THE FOLLOWING SERVICE STORY WAS ONE OF OUR FIRST EPIC EXCLUSIONS THAT KICKED THE OLD INDUSTRY SCRPT.

Produced for Summer L. in Portland, OR

When I met Summer that day, I didn’t tell her the truth. 

Not too unlike an employee working for a company, I didn’t disclose my true identity. I am only the human host of Storysold: Pest Control. The business is run by my customer service characters: The Pest Predator, Bookmaker, and one of my oldest characters, Wilderness Security Guide. 

I’m not planning to introduce my characters until our Grand Opening, but Guide took a special interest in Summer’s service story. 

You see, Guide knows Summer lives in prime rodent hunting territory, and she never misses an opportunity to feed her wild creature friends. Like I tried to explain during the service, we could set poison around Summer’s home and do our best to kill off every rat and mouse in the neighborhood, or we could do like the wild creatures do…and mark our territory in such a way that rats understand what happens when they cross The Line

An owl has to make a living too! And Wilderness Guide was determined to help Summer push the rats and mice out of her home and force them back into the urban wilderness predators.  

To that end, I suited up, inspected Summer’s home, and I found: 

The vent along the back patio had a gap in front, but that wasn’t the entry point. Not really. It had a monster gap between the patio and the ground that offered the mice (and other creatures) easy access to the unfinished basement/crawl/wild home space. The only thing blocking their entry was a puzzle of non-load bearing, loosely stacked concrete blocks, which were held in place by a piece of wood wedged against the top sill. 

Here’s the front view with the marker I stuff in it > 

The most obvious Tom-and-Jerry hole (low hanging fruit) was in the front yard vent. “It’s too easy,” was Guide’s reply when we found it. I agreed, it’s an entry point, but I’m not convinced it’s the one. That’s why I set a half a dozen traps between it and Summer’s kitchen, where the activity is. 

Note the beautiful shot of your flower. I’m like a photographer! Someday Guide will be in the business of supplying mason bee homes. 

On the other side of that tiny crawl space in front of your home is another gap and possible entrypoint, which I marked > 

That I will need to be repaired from inside and out. It’s kind of a medley of parts that don’t quite fit together. 

Next up is the two vents to the left of the door. They’re not active, but the dry rot has almost completely destroyed their frames. 

“Something must be done about these vents!” cried Guide aloud when she saw the gaps leading from the driveway. 

Next, I found a possible runway in the unfinished basement/lair. That one runs to the bathroom. 

Also there’s a clear rodent runway (which I didn’t photo) leading from the corner next to the back patio vent into the secret/mystery kitchen crawl that also borders this strange monolith > 

And least I forget the two rodent holes in the kitchen (under cabinet and the side of stove), all of which I plan to exclude with foam, wood, metal, or a mouse hunting robot that shoots lasers from its eyes. 

Guide ended our first service with the ritual setting of “fishing traps” to determine the level and direction of activity. Guide never feels good about killing her wilderness creature friends, but she’s knows every creature that crawls, walks, and slithers on earth kills to eat, kills to make clothes and shelter, and kills to protect their home. 

As always, Guide is clear about which side of The Magic Line (between wilderness and civilization) she stands on. She had no qualms about killing the mice in Summer’s home who’d surrendered their wild for an easy roof over their heads, kitchen scraps, and late night dog food snacks.  

“The wilderness is vanishing before our eyes,” she said to her human Jake as he belly crawled through the dirt setting traps. “Humans and their pets can’t be blamed for their domestication. They’re dumbed down and tamed since birth, but I cannot abide traitors. The freeborn wild mice of Southeast Portland have a choice! They know what it means to be wild.” 

Chapter 2: Trapping vs. Exclusion

It was a few weeks before Guide returned to The Owl Project. She had me schedule a full four hours to do some exclusion work, believing that would be enough time to get the job done. 

The Second Service started smoothly enough. Guide read her traps and discovered that she was right. The two entrypoints in front and along the driveway weren’t active. All five (or so) of her kills were in the traps she set in front of The Monster Gap below the back patio. Her theory was, the would be civilized mice—traitors!—were running from that opening right around the corner into what she was calling the “mystery crawlspace.” 

