Stephon, a Lakehurst resident, joined Cowleys in 2019 as a nuisance wildlife technician. Prior to joining Cowleys, he was a tech for almost three years with one of the largest pest control companies in the world. Stephon is excited to "downscale" and join a closely knit family-owned company in which there is genuine teamwork and support among all the technicians and supervisors. At Cowleys, the daily work of every technician is truly appreciated and rewarded. According to Stephon, everyone here shares the same exact focus: delivering great customer service.
Being a wildlife tech is physically demanding, and Stephon works hard to stay fit. He not only works out, but for fun, plays in a flag football league every Sunday. Unless the New England Patriots recognize Stephon’s talents, he plans to build his career at Cowleys. To relax, Stephon enjoys playing poker. He is one of those guys that you just like being around. He’s fun, relaxed, and has a great sense of humor. In his short time at Cowleys, Stephon has seamlessly fit in with everyone here. We’re glad to have him.
For this week's Pest Control Tip, Chris discusses #1 attic invading critter — squirrels! Watch Video »
Recently, we went out on a service call for a homeowner in Plainsboro Township, NJ who contacted Cowleys for a groundhog issue. As the homeowner was fixing a post in his deck, a groundhog peaked his head out! Needless to say, this scared the daylights out of the homeowner. Groundhogs are outdoor rodents that build their homes underground. An adult groundhog is an herbivore with an immense appetite, eating 1-1 ½ pounds of vegetation a day. As a groundhog prepares for hibernation by consuming even more food, there may be considerable damage to a home.
As we began inspecting the exterior of the home, we found several burrows around the deck area. A groundhog burrow is a marvel of animal engineering. These underground homes run two to four feet beneath the surface and range from eight feet to more than 60 feet long, with multiple exits and rooms. A burrow is usually equipped with two or three entrances, each of which is 10”-12” wide and marked by excavated soil. Groundhogs even build separate chambers in their burrows to serve as bathrooms!
To eliminate the problem, we dug 10 inches down and 10 inches out from the deck and installed hardware cloth around the perimeter. After installing the hardware cloth, we then placed lattice over it. This will to make it aesthetically pleasing to look at and adds an extra level of reinforcement to keep animals away. Over by the main access point, we placed a one-way exclusion device to allow any groundhogs that may be hiding under the deck to come out. A one-way exclusion device is a device that allows a critter to safely exit the harborage spot and prevent them from getting back in. Finally, we backfilled over top hardware cloth and up to the bottom of the lattice. We scheduled a follow-up inspection to monitor the harborage areas and, once the home is free of groundhogs, seal up the final piece of lattice and hardware cloth.
Recently, we went out on a service call for a resident in Spring Lake, NJ who was having a problem with a raccoon in his attic. How'd he know it was a raccoon? As his son was cleaning the attic one evening he spotted the little fella running around!
As we inspected the rooftop we spotted raccoon hair and paw prints near an attic vent cover. This was how the raccoons were able to enter the attic.
We placed several baited traps near the main access point, installed an attic vent cover, and then attached a one-way to the attic vent cover. The vent cover prevents raccoon and other pesky, nuisance wildlife from entering your home through the roof vents. They are constructed out of heavy-duty 18 Gauge galvanized metal mesh that the wildlife are unable to chew through.
The one-way is a device that allows the raccoons to safely leave the attic and prevents them from getting back in. By installing a vent cover over every single attic and static vent on the roof and placing a one-way over the main access point we are forcing the raccoon to exit through the one-way and into the baited traps. Once the raccoon is safely captured, we'll relocate it to a new, humane location and then sanitize the attic area.