Service Story #13: A Bug Hunter is Born

Service Story #13: A Bug Hunter is Born

Produced on August 23, 2019

by Cynthia L.

Long before the time of humans, the cities of earth were built and ruled by tiny creatures now commonly known as “bugs.”    

Like the bugs of today, the old bugs thrived wherever they found heat, water, earth, and decay. But there was a difference. The old bugs were at the top of the food chain. They had no fear of extermination, because they were a lot bigger than their amoebic neighbors.  

Then something very bad happened. The bugs became hooked on sports like “bugsaball,” which fooled the bugs into believing that their mass city swarms were alive; like the city itself had an identity.  

As it goes, “They faked it, until they made it…” and after millions of years the fiction of these living cities finally sprang to life like Pinocchio. 

And multi-cellular organisms were born. 

The old bugs were OK with controllable city creatures like lizards, fish, and chickens, but they were horrified their cities began to form humans. 

Humans labeled as “pests,” because they were too big and too smart to be controlled. In an act of desperation, the old bugs developed a warrior class dedicated to the hunting and killing of humans. 

We now call those blood-sucking warriors “bedbugs.” 

For thousands of years (before humans gained the power of memory) these blood-sucking warriors exterminated humans by the millions. Our bodies still remember the carnage the bedbugs inflicted on us. That fear is now embodied in the character of the vampire.  

In spite of their size, the bedbugs of old were able to hunt and kill humans for one reason. They had a special weapon. They used a magic spell, which translates roughly as “EEOeueTUtu8” when spoken aloud. When the spell was cast, the bedbug warriors were made “invisible” to humans. There is no better word to describe it really. The spell cloaked the bedbugs from the perception of humans. 

Of course, we now this spell simply as “sleeping,” but that was a long time ago and “sleeping” was more mysterious then.  

Bedbugs would have ruled the earth forever if it weren’t for a brave woman warrior (with a strange love for the bugs) who discovered how to track and hunt the bugs that were made to hunt her. 

Her name was unpronounceable in English. The sound translates roughly as “4.9.” And she was a badass. 

She tracked the old human hunters by: 

(1) checking her bedding for spotting, little black dots in a cluster

(2) looking for moltings, or the skins the bugs shed five times (one after every full meal) as they moved in life from egg to adulthood. 

(3) using her stupid brother’s fire stick to check her bedding. 

And most importantly, Badass 4.9 learned to harness her imagination to see beyond the spell. She could feel them when they were close, and she learned to overturn the rocks and dig behind the roots near her bed. 

Once the humans realized that the bedbugs didn’t vanish into some other dimension and become invisible when they hid, crawling out of sight and mind during the active daytime hours, the bugs didn’t have a chance. 

The humans began to hunt and destroy the bugs that hunted them, and the byproduct of the hunt was the strange, reflective experience we know call “consciousness.” 

And that’s how it happened. If it weren’t for the first exterminator, Badass 4.9, the bugs would still be sucking us dry. 

My name is Jake. I’m a bedbug destroyer, and I’m telling this story today for a specific reason. A woman called me to inspect her home for the Old Human Hunters the other day. As I inspected, I discovered that she was an artist and a real deal “unicorn” local. She knew a lot about the city and had interesting stories to share, but the conversation I enjoyed the most was our nice, long chat about bedbugs. 


She really knew her stuff. She had a bed with almost no cracks, and the cracks that her bed did have were either taped or sealed. Her box spring and mattress had covers and she was using the same brand of climb ups I use in the field. And she’d done her homework. She knew our old enemy the bedbug well. Overall I felt like I was talking shop with a pro. 

I didn’t find any signs of bedbug activity that day, but I did find something very special. I found a new talent, a fellow human with the potential to be a great Bug Hunter and Destroyer someday. 

I could be wrong…but I don’t think I am. Someday, when humans finally emerge from the dark age of shame and fear based pest control, we will celebrate the efforts of hunters like Cynthia. 

After all, the only thing the blood suckers need to rise to power again is for good people to fall asleep…and pretend the threat isn’t real. There are tiny monsters that bite under our bed, and humans need to remain vigilant and fight them. The fate of the world depends on it.  

THE END


Service Story #27: The One Day Residential Record

Service Story #27: The One Day Residential Record

“You know I excluded 62 entry holes at a hundred year old church last week,” I said with a smile.

“That’s not residential,” Joe said without skipping a beat.

“Well, uh, yeah…”

“We still hold the one day residential record.”

Produced on September 5, 13 2019 in Gladstone, OR    

by Joe and Grace and their family

I am Wilderness Security Guide, the customer service character in charge of rodent services for Storysold: Pest Control. And this is the story about a record and making it right.

After I inspected Joe and Grace’s crawlspace and the crawlspace of his adjacent rental property, I found a number of active entry holes and a lot of possible ones:

When my initial inspection concluded, Joe and I talked in his backyard.

