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Doesn’t spring around Portland just get your blood singing? Maybe it makes you want to break into song like you’re in a musical, or maybe you want to bust out the pickleball gear, hit the courts, and have a picnic. Really, anything is possible.

Insects and other pests feel the same way. The world is waking up from winter and it’s time to get busy. Time to work all summer to survive the next cold season.
Nothing is off-limits, including your house and yard.

So as the atmosphere warms up and the light burns longer through the day, pay attention to the critters around you. Bugs and other pests leave hints of their presence. Your vigilance can mean stopping a foundation infestation before it’s too late. We’ve brought you a small list of just a few of the “problem children” we bump into in Portland.

Carpenter Ants

Similar to termites in appearance, carpenter ants infest wood much like termites. Carpenter ants are distinguishable by their smaller size and, for winged female carpenter ants (workers don’t have wings), a smaller, second set of wings. Ants also have slender waists, and their antennae are elbowed versus the straight antennae of the termite.
Carpenter ants create a system of tunnels in wood. They prefer wood that’s been softened by water damage and the growth of fungus. So, if you’ve had water problems in your home, keep an eye out for signs of carpenter ants. For this pest, that means little piles of sawdust in your home near wood. That’s a sure sign of an infestation and it should definitely be addressed.

Norway Rats

Though these guys get high marks and ample admiration from us for their ability to survive virtually anywhere and on nearly any type of food source, they are rats and that means not welcome in our homes.

Generally they nest in crawl spaces or in underground burrows surrounding your home. If they can find their way into spaces inside your home — even ones you thought were sealed — they will. The damage they cause is usually structural and related to gnawing.

Infestation signs are generally rat droppings, footprints, dark rub marks from oily fur against pathways, and damaged or rummaged-through food. Because of their incredible procreation abilities, a small infestation can balloon quickly. We recommend getting help to eliminate these brown rats before that happens, if that’s possible.


This insect likes moist and humid areas in your home, which makes them a perfect candidate for Portland’s climate. And because they like to hide from humans, an infestation can go for quite some time without any signs of a problem.

If you begin to spot them around your home (they have a fish-like shape and a metallic appearance), you could have water damage.
Sometimes controlling a silverfish problem is as simple as getting a dehumidifier for your home. Otherwise it can mean repairing water-damaged wood, patching water leaks in bathrooms, or fixing holes in attics or basements.

As spring gets into full swing, you may begin to see some of these common guests cropping up, looking for food and shelter. And of course there are quite a few others that we share the region with. If you have questions about these pests, or any others, definitely give us a call!