trees and other seed-bearing trees are most likely to experience problems with these insects. It is common for boxelder bugs to use houses and other human structures to overwinter.
Boxelder bugs are easy to identify; they have an oval body that is black and elongated, with a bright orange color outlining their wings. When temperatures drop, boxelder bugs are attracted to our homes' warm, sunny exteriors. As they crawl over a home's exterior walls, they move inside through cracks and other openings. Once inside, they congregate in wall voids, crawl spaces, and attics, where they remain warm and dry throughout the winter months.
To avoid problems with boxelder bugs, repair defects in your home's exterior to keep them out. Use silicone caulk to seal cracks in the foundation, repair torn screens and worn weatherstripping, and place mesh covers over vents. It is also essential to repair damaged siding and roof shingles. However, the best defense against boxelder bugs is always to implement preventative pest control services.
Clover mites are tiny arachnids. They are primarily landscape pests, living outside in areas that put them in contact with their preferred food sources- clover and grass. Any grassy area like parks, athletic fields, and our yards can be a place that clover mites call home. Though these eight-legged arachnids prefer to live outside, they can become an issue inside our homes.
In the spring, when newly hatched clover mites leave their overwintering sites and seek warmth, they often migrate to the warm sunny sides of houses and other structures. As they crawl around the surfaces of our homes, they move indoors through the small spaces they come across. Though clover mites are certainly annoying and unwanted in our homes, the good news is that they don't pose significant dangers.
Like boxelder bugs and other occasional invaders, the best defense against clover mites is professional pest control services. Their tiny size makes it challenging to keep these pests out of your home on your own. Call today to learn about our monthly commercial pest control options and how they can help you control unwanted pests like clover mites!
Cockroaches are pests that no one wants to find in their homes but have the potential to find their way into any of our homes. These flat, oval insects have withstood the test of time because of their adaptability. They know how to live almost anywhere, and unfortunately, they have discovered that our homes and businesses offer them a place to call home. Anywhere food is stored, prepared, and consumed is where cockroaches can thrive.
If you ever spot a cockroach scurrying across the surface of your Spokane home, it is likely a brown-banded, German, or oriental cockroach. Brown-banded cockroaches require warm temperatures to survive and love to use our homes as shelter. German cockroaches have adapted to living indoors with people, feasting on the crumbs they find around our homes. Oriental cockroaches are slow-moving compared to other cockroaches; however, they do have the potential to bite, especially in the case of large infestations.
Use the following tips to help keep the cockroaches living in our region out of your home.
- Regularly inspect your home's exterior and seal any openings that can provide entry points for cockroaches.
- Always inspect secondhand items and any deliveries or boxes you bring into your home for cockroaches.
- Repair leaky pipes and fixtures that offer cockroaches a water source.
- Never store food on counters or tables.
For effective cockroach control near you, contact Backwoods Pest Control today.
Earwigs are pests that cause most people to recoil in fear when they spot them. They have a dark reddish-brown body, long antennae, and two menacing-looking pincers extending from their hind end. Though their pincers look dangerous, they are, in fact, only strong enough to cause harm to each other and other insects, not to people. Though there is the potential for earwigs to bite or pinch people, they don't pose significant threats.
The damp soil in our gardens and flowerbeds is where earwigs feel at home because it puts them near the insects and plants they like to eat. Living near our homes makes it easy for them to migrate inside through gaps around windows, under doors, or cracks in the foundation. Hot, dry weather conditions drive these pests indoors. Once inside, they move to damp areas of a home, like basements, wall voids, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Use the following prevention tips to help keep earwigs out of your Spokane home:
- Install gutters to direct rainwater away from your home's exterior.
- Reduce yard debris like leaf piles, woodpiles, and brush piles to limit damp, dark places for earwigs to hide.
- Inside your home, reduce areas of excess moisture by using dehumidifiers and ensuring your home is adequately ventilated.
To get rid of earwigs once and for all, reach out to Backwoods Pest Control today.
The flea is a tiny, wingless insect whose sole source of nutrition comes from the blood of warm-blooded animals. While they bite people and feed on our blood if we are available, we aren't their preferred host, and they won't seek us out. Some unique facts about fleas include that they have long, powerful back legs, can lift objects more than 150 times their weight, and can live on pets for between 139 and 185 days.
Adult fleas spend most of their lives on the backs of their animal hosts and move wherever they travel. Fleas can live and breed in our yards and homes, making them difficult to keep away. Though it may be difficult to keep fleas away from our properties, it is necessary; these tiny insects deliver itchy bites and, through their feeding habits, transmit disease-causing pathogens and parasites.
Flea control is frustrating because they are constantly being reintroduced to our properties by wild animals and our pets. The best way to maintain a property free of fleas is to partner with a professional. Also, if you own pets, working with their veterinarian and placing pets on a year-round flea treatment is essential.
Flies belong to the order Diptera, and unlike other insects, they only have one pair of wings instead of two. Most species of flies are prolific breeders and can quickly take over indoor or outdoor spaces that offer them suitable shelter and places to feed and lay their eggs. Flies are most problematic in warm, damp environments. In Spokane, these insects are most active outside during the spring and summer when temperatures are warmest.
