I was recently sent to a Sayreville, NJ home. The homeowners contacted Cowleys because they were having two simultaneous pest problems, ants and mice, in their kitchen. The ant activity was primarily around the sink area. Although insects and rodents can be found anywhere in a home, since their focus is foraging for food and water, inevitably, they find their way into kitchens where there is often an abundance of both.
Whenever treating for pests, it is important to find their access point into a home and what is attracting them to and inside the home. During my inspection, I pay careful attention to the home’s perimeter looking for any gaps or cracks. As with most homes, one of the kitchen walls was on an exterior wall, which would be the most direct way for any pest to gain access inside. I observed that this home had wood siding, and the caulking around the windows had eroded away, leaving gaps for ants to enter. I identified this as a serious potential problem because moist wood is a major attractant for ants.
I treated the gaps around the window and in the siding of the kitchen’s exterior wall. Ants were coming out from under the siding like nobody’s business! I then treated under the deck area and around the foundation. The foraging ants will carry this application back to the nest, and it won’t take long for the colony to be eliminated.
Next, it was time to tackle the mouse problem. Again, it is important to find potential access points — this time for these slippery rodents. For mice, they don’t require much to gain access inside a home. They can slip through a gap of the diameter of a dime! If a mouse is able to poke its little snout through a hole, the rest of their body will follow. During my exterior perimeter inspection, I found a few viable mouse entry points. I sealed gaps around utility lines and plumbing lines. Also, the garage door jamb was not completely sealing the door at its base, giving mice an open invitation into the garage. I also found interior openings that needed sealing in the kitchen and basement below.
I moved out the stove to see what was lurking behind and underneath. The area was littered with mouse droppings. I sealed the pipe opening behind the stove, and swept up all of the droppings. I wanted the area to be clean so I could determine on my follow-up visit if there was any new mouse activity. Finally, I strategically placed RTU mouse bait stations above the drop ceiling in the basement and snap traps on the basement walls. The bait stations are tamper-resistant containers to keep non-target animals from consuming the bait. These stations do not trap the mice (that is what the snap traps are for). The mice are free to exit, so as long as the station is baited, it will continue to kill any mice that enter the station to eat the bait. With these bait stations and traps in place, the mouse population inside the home will soon be eradicated.