The work fixing the four vents didn’t take too long, but fixing The Monster Gap was more challenging than Guide had imagined. 

“Argh!” I groaned as he twisted his body into place to face the jumble of concrete blocks. “This is going to be a good one.” 

After I played with the blocks for a while like a kid with Legos, a plan began to form in my mind. 

“Yeah, I know…” Guide replied after she heard my plan. 

“What do you mean, you know?” I shouted silently at my teammate as the sweat dripped around the sides of my respirator. “It’s my plan!” 

“Yeah, I know…I gave it to you,” she smiled. “Subliminally.” 

“That’s what I hate about working with characters,” I whined like I always whine when I’m tired. “You’re always trying to take credit for all the good stuff I do, when really it’s all me…me, me, me.” 

“Wrong,” Guide replied coolly. “We, the employed characters of Storysold: Pest Control are the work engines of your brain…your company. You just think it’s your plan because you can’t engage The Action that finally hits you like a boardroom presentation after all its work is done.” 

“Whatever you say Guide,” I huffed as I began to put the plan into action. “I don’t have time for this. We have to be in another crawlspace in a hour.” 

“You know there’s no law that says trapping and exclusion have to be done separately,” Guide offered slyly. “If you don’t finish today…and you saved some for next time…wouldn’t that mean more time, in general, to really get a good read on the trapping situation here?” 

I tried to process that thought as I tried to free my twisted body enough to bend a large piece of hardware cloth in position. “I like that,” I said when I finally caught up. “Checking traps isn’t much of a service anyway, and I bet in time we could get really good at closing off entrypoints one by one, and creating runways that make our traps more effective…” 

“You’re welcome,” Guide beamed proudly.

“For what?!” 

“Giving you another idea.” 

With that, I called it a day and climbed from the darkness. 

As Summer and I talked about Guide’s new action plan to trap and exclude in the same service, I remembered the last text she sent me. Summer said she discovered a new hole in the corner of her kitchen. It was then that I saw it: droppings in corner next to dog door, droppings around the corner from dog door, and the answer to the mysterious crawl space. The mice weren’t coming up, through the pipes like usual…

“Oh my god!” I cried aloud. “It was the dog door all along!” 

“Yeah,” Guide said coolly. “I knew that all along…” 

Then Summer weighed in. “Oh, and I was wondering if they could also be coming in, up through this vent?” 

Then she took a wood panel off the step into her kitchen and we saw the end of the same vent we’d already been trapping below. 

“How did you miss this?” I shouted silently at Guide. “I thought you were supposed to have the supereconomic power of the bird’s eye third person perspective?” 

While I was busy talking to myself, Summer added, “Oh, and my sister also noticed a lot of burrows along the walkway…” 

“Shit sticks!” I cried again—immediately realizing that was likely the spot where the mice were tunneling to The Monster Gap

I had a sudden urge to do the classic pest control guy thing and lie, saying something like, “Yea ma’am, we saw that. We’re leaving that runway open to make our trapping more effective.” 

Lie wrapped in truth. Trapping is more effective if it’s left open, but we did not see the holes. We’d been so hyper focused on the broken vent screens and The Monster Gap we’d completely missed The Big Picture.  

Chapter 3: The Action

Humiliated and humbled, my third service was all action. I planned out the new frame and screen combination for The Monster Gap, drank a lot of coffee, and fashioned it into being. I was surprised how well it went together. 

I only used one small piece of concrete block! 

I don’t have a before photo of the Monster Gap, but try to imagine 2 concrete blocks holding up a 2×4 and a highway of entry holes running from the gap under the back patio into Summer’s home.

Next I foamed the gaps around the kitchen vent from the crawlspace, a few feet from The Monster Gap. I also foamed the strange monolith (not shown here) around the corner. 

Then I added store bought screens to the two vents along the driveway to reinforce the work I’d already done in crawl space. 

