Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex County
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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 Fair Haven 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 Fair Haven, 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.
Recently, I was sent to a home in Fair Haven, NJ to help a homeowner with a mouse infestation. Mice were entering the home and nesting in the crawl space. The focus of my rodent inspection is to identify and seal their entry points. Mice are tiny — they are even smaller than they look because of all their fur. Weighing less than an ounce, mice can squeeze through openings as small as a dime.
Rodent inspections have to be systematic and methodical. I look for any daylight through gaps or cracks, and I also follow their droppings. A single mouse can easily produce 50 pellets a day, and their trail of droppings can help me locate their entry points. Here, I followed a hole that started in the garage and went straight into the crawl space. Venturing down in the crawl space, I found three different nesting holes chock full of droppings. I used chew-proof copper mesh to seal the hole in the garage to block further access. Also, I set three rodent bait stations in the crawl space to eliminate any mice that were still lurking down below. It won’t take long for this infestation to be completely resolved.
Recently, a homeowner found that a pumpkin can deliver its own Halloween surprise! A homeowner in Fair Haven, NJ contacted us because of a swarm of small gnats hovering around her front porch. She was at a loss as to where there were coming from. Upon arrival, I started to inspect the front porch looking for any clues as to the source of these flies. The newest item brought onto the porch was a giant pumpkin. I took a closer look at the suspect pumpkin. I’m no pumpkin expert, but this particular round orange squash didn’t look particularly healthy. It’s stem didn’t look right and appeared rotted. I slightly moved it slightly, and saw that it was very soft and falling apart. As I was moving the stem, a swarm of fruit flies came flying out. This pumpkin was rotting from the inside out and turned into a fruit-fly breeding facility. I treated the entire porch area and removed the pumpkin. The homeowner contacted the business who sold her the pumpkin and she will be getting a fresh, new one.
If you are heading out to the nearest pumpkin patch this year for a nice house decoration or to carve the neighborhood’s best jack-o’-lantern, I located some good tips for picking a healthy pleasing pumpkin free of fruit flies or other insect infestations. A healthy pumpkin is firm and orange all over with no mushy spots, brown spots, or discoloration. And check the stem just like I did! The stem should be hard and either dark green or black. As i saw first-hand, if the stem bends or breaks, it could be a sign that the pumpkin has started to rot.
Although clover mites aren’t harmful to people or their pets, they can be quite the nuisance pest for three reasons. One is their sheer number. With clover mite infestations, there can literally be hundreds or even thousands of them. Two is their size. Clover mites are pinhead small, so they are able to find their way inside homes without too much trouble. These insects are so small that they can even fit through the mesh of most screen windows and doors. And three, when squished or crushed these bugs leave a nasty red pigmentation stain on carpets, curtains, and your clothing should you sit on them.
Clover mites are most active in cooler weather, especially early spring. And this year, clover mites hav been out in droves. If you are seeing an army of tiny red bugs outside your home or around your garden, they may well be clover mites. These insects feed off a variety of plants and vegetation, including their namesake, clover. They are especially attracted to highly fertilized grasses. These mites like to lay their eggs in all of the cracks and crevices that form around a home’s foundation. The eggs that are laid in the fall become dormant during the winter and when spring rolls around, they hatch. Spring is, by far, the most common time for homeowners to be dealing with a clover mite infestation inside their home. When these bugs get inside, they soon die, but while there they are a nuisance and cleaning up after their stains can become an exercise in frustration. Fortunately, they do not infest food and contaminate kitchens like ants and all of those beetle and weevil pantry pests.
Just like with stink bugs, another common nuisance pest, with clover mites, it’s best to vacuum them up instead of crushing them to avoid staining.
To prevent clover mite and other pest infestations, it’s helpful to clear up any vegetation immediately around the outside perimeter of the home and thoroughly inspect around the foundation and windows for any cracks. Sealing these gaps will stop clover mites from laying eggs around your home, and eventually finding their way inside.
To treat this infestation in Fair Haven, NJ, I used an application around the outside foundation that will quickly knock down the clover mite population.
With the arrival of warm weather, when outside, we all have to be vigilant about ticks. They can be hiding anywhere waiting to find a host for their next blood meal. Recently, I was performing a routine termite treatment. I happened to notice that an insect had rudely latched onto me for lunch. Upon closer examination, I noticed that this was a lone star tick. Although these ticks are mostly found in the southern part of the state, they do reach as far north as central New Jersey and Monmouth County. Although deer ticks get the most attention since they are the primary transmitter of Lyme disease, lone star ticks can transmit diseases to humans as well, most notably a bacteria that causes ehrlichiosis as well as other diseases. Lyme is the most serious tick-borne illness and happens with the most frequency, but everyone should know that, here in New Jersey, there are other types of ticks and other tick-transmitted diseases out there.
