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DIY Pest Control for Western Oregon

Summary: The trend in recent years is for homeowners to do more of their own pest control rather than hiring an exterminator, or pest control operator. Our site can help you with the basic information you need to do this safely and effectively, customized to where you live.

Jack DeAngelis, PhD
OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.)

Key pests for western Oregon - metro Portland, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Albany

This series about regional pests is designed to help homeowners do more of their own pest control around the home and garden, and to do it less expensively and with less pesticide use than hiring the typical pest control company. The articles are arranged by region because pests differ by region - what's important in one may not be a concern somewhere else.

Homeowners that are willing and able to get a little dirty can save money in the long run and often do things in a more environmentally responsible way. Each article below contains detailed life history and control for the key pests for this region, click on the links for more information.

ants attracted to bait station

A few drops of homemade ant bait on a piece of waxed paper. Ants quickly locate the poison bait and take it back to their nest.

  • Ants that nest in homes are a universal problem for homeowners and baits are the best choice for control.
  • Boxelder bugs are one of the most persistent and annoying pests in the northwest. These relatively large insects cause no real damage but alarm homeowners when they congregate on homes in the fall.
  • Carpenter ants are often treated professionally but new perimeter sprays make them a potential DIY project. Carpenter ants probably cause more structural damage than termites in northern climates.
  • Cockroaches are less of a problem here than in other regions but can be a nuisance in certain situations. Sanitation and moisture control are the best first steps.
  • Fleas occur almost everywhere; new medications and insect growth regulators are very effective. In fact, new methods are so effective fleas should not be a problem any longer.
  • Hobo spiders are potentially venomous spiders in the northwest that enter homes. While medically important bites are still relatively rare most people would rather not have this spider wandering indoors!
  • Powderpost beetles damage both structural wood and hardwood flooring, and furniture. Damage to structural timbers can be significant especially in damp coastal areas.
  • Termites, like cockroaches, are less of a problem in most of the northwest but still post a threat to some structures. Annual inspections (see Related Articles below) are the best way to protect your home from termites.
  • Yellowjacket wasps are one of the most potentially dangerous insects in the northwest. These wasps nest in the soil as well as above ground. Unintentionally disturbing a wasp nest can result in defensive swarming behavior and multiple stings.

Related Articles

How to Perform a Home Inspection

Selecting Pest Control Service


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Mission: To provide accurate, up-to-date and unbiased information for solving common insect and mite problems around your home, business and landscape using least-toxic methods.

Jack DeAngelis, Ph.D.

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