Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County
Kevin, a Toms River resident, started with Cowleys in 2017, and is one of our most experienced pest control technicians with almost 25 years in pest control. He handles our residential and commercial accounts and has experience with virtually any insect infestation and has worked with wildlife infestations as well. He has years of specialized expertise in dealing with infestations of termites and other wood-destroying insects. Kevin is also a veteran who proudly served in the United States Marine Corp.
He is a licensed NJDEP commercial pesticide applicator, holding Core certification and a number of Category certifications including 7A certification for general and household pest control, 7B certification for termites & other wood destroying insects, 7D certification for the use of applications in and around food manufacturing, packaging and processing facilities, 8E certification for the use of root control agents in sewer lines, and , and the DEP’s new category 13 certification that addresses the use of specialized Integrated Pest Management (IPM) concepts in schools.
Kevin enjoys the variety of work in pest control and the problem-solving required to successfully resolve challenging infestations. He believes in always providing the best customer, and does whatever it takes to help homeowners and business owners the stress caused by insect, rodent, or wildlife infestations.
Kevin’s proudest achievement is being the father to three beautiful kids. When not at work, he loves golfing, softball, bowling, and hockey. He also serves as a part-time manager on duty at a local hockey rink, and is a skilled Zamboni machine driver. When asked if driving a Zamboni is as fun as it looks, the answer is an emphatic yes!
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Recently, I was sent to a homeowner in Princeton, NJ who was having a problem with yellow jackets. It’s bad enough when you see these nasty stinging insects flying around outside your home, but here, it was even worse. They had made their way inside one of the downstairs rooms.
I needed to determine how they were gaining access inside the home, and start with an exterior perimeter inspection. I observed yellow jackets flying in and out of an opening in the siding. Yellow jackets are ground-nesters. They usually build nests inside cavities. Often, we find them in hidden locations such as rodent burrows, behind bark, or in hollowed-out stumps. They also make use of man-made structures and will build their nests attached to eaves, or like here, behind siding. Yellow jackets are strong, hardy insects that are powerful enough to chew through drywall and even plaster, so they can make their way from wall voids into the living areas of home, a frightening experience for any homeowner, to say the least. These yellow jackets were likely nesting up in a ceiling or in a wall void, and a mature nest can grow to be quite large with several thousand members. The little bit of good news was that, according to the homeowner, no one in the household was allergic to wasp stings. Nevertheless, yellow jackets are aggressive, territorial wasps. They often sting without provocation, and their stings pack a wallop. It was important to have this infestation resolved quickly.
I treated the opening with a highly effective dust that will be carried back by the foraging wasps to the nest, spreading throughout. The residual dust will continue to work for months, killing any emerging wasps. This hidden nest should be completely neutralized within a day, and this family will no longer have to worry about these stinging insects.
Recently, I was sent to a home in Jackson, NJ that had a troublesome mouse infestation. Mice will commonly enter homes through gaps, cracks, or openings around the foundation to gain access to the crawl space or basement, and from there, travel through wall voids throughout the home searching for food and water. More often than not, they wind up foraging for roof debris in the kitchen and find hidden harborage areas, often where there is heat like around ovens and under refrigerators around the motor housing.
Here, after discussing with the homeowner, where mice were spotted, I moved out the oven from the wall. There were extensive droppings and an opening around the gas pipe providing the mice with easy access into the kitchen. I sealed the opening around the pipe with hardware cloth and also placed mouse bait stations behind there. Mice will travel in the same pathways alongside walls. Inevitably, they will enter the stations enticed by the tempting bait. Soon thereafter, any mice that visited the station and consumed the bait die.
After finishing up with the kitchen, I entered the crawl space to determine how the mice were first gaining entry into the home. While down below, I placed more bait boxes right below the kitchen to catch more mice before they even had a chance to venture into the living spaces above. While inspecting the interior perimeter of the basement, I found openings around the crawl space vents that were more than enough for mice to enter. I sealed these openings to prevent new mice entry into the home. With the perimeter entry points sealed and bait stations to deal with any mice already inside, I’m confident that it will not take long for this rodent infestation to be completely resolved. With rodent activity, we schedule a two-week follow-up to reinspect, replenish bait as needed, and determine additional treatments, if necessary.
