Produced on October 4, 15, and Nov. 2nd 2019 in NE Portland, OR

by Carmen M.

“Jake is one of those hard-to-find contractors that takes pride in their work, provides excellent customer service, and offers services at a reasonable price. Thorough, personable, and professional. Highly recommend him.” – Carmen’s five star Thumbtack review.

Chapter 1: The Proposal/Intro to Wilderness Security Guide

For those who don’t know, Wilderness Security Guide is a customer service character. Guide helps the humans of Portland, Oregon mark their home territories better, so her wild creature friends don’t misread The Action and assume their territories are open for business. 

She’s been talking with the roof rats of NE Portland for many years. The conversation isn’t in English. Guide speaks to the rats and translates for our customers using the lost (or just unexplored) universal language we at Storysold call The Action

For example, a homeowner tells Wilderness Guide that the rats in his attic aren’t welcome there, and she translates that into The Actionby setting traps along their foraging routes. 

Rats aren’t dumb. They aren’t like “Alack, what is this odd, baffling object that has suddenly landed in our space! What’ll we do, Pa?” They explore new objects in their territory all the time. If they don’t get Guide’s message and move after they loose some of their kin, the reply from the rats is clear. The reply is, “Fuck off. This is our home.”

October 4, 2019 Guide and her human host Jake pulled into the driveway of Carmen’s home ready for whatever came next. At first read, Carmen’s territory appeared intentional: clean, recently remodeled, set with just the right amount of wilderness to beautify it. 

Carmen introduced herself. And then she introduced her roof rat. She and her boyfriend had already engaged the beast in The Actionby foaming an entry point above the porch and fixing some hardware cloth along the edge of their attic storage space nearest the gutter line. 

After Guide had Jake clamor atop the porch to get a better view, she saw the damage done by the rat. It had scratched a well-worn path onto the roof as well as the cables near the old hole. 

“Looks more like a squirrel,” was Guide’s first impression. “Those nutheads aren’t as elegant as roof rats. They scratch the crap out of everything.” 

“I saw it. Eye to eye,” Carmen replied. Guide didn’t doubt that the human had shared a moment with a roof rat in the attic. She had seen what she’d seen, so the next step was to track and discover why that rat wanted back into her old entry point bad enough to scratch cable wires. 

It was a mystery for sure. But it was a lot less of a mystery after Guide did her thing and read Carmen’s home from her Bird’s Eye Perspective

In spite of a (hopefully only ignorant and not money grubbing) Pest Control Operator’s attempt to stuff exclusion clothe along the gutter line, it was clear that no one had made an effort to draw a strong territorial line for the wilderness creatures to read in shock and awe. 

“You shouldn’t be so hard on our new customer, Guide,” Jake said as they climbed down the ladder. “Most of us (humans) are too absorbed in the wonders of our civilization to play our parts in The Wilderness. Even Pest Control Operators often fail to think about how their actions engage the creatures of our urban wilderness…” 

“Did you say something, human?” Guide replied to her host as she knocked on Carmen’s door—prepared to give her The Business

After some jangled conversational detours by Jake, Guide finally found her focus. “The nuts of it is this,” Guide began her classic wilderness security report like a journalist. “The new main entry point is two feet from where you foamed the old entry point. If I fix that, the next new entry point will likely be two feet further down the gutter line. I need your pledge of human resources and permission to do what needs to be done here; namely, spend anywhere from 6 to 10 hours repairing all the gaps and holes along your gutter and roof. That’s what is needed for you to send my wild creature friends the roof rats a clear message that your territory is not open for nesting, especially that neat little void you have between your gutter and the attic spaces along the edge of your upstairs bedroom…My friends the roof rats have been spoiled here in NE Portland with all the impoverished territories they ever wanted. It’s high time they return to their old way of life, build their nests in their tree branch penthouses outdoors, and reclaim their old name as the tree rat.” 

Then Guide showed Carmen exactly what she planned to do: 

Action #1 – Use long thin pieces of metal flashing to exclude the gaps along the gutter lines on both sides of territory. The driveway side has about four feet worth of possible entry points. The activity side has about twenty feet worth of possible and active entry points. 

(a) Most of the gaps on the driveway side are slight—just big enough for Guide to classify it as possible entry points > 

(b) this action would also include the exclusion of the active entry point > 

Action #2 – Use foam and metal flashing to exclude the gutter lines, gaps, and holes on the back eve-things > 

(a) the dark gap shown there is not a likely entry point, but it’s big enough to serve as an entry point for a rodent in desperate need of shelter > 

(b) the hole in corner there has a lot more potential, as well as the gap The Other Guy tried to exclude (question mark/look of confusion) > 

Action #3 – (no photos, sorry) I will exclude the gap on top right side of porch (if facing it), which leads directly into wall void as well as the small rat hole on the corner beautified by the maple. 

Action #4 – Guide will hunt and trap any offenders who do not “get it” and persist in the belief that your home is a “good tree” to nest in. 

** All actions listed here will continue for up to a year if needed. That means, I will come back and make it right if you see any sort of rodent in your attic spaces or home within a year of the end of our service.  

