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Give Me Shelter? Say No to Uninvited Pests!

This time of year, when temperatures drop and the cold wind blows, everyone, and I mean everyone, seeks shelter. Rats and other critters are no exception. They don’t need an invitation. They just think your casa is their casa, and they’re happy to move in and help themselves to dinner at your expense. Heck, you don’t even have to cook! They’re not very picky.

I’ve seen them chew on plastic pipes, poly pipes, plastic ABS waste pipes, even copper pipes. One of our customers can attest to the affinity rats have for rubber. The customer had an instant hot water tank in their kitchen with rubber tubing underneath. A rat gnawed a hole in the tubing, causing a small flood and a fair amount of damage.

Rats are particularly troublesome because they mark their territory like wolves or coyotes. When they mark an area it not only gets a lot of attention, but it sends a message to competitors, “free room and board here!” Squirrels are also an interesting issue. They stash stuff in the most inconvenient places and can cause clogs in critical areas like the vent system on your roof.

Believe it or not, one of your first lines of defense can also be one of the least likely; your friendly neighborhood plumber or HVAC tech.

It’s our duty to make sure your plumbing and heating systems are working properly, and inspect for hazards to health and safety, now and down the road. Doing a thorough job may require crawling all around your house. So that often makes us the first people to see the potential and/or the evidence of critters coming in. Think of us as sort of an Early Critter Defense System.

Now I wouldn’t suggest that you call an HVAC tech for a critter problem, nor do I think you should rely on a plumbing emergency to uncover a rodent infestation. But that is one of the advantages of having a technician perform regular maintenance on your plumbing and HVAC systems. You not only ensure that all systems are in tip top shape, but you have someone crawling around in places most people don’t like to crawl around in, looking for everything from leaky pipes to leaky roofs, to critters.

We don’t do pest control, but we can see their damage, alert you to the problem, and refer you to a pest control professional. Before you call the cavalry, here are a few pest control tips from the EPA that might help you discover potential problems… before they become really big problems.

  • Remove sources of food, water, and shelter.
  • Store food in sealed plastic or glass containers. Garbage containing food scraps should be placed in tightly covered trash cans. Remove garbage regularly from your home.
  • Fix leaky plumbing and don’t let water accumulate anywhere in the home. Don’t let water collect in trays under your house plants or refrigerator. Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight.
  • Clutter provides places for pests to breed and hide and makes it hard to get rid of them. Get rid of things like stacks of newspapers, magazines, or cardboard.
  • Close off places where pests can enter and hide. For example, caulk cracks and crevices around cabinets or baseboards. Use steel wool to fill spaces around pipes. Cover any holes with wire mesh.
  • Learn about the pests you have and options to control them.
  • Check for pests in packages or boxes before carrying them into your home.

You’ll find more information about pest control on the EPA website.

Here’s to a warm, cozy, critter-free winter!


Bruce Davis, Sr.
President, Director of Education and Learning, Sales Manager, Licensed Journeyman Plumber, Licensed Electrician,
HVAC/R Electrical Administrator, HVAC/R, Certified WA State C.E.U. Instructor

Bruce Sr is President of Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating, a 67-year-old family owned and operated plumbing and heating business in Lynnwood, Washington. Bruce can be contacted at: Email: Bruce@dayandnite.net

Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating Inc. 16614 13th Ave. W. Lynnwood, WA 98037 800-972-7000

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D. Campbell

Very pleased with the professional technician, Donavan, who came out when our water heater quit working. This was the third major problem with this water heater, so we took his advice and replaced it. Thankfully, he was able to also install the new one right away. I had confidence in his advice and ability to do the job. He was thorough and friendly. It was a five star experience. I highly recommend.

M. Lindell

Collin was our tech and he was very knowledgeable answered our questions and what they charged was very reasonable and we are very happy to have water again. I was really impressed by everyone that we dealt with they all were professional and helpful.

S. Lippold

Outstanding Service! Scheduler was pleasant and receptive. Technician (Collin) communicated well, arrived in the agreed upon time frame, diagnosed the problem and fixed the issue quickly. Previously, we had two other companies misdiagnose the problem and one company stand us up for a scheduled appointment. If we have plumbing issues in the future, Day & Night Plumbing will be our first call !

D. Thomas

We had a great experience with Day and Nite from start to finish. Chris was great at the no obligation consult. He explained things clearly and covered everything but didn’t waste our time. They also provided lots of options and thoroughly explained them but never tried to push or up-sell us. Installation was fast and very professional. We will definitely be using Day and Nite in the future.

D. Lee

The technician was great: he knew exactly what the problem was and fixed it quickly and efficiently. Even when a glitch happened in the repair, he was totally prepared to handle the situation. I will definitely contact Day & Nite Plumbing for future problems. Thank you!

E. Rubio

I had the privilege to meet Zach on two separate occasions within a two week span. He was upfront and honest about the work that needed to be done. He is a hard-working, dedicated, professional employee of Day and Nite Plumbing. He explained what needed to be done. I asked questions and he was patient and explained things further so that I truly understood.

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