Whenever I’m working outside, I perform frequent tick checks, especially if I’m walking through tall vegetation or grasses. In areas of high vegetation, ticks can often be found “questing.” They will crawl up the stems of grass or perch on the edges of leaves patiently waiting for passerby to latch onto. They know we are coming by our emission of carbon dioxide when we breathe.
This particular tick in Fair Haven, NJ decided to choose me! If you are bitten by a tick, removing it immediately can make all the difference. A tick must have taken a blood meal to transmit tainted blood, and it usually takes 24 hours before feeding begins. Getting the tick off your body during this pre-feeding window substantially reduces the chance of receiving a tick-borne illness. Also, tick control in your backyard can go a long way. I tell any customer who asks me what they can do to make their yard safer and keep down tick and mosquito populations to keep their lawn mowed, remove any standing water, and consider a professional tick and mosquito control treatment program throughout the spring and summer months.
About seven months ago, I completed a wildlife job for a homeowner in Fair Haven, NJ. I successfully trapped and evicted a raccoon that decided to take up residence underneath her front porch. Although raccoons are not burrowing animals, this little rascal was able to dig up enough of a hole in the surrounding pebbles and dirt to gain access to the private area underneath the porch.
Before I set up the trapping, I had recommended to the homeowner for Cowleys to install a Dig Defence system around the porch to prevent future wildlife intrusions. Dig Defence is an underground fencing that we can easily install without the need for extensive digging or trenching. The Dig Defence underground fencing panels can be placed directly into the ground. At the time, the homeowner declined our recommendation, so we simply trapped and relocated the animal. Although we replaced the dirt and pebbles, we left knowing that this area under the porch was susceptible to a re-infestation. Why would lightening strike twice? I was concerned that the pheromones and urine left behind by the raccoon would serve as an attractant for other raccoons. After all, if this spot was good enough for one of my “brothers,” why wouldn’t it be good enough for me?
As it turned out, my reservations were well-founded. Fast forward seven months. The homeowner once again called Cowleys for a wildlife infestation. Same problem, most likely a different raccoon considering that we relocated the first one far away. For this homeowner, experiencing the same problem twice proved to be enough of a reason to install the Dig Defence panels. These panels are buried at least one foot underneath the ground with the top staying flush with the bottom of the porch. In order to trap the raccoon, I installed a one-way device where a small section of the Dig Defence was left out (for now). The idea is to funnel the animal into the one-way since the access to the rest of the patio is now blocked. The one-way device, just like a one-way valve, allows the raccoon to leave, but prevents it’s return. I’ll return in a few days to remove the one-way once I’m assured that the raccoon has vacated underneath the porch.
I’ll then complete the Dig Defence so it will serve as a complete barrier for critter control underneath the porch. Once the Dig Defence is fully installed, this entire front porch will be protected against further wildlife intrusions. Unfortunately, it took a second infestation for this homeowner to decide that critter control to prevent further access underneath the porch would be a worthwhile home investment. But the good news is that this second infestation will be the last time that a raccoon will decide to take up residence underneath her porch.
I was sent to a home in Fair Haven, NJ to help a homeowner who found mouse droppings in her basement. Their daughter had put storage bins in the basement while she was home for the summer. While getting ready to return to college, she ventured back down to the basement to retrieve the bins. When she moved one of the bins, she observed a pile of droppings and immediately relayed the discovery to her parents.
Mice droppings are spindle-shaped with pointed ends and are about the size of a grain of rice. Their color ranges from blackish brown to grey depending on the mouse’s diet and the age of the droppings. Like the fall leaves, mouse droppings change color. Fresh droppings start out as black, then turn brown, and finally a powdery grey. Fresh droppings are soft while older droppings crumble on contact. Never touch these pellets. Mouse droppings contain dangerous pathogens that can easily become airborne when disturbed. Even though mice are small, they are prodigious poopers, leaving behind up to 75 pellets a day. Also, they poop as they move, rather than staying in one location. You’ll often see a trail of droppings along their pathways that they use to forage for food.
Mice can find their way through very small openings — as small as 1/4” — and finding potential mouse entry points, which are often around the home’s foundation where they first enter the crawl space or basement before venturing to the living areas of the home, especially the kitchen.
To treat this infestation, I conducted a thorough inspection of the basement and home perimeter to find potential mouse entry points. I also set interior and exterior bait boxes and glue boards. The bait boxes do not trap the mice. They simply provide an attractive bait that later kills the mouse. I also set interior glue boards to help me monitor the level of rodent activity before my next visit. With the access points sealed and the bait boxes set, I’m confident that this hidden mouse infestation in the basement will be quickly resolved — well before the daughter returns home for Thanksgiving Recess!