A few flies in our region are prone to entering our homes. The cluster fly is a large slow moving fly that enters houses through cracks in walls and "cluster" together in attics, wall voids, and around windows. Fruit flies are small nuisance flies that feed and breed on ripe, decaying, or fermenting fruits, vegetables, and other organic matter. House flies are the most common type of fly in the United States; they are nuisance pests that contaminate surfaces and food with bacteria.
Use the following fly prevention tips to keep these pests out of your Spokane home.
- Make sure window and door screens are intact.
- Install weatherstripping around windows and doors.
- Pick up your pet's excrement daily.
- Always keep lids on trashcans and recycling bins.
For more information on how to control flies now and in the future, call us today!
House centipedes have a long segmented body that is flattened from top to bottom. Each body segment has one pair of long thin legs, and house centipedes have a long pair of antennae. They are yellowish brown with two darker stripes running down their body length.
House centipedes thrive in our homes because they offer them the moisture they need to survive. Our basements, kitchens, and bathrooms are where these insects typically like to gather. In our homes, centipedes don't cause damage to their structure or to our personal property. However, they can deliver painful bites, and these fast-moving pests are unpleasant to discover in our homes.
One of the best things you can do to avoid issues with house centipedes is to reduce humidity levels in your home. Quickly repair leaky pipes and faucets, ensure kitchens and bathrooms are properly ventilated, and use dehumidifiers and air-conditioners when possible. For the best pest control in Spokane to control house centipedes, reach out to Backwoods Pest Control.
Mosquitoes are small flies that don't look like they could be much trouble but are one of the world's most dangerous animals. During their short lifespan, female mosquitoes bite and feed on the blood of various animals and people. As they feed, they acquire and transmit diseases and parasites that can cause serious illness.
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of areas of standing water, so their populations tend to explode during periods of warm, wet weather. Unfortunately, our Spokane yards often supply mosquitoes with many breeding sites. Clogged gutters, low-lying areas, the tops of trashcans, tree hollows, and containers like buckets and wheelbarrows all collect rainwater where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
Mosquitoes are outdoor pests and can fly onto any property that meets their basic needs. To control mosquitoes, remove standing water from your property, maintain your yard, and partner with a local professional. Call us today to learn how we can work together to control mosquito populations.
Rodents live worldwide and can adapt to almost any environment – including where we live. They are a danger in our homes because of their ability to bite, cause damage, spread diseases like Hantavirus, contaminate food, and be an overall annoyance. Their agility allows these pests to exploit almost any openings they come across and move in and out of our homes as they please.
Below is a brief description of the different kinds of rodents in our region.
- Deer mice, out in nature, are helpful pollinators. Deer mice are small, agile mice known for their ability to jump.
- Field mice live outside in grass areas like fields, meadows, parks, and lawns.
- House mice are the most common rodents to live with people; they eat 15 to 20 times a day and have exceptional hearing.
- Norway rats are large rats that prefer to live at ground level.
- Roof rats are agile rats that like to live up off the ground and infest the upper levels of buildings.
If you notice rodents in your home, the best way to discover which type of rodent has found its way inside is to reach out to a knowledgeable rodent control professional. Preventing problems with rodents is best done by taking away their entry points. Repair any defects or openings you spot in your home's foundation, exterior walls, and roof.
Spiders are a common pest in our yards and homes. They are predatory arachnids and feed on many different types of insects, including those that commonly live in our yards and homes. Spiders in our region are primarily nuisance pests because most do not have venom potent enough to harm people. Funnel spiders, hobo spiders, and wolf spiders are examples of nuisance spiders living in Spokane.
Unfortunately, there are two dangerous spiders in Washington – the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. Brown recluse spiders are not native to our area, but their bites can produce serious symptoms. Their venom causes skin necrosis and large, infection-prone, difficult-to-heal ulcers. Black widow spiders have venom that affects the central nervous system, though their bites are typically not deadly. The yellow sac spider does not possess deadly venom, but it is of medical importance as its bite can result in a red welt with a necrotic center. You should seek medical attention to manage the symptoms of a bite from any dangerous spider.
The following tips can help you maintain a spider-free home.
- Cut back shrubs and trees from your home's exterior.
- Keep outdoor lights off that attract insects whenever possible.
- Use silicone caulk to seal cracks in your home's exterior walls and around windows and doors.
Prevent problems with spiders on your property by scheduling regular pest control services.
Western Conifer Seed Bugs
The western conifer seed bug is a nuisance pest. They aren't a threat to people, but they are a threat to Douglas fir and other pine trees because they feed on their ripening seeds. We identify these shield-like shaped bugs by the reddish-brown color on top of their body and the orange and black pattern on their abdomen that is revealed during flight.
These pests can cause damage to trees in our yards but are most problematic when they use our homes as a place to overwinter. Western conifer seed bugs invade spaces around windows and doors, and while temperatures are low, they will hide in dark cracks and crevices of your house.
Use the following exclusion tips to maintain a home free of western conifer seed bugs.
- Make sure your windows and doors close properly.
- Repair or replace torn screens and weatherstripping.
- Seal openings around wires, pipes, and cables entering your home.
- Fix cracks in your home's foundation and exterior walls.
Call today to learn more about residential pest control in Spokane.