Pest Prevention for Commercial Buildings

Commercial pest control services

A pest problem can be detrimental to your business. In addition to scaring away your customers and damaging your reputation, an infestation could put your staff at a health risk or even cause costly destruction to your property. The best way to protect your business from pests is to prevent them from entering your building to begin with. Here are some ways that business owners can implement pest prevention for their commercial buildings:

Seal Off Entry Points

Pests typically get indoors by crawling through small gaps or cracks, which are usually located along a building’s foundation or around doors and windows. Sealing off these entry points is a great way to keep insects, rodents, and other pests out of your property.

However, even the tiniest crack may be large enough for something to get through. It can be very difficult and time consuming to identify and close off all entry points. To ensure your space is properly protected, it’s best to work with a pest control expert who can perform a thorough inspection of your building.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Keeping up on your building’s maintenance is a great way to prevent pests from entering or settling into your property. Common problems like worn-out roofing or damaged weather stripping could create entry points for insects and rodents. Leaky plumbing and moisture issues could also attract various pests. Performing regular maintenance not only keeps your building looking great, but it also prevents infestations from taking root.

Trim Back Your Landscaping

Thick landscaping attracts pests and provides shelter for them to hide in. If there are lots of trees, shrubs, and bushes situated right up against your building, it may be a good idea to trim back your landscaping a little. Doing so will keep pests farther away from your building, which also prevents them from seeking shelter indoors.

Properly Store Trash

Especially if you are in the food industry, it’s crucial to properly dispose of your trash in lidded receptacles that are placed as far from your building as possible. Leaving food waste out in the open could attract all sorts of pests and wildlife to your property, which brings you one step closer to a full-blown infestation.

Hire a Professional

Infestations can be damaging to business and difficult to eradicate, which is why it’s important for companies to focus on pest prevention. However, protecting a commercial space can be a challenging and tedious process, especially if your property is large or has multiple buildings.

Thankfully, you don’t have to manage it all alone! A pest control professional can inspect your space and implement a customized plan that will protect your business from infestations. If you need great commercial pest control services, United Pest Solutions has you covered! We have served businesses throughout the greater Seattle WA area for over 60 years in industries ranging from restaurants to healthcare. For unparalleled pest control services, contact our team today!

Common Summer Pests in the Pacific Northwest

Image of a wasp on a flower - common summertime pests - United Pest Solutions in Seattle WA

Few things are better than sitting outside on a warm summer’s day… that is, unless you’re having to battle pests the whole time! It can be difficult to relax if you need to defend yourself from bugs every few minutes, which is why it’s useful to know what pests to expect in the summer and how you can avoid them. Here are the most common summer pests in the Pacific Northwest and what you can do to keep them away:

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are infamous for their annoying buzzing and itchy, irritating bites. Though these pests are one of the most common in the world, they are also one of the most dangerous. Since they are blood-sucking parasites, they are capable of spreading serious diseases to their hosts – despite only feeding for a few seconds or minutes. While it may feel impossible to completely avoid mosquitoes, there are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid infestations or bites:

  • Remove sources of standing water from your property
  • Wear thick and long-sleeved clothing when possible
  • Consider wearing an EPA-certified insect repellent

Bees, Wasps, & Hornets

Stinging insects are one of the most feared summertime pests, and understandably so. Stings can be quite painful and for some people could even be deadly. Especially for individuals with allergies or vulnerable small children, it’s important to avoid these pests as much as possible. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to stay safe from bees, wasps, and hornets:

  • Properly dispose of trash and food scraps in lidded bins
  • Avoid leaving out pet food or other possible food sources
  • ALWAYS contact a wasp specialist if you encounter an infestation

Ants

A pile of ants can be unsightly – especially if they start moving toward your home or kitchen. Since these pests are most active in warm weather, it’s useful to know how to keep ants at bay no matter the season. Here are some ways you can keep ants out of your home this summer:

  • Regularly clean your floors and countertops
  • Avoid leaving food out and store trash in lidded bins
  • Seal any cracks or openings that lead into your home