JOE: So what do you think we should do?

STORYSOLD: I don’t know…on one hand, I like to think we could work together. You’ve already been trapping the rats…the hard part will be to keep your home and rental from being an open highway to any wild creature looking for a warm place to hole up.

JOE: Do you do that kind of work?

STORYSOLD: Yes, but you have a lot of entry holes…I’m not sure if I can 100% “rat proof” it.

While we talked, Joe often stopped to talk with his kids who were playing in the yard. They seemed like a real wonderful family, and I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to help them. And I didn’t mean, simply placing some stations or traps to freshen up every month. I wanted to make a real effort to hang the CLOSED TO RATS sign on their home. Gladstone was expanding like the rest of the Metro, and that meant new construction, and new construction meant the demolition of the old, and that meant the ratonauts of the neighborhood would be out, looking for new territory.

Our conversation ended with our promise to email Joe an action plan and quote for an epic day of exclusion, spanning both properties. A few days after I sent it, Joe agreed to deal us in.

Chapter 2 – The Epic Exclusion Day  

After I arrived and set up shop in the driveway, I took a hard look at the entry holes I was there to seal up, wall off, and block to keep rodents from entering the home.

Deep in the crawlspace—mask, respirator, and jumpsuit on—I looked through the swath of space the rats were running through between the main crawlspace, add on crawlspace, and the mudroom. It felt like standing on the three corners of Nevada, Oregon, and California, I could reach out and put a finger in all three rooms. 

“Well team,” I laughed. “Today may be that day when my mouth wrote a check we can’t cash. I don’t know how I’m going to block all that space…They haven’t invented force fields yet.” 

After a long hard look at The Three Corners belly down in the dirt, I decided to start on the other side of the crawlspace. It wasn’t sure what it was, maybe at one time it was crawlspace for two people to use at once? I didn’t know, but I engaged my creative engine and found a way to wall it off.

I used a mixture of screen and plywood because the exterior foundation was too rough to simply cover it with plywood. I added gravel, mostly for looks. The hardware cloth and foam should easily do the job. 

Next, I tackled The Three Corners. “Proper planning is overrated,” my teammate Pest Predator observed as I studied the wall from the mudroom. “Turn off your inner computer and use the force Luke.” 

I know from experience “use the force” or “follow your heart” or “go with your gut” isn’t always the best advice. But it was this time! Once I cut a couple of long pieces of plywood to fit the swath of space, a plan began to fall together like a natural force of action.

Before foam, and after foam…

I’m pretty sure foam technology was invented by NASA or stole from an alien civilization only NASA knows about (same, same).    

I left the add-on corner open in case a rat or two was still hanging out, watching my show. I didn’t want to wall them in like something out of a Poe poem. 

Here’s a good shot of my plywood wall that now runs along back > 

The Great Foam adventure continued in the mudroom. I have to thank Joe for his comment about the color. “Oops. Sorry.” The orange is a little too SE Portland. From that moment on, I’ve only used the professional grade Black Purr foam they sell at the pest store.

After I finished The Three Corners, I enjoyed a break from the sweat and dirt in the crawlspace and I built two new, custom crawlspace doors:

And that’s why they call it a “skill saw.” I was pleased how well these doors came together. It was dumb luck that I decided to buy three latches instead of two. The top one there couldn’t be made to swing outward and be fitted tightly too.

Next up were the many broken vents in your home and the rental. I fixed all the ones I documented in the first service story, plus some. Here’s shots of a few of them:  

Rat Catcher vs. Cable Guy: “I win.” 

Sealing the gap around vent and duct >  

The two most interesting surprises that day were: (a) this old “door” wasn’t secure, so I secured it with nails and a screw from outside, and foamed it inside > 

(b) when I first inspected this, all I saw was a crack. It wasn’t until I pushed on the concrete block—and it moved—did I realize there was a highway running from the backyard, under the siding, and over that space between the joists. My solution was a little wonky, but it will keep the rodents out > 

By the time I went to work on the mudroom door, Joe was home from work. I hope my conversation wasn’t too jangled. Our human hadn’t eaten much, and he was starting to lose brain function. The good news was, thanks to Joe’s recommendation to reuse the old door sweep over the metal flashing the mudroom was now 93.2% more secure! 

The last thing I did was count all the entry holes I’d excluded that day. Without a doubt, it was my one-day record: 22 entry holes (give or take a few)!

The last thing I told Joe that day was, “Give me a call if any of my exclusions fail. I’ll be happy to return and make it right.”

I drove away believing all the rat holes were now CLOSED for business. I imagined Joe would set his traps in the crawlspaces and maybe catch one, or two, but I didn’t think I’d be back.

So goes the best laid plans of rats and rat catchers.

Chapter 3 – The Mystery Crawlspace 

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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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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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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- 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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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.

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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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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 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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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 amazing

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- Stacie Benefield