Homeowners in Rumson, NJ, had a bat infestation in their attic. Bats are often attracted to homes for maternity and nesting roosts. The species of bats found in New Jersey have adapted well to using the walls and attic spaces of homes. They make great places to hibernate or raise their young. A wildlife technician had already completed the bat exclusion and sealed their access points into the attic. But more work needed to be done. As often happens, whenever wildlife, especially bats, raccoons, or squirrels, take up residence in attics, they are rude houseguests, and that’s putting it mildly.
Wildlife can cause a significant amount of damage in a short period of time from their activities. They can cause all sorts of problems such as chewing through wiring, which is a serious fire hazard. A major problem of any wildlife infestation is their urine and often prodigious quantities of droppings. A colony of bats can produce a significant amount of dripping, smelly guano (poop). One of the most common casualties of a wildlife infestation is ruined contaminated attic insulation. Also, from a health standpoint, bat droppings can contain the histoplasmosis fungus and other pathogens. Bat guano, like all wildlife droppings, should be treated as a toxic health hazard. Never enter an enclosed area with wildlife droppings without proper protective equipment.
A Cowleys home improvement crew was brought in to handle this clean-up. We removed the soiled insulation, sanitized and deodorized the space, and installed 10” of our blown-in cellulose insulation. After it is installed and settles, this dense fire-retardant thermal blanket does an amazing job holding in heat in the winter and conditioned air in the summer. It is an energy-efficient money-saver for homeowners. Also, unlike fiberglass rolls, the coverage of blown insulation is complete and comprehensive. We can fill in all of those hard-to-fit spaces that roll often miss. This insulation also helps with sound and noise dampening. Finally, it even has an effective pest control component. A specialized form of borate is added to the paper fibers. If an insect comes into contact with borate particles will ingest it as part of its grooming, and soon thereafter it’s “game over.” It’s important to mention that borates are only lethal to insects. It’s completely safe and non-toxic for humans and, for that matter, any other mammal.
After we were done with our cleanup, you would have never guessed that this attic was once used as a dirty bat cave. Now, this sanitized and deodorized guano-free attic, with its fresh insulation, looked great, smelled great, and was safe, clean, and sanitary.
Recently, I was sent to a home in Rumson, NJ to resolve a troublesome mouse infestation. The homeowner had observed mouse activity in the garage and utility room, and contacted Cowleys before they found their way inside the living areas of the home. Here, the back wall of the utility room directly abutted the garage. Garages are common entry points for mice and I inspected the area to determine how they could be gaining access inside. There was no shortage of entry points. The mice had numerous ways to get inside the garage. I showed the homeowner what needed to be done to stop the mice from gaining access. Both the garage door and side door had openings that needed to be fixed. Often, weather stripping can deteriorate leaving openings and garage doors do not close all the way down. If you can see daylight coming in, assume a mouse can as well.
I went to work plugging the the hole in the wall into the utility room from the garage with a chew-proof copper mesh. I also installed three RTU (Ready-to-Use) bait stations. These stations have a special key needed to open up the boxes to apply the bait cannot be accessed by non-target animals. These stations also allow me to monitor the level of rodent activity when replenishing the bait. After finishing up with the garage, I plugged up the holes in the utility room and installed two more RTU bait stations there. The homeowner did the right thing by contacting Cowleys at the first sign of rodent trouble. It is far easier to deal with an infestation before they gain access in the kitchen and other living areas of the home.
This homeowner in Rumson, NJ decided it was time to get rid of all the moisture in his crawl space and utilize it for storage, but he had no idea what to do. So he called Cowleys and we were sent out to insect and encapsulate.
After a thorough inspection, we noticed that the crawl space was in disarray and the insulation was dirty and soaked with moisture. Using our hygrometer, we noticed the humidity levels were extremely high. Fortunately, no mold had developed. Crawl spaces can spell trouble. As a subterranean space, they are often the primary point of entry for water and moisture, and they are the root cause of many home problems – including problems that affect your family’s health.
After speaking with the homeowner and discussing options, we went to work. First, we removed all the debris and contaminated insulation and then leveled the ground for proper draining. Afterward, we installed a drainage matting, which is a dimpled plastic mat that allows excess moisture to work its way over to the new sump pump we installed. We then filled the outside of the hole of the sump pump area with stones which will allow water to filter downward.
Next, we installed a vapor barrier which is a 20-mil 7-ply sandwich of high and low-density polyethylene with a polyester-cord reinforcement. It cannot tear, is extremely durable, and is treated with an antimicrobial finish that protects against mold and mildew growth. Once the vapor barrier was down, we installed SilverGlo™ along the walls of the crawl space. SilverGlo™ is a durable and waterproof rigid foam insulation that seals the walls from outside moisture and humidity.
Lastly, we installed a Sani-Dry Sedona dehumidifier. This heavy-duty, commercial-grade dehumidifier directs the extracted water pulled out of the air directly into the sump pump. Now the crawl space will no longer have any issues with high humidity levels, mold or mildew growth, and will create a healthy environment for the family.
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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 Rumson 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 Rumson, 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.