Bed Bugs

Since bed bugs are active year-round and primarily infest indoor spaces, many people are surprised to discover that their populations surge in the summertime. Bed bug infestations are more likely to occur during the warmer months for two main reasons: first, the heat encourages the insects to feed and breed. And second, humans do a lot more traveling over the summer. Luckily, there are some preventative measures you can take to avoid bed bugs even while traveling:

  • Carefully inspect hotel or guest rooms before staying the night
  • Vacuum your luggage and wash your laundry upon returning home
  • Cover your luggage as you travel or use a hard-backed suitcase

Your Local Pest Control Experts

While there are several steps you can take to keep yourself safe from the common summertime pests here in the Pacific Northwest, sometimes infestations are inevitable. If you are dealing with pests in your home or property, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at United Pest Solutions! We have proudly served the Seattle metropolitan area since 1960, and it’s our goal to provide you with effective, affordable, and long-term solutions that you can rely on. Contact us today if you need help getting rid of your summer pests!

IPM for Allergy-Friendly Pest Control

Using Integrated Pest Management for allergy-friendly pest control in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions

Some pests can trigger allergies and asthma attacks, which is why pest control is an important part of keeping your indoor air clean and safe for the whole family. However, some pest control techniques – particularly ones that rely on the heavy use of harsh chemicals – can also negatively impact your air quality. That’s why here at United Pest Solutions, we use Integrated Pest Management (also known as IPM) techniques for an environmentally responsible and allergy-friendly approach to pest control.

What Is Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated Pest Management is a pest control technique that addresses the root cause of the pest problem to get rid of infestations quickly and effectively while also preventing future outbreaks. IPM uses five main steps:

  1. Inspection: A thorough inspection of your property will allow the exterminators to find pests while also identifying any areas of the home that could be leading to your pest problem. Routine inspections are also an important part of IPM, even if you are not actively noticing pests; having a professional regularly examine your home can prevent infestations from beginning in the first place.
  2. Identification: If the exterminator notices any signs of pests in or near your home, they will identify which pest you are dealing with to create a plan that is tailored to the habits of the specific critter you’re dealing with. Proper identification will help the professional remove the pests quickly and effectively without harming other organisms.
  3. Establishing thresholds: Different pests come with different sets of issues. Termites can cause serious financial problems by damaging your home; bed bugs and rodents can lead to health issues; ants can contaminate food sources and become a major nuisance. Establishing your threshold allows pest control professionals to create a plan with the right size, scope, and intensity for your goals.
  4. Two or more control methods: The right treatment plan generally involves multiple methods to eliminate pests while preventing more from getting inside. From removing leaf litter and sealing cracks in your home to placing traps or strategically using pest control products, there are a lot of different techniques that can come together to create a solution that is right for your needs.
  5. Evaluate for success: IPM doesn’t stop when the pests are gone. Instead, it’s an ongoing process that keeps your home pest-free and protected from future infestations. By treating the root cause of the problem and performing regular preventative inspections, IPM is able to keep your space safe long-term without relying on the heavy use of pesticides every time an outbreak occurs.

Is IPM Allergy-Friendly?

If you or your family suffers from allergies or asthma, IPM could be a good pest control solution for you. Not only does IPM only use pesticides as a last resort, but our professionals also create personalized plans based on the needs of your household. So, if you are concerned about allergy or asthma attacks, our experts can create a treatment plan that focuses on other methods of prevention or elimination to keep your home pest-free, safely. If you have any questions about how IPM works or if you need allergy-friendly pest control, contact one of our professionals today!

Top Tips for Preventing Termites

Image of a termite in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions termite extermination

Image of a termite in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions termite exterminationEven though termites are active year-round, these pests emerge every spring and fall looking for new structures to infest. Though termites are tiny insects, they are capable of causing serious damage and can even compromise your home’s structural integrity. Fortunately, you may be able to prevent these pests with a little bit of preparation. Here are some steps you should follow to prevent a termite infestation in your home:

Fix Moisture Problems

Termites need moisture to survive, so they generally only infest damp areas with easy access to water. Subterranean termites in particular are notorious for infesting homes with moisture issues, as this species is very sensitive to dehydration. To prevent termites, repair anything in your home that may be causing moisture problems such as leaky plumbing, a defective roof, or overflowing gutters.