Recently, I was called out to help homeowners in Toms River, NJ, who were having a troublesome mouse infestation problem. As temperatures drop, rodents will seek to overwinter inside our warm houses to escape the harsh outdoor elements. Their very survival depends on it. The objective for a homeowner is to eliminate potential entry points into your home so they go elsewhere. Mice will find the tiniest gaps, cracks, and opening around the foundation to enter the basement or crawl space and once inside, they have no problems traveling through wall voids throughout the home, usually winding up in the kitchen foraging for food debris.
Conducting a careful exterior perimeter inspection, I determined how the mice were getting in. Mice only need an opening around the diameter of a dime, so you have to be systematic and methodical, inspecting every inch of the perimeter. Here, I found holes in the crawl space vents and access door as well as spaces in the garage door jambs (the trim around the perimeter of the garage door that helps keep out insects and small critters. Because this trim is exposed to the elements, they are susceptible to splitting, rotting or warping, creating an opening for pest entry. I sealed the openings with an expandable foam, and also set up some rodent bait traps in strategic locations. I set up a two-week follow up to re-inspect and check the bait in the traps to determine the level of rodent activity. With the access points blocked and traps set, this mouse infestation should be quickly resolved.
Recently, I was dispatched to a residence in South River, NJ. The homeowner was having a problem with yellow jackets. These wasps with their distinctive yellow-black coloration are one of the most territorial, aggressive stinging insects we come across. They seem almost anxious to sting at the slightest provocation.
Although yellow jackets often nest outdoors in rodent burrows and other cavities, sometimes they decide to build nests inside homes. Decks, eaves, soffits, gutters, and even holes in brick are all potential yellow jacket nesting sites. Here, the wasps found an opening of a roof dormer soffit. The homeowner realized he had a problem because he was hearing buzzing and light scratching/clicking sounds in his upstairs ceiling. These wasps, as many wasp species, will chew on wood because cellulose makes for great nesting material. They are powerful enough to chew through drywall. These were some of the sounds that the homeowner was hearing. By the way, don’t knock on the drywall. It may be so paper thin that you’ll make a hole in it!
Upon arrival, I immediately inspected the exterior and observed yellow jackets entering and exiting the dormer soffit. I also saw a paper hood protruding out of the soffit that was clearly part of their nest. Yellow jackets build paper nests that are completely surrounded by a paper envelope. This paper-like pulp is a mixture of chewed wood fibers and their saliva. Inside, I inspected the upstair ceiling and found that the moisture from the nest had soften the sheetrock.
It was time to treat the nest. Because of the aggressive nature of these wasps, i don’t take any chances. I put on my protective suit with a hat and veil to protect me against any insect stings. When yellow jacket nests are first treated, you are often “greeted” by a swarm of angry, aggressive wasps. A individual yellow jacket can sting multiple times, so f a nest is disturbed you can be facing dozens of painful stings. For obvious reasons, active yellow jacket nests, especially those built in challenging locations, are not DIY homeowner projects.
I climbed on the roof and used an extension pole sprayer so I could keep as safe a distance as possible from the nest, and injected a dust into the soffit opening. The dust will be shared with all of the members of the nest and it won’t take long for the queen and the rest of the colony to be eliminated.
Recently, I was dispatched to a home in Holmdel, NJ that was having an on-going problem with mice overwintering in the home. As temperatures drop, mice will seek refuge inside out homes to escape the harsh outdoor elements. Unfortunately for this homeowner, as soon as some mice were baited or trapped, another group of rodents would come out of the “woodwork” to take their place. Finally, the homeowners had enough dealing with their mouse issues and contacted Cowleys to determine the source of the problem and stop any further mouse entry into their home.
Upon arrival, I started my inspection of the home to locate any actual or potential mouse entry points. This particular home had a full crawl space and a garage. Mice often gain access through these locations int he home first. Then once inside, they find their way into the wall voids where they have full run throughout the entire home (since they are foraging for food, you’ll often spot them or signs of mouse activity in the kitchen).
Sure enough, mice were entering through the home’s foundation. I found two crawl space vents that had holes in the screening. The nylon screening had actually disintegrated over time. Vented crawl spaces can cause a host of problems for homeowners, not the least of which are insect and rodent infestations. To seal these access points, I cut two pieces of hardware cloth to cover the holes. To deal with any mice that were still hiding in the crawl space, I set a number of baited traps. With the entry points closed and bait traps set, these homeowners should see an immediate reduction in the number of mouse sitings.