Homeowners in Red Bank, NJ, had a raccoon gain entry in their attic through the ceiling fan. Unfortunately, ceiling fans are common entry points for agile wildlife like squirrels and raccoons. Even though attic fans have a mesh cover, the “manufacturer’s standard” is often a flimsy piece of mesh that is no match for these animals. Our wildlife team successfully trapped, removed, and safely relocated the trespassing raccoon, and also installed a tough galvanized steel mesh attic fan cover that would permanently block this attic entry point.
The homeowners immediately realized that there was a wildlife infestation in their attic and contacted us. Since the raccoon was only there for a couple of days at most, there was not enough time to cause much property damage. Notwithstanding that there was negligible visible damage, the homeowners were concerned, and rightfully so, that there could still be unseen urine seepage or other hidden damage to their insulation. They did not want to take any chances. Wildlife waste contains disease-transmitting pathogens. When dried out or disturbed, waste particles can become airborne and travel on air currents throughout the home. For their own peace of mind, the homeowners felt this was an opportune time to improve the quality of their attic insulation.
A Cowleys installation crew was dispatched to handle the insulation replacement. We first removed the potentially contaminated insulation and flooring. Once that material was cleared out, we sanitized and deodorized the entire attic to remove all traces and smells of a raccoon infestation. A thorough attic cleaning is essential to not only remove the dangerous waste, but also to remove the smells and remnants of the infestation. These scent markers often attract other raccoons and wildlife.
Finally, after we replaced the flooring with new plywood, we “blew in” 12 inches of our TAP insulation. Cowleys is a licensed installer of TAP (Thermal, Acoustical, and Pest Control) Insulation. TAP offers superior thermal and acoustical (sound-deadening) properties as well as a pest control component. Its paper fibers are treated with a berate solution that is harmless to people (and wildlife), but lethal to many insects including ants, beetles, and termites. As you can see from the photos, after completion of this job, the attic looked brand new. There was at least one silver lining to this raccoon infestation: Now, with this top-quality insulation, these Red Bank homeowners will enjoy a more comfortable energy-efficient home with reduced heating and cooling bills.
The homeowner in Red Bank, NJ, contacted Cowleys because he was concerned about his crawl space access, which was wide open. Cowleys has a contractor division that specializes, among other things, in crawl space improvements. Vented crawl spaces are often a source of many homeowner issues.
These chronically humid below-grade spaces often develop mold, and their environment attracts insects, mice, and wildlife. This homeowner was motivated to fix this opening because he has young kids who play around the house, especially now that spring is here and temperatures have warmed up. He was justifiably concerned that their curiosity may get the best of them and they could accidentally fall in the entry hole. A dangerous situation, to be sure. Candidly, upon arrival, when we first saw the opening, we were surprised that nuisance wildlife had not yet exploited this opening. There was a high likelihood, even if the homeowner was not aware of it, that overwintering mice had vacationed in the crawl space.
We had the perfect solution for this particular type of crawl space access — The Turtl. It’s not what you think. We didn’t block the crawl space entry hole with a giant snapping turtle! This particular “turtl” is the brand name of a solid PVC vinyl weatherproof crawl space door and entry system that eliminates the need for a crawl space door and access pit in one fell swoop.
Crawl space entry doors made of wood or steel can weaken over time through rot or rust leading to unwanted water intrusions, mold, and insect an wildlife infestations. The Turtl crawl space entry, with its locking lid, provides a tough attractive entry system that protects your crawl space from the harsh outdoor elements and keeps out insects, wildlife, and even little kids looking for trouble! The Turl crawl space access attaches directly to the foundation so it can’t shift or move. Also, it is manufactured using a rotational molding process, as are many chemical and fuel tanks, so it is seamless and can’t split. As you can see from the before and after photos, the Turtl turned an unattractive and potentially dangerous crawl space hole into a safe, protective crawl space entry system.
Recently Middletown Township, NJ homeowners contacted Cowleys after noticing some debris coming out from the drop ceiling in their finished basement. Upon arrival, I immediately went into the basement to inspect. I popped out the tile and immediately noticed that something had been chewing on the tile itself. I had a strong suspicion that this homeowner had a mouse infestation. After entering the home through gaps and cracks around the foundation, they will make their way through wall voids or travel on top of drop ceilings to forage for food and water. We see a substantial uptick of mouse infestations when temperatures drop and mice attempt to gain access inside our homes to overwinter to escape the harsh outdoor elements and forage for food and water.
Mice, as all rodents, have incisor teeth that constantly grow. To keep them at a reasonable length, they will gnaw on almost anything they can get their teeth around as well as grind their teeth as a way of slowing their growth. While inspecting the sill plate, I found the tell-tale sign of mice — the rice-like droppings they leave behind. Adjacent to this area, I noticed several wires going to the outside with a noticeable gap around them, allowing mice to enter. Gaps around pipes and wires entering the home are one of the more common entry points for rodents.
I vacuumed up the toxic droppings and then placed a rodent bait station on the sill plate. Mice will follow the same trail, so placing bait stations in their pathway is highly effective to reduce their populations. I temporarily sealed the gap around the wires using chew-proof copper mesh. The homeowners informed me that they would have their contractor permanently seal the gap with stucco to prevent a re-infestation. With mouse infestations, to permanently resolve the issue and prevent re-infestations, it is essential to locate and seal all of the potential entry points around the home.
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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 Red Bank 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 Red Bank, 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.
We were sent out on a service call for a new commercial account, a restaurant in Red Bank, NJ. Both the owner and several customers have spotted a raccoon traveling along the awning’s framework. Once we arrived and began inspecting, we found the main access point located in the corner of the ceiling right above an outdoor seating area.