Seal Any Holes or Cracks

Like most pests, termites will search for easy openings into your home. To keep termites and other pests out, you should go around your home and carefully search for any cracks or gaps that could lead indoors. Look at areas such as your foundation, along windows or doors, and near electrical or plumbing fixtures. Caulk can seal most openings, but larger ones may need a full repair.

Store Firewood Away From Your Home

Termites are wood-infesting pests, so they are often accidentally transported in firewood. If you store your firewood right next to your home, these pests won’t have to travel far to get indoors. To prevent an infestation, store your firewood on a raised structure that is at least 20 feet away from your home and only take firewood inside when you plan to use it immediately.

Consider an Alternative to Mulch

Many homeowners use mulch to insulate their flowerbeds and boost their curb appeal. However, mulch retains moisture exceptionally well, which may attract termites to the area. This can become a big problem if you use mulch directly next to your home’s foundation. In areas that are close to the home, consider using a landscaping alternative to mulch such as stone.

What to Do If You Have Termites

Though termites are small, they can cause serious (and expensive) damage to your home. By chewing through important support beams, they could weaken the structural integrity of your house and lead to hazardous conditions for you and your family. Additionally, termites are able to hide in walls, which makes them very difficult to detect and eradicate.

If you notice the signs of a termite infestation on your property, it’s important to contact a professional exterminator right away. At United Pest Solutions, we offer termite inspection, control, and removal services to help keep your home protected. We have proudly served the greater Seattle WA area for nearly 60 years, and we are committed to providing you with friendly and reliable service that you can trust. Call us today to get a free estimate!

Using Integrated Pest Management in Your Home

United Pest Solutions in Seattle WA talks about what Integrated Pest Management is and why it's important for pest control.
United Pest Solutions in Seattle WA talks about what Integrated Pest Management is and why it's important for pest control.
IPM is a team effort between homeowners and pest control professionals.

One of the best ways you can prevent pests, like rodents and spiders, from entering your home is by Integrated Pest Management. Integrated Pest Management often called IPM, is a green approach to preventing and controlling pests. When using IPM, homeowners and pest control companies work together as a team to control pests.

What is IPM?

IPM consists of five parts:

  1. Inspection: Routine home inspections will help to find pests and identify any potential areas where a pest can gain access.
  2. Identification: Different pests have different habits. IPM starts with correctly identifying which pests are sighted so that they can be removed without harming other organisms.
  3. Establishing Thresholds: Is a pest’s presence a nuisance, economic threat or health hazard? Every customer may have a different threshold, and it is important for IPM, because it helps focus the size, intensity, and scope of a plan.
  4. Two or More Control Methods: Often the right treatment is a combination of methods, from sealing cracks and crevices to removing leaf litter, to utilizing pest control products.
  5. Evaluate for Success: IPM is an ongoing process, so constantly checking your property for pest activity will help protect against an infestation and help to get rid of any existing ones.

How Does IPM Work?

Integrated Pest Management focuses on stopping pests before they invade your home. IPM relies on the commitment of homeowners and pest control technicians working together as a team.

Instead of just eliminating a pest, with IPM, environmental factors are considered and used to determine the best course to take to prevent or get rid of pests. This can include:

  • Sealing cracks/crevices
  • Keeping counters/floors clean
  • Using sealed containers for human food and pet food
  • Using sealed containers for trash
  • Keeping wood piles stored away from your home
  • Reducing clutter
  • Trimming tree branches and plants

With IPM, prevention is just as important as treatment. An experienced pest control professional can help identify any vulnerable points in your home or office and provide protective measures including capping your chimney and installing screens.

Advantages of Using Integrated Pest Management

There are several benefits to using IPM including:

Environmentally-Friendly

IPM techniques involve sustainable methods
Less pest control products used also doesn’t affect your soil

Safer

IPM focuses on applying other interventions before using pest control products
Minimizes chemical exposure for family and pets

Cost-Saving

Using products often may eventually lead to high costs

Fewer Pests

Using best practices and creating an environment that doesn’t invite pests, will lead to fewer pests in the long-term

If you’re interested in implementing Integrative Pest Management, contact your local pest control company. They understand pests and their habits. They’ll not only help with your prevention measures but will also provide you with highly-effective treatment options.