Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County
The Cowleys nuisance wildlife crew was sent to this home in Atlantic Highlands, NJ to handle the exclusion work following a wildlife infestation in the attic. The wildlife access points were around the PVC roof vents caused by deterioration of the surrounding vent boots. We arrived to do the repair work to fix the problem.
Vent boots encase the PVC vent pipes that stick out of your roof. When doing repairs around vent pipe flashing after wildlife entry, homeowners sometimes ask us why their home even has these mysterious vent pipes since they seem like nothing but trouble.
These pipes are part of your plumbing system, or what plumbers call you drain-waste-vent (DWV) system, At the risk of oversimplification, this system has three major parts. The “D” stands for drainpipes, the pipes that collect water from sinks, showers, tubs, and your appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine. The “W” stands for waste pipes, the pipes that remove water and waste from your toilets. All of these pipes connect to the municipality’s sewer line or your septic system. The “V” stands for the vent pipes that stick out of your roof. Building codes require at least one of them.
Vent pipes have two important functions for your plumbing system. First, they equalize pressure in the pipes by allowing air to enter so that the liquid flows freely. (Just think what happens if you put your thumb over a straw immediately after you suck in liquid or if you try to pour liquid out of a can without a second air hole. Without air in the system, water doesn’t flow well.) Second, these vent pipes remove or exhaust sewer gases that are produced and collected from the decomposition of wastes in the sewage system. Sewer gas contains a number of nasty gases including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia that are flammable, poisonous, and just plain stink. These vents are put high up on your roof so that the sewer gas is not pulled back into the home through the windows or attic.
So, if all that’s too much information, the short answer is that you need those vent pipes sticking out of your roof for your plumbing system to work. Unfortunately, even though these vent pipes are essential, they are also rank up there as one of the most common causes of roof leaks. In addition, the PVC vent areas are vulnerable to wildlife like raccoons that can tear through the vent flashing to gain access to the attic.
To help prevent leaks and give some added protection against wildlife entry, vent boots seal the area where the pipes come out. Unfortunately, vent boots often don’t last the life of the roof. Because they’re usually made out of rubber, over time, the sun and the outdoor elements will cause them to rot. With this home, the vent boots had deteriorated to the point where they were gone completely, leaving entry points for water intrusions and for pests and wildlife to gain access inside the home.
These homeowners in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, were having problems with squirrels “squirreling” their way into their attic. They were tired of dealing with these periodic squirrel infestations into their home, and contacted Cowleys in the hopes of finding a long-term solution. We had the perfect answer for them!
Our contractor division installed CritterProof, a critter protection product manufactured by Leaf Supreme, a leading designer of gutter protection systems. CritterProof is specifically designed to cover the fascia gap and exclude various wildlife that often makes their way onto the roof and into the attic. The most common “attic invaders” that we see time and time again here in New Jersey are squirrels, raccoons, and bats. Mice also find their way into the attic, but usually they first enter the home through the basement or crawl space.
CritterProof is a protective system that stops wildlife from chewing and clawing their way through the delicate fascia boards to gain access to the soffit area and, ultimately, where the attic. For wildlife, attics are the perfect refuge to escape the harsh outdoor elements and they make for a wonderful nesting area to care for their young. After all, attics are warm, quiet, private, and free from the preying eyes of predators.
A home’s soffit/fascia area is one of the more common routes we see for wildlife to gain entry. CritterProof’s unique adjustable design provides custom coverage of the fascia gap while still maintaining critical attic ventilation. CritterProof is available in black, white, and other colors by special order.
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Here at Cowleys Pest Services we not only adhere to the highest pest control standards, our goal is to provide you with an excellent experience and service in Atlantic Highlands and nearby NJ.
From your first phone call through treatment and follow-up we at Cowleys Pest Services pledge to give you great customer service while fixing your pest problem.
Since 1991, we have been treating a wide variety of pests, bedbugs, insects and rodents -- just contact us to get more details on your home or building's issue. Take advantage of our expertise to get rid of unwanted pests or animals in your Atlantic Highlands, NJ home.
At Cowleys Pest Services we also have pest control plans where we routinely inspect your home or building and apply needed solutions ahead of developing a recurring pest problem. Our pest service plans have different levels too, to best suit your needs that you can change over time if needed. From our Green Service Plan to our Platinum Service Plan, we'll keep your home pest-free.
Especially after extremely dry condition, a heavy rainstorm seems to rejuvenate and give ant colonies new life. Also, ants start looking for higher ground as their nests become flooded with rainwater and we see a noticeable increase in ant infestations. Here, after we had some much-needed rain, this homeowner in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, found himself with odorous house ants. We call these small dark brown or black ants “odorous” ants for good reason: They emit a foul odor that smells like rotten coconuts when crushed. Odorous ant colonies can become quite large, and often, in addition to the parent colony, these ants expand by forming multiple satellite nests with more than one egg-producing queen.