During a home protection plan (HPP) inspection, I found potential flying squirrel activity in Borough of Rumson, NJ. With our home protection plan service, in addition to preventative treatments, we conduct periodic inspections throughout the year and, often, we find pest and wildlife infestations in their early stages before even the homeowner realizes that there is a problem. Of course, a homeowner can call us at any time for a covered pest under the plan — and we’re on it at no additional charge. HPPs offers homeowners great peace of mind and they are a good budget tool as well.
Here, the homeowner had informed me that he was hearing loud activity in his attic during the night. Mice simply aren’t big enough to make loud noises and the the bait in the RTU bait stations were all intact. There was no indication on any mouse activity in the attic. However, I did find burrowing tunnels in the insulation and droppings that were too small to come from a grey squirrel. Based on my observations, there is likely a flying squirrel infestation. These squirrels are nocturnal and are rarely seen. Homeowners may notice them if they hear strange noises coming from the attic, and quickly go up to take a peak. The flying squirrel is much smaller than tree-dwelling squirrels, and has a broad flattened tail. Since they are smaller than grey squirrels, their droppings are smaller. They look like little pellets that resemble rat droppings, and are typically black or brown. Flying squirrel droppings are linked to causing typhus, so they should be treated as very hazardous material. (By the way, flying squirrels can’t actually fly. The only true flying mammal are bats. Instead, these squirrels are able to propel themselves through the air with a membrane of loose skin that allows them to glide.)
I made immediate arrangements for one of our wildlife removal specialists to inspect the attic to confirm the type of wildlife activity and institute the appropriate exclusion and trapping necessary to remove the infestation.
Recently, a homeowner in Rumson, NJ, contacted Cowleys to take advantage of our mosquito reduction program. This treatment is tailor-made for homeowners who find themselves with an unacceptable level of mosquito activity on their property.
Upon arrival, I started conducting a thorough inspection of the property in order to locate potential mosquito harborage and breeding grounds. Female mosquitoes require stagnant or standing water to lay their eggs. The females deposit their eggs in broods containing hundreds of eggs in standing water. The eggs float to the surface where they remain for about 48 hours before hatching into larvae. the larvae live for about 10 days and then changes into pupae for a short period of time before emerging as adult mosquitos. Suffice it to say, the mosquito lifecycle from egg to adult is amazingly short, and given the number of eggs a mosquito can lay, their populations can grow to astronomical numbers in the blink of an eye. With mosquito infestations, it happens to be the females that are the source of all our misery. They bite us, not for their own nutrition, but because they need the protein and other components in our blood to produce their eggs. Male mosquitoes may annoy us with all their buzzing, but at least they don’t bite us.
You can go a long way in reducing mosquito populations by eliminating standing water on your property. The trouble is that standing water can collect anywhere and in anything that can hold and store water — unused flower pots, children’s toys, wheelbarrows, and less obvious places like clogged gutters and depressions in your driveway. Sometimes, we put standing water on our property on purpose. Some homeowners enjoy decorative ponds and birdbaths. Also, mosquitoes can lay eggs in extremely small amounts of water — an overturned bottle cap holding a spoonful of water is enough for some types of mosquitoes. So, while you can’t eliminate every potential mosquito breeding spot, you can at least substantially reduce them. And that’s what I did here. I reviewed the conditions on his property conducive to mosquitoes. Some I could eliminate immediately while others will take more time.
After my inspection, I used a self-contained power mister to apply a highly effective residual product to all of the harborage areas, shaded areas on the property (which tend to stay moist and insect-friendly), as well as shrubbery and trees. This product contains an insect growth regulator (IGR) that inhibits the ability of the mosquitoes to grow and mature normally. This type of product works exceptionally well for mosquitoes since it targets not only the adult mosquitoes but the larvae as well.
By reducing standing water followed by the mosquito treatment, this Rumson homeowner will soon see a substantial reduction of mosquito populations on his property.
I was dispatched to a home in Rumson, NJ to resolve a wildlife infestation, specifically, squirrels that were accessing the attic. This squirrel entry point was on a high, steep-pitched roof in the “pac-man” of one of the dormers. When a house has dormers, the projection creates an area where the roof meets the soffit and forms a sideways "V" shape that looks just that the greater than inequality symbol (”>”) from middle-school math. Some wildlife technicians call this roof design the "Pac-man" because it is shaped just like the hungry figure in the video game that eats everything in its path. These roof areas are a challenge for wildlife techs when trying to trap animals like squirrels and raccoons that have advanced climbing skills. For these animals, these tight spaces are much easier to reach than for people since we are not blessed with the natural climbing skills of these nimble sharp-clawed animals.
Based on my evaluation, I was dealing with a pregnant squirrel looking for a safe spot to nurse her young. I needed to act quickly before she gave birth. I decided to wire a “one-way” right into a multi-catch trap (see photo). A “one-way” is a device that allows an animal to leave the attic or other space in a home that it is inhabiting, but, just like a one-way valve, prevents its return. I was able to secure the “one-way” over the access nice and snug so it couldn't be moved. I also placed a trap next to this setup just in case the squirrel was not in the house when I set the “one-way.” Because of the roof structure, I felt that I could use the help of another wildlife technician, and Cowleys as a “safety first’ company immediately dispatched another technician to help. In the interim, the mother squirrel was successfully trapped before she gave birth. The squirrel was released far enough away from this house to not cause this homeowner any further problems.