Pest Control Deemed Essential Service in WA State

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Pest Control Deemed Essential Service in WA State Executive Order and Here’s Why

>Pest control is an Essential Service by Washington Governor’s Executive Order. 

>150,000 or more Households & Businesses Contracting for Pest Control is the only thing Maintaining Suppression of the Greater Seattle/Puget Sound’s usually high rat population.  Your service contributes to the overall suppression of what could otherwise be a secondary threat during the present crisis.

>Certain other pests—such as mice (carrying hantavirus), cockroaches, ticks, fleas, and wasps/yellow jackets pose other health threats to people and pets.

>Pest Control Companies—including Cascade—must employ certain COVID-19 protocols for everyone’s safety.


Contents below:

   Why Pest Control is Deemed Essential & What You Need to Know

   Cascade’s COVID-19 Protocol (in part) – Most Services Outdoors. Critical Protocol for Indoor Services.

   Washington State Governor’s Executive Order

   US Homeland Security’s “Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19”


Why Pest Control is Deemed Essential & What You Need to Know

Importantly, in the case of other epidemics (& pandemics) it was not always the original contagion that sickened, injured or even killed people.  It often was the sudden decline in sanitation which allowed other infections to spread, thus compounding the original crisis.  Controlling pests, particularly rats, mice and flies (for example) is a critical part of sanitation.

A rat infestation outbreak as a result of COVID-19 related changes has already been reported in New Orleans.

It is estimated that someplace between 100,000 and 150,000 homes are either routinely or occasionally serviced to control rats and/or mice in the greater Seattle area alone.   This means that approximately 1 in 8 homes are serviced with exterior bait stations which actually suppress the rodent population for the rest of their particular neighborhoods.  Tacoma and other cities and suburban areas how the same situation.

Importantly, it is the collective effort provided by commercial pest control companies that is suppressing what is otherwise the highly successful adaptation of two invasive species—Norway rats and roof rats—which cause significant damage (mostly to home insulation) and spread germs by contaminating surfaces.  Even so much as postponing these efforts when dealing with species that multiply rapidly (especially in spring and summer) would have catastrophic results.

In the course of providing rodent pest management—rodent population suppression at the exterior of structures and rodent control (or extermination) for rats already entered—it is normal for us to replenish rat bait in bait stations every month or two.  What this means is that the pest control industry is constantly suppressing rat populations in cities and suburban areas.  And we are constantly suppressing mice populations in outer suburban and rural areas.  If this were to suddenly stop there is no doubt that rodent populations would increase exponentially and result in additional health problems.

Cascade’s COVID-19 Protocol (in part) – Most Services Outdoors. Critical Protocol for Indoor Services.

The following is a brief run-down of our COVID19 protocol and not an exhaustive list.

  • Cascade staff has been trained and equipped to maintain basic COVID-19 precautions, including disinfectant wipes and/or sprays, gloves and distancing.
  • Cascade’s technicians, already trained for pest-related sanitary and health protocols, have now significantly expanded their protocols for COVID-19.  Social distancing is a must when they arrive, as well as many other measures.
  • Most services are for the time being exterior only services. This both maintains rodent and other pest suppression without your Cascade technician being in close proximity to you or your family.
  • Interior services will at times be necessary—such as when significant pest problems are present inside or when a rodent infestation is active in your attic and access is from within. Call for more information should you have a need for indoor pest control measures.
  • If you have any questions please email us @ [email protected] or call 888-989-8979                


Washington State Executive Order – Pertinent Sections and Link

Pest control is established as an Essential Service by Washington State Governor’s Executive Order [reference below]

Excerpt from official document:

excerpt from official document







Excerpt from page 2 & 3 “Emergency Service Sector”:

Excerpt from page 2 & 3 “Emergency Service Sector”:










essential workforce - public works











Excerpts from United States Department of Homeland Security and link below:


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