These particular ants construct shallow nests in the soil, usually under lawn debris, wood piles, and under brick pavers. I happened to find this particular nest in a termite bait station during an inspection. Because their nests are so shallow, they are prone to flooding after heavy rains. With the ants stranded and looking for someplace safe, ant infestations in homes skyrocket. The lesson is that when we experience those typical New Jersey weather swings of dry conditions followed by heavy rain, homeowners should be on the lookout for ant infestations.
Often, raccoons, especially mother raccoons seeking a quiet, private place to raise their young, use attics and chimneys as dens. But they can and will make their nests almost anywhere. We’ve dealt raccoon nests in crawl spaces, barn lofts. and with this home in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, the mother raccoon didn’t even bother to break into the home. Here, the mother set up shop underneath some patio furniture that was covered for the winter. So, when you are ready to start using your patio furniture and remove the protective covering, please be cautious. There may be a family of wildlife squatters that have already decided to use your covered patio furniture as their own little backyard campsite! before you do!
I set up a few traps and loaded them with my secret irresistible bait recipe. It did not take long to trap the mother raccoon. As you can see from the photo, she was giving me quite the dirty look for trapping her. I rounded up the babies and safely relocated the family to a location safer for them and safer for these Atlantic Highland homeowners. Raccoons may look cute and cuddly, but they are large aggressive animals that can be quite dangerous if they feel cornered or threatened. Mother raccoons are especially protective of their helpless kits. Wildlife is wonderful, but it’s much better situation for everyone when wildlife stays in the wild and enjoyed at a distance, far away from human habitats.
I homeowner in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, was having a problem with yellow jackets somehow managing to find their way inside her home. Out of all the stinging insects that could invade a home, to me, there is nothing worse than yellow jackets. These are nasty, territorial, aggressive, predatory wasps that often seem to sting for no reason at all. She was at a complete loss figuring out how these intruders were able to gain access inside her home. There were no obvious entry points. Her home was in great condition. They were no ripped window screens and all of the doors to the outside were kept shut. At first blush, there were no entry points allowing these insects to get inside. It was as though they just magically appeared out of nowhere. Finally, after too much unnecessary frustration, the homeowner decided to contact Cowleys to determine the problem and get it resolved.
I just love pest control assignments where I have to put on my detective cap. Upon arrival, I first inspected the attic. My initial thought is that if there were no entry points for these insects to gain entry from the outside, this may be an “inside job” with an inside nest. And the most likely place for a yellow jacket nest was the attic. However, after a thorough inspection, I came up empty handed. I could not find a single sign of insect activity up above. But for me, eliminating the attic meant I was one step closer to finding the solution. I then moved my inspection to the outside perimeter of the home to look for any possible ways that yellow jackets could gain access. Something caught my eye that could have been easily overlooked since it was not at eye level. I noticed a broken dryer vent. I hopped on my ladder and, sure enough, I was greeted by an active yellow jacket nest inside the vent.
I treated and removed the nest for the homeowner. I also happened to have a dryer vent cover on my truck. I asked the homeowner if she would like me to install a new cover while I was there, and she agreed without hesitation. With the nest removed and a new cover for the dryer vent in place, this homeowner will no longer have the problem of mystery yellow jackets invading her home.
Solar panels are becoming more and more popular with homeowners for obvious reasons. Solar panels save on utility bills and it’s a “green” thing to do — solar is a renewable environmentally friendly energy source . However, we sometimes see one downside to these panels. Solar panels provide pigeons and other nuisance birds with a great hiding spot from predator birds.
Pigeons are one of the worst nuisance birds out there. With their prodigious (not to mention toxic and acidic) droppings, pigeons can make a mess of your roof and the surrounding area of your home. Also, if you’ve ever been around a flock of pigeons, they make constant sounds. I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys having pigeons nesting and roosting on their roof. Without exception, any home or business owner want these messy, nasty birds gone!!
Bird Solutions by Cowleys is experienced in installing a variety of bird deterrent devices. For this home in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, we excluded the birds by creating a solar panel exclusion system using bird netting. This netting will keep pigeons and other birds away from the solar panels — and it won’t harm them in any way. We make homes and commercial properties inhospitable to birds, so they’ll move elsewhere. Even though this homeowner will no longer have to deal with pigeons thanks to Cowleys and the Bird Solutions crew, there is a good chance that these birds will become someone else’s problem. Pigeons are attracted to human habitats for food and shelter and when evicted from one location they soon find another.