A very frustrated and concerned homeowner in Farmingdale, NJ, contacted Cowleys because of a rat and mouse infestation inside her home. Rodent infestations increase during the cold temperature months since these animals are seeking warmth and protection against the harsh outdoor elements. The rodents had made a mess in the home and the entire situation posed a serious health hazard because of their toxic droppings. When dried and disturbed, rodent droppings can become airborne, creating a serious health risk. Needless to say, the homeowner was more than ready to have this infestation resolved once and for all. A two-person pest control technician team was immediately sent to the residence to get it done.
To successfully resolve a rodent infestation, it is essential to conduct a thorough, systematic inspection of the structure to determine possible points of entry. They don’t require much of a crack or gap to squeeze their way inside. A mouse can fit through an opening about the size of a dime, and rats need a gap about the size of a quarter. They typically enter homes around the foundation, and common entry points are spaces that have formed around where pipes and wires enter the home. Over time, from exposure to the elements, the cement or silicone used for sealant around the pipe erodes and openings appear. Rodents have poor eyesight and travel along the edges of walls that they can touch with their fur. They feel for openings and then find their way in. If the holes are sealed, it gives them a message that there’s nothing interesting to here, and they’ll often just keep moving along.
Here, during our exterior perimeter inspection, we found several openings around the gas meter, a/c unit, and water line. We stuffed the openings with a chew-proof copper mesh and held it firmly in place with an expandable foam. This will deter rodents from entering, as well as keeping out insects and water. Water entering homes causes a host of problems. It damages building materials, can trigger mold growth, and is an attractant for pests.
Next, we conducted an interior inspection looking for ways the rodents were entering areas of the home, especially their entry into the kitchen where they forage for food and water. Rodents typically travel through the wall voids and do their foraging at night, so they are rarely seen. Rodents like the warmth of the motor housing underneath refrigerators and we always look behind that appliance to see what activity is going on. Here, there was a large opening that provided easy access to the kitchen. We sealed that opening with copper mesh and foam.
We also installed exterior bait stations around the home’s perimeter. By feeding them tainted bait outside the home, most will die before entering the home and minimize the number of rodent carcasses inside. Finally, we scheduled a 7-day follow-up appointment to re-inspect, check and replenish the bait boxes as necessary, and see that our exclusion work is holding up. Rodents are resilient pests, but we will stay on the job until the problem is resolved. The homeowner was appreciative of our efforts, and my partner and I were happy to help her! We understand the emotional toll that a rodent infestation can cause homeowners.