Skunks find easy access under deck in East Windsor
A residential customer in East Windsor contacted Cowleys because of an on-going issue with skunks. We all know the major problem of skunks: the pungent smell of their spray. Here’s a free wildlife technician tip: If you or your pet are sprayed by a skunk, vinegar or tomato juice will mask the smell until it fades with time. Another recommended home remedy is mixing a quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 2 tablespoons of dish detergent. It’s best to discard your clothes — getting out the skunk smell out of your clothing is more trouble than what it’s worth, and you don’t want to go out on the town smelling like “Pepe Le Pew.”
Besides their spray, skunks can also destroy lawns. Using their long front claws to dig in soil, they are expert insect hunters. For homeowners, seeing chunks of grass peeled back is a disturbing sight. Lawns that have a heavy infestation of grubs (beetle larvae) often wind up with a skunk problem. Skunks will dig up lawns to go after the grubs. Fortunately, here, there was not any lawn damage. During the winter, while skunks don’t actually hibernate, the stay in their dens and become inactive, eating little and sleeping a lot.
When I arrived at her home, the homeowner was quite upset, and rightfully so. She explained that she how has had a skunk problem for a while. Another nuisance wildlife company had come out there, but the technician failed to trap a single skunk. Based on her description, they set the wrong traps and used the wrong bait. Peanut butter is not the universal bait to trap any type of nuisance wildlife. For trapping wildlife, a good wildlife tech will try to bait traps with whatever the target animals are used to feeding on at that location. Wildlife is surprisingly smart and cautious, and are wary of new food sources in an area.
After listening to the homeowner’s frustrating saga that had gone on for far too long, I came up with the best solution. Just because skunks have sprayed does not mean that that they are hanging around. In fact, skunks hate that smell just as mush as we do. A skunk will never spray another skunk, especially a member of his own family. Rather than setting traps and waiting, I wanted to give this customer a faster solution, especially since the skunks were localized to a specific area under her deck. My plan was to exclude skunks and other wildlife from entering under her entire deck by installing heavy-gauge metal mesh behind a beautiful white lattice that would give the deck a better appearance. I would also installed a temporary one-way exclusion that would allow the animals to get out, but prevent them from returning. Once I knew there was no more wildlife under the deck, I’d then install the final piece of fencing. The homeowner was pleased that, with this critter control barrier in place, she would not have any more unwanted visitors under her deck again.
Groundhog Terrifies Homeowner in Plainsboro Township, NJ
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.
Cranbury, NJ Pest, Bird & Rodent Control Services
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Cranbury, NJ Expert Pest Control Company
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 Cranbury 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 Cranbury, 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.
Business & Home Pest Services We Offer in Cranbury:
- Bedbug Extermination
- Flea Control
- Termite Control
- Pest Control
- Rodent Control
- Ant, Beetle, Spider, Insect Control
- Tick Control Services
- Pest, Bird and Animal Control Services
- Attic Insulation Services
- Gutter Guards
- Crawl Space Encapsulation
- Expertise and Technical Know-How to Fix Your Pest Problem
- Financing Available
- Written Estimates and Inspections
Take a look at the damage caused by raccoons in this Cranbury, NJ attic. We discovered this as we were preparing to install TAP Pest control insulation. We also notice some damaged ducts and as soon as those are fixed we will schedule the installation.
Cowleys is a licensed installer of TAP Pest Control Insulation, a loose-fill cellulose insulation that is environmentally safe, ENERGY STAR designated, UL classified, and fire retardant. “TAP” stands for Thermal, Acoustical, and Pest Control. This insulation offers superior thermal, acoustical (sound-deadening), and pest control properties. Homeowners are often surprised when they first hear that we offer insulation that can help with pest control. Its paper fibers are treated with a borate solution, which is harmless to people, but lethal to many insects including ants, beetles, and termites. Because TAP insulation does not affect mammals, homeowners must still use traditional pest-control for mice, squirrels, and other wildlife. Because of this pest control component, TAP can only be installed by licensed pest control operators.
Added insulation is a great home investment that yield many benefits. Perhaps most important, adding insulation increases the enjoyment of your home. It improves the temperature regulation in your home and increases the comfort of your living environment. Adding insulation also has health benefits. It acts as a barrier that helps to keep environmental pollutants and allergens out of your home. It is also a moisture barrier. By keeping out unwanted moisture, a good insulation layer helps avoid mold growth and other excess moisture problems. There are also substantial cost benefits. By keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, added insulation reduces both your environmental footprint and your economic footprint! Improved insulation pays for itself through by reducing your energy bills and lowering the use of your air conditioner and heating system.