Chapter 2: Gutter Exclusion Day

As soon as the coffee hit Jake’s belly that morning, he began to engage Guide in The Question of The Day. The roof trap checking service they did earlier that week had shown some activity. One trap, near the cables, had been tripped—and a chunk of fur had been left behind. Jake was sold on the fanciful notion that losing a chunk of flesh would be enough to send the rat on its way. Guide didn’t agree. She knew her friends better than that. 

Soon after they pulled in the driveway, they checked the traps. No signs of activity were present. Even the “free” peanut butter in the box was left untouched. 

“Ha!” Jake laughed. “I told you so!” 

“Whatever human…I’m still not convinced our conflict here is over.” 

While the debate raged on, the teammates worked together to put their new gutter exclusion plan in action. They found a piece of flashing at The Home Depot they hoped would fit perfectly in the space between the wood sheathing and the gutter nails. In gutter exclusions in days past, they used shorter sections. It worked, but it wasn’t as beautiful. 

And they cared about beautiful, or at least as beautiful as closing off gaps in gutter lines can be…

Even Guide had to admit the new piece did the trick! The only problem was that the gap between the sheathing and the metal lip varied throughout; as well as the space between the nail and the plywood sheathing. 

“No biggie,” Jake smiled. “I’m an old pro with the tin snips.” 

The team was having so much fun snipping, banging, and screwing they decided to shore up the strength of the whole territorial line on the active side of the house. Strength is good, and it looks better. 

All the way to the end…

When that side was done, they moved back to the front where Guide set her mind to protecting the cables and excluding the other gaps they’d found up there before. The “squirrel shield” was a creative act, but a solid one.

The other spots on the porch included the gap above the squirrel shield: 

And the small hole in the maple tree corner: 

And that’s when Guide discovered that she was right. The bag marker they had put in the gap on the right side eve (if you’re facing porch) had signs of activity. It’d been scratched by some desperate creature. 

“See,” Guide said. “I told you so.”

“I suppose you still think it’s a squirrel…” 

“Yup,” Guide replied as she excluded every gap around the gap shown in the photo. “A normal sized roof rat could squeeze through that gap. Why would it scratch at it…if it could fit?” 

“Maybe it’s a fat roof rat,” Jake offered. “Like the one we bagged yesterday in Battleground. That thing was so big it made our rat traps look like play toys. It probably ate our bait with the spring on its neck, then pulled its head out when it had licked our plate clean.” 

“Maybe,” Guide replied doubtfully. Then she reset her marker and set two traps in front of the hole. “What is it with you and big rats anyway? Why don’t you get all ‘hoorah’ macho proud when we bag little ones?” 

“Like the five teenagers we killed last week?” 

“Yes…Aren’t their lives worth the remembrance?” 

Jake climbed down the latter and brushed the branches out of his ass for the tenth time that morning. “I don’t know,” he said as he began to clean up their mess. “It’s always sad when something new dies.” 

The other side seemed like it would be easier without having to dance with the branches, and it was for the first 6 foot section in the middle: 

Up to that point the metal—the pounding, snipping, and bending—had been sailing along smoothly. Then the team put in the final strip from the gaps two-thirds the way down the driveway to the end. The strip seemed to fit in well enough, but (unlike the others) this one had a very small (like 2 cm) gap that refused to be bent and tucked under. It would have been fine, but Jake thought it was “ugly,” so he broke out the roofing tar and duct tap to make damned sure it was shut. 

And The After shot: 

“It’s still ugly,” Guide said with a laugh. 

“We’re trying to keep the wilderness out…not paint a Picasso.” 

“Then why did you care about that ‘ugly’ gap in the first place?” 

“Well…uh…ugly duct tape is better than an ugly gap…That’s why.” 

The dialogue rolled on like that for about an hour. Finally, Guide realized it for what it was. They needed to eat, and the eggplant and squash pizza in the truck was just what they needed to help them power to The End

Thanks to Farmer Emily’s veggie pizzas, the eve exclusions went well. The gaps were the Other Guy had stuffed exclusion cloth now were covered by cold, hard, metal flashing and foam. 

After they cleaned up and tried unsuccessfully to call a lead (we always get a little weird on the phone after 8 hours of alone time), Jake turned to his teammate and asked, “Well, Guide, what’s next?” 

“We wait,” Guide smiled. “And then we’ll have the proof we need to give the ‘all clear’ with confidence…and seal up that squirrel scratching post.”  

“Do you ever get tired of being right?” 

“If I knew I was right…I’d seal up that gap right now.” 

“So what you’re saying is…” Jake smiled. “The roof rat could be fat.”  

Chapter 3: The Exciting Conclusion

A few weeks later, team Storysold: Pest Control climbed back onto the roof above Carmen’s porch to check the last entrypoint. The traps hadn’t been touched, and the bag o’ bait in the eve void was untouched as well.

“Big rat,” Jake said as he fashioned a custom piece of metal.

“Squirrel,” Guide laughed. And they worked together to shield the entry point. Moral was high. It was the last act in their exclusion plan, and they both felt that feeling that brought them to Carmen’s front door in The Beginning of their adventure.

After all, what is victory if not the completion of a plan gone right?

If you want to read more about Wilderness Security Guide’s adventures in wilderness enforcement, order your homemade one-of-a-kind copy of The Living City today for $65. Just text Bookmaker Jake at 971-337-4037. Don’t worry about the money. He’ll send you a bill 🙂

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