By that time, Summer was gone. She had a meeting, so she told me to lock up before I left. I remember talking to her. I was in The Action zone, and it felt like everything I said to her was jangled and awkward. Sometimes it’s hard for me—and the rest of my team—to make what I call The Leap, or The Leap of Leaps. Basically, The Leap is that transition we humans make all the time from introspection/focus/deep thought or action to relating in real time with other characters on The World Stage. It’s like staring at a movie screen for hours, then trying to speak intelligently to your friends.  

The work in the kitchen went smoothly. I don’t like using foam, so I used metal and hardware cloth to exclude most of the inside entry points:

And how could I forget the dog door!

“Feel the cold steel of exclusion rodents!”

Chapter 4: Ranger Jane to The Rescue

I imagine there’s a scene that played in a parallel dimension where a cop pulled me over in our farm truck, Ranger Jane, and asked, “So what’s all this…gravel for?” 

And I answer, “Pest control.” 

“Yeah sure, bub,” He’d laugh. “Tell me another one!” 

“No really,” I’d plead. “I’m going to drop this on a bunch of burrows.” 

Then he’d laugh again, wave me on, and call all his buddies that night and tell them the story of the idiot pest control operator who hauled a truck full of gravel to his customer’s home for “pest control.” 

“All you have to do is kill them,” he’d laugh. “Drop a five dollar pack of bait in their burrows and they’ll be dead by dawn!” 

That’s when my New Other Self in another parallel dimension other than the first parallel dimension I introduced would ask the cop, “Wouldn’t it be ‘smarter’ to just kill criminals? Bullets are cheap and prisons are a multi-million dollar industry. Why don’t you do that?” 

Meanwhile, back in reality, Guide and I cleared the weeds and built a wall to keep the gravel in, and then hung the CLOSED FOR TUNNELLING sign along her walkway.  

Before our team left that day, we foamed the entry point at the bottom of Summer’s stairs, reset the traps in the basement crawl, set a few “fishing trap” outside near hot tub, and promised our patron to return to make sure all the would-be civilized house mice died a merciful death under the yoke of our traps and exclusion. 

Chapter 5 (or so): That’s a Wrap

Our service story here ended many months later. I returned to patch an entry hole in my Monster Gap exclusion work, clear 3 dead rats from the outside Volehalla boxes I set, and confirm that a new uprising of activity in the upstairs room was the result of leaving the doggie door open at night.

I like to think that the owls of the neighborhood would now be a little fatter, but that might be one of those classic over-the-top romanticism of nature we Oregon born granola crunchers are known for. I do know, however, it’s not a romanticism to say I’m going to miss my chats with Summer.

She’s one of the good guys for sure.

THE END

Read Our Reviews

Story Sold Pest Control is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 83 review(s).

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- Jake is great! He was referred to me by a friend and he was thorough, very knowledgeable and put my mind at ease! Thanks for all the help!

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- I contacted Storysold Pest control for mice/rat problems for a rental property. I was very impressed with their website about the process they use to keep out rodents not just catching them and calling it good. They are very professional, explained the process in detail and showed up on time for our appointment. It’s been a week or so since he came out and my tenant hasn’t heard or seen any mice/rats. Jake, the owner is passionate about helping people and very knowledgeable in all aspects of pest control! Don’t waste your time on any other company call him first. Teri C

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- Keith B

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- Abby and Dave

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- Paige and Kris

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- Kammie James

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- Ed Robertson

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Great!!! Next day service, very knowledgeable and trustworthy, affordable. Didn t try to sell me any extra services I didn t need. Would gladly hire again.Great!!! Next day service, very knowledgeable and trustworthy, affordable. Didn t try to sell me any extra services I didn t need. Would gladly hire again.

-  Shelly A.

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Very good

- Larry A

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Jake actually arrived early. He did a good job of removing a large hornet's nest of very aggressive hornets. He will definitely be our first choice on any future pest removal we might need.

- Barbara B.

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Jake went above and beyond of what was asked of him! Will not use anyone else!

-  Ted M

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Jake was extremely respectful and responsive. Came promptly and did a thorough inspection. He gave us options and his honest opinion about what we needed to do. He was very helpful in solving the problem simply and cost effectively! Will definitely call again.

- Michelle C. 

