Recently, Cowleys received a call from a residential customer in Lakehurst, NJ after a surprise mouse sighting in her home. Mice are overwintering pests, and as temperatures drop, these rodent infestations increase. The homeowner was particularly concerned because she did not want her young daughter to see any mice, get upset, and then have to deal with sleepless nights. Upon arrival, I was told that a mouse was observed running along a wall and under a closet door in the living room where it may still be hiding. Mice often enter a home through gaps or cracks around the foundation, and once in the crawl space or basement, they navigate throughout the home using wall voids. Often, they will carve out little holes in sheetrock to enable them to move about.
Here, based on the location of the sighting, i started my inspection inside the closet, removing all of the items on the closet floor. Sure enough, I saw the tell-tale sign of a mouse infestation — mouse droppings (which look like dark grains of rice). There was also a large hole in the back of the closet about the size of a heating vent. Talk about easy access! The homeowner was unaware of this hole and was quite surprised to see this huge gap in the closet.
This homeowner was a current customer of Cowleys, and we had been there before to deal with a mouse infestation. I went down to the basement to inspect the rodent bait stations on the sill plate that were set up on a prior service call. All of the bait was gone, indicating that there were some hungry mice and quite a bit of mouse activity. I replenished the bait in the bait stations and added additional stations to the sill plate and put some bait stations in the closet where I found the droppings.
I cleaned up the droppings in the closet. Unfortunately, this was an unusually large hole and I did not have a large enough sheet of chew-proof hardware cloth on my truck to seal the hole (and the homeowner did not have anything available either). It was important to at least temporarily block the entrance so that mice could not make their way from the basement into the living room area. I improvised by securing a metal baking pan over the hole until the homeowner could purchase a permanent cover. Finally, I scheduled a two-week follow-up to reinspect, determine the level fo rodent activity, and take any additional treatment steps as necessary to resolve this infestation.