Pest control case study: It can be a jungle out there

Jan 22, 2021, 09:37 AM by Fred Speer

Whether a home has overgrown landscaping, clutter inside a garage or spare bedroom, or a lack of cleaning in the kitchen, it can be a jungle out there when it comes to pest-conducive conditions.

Conditions that promote pest infestations in homes vary. Clark, your neighborly pest, rodent, termite, and lawn care expert, has a lot of experience dealing with pest infestations caused by the jungles in and around homes.

Jeff Barros – a pest and QA supervisor with Clark Pest Control in Auburn, CA – has visited numerous homes with ordinary and not-so-ordinary pest problems that are a result of pest jungles.

What does a pest jungle look like? Barros shared the following examples:

Weeds to the knees

A customer was experiencing an ant issue. There was evidence of rodent droppings as well. The home’s yard had not been maintained, and weeds had grown to a knee-level height.

As a result, ants were able to establish a nest adjacent to the foundation. The overgrown yard also provided an ideal hiding spot for foraging rodents – mice, primarily – looking for a spot to refuel, as grass and plants are a natural food source. In both cases, the pests were provided with natural cover near the home, where they were able to gain access through holes in the foundation or openings around door frames.

Clark recommended its comprehensive weed control services to tame the backyard and eliminate pest harborage locations. Clark also took the necessary action to eliminate the pests and prevent them from gaining access in the future.

Open-door policy

A homeowner called to say they were continuing to have a problem with roof rats. Because roof rats can enter a structure, both from above and at ground level, Clark checked for overgrown landscaping or trees touching the roof, but the yard had no trees or landscape plants. Next, they checked for obvious openings in the foundation, around utility entry points, or around exterior doors. That’s where it got interesting.

The customer insisted that the large sliding glass doors – wide enough to fit a truck through – were being kept closed, but that turned out not to be the case. During the inspection, Clark noticed dirt and dust from the backyard inside the home – a clear sign the door had been left open for extended periods of time – and the screens on the exterior doors leading to the bedrooms had large holes from rats gnawing on them.

The inspection also uncovered dog food being left out in a bowl in the garage. Not only was a rat eating that food, but it was taking extra and hiding it behind the kitchen cabinets under the sink.

The customer didn’t believe the holes in the screens were an issue until Clark told them the rat was chewing its way out from the inside when other entry points were closed.

After explaining roof rat behavior to the customer, Clark removed the easily accessible food source, repaired the screens, and set traps. Within two days, the rat was caught.

What conditions promote pest jungles in and around a home? The list includes:

  • Overgrown lawns and landscapes

  • Excess clutter in the yard

  • Tree branches in contact with the roof

  • Yard sheds that are poorly constructed or don’t have doors that close properly

  • Garbage or recycling bags not being placed in containers with lids that close securely

  • Doors or windows without screens being left open

  • Clutter in garages or storage areas

  • Poor sanitation and cleaning practices

  • Openings around doors, windows, vents, and utility entry points

Clark Pest Control remains committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify you before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.

If you’re experiencing an issue with pest jungles, call Clark at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an e-mail to

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.