Raccoons are about 2-3 feet long with stocky, round bodies that are covered in salt-and-pepper colored fur. They are known best for the “black mask” of fur around their eyes. Not all raccoons have rabies, however, raccoons are major hosts of rabies in the U.S. Raccoons are omnivores, meaning they will eat both plants and other animals and prefer to live/reside near a water source. In addition to rabies, there are other harmful diseases that raccoons can carry, including raccoon roundworm, which is an intestinal parasite.
This type of situation is rather difficult because we can’t set traps anywhere near the access. We tried trapping it in a few different locations in its path but to no avail. So eviction is our only option. A one-way device was set over the access and then taped the end of the device. A one-way device will allow the raccoon to safely leave the attic and prevent it from getting back in. The aluminum tape helps us monitor the raccoon activity. If the tape breaks, we know the animal came out. In a short amount of time, the raccoon was safely evicted from the restaurant and we properly sealed up the access area to prevent future intrusions.
Recently, during an inspection of the back storage room of a food store in Red Bank, NJ I found two dead mice in a “tin cat” mouse trap, a low profile baited trap that has the capacity, according to the manufacturer, of catching and containing up to 30 mice.
I wanted to identify possible nearby entry points into the store. After further inspection, just three feet away, I saw that the back door had an opening not he bottom of at least 1/2 inch. This gap was more than enough for rat to gain entry let alone a tiny mouse. I showed the gap to the manager and informed him that he needed to door sweep on the bottom of the door to block rodents and other pests from gaining entry. from coming inside. Door sweeps also provide a weatherproof seal that prevents drafts from coming in under the door — a nice feature during these cold winter months!
The manager asked me to purchase a door sweep for the store and install it for him. I was happy to do so, and I’ll return shortly. With any rodent infestation, it is critical to identify and seal and potential access points. Otherwise, there is always the risk of a re-infestation, especially when temperatures drop and mice are looking for warm shelter.
I was called out to a Red Bank residence. The homeowner had called Cowleys after seeing a "pile of wood shavings on the porch" that she correctly suspected was caused by insects. Sure enough, as I was walking up the porch stairs while inspecting the property, I observed a large pile of “sawdust” wood shavings under the railing. I immediately recognized this as carpenter bee frass, the tell-tail sign of carpenter bees. This material collects below any holes where the bees have been boring into the wood.
Carpenter bees are large bees that resemble bumble bees in both size and appearance. Upon closer inspection (which generally isn’t such a good idea!), carpenter bees have smooth shiny black abdomens while bumble bees are fuzzy all over. Also, carpenter bees are not social insects. Carpenter bees nest alone while bumble bees live in small colonies. For homeowners, the most important difference is that carpenter bees cause property damage. These wood-destroying insects bore holes into wood to construct their nests. Unlike termites, they do not actually eat the wood. Rather, the female carpenter bees hollow out holes approximately 1/2 inch in diameter and bore out tunnels, usually at a 90 degree angle to the entrance. Once the tunnels are excavated, nests are made with pollen to feed the developing larvae.
If the insect infestation is not stopped, these bees tend to reuse the same tunnels year after year, continuing to extend the damage into the wood. Over time, this tunneling weakens the wood not only because of the drilled holes, but also because of accompanying wood rot due to rainwater entering the entrance holes. The male carpenter bee, which is unable to sting, is most often noticed hovering around the entrance hole.
I treated the bee burrows on this Red Bank patio with an application that quickly resolved the infestation. After, I caulked the holes so they would not be reused. The homeowner was grateful that I was able to resolve her problem so quickly. Even though the female bees rarely sting, no one likes buzzing bees flying around. Also, it is important to resolve carpenter bee infestations to ward off wood damage because of their nesting behaviors.
This formidable opponent is back!! This Red Bank home owner experienced natures clear warning that “You have termites in your house!!” Termite colony's swarm to expand their colonies into new colonies. Maybe you've experienced this before. Have you ever seen the classic Alfred Hitchcock film " the birds"?? Well a termite swarm can be a scaled down version of that. As they emerge from their swarm castle they find a mate to create more termites with, in doing so they discard their wings. And often times, homeowners will find discarded wings all over their foyer, or near a window. As these are not your "worker " termites. They are a clear indication that those little albino looking buggers are certainly close, and more importantly; they are doing damage to your largest investment.
When I arrived to the home, I found discarded wings and crawling swarmer termites all about the foyer. This particular homeowner already knew what may be happening to his largest investment. His Home!! While being moderately aware of the damage that is occurring, he was unaware of what his treatment options were. Or that he actually had, options.
He was concerned about drilling his newly installed paver patio. He also didn't like the idea of gallons of pesticides be injected into the soil around his home. As this is an effective method, he was just a bit uncomfortable with that approach.
This customer is the proud new owner of the Sentricon® baiting system by Dow agriscience.. Termites relentless search for food (wood) keeps going even after finding wood, and when the Sentricon® baiting system "always active" is found by the foraging termites. It's then ingested by the foraging termite and brought back to the colony. This is then fed to the rest of the termite colony by regurgitation. Delivering a lethal dose of the active ingredient to the colony.
Henceforth this homeowner can relax knowing that his home will be termite free..
Today I found several bed bugs nesting behind the outlet covers in a bedroom. Seems like an odd spot but once you learn about bed bugs habits you will realize why they make a great hiding spot. Bed bugs love to have pressure on their back and stomachs when resting. It makes them feel secure and safe.
Signs of bed bugs include black spots near where they nest. Here, we saw black spots the outlet covers. After I discovered the visual droppings, I unscrewed the outlet cover and found several live bugs nesting.
When treating around electricity you need to be extremely careful and cautious of electrical current. I vacuumed the outlet, then I applied a thin layer of dust around the box and sealed the cover back up.
Always be on the lookout for black specks and call a professional if you are concerned that you have bed bugs.