News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Going after pests safely and sustainably

Sisters Country has its share of pests, from infiltrations of ants to tunneling voles in the grass to rodents getting into the garage or the house. Birds and bats can pose a problem.

Pests can be a nuisance — and sometimes they can cause significant damage.

Owner-operator Mike Larson has been in the pest control business in Central Oregon since 2002, and he’s developed an approach that goes way beyond period mitigation measures like spraying.

“I’m more an integrated pest management kind of person,” he said. “Our focus is the long-term fix.”

That might mean eliminating a source of moisture that attracts ants, or fixing a flaw in your house that allows pests to get in.

“We view pests as the symptom of a bigger issue,” Larson said.

Solid Pest Solutions really is about solutions. They don’t push maintenance contracts, and they’re handy enough to take care of most projects that require modifications to keep pests out of buildings.

“Most things we can fix,” Larson said.

In cases where a pest has done a lot of damage — say a raccoon gets into your crawl space and wreaks havoc — they’ll refer a homeowner to a restoration company.

If they just can’t get to a long-term fix, they will do periodic maintenance to mitigate a problem.

Larson started Solid Pest Solutions four years ago with the aim of applying his science-based approach to pest control. The company minimizes the use of pesticides and emphasizes mechanical fixes.

Larson got into the business two decades ago at the recommendation of a friend who thought it would offer him more consistent work than roofing, which was the trade he was engaged in at the time. It turned out that he really liked the work, particularly the problem-solving aspect of it.

“I love what I do,” he said. “It’s not boring.”

At one stage, Larson was able to work for a practitioner who was both a biologist and an etymologist, and he learned a great deal about animal and insect behavior. One of his current employees has a degree in environmental science and another a degree in biology.

“They’re both good, critical thinkers,” he said. “Out-of-the-box thinking is what you need.”

At this time of year, Solid Pest Solutions can usually get to work on your property within a couple of business days of a call for service. In summer, it gets busy, and the timeline can stretch out to a couple of weeks. His crew will do an assessment of a pest problem, and offer a bid on larger projects.

Honesty and integrity are cornerstones of the business, and local knowledge and commitment makes the search for real, environmentally sound fixes paramount.

“All of us are local and know the area,” Larson said.

For more information, contact Mike Larson at 541-678-2166 or email [email protected]

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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