One of my biweekly commercial accounts, a restaurant in Keyport, was having ongoing issues with mice, despite our best efforts in locating and sealing possible entry points. According to the day manager, mice were running back and forth between a two-door area (see photo). So, I began my inspection by carefully looking for entry points in this area. Each door frame had a slight opening behind the baseboards. Mice had created their own point of access by chewing themselves a pathway to get around the bar area of the restaurant (see photo).
I patched each hole with copper mesh. Now, with the mesh blocking them, the mice had lost their route to get back into these areas. I then placed several “tin cat” glue boards around the utility closet adjacent to the entry point. The utility closet was the perfect harborage area for mice — it was small, dark, and easily accessible.
During my next follow-up, I made significant progress with the infestation. My “tin cats” had snared several mice now that these entry points were plugged. I’m confident that as long as I stay on top of closing possible entry points into the restaurant, their rodent problem will be eliminated.
The most important line of defense for mice is keeping them out of the structure in the first place, and the only way to do that is by being vigilant about inspecting the building’s exterior perimeter, finding entry points and sealing them. Also, inspecting for mice is an ongoing process. Just like what happened here, new entry points can pop up between visits. Mice are persistent, focused creatures. If they are determined to find their way inside a structure, they will keep plugging away, either by finding a new entry point or by making their own. Mice are able to gnaw and chew their way through wood and other building materials.
Homeowners in Old Bridge, NJ, recently converted their front porch to a year-round living space. There is a small crawl space underneath the newly converted area. As they started to use the area, they soon noticed a musty, earthy odor wafting up from the crawl space. Also, the floor was quite cold. They contacted Cowleys for some crawl space renovation that would buffer the cold air and remove the odors, and one of our crawl space encapsulation teams was sent over.
To stop the cold air, we installed Silverglo insulation on the exterior walls. SliverGlo is a lightweight, rigid, and closed-cell insulation that is much more efficient than over-the-counter batt and foam insulations that just isn’t designed for crawl spaces. Its closed-cell structure provides minimal water absorption and low vapor permanence. Other types of insulation act like a sponge in damp crawl spaces and, once wet, loses its ability to effectively insulate. We then installed a CleanSpace liner (vapor barrier) to encapsulate the area.This heavy-duty 20-mil liner is much thicker and sturdier than the generic “contractor bag” liners.
With the crawl space sealed from the outdoor elements, the homeowners will no longer have a “freezer box” underneath their flooring and the odors will be gone as well. Considering that there were odor problems during the winter month, once summer rolled around, the problem would have gotten even worse. With the encapsulation, there will be far less likelihood of mold formation and the crawl space will stay nice and dry — the homeowners can now even use this “dead” crawl space area for storage if needed.
As I was performing a routine service for a Home Protection Plan customer in Keyport, NJ I noticed a viable entry point in the foundation of a house. Believe it or not, this opening is the perfect size for not just pests, but mice to enter the home. In fact mice can squeeze through an opening the size of a dime!
First, I stuff the opening with copper mesh. Copper mesh is an excellent way to exclude rodents from crawling into tights spaces because they are unable to chew through it. Next, I used black caulk to seal the opening. Afterwards I finished treating the home for their regular service.
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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 Keyport 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 Keyport, 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.
I was sent to a home in Keyport, NJ after the homeowner contacted Cowleys because of skunks that had taken up residence on his property. Because of the time of year and a few other clues found during my inspection, I felt that there was a high likelihood that I was dealing with a mother skunk and her babies. In these cases, it’s critical to keep the family together. Depending on their stage of development, the babies, without their mother, will die.
After about a 60- to 75-day gestation period, female skunks give birth to a litter of three to ten pups. The most common months of birth are May and June because breeding usually occurs in late winter or early spring. Every so often, if there is a mild winter with a lack of snow, more food will be available. That is when we sometimes see the first baby skunks of the season in April, but it’s an unusual occurrence.
Skunks are one of the few mammals that have the ability to delay their pregnancy for almost three weeks. Called delayed implementation or embryonic diapause, the fertilized egg temporarily ceases to develop and does not attach to the uterine wall. Instead, the eggs free-float in the uterus until the female is ready for them to develop.
Baby skunks are born blind and helpless, weighing just over an ounce. These kits must remain hidden in their nest until they can see and are strong enough to follow their mother. Once weaned, at about eight weeks, they will start to "trail" their mother on foraging trips.
When trapping for skunks during baby season, you do not want to set up any “one way” exclusions. “One ways” are devices set over access points of a home that allow an animal to leave, but not return. Just like a one-way valve, it only allows movement in one direction. While these devices are usually a humane way of evicting animals from an attic or elsewhere in the home, they are a problem during baby season. When using a one-way, there is a good possibility that if you evict the mother, her helpless young will die of starvation.
Baby skunks develop their stink glands early in their lives, and can emit a spray after they are only 8 days old,. Leaving the babies to die would likely release the noxious spray in your attic, crawl space, or wherever the nest is located. In addition, the homeowner would have to deal with the remains and everything it attracts. Even ignoring all that, leaving the babies to die without their mother’s support is inhumane and no properly trained wildlife technician would ever consider it.
Because I was sent to this home in early July, I did not want to take any chances of harming any baby skunks — and to play it safe, I did not install a one way. Instead, I set four traps just outside the burrow. In these situations, the goal of the wildlife technician is to trap the mother first. Under the best scenario, the babies will follow behind and fill the other traps shortly thereafter.