Recently, I was called out to an apartment unit in Asbury Park, NJ after the tenants had complained that mice were observed scampering about the living room. Upon arrival, I placed four RTU (“ready-to-use”) bait stations in the corners of the living room so that I could figure out where the mice were coming from based on whether and how much of the bait was taken.These bait stations fit flush against a wall or corner where mice travel and a curious mouse can’t resist entering and exploring. Once inside, the interior baffles lead them to the bait. These bait stations are the safest way to keep mouse-killing product in residential locations away from children and pets.
On my follow-up visit, I observed that two of the four stations had activity. For those two stations, the bait was pretty much gone. So, doing some more investigating for the access points into the apartment, I found a hole under the slats of a radiator behind the hot water pipe. I sealed the hole with a chew-proof copper mesh and rebated the RTUs. Once the mice hiding inside are eliminated, with their entry point closed, this troublesome mouse infestation should be completely resolved in a short amount of time.
Recently, I was sent to a homeowner in Princeton, NJ who was having a problem with yellow jackets. It’s bad enough when you see these nasty stinging insects flying around outside your home, but here, it was even worse. They had made their way inside one of the downstairs rooms.
I needed to determine how they were gaining access inside the home, and start with an exterior perimeter inspection. I observed yellow jackets flying in and out of an opening in the siding. Yellow jackets are ground-nesters. They usually build nests inside cavities. Often, we find them in hidden locations such as rodent burrows, behind bark, or in hollowed-out stumps. They also make use of man-made structures and will build their nests attached to eaves, or like here, behind siding. Yellow jackets are strong, hardy insects that are powerful enough to chew through drywall and even plaster, so they can make their way from wall voids into the living areas of home, a frightening experience for any homeowner, to say the least. These yellow jackets were likely nesting up in a ceiling or in a wall void, and a mature nest can grow to be quite large with several thousand members. The little bit of good news was that, according to the homeowner, no one in the household was allergic to wasp stings. Nevertheless, yellow jackets are aggressive, territorial wasps. They often sting without provocation, and their stings pack a wallop. It was important to have this infestation resolved quickly.
I treated the opening with a highly effective dust that will be carried back by the foraging wasps to the nest, spreading throughout. The residual dust will continue to work for months, killing any emerging wasps. This hidden nest should be completely neutralized within a day, and this family will no longer have to worry about these stinging insects.
Recently, I was sent to a home in Millstone Township, NJ for a periodic inspection and service visit that’s included in our residential home protection plans. These plans are valuable to homeowners because we often uncover pest problems that are overlooked by homeowners, especially outdoor infestations and infestations in their early stages.
During my inspection, I observed a hornet just starting to make a nest on an overhang of the front door. Hornets are highly territorial insects and a nest in any high pedestrian traffic area is a problem. If this nest was not removed, residents and guests of this home could easily be perceived as a threat to the nest and suffer the consequences. Hornets are a formidable threat since they often attack as a swarm. Their venom is especially painful because it contains high levels of acetylcholine, a chemical that stimulates our pain receptors. Also, a single hornet is able to sting multiple times because, unlike bees, its stinger remains intact and does not become lodged in the victim. Since hornets are large insects, they carry a good supply of venom, and release more venom per sting than any other stinging insect. Suffice it to say, I was glad that I was able to locate and treat this nest while it was still in its beginning stages of being formed. By removing this nest now, this household avoided a serious stinging insect threat.
Fortunately, since the nest was just starting to be formed it did not pose much of a threat to remove it. And that was just fine with me! First, I sprayed the nest with an aerosol foam to knock down any hornets in the nest. Once I saw that there was no more live activity, I safely removed the nest, bagged it, and carried it with me off the property. The homeowner was quite appreciative that I caught this problem early on before the hornets had a chance to form a mature nest.
With mice and other nuisance wildlife infestations, it is critical to find the potential entry points and seal them; otherwise, the infestation will never be permanently resolved.
We carefully inspected the entire home, filling every hole we could locate with spray foam. The before/after pictures highlight that the gaps that were once open are now closed off. During my inspection, I also noticed a large gap underneath the front door that would allow mice to enter. I installed rubber weather stripping to seal that potential route.
Recently, I was sent to a home in Jackson, NJ that had a troublesome mouse infestation. Mice will commonly enter homes through gaps, cracks, or openings around the foundation to gain access to the crawl space or basement, and from there, travel through wall voids throughout the home searching for food and water. More often than not, they wind up foraging for roof debris in the kitchen and find hidden harborage areas, often where there is heat like around ovens and under refrigerators around the motor housing.
Here, after discussing with the homeowner, where mice were spotted, I moved out the oven from the wall. There were extensive droppings and an opening around the gas pipe providing the mice with easy access into the kitchen. I sealed the opening around the pipe with hardware cloth and also placed mouse bait stations behind there. Mice will travel in the same pathways alongside walls. Inevitably, they will enter the stations enticed by the tempting bait. Soon thereafter, any mice that visited the station and consumed the bait die.
After finishing up with the kitchen, I entered the crawl space to determine how the mice were first gaining entry into the home. While down below, I placed more bait boxes right below the kitchen to catch more mice before they even had a chance to venture into the living spaces above. While inspecting the interior perimeter of the basement, I found openings around the crawl space vents that were more than enough for mice to enter. I sealed these openings to prevent new mice entry into the home. With the perimeter entry points sealed and bait stations to deal with any mice already inside, I’m confident that it will not take long for this rodent infestation to be completely resolved. With rodent activity, we schedule a two-week follow-up to reinspect, replenish bait as needed, and determine additional treatments, if necessary.