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Came to our home right away and set live traps in our chimneys and made screens for the tops. Returned the next day to find a squirrel in one of the traps. We were very pleased with our results and appreciated the great customer service

- Kathleen

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Friendly, fast and efficient. Very pleased with the service Jake provided

- Joli P.

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Refreshing to work with Jake. He is collaborative and communicative. Great improvement since his visit.

- Seth W

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He's friendly, professional, punctual & extremely affordable. Would hire again & recommend to my friends.

- Max K

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We had a great experience and highly recommend Jake. He is responsive, effective and thoughtful.

-  Eddie B

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Jake at Storysold Pest Control is knowledgeable and professional. He is quick to respond and reasonably priced. I find him to be trustworthy and ethical, he does not sell unnecessary services and he works with customers that are willing to do some of the work themselves as well as with customers who just want the whole service done without being involved themselves. While other companies told me I needed to replace all my insulation and do massive crawl space renovations, he offered several affordable options. With his help we no longer have a mouse problem and it was done at a fraction of what other companies quoted us. I appreciate his flexibility and fun, friendly personality. If I ever have another pest control issue, he will be my first call.

- Darian C.

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- Joyce R

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Jake has been helping me trap rodents at my farm with his Volehalla rodent boxes. He's friendly, knowledgeable, and effective: we've trapped a lot of rodents!

-  Emily C

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Jake was fantastic! Fast response. Reliable and honest. Great rates. Hope not to have any more rodent problems, but if I do I will be calling Jake again. I would recommend him to anybody that needs help with Pest Control.

- Janet D.

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Truly, I can t say enough about this team! They are so professional, trustworthy, and for the very first time in a long time I feel that they aren t here for 1/2 hour only to run off to the next job site! Jake (I believe the owner) told me that their company prefers to have 2 home visits per day over 10!!! I can t say enough them!!!!

- Lori T.

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Working with Storysold was a dream. We had a huge undertaking with almost 40,000 sq ft between two properties! With both buildings being over 100 years old keeping critters out is difficult and the previous tenants of the building allowed a huge infestation to occur. Jake was able to not only eradicate the unwanted pests he also filled holes and cracks and has stopped them from having easy access. Communication was great and the pricing was fair and manageable for our small nonprofit! I will continue to work with Storysold and recommend them for any pest control needs, big or small!

-  Jamie C

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Mouse in the house!!!! I texted Sunday morning after having chased a mouse through the house Saturday all day and Sunday at 3am... they came out to the house by 12:30 that Sunday. Jake got in the crawl space and checked the outside of the house for entry points. While there was no evidence of a major problem, I opt ed for the full attack. He came in with an Arsenal of traps that he placed in the kitchen and crawl space. He didn t hard sell and his prices were very affordable! He was also very honest with potential outcomes which I appreciate. He literally just left and I haven t heard any traps go off but just based on his customer service, I would totes recommend him! He s coming back in a week to check traps. I ve read some horror stories about other companies but I feel very confident that I m working with an upstanding professional. And he s dog friendly!

-  Taaj A.

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Great company.

- Ed S

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A pro. Showed on time. Knew what to do

-  Mike B.

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Jake of StorySold is proficient, affordable, and punctual. He took his time with carefully evaluating my problem, fixed my issue, and did extras like helping me fix my mattress which he treated for bed bugs. Can't recommend him enough and will use him and his company in the future. Got two other quotes which were much higher each quoting at least $1,000 without a guarantee.

- James J. 

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Jake is prompt, skilled, authentic and friendly! I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad that I talked to all three bidders before choosing. Even before he got here, I knew he was the best choice!

-  Linda B. 

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- We’ve struggled with mice in our home for years. Stoysold came out in February of 2020, found the access spots, blocked them, and we haven’t had a single mouse inside in over a year. I highly recommend their service. KH in Sandy, OR

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- Jake was professional, friendly, educational on the process. I would recommend his services to anyone needing a exterminator for insects or rodents.

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- Boann

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- We are so happy with the work Storysold did to fortify our house against unwelcome creatures! They were courteous, efficient, and communicative throughout the process.

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- Jake took care of our unwanted guest (roof rat!) and identified and took care of entry points to prevent future problems. We have been paying for a pest control service for years that we are going to be able to cancel thanks to Jake’s work. He’s very professional and responsive and we highly recommend him! – Mary

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- Dustin

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- Dani Rathke

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- Thorough, effective and reliable. I’ve used other exterminator services that seem more concerned with signing you up for annual contracts than actually solving the rodent issue. This company is the opposite. They care the most about solving the problem, billing customers comes second. I’d highly recommend.

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- Paul

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- Kristy L

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- Darlene Warren

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- Erika Glancy

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Great!!! Next day service, very knowledgeable and trustworthy, affordable. Didn t try to sell me any extra services I didn t need. Would gladly hire again.

- Shelly A.

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Jake actually arrived early. He did a good job of removing a large hornet's nest of very aggressive hornets. He will definitely be our first choice on any future pest removal we might need.

- Barbara B.

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Jake went above and beyond of what was asked of him! Will not use anyone else!

- Ted M.

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Jake was extremely respectful and responsive. Came promptly and did a thorough inspection. He gave us options and his honest opinion about what we needed to do. He was very helpful in solving the problem simply and cost effectively! Will definitely call again.

- Michelle C.

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Friendly, fast and efficient. Very pleased with the service Jake provided

- Joli P.

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He's friendly, professional, punctual & extremely affordable. Would hire again & recommend to my friends.

- Max K.

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Jake at Storysold Pest Control is knowledgeable and professional. He is quick to respond and reasonably priced. I find him to be trustworthy and ethical, he does not sell unnecessary services and he works with customers that are willing to do some of the work themselves as well as with customers who just want the whole service done without being involved themselves. While other companies told me I needed to replace all my insulation and do massive crawl space renovations, he offered several affordable options. With his help we no longer have a mouse problem and it was done at a fraction of what other companies quoted us. I appreciate his flexibility and fun, friendly personality. If I ever have another pest control issue, he will be my first call.

- Darian C.

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Jake has been helping me trap rodents at my farm with his Volehalla rodent boxes. He's friendly, knowledgeable, and effective: we've trapped a lot of rodents!

- Emily C.

---

Truly, I can t say enough about this team! They are so professional, trustworthy, and for the very first time in a long time I feel that they aren t here for 1/2 hour only to run off to the next job site! Jake (I believe the owner) told me that their company prefers to have 2 home visits per day over 10!!! I can t say enough them!!!!

- Lori T.

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Amazing! Jake is amazing! He came out because I had a squirrel in my attic. He has a vent he can put in so they can get out but not back in! Theres no trauma to the animal by trapping it and you will save yourself hearing it scream and cry in a trap! He walked around my entire house and attic looking for all entry points. He is very knowledgable and kind and looking to help you exist w wildlife w the option of not euthanizing. Years of experience. I was so pleased q his company I would highly highly recommend him for any of your critter/pest? needs! Thank you Jake!

- Susan K.

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- Loa H.

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We knew we had several openings to our crawl space where rodents were coming in. To come out and give us a quote, Jake was flexible with making an appointment at our convenience. He is personable and professional. We accepted his quote on the spot and he did the work at that time. He was thorough and gave us an excellent report with pictures after he was done. I highly recommend him and will use him again should the need arise.

- Larry a.

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- Paige L.

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Jake was a huge help with our recent rodent adventure. He was a great communicator and his work and knowledge were superb. He was thorough with his assessment of our property and honest with his recommendations. There was no attempt to unnecessarily sell us on any packages, in fact Jake gave us resources to get our situation under control and to maintain that going forward. Will absolutely be calling Jake in the future if the situation arises.

- Graham H.

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Great service and very affordable pricing.

- Humberto Z.

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- Deanna M.

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- Michelle H.

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Jake was very quick, informative. He not only took care of the rodent, but spent time helping to prevent it happening again.

- Em W.

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Excellent job! Jake was wonderful to work with.

- Kathy M.

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Jake went above and beyond. I had tiny ants in my cupboards and on my kitchen floor. He went outside the property and went underneath my condo. Not only did he take care of the ants but took care of a small rodent issue. Charged me exactly what he quoted me. All the extra work he did I thought for sure it would cost more but he stuck to his quote and was very polite, kind and quick.

- Brenda H.

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Jake was great to work with. He responded quickly to my request. He was able to do the job by being creative. He sent a follow up email to let me know when he would check back. His rate was very reasonable.

- Kelly A.

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Jake is really a 10/10 person and it shows in his work. Thankfully we did not have an infestation but his thoroughness, promptness, and overall attitude towards his profession was something that stuck out to me. I will be recommending him to everyone for pest control. I know who I'm calling when I need one!

- Samantha A.

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Amazing! Jake is amazing! He came out because I had a squirrel in my attic. He has a vent he can put in so they can get out but not back in! Theres no trauma to the animal by trapping it and you will save yourself hearing it scream and cry in a trap! He walked around my entire house and attic looking for all entry points. He is very knowledgable and kind and looking to help you exist w wildlife w the option of not euthanizing. Years of experience. I was so pleased q his company I would highly highly recommend him for any of your critter/pest? needs! Thank you Jake!

- Suzan K.

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Went above and beyond my expectations! Would recommend to anyone, knowledgeable and experienced. Thanks again!!

- Jaimie D.

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Jake will give you friendly, personalized, and timely service, and you get the story of the service at the end!

- Emily C.

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Very honest, friendly and informative. Excellent work.

- Terry B.

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Refreshing to work with Jake. He is collaborative and communicative. Great improvement since his visit.

- Seth W

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- Zack C.

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We had a great experience and highly recommend Jake. He is responsive, effective and thoughtful.

- Eddie B.

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Very honest, identified the problem in a remote corner of the property, operated quickly, provided photos of the work done and is coming back to verify the problem has been solved.

- Matteo V.

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Jake was fantastic! Fast response. Reliable and honest. Great rates. Hope not to have any more rodent problems, but if I do I will be calling Jake again. I would recommend him to anybody that needs help with Pest Control.

- Janet D.

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- Taney R.

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Working with Storysold was a dream. We had a huge undertaking with almost 40,000 sq ft between two properties! With both buildings being over 100 years old keeping critters out is difficult and the previous tenants of the building allowed a huge infestation to occur. Jake was able to not only eradicate the unwanted pests he also filled holes and cracks and has stopped them from having easy access. Communication was great and the pricing was fair and manageable for our small nonprofit! I will continue to work with Storysold and recommend them for any pest control needs, big or small!

- Jamie C.

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Came out next day and took care of our wasp nest! Easy to schedule and very responsive. Thank you!

- Jacoba G.

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Mouse in the house!!!! I texted Sunday morning after having chased a mouse through the house Saturday all day and Sunday at 3am... they came out to the house by 12:30 that Sunday. Jake got in the crawl space and checked the outside of the house for entry points. While there was no evidence of a major problem, I opt ed for the full attack. He came in with an Arsenal of traps that he placed in the kitchen and crawl space. He didn t hard sell and his prices were very affordable! He was also very honest with potential outcomes which I appreciate. He literally just left and I haven t heard any traps go off but just based on his customer service, I would totes recommend him! He s coming back in a week to check traps. I ve read some horror stories about other companies but I feel very confident that I m working with an upstanding professional. And he s dog friendly!

- Taaj A.

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Jake was straight forward and was happy to answer all questions. Thank you!

- April B.

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A pro. Showed on time. Knew what to do

- Mike B.

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Did an amazing job fixing some visitors to my crawl space. Sanitized, cleaned, and locked down from future uninvited guests!

- Stephen I.

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Jake of StorySold is proficient, affordable, and punctual. He took his time with carefully evaluating my problem, fixed my issue, and did extras like helping me fix my mattress which he treated for bed bugs. Can't recommend him enough and will use him and his company in the future. Got two other quotes which were much higher each quoting at least $1,000 without a guarantee.

- James J.

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He arrived on time, knew precisely what to do to resolve my problem and completed the job.

- Jeff J.

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Jake is prompt, skilled, authentic and friendly! I couldn't be happier. I'm so glad that I talked to all three bidders before choosing. Even before he got here, I knew he was the best choice!

- Linda B.

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- Jake is amazing

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- Stacie Benefield