Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County
A Forked River homeowner wanted to improve his crawl space with a better alternative than traditional vapor barriers. For better or worse, crawl spaces are a chronic problem for homeowners when it comes to water, moisture, and mold issues. Many homeowners in New Jersey, especially those from the Jersey Shore who live near large bodies of water, are often faced with crawl space issues. This Forked River homeowner, like many homeowners who live in towns near the Barnegat Bay, was no exception.
For this homeowner, we installed a full “CleanSpace” Encapsulation System. “Cleanspacing” transforms chronically wet, damp crawl spaces into clean, dry areas that keeps away water and moisture.
Recently, I was sent to a home in Millstone Township, NJ for a periodic inspection and service visit that’s included in our residential home protection plans. These plans are valuable to homeowners because we often uncover pest problems that are overlooked by homeowners, especially outdoor infestations and infestations in their early stages.
During my inspection, I observed a hornet just starting to make a nest on an overhang of the front door. Hornets are highly territorial insects and a nest in any high pedestrian traffic area is a problem. If this nest was not removed, residents and guests of this home could easily be perceived as a threat to the nest and suffer the consequences. Hornets are a formidable threat since they often attack as a swarm. Their venom is especially painful because it contains high levels of acetylcholine, a chemical that stimulates our pain receptors. Also, a single hornet is able to sting multiple times because, unlike bees, its stinger remains intact and does not become lodged in the victim. Since hornets are large insects, they carry a good supply of venom, and release more venom per sting than any other stinging insect. Suffice it to say, I was glad that I was able to locate and treat this nest while it was still in its beginning stages of being formed. By removing this nest now, this household avoided a serious stinging insect threat.
Fortunately, since the nest was just starting to be formed it did not pose much of a threat to remove it. And that was just fine with me! First, I sprayed the nest with an aerosol foam to knock down any hornets in the nest. Once I saw that there was no more live activity, I safely removed the nest, bagged it, and carried it with me off the property. The homeowner was quite appreciative that I caught this problem early on before the hornets had a chance to form a mature nest.
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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 Forked River 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 Forked River, 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.
Earlier this week, I went out on a service call for a homeowner in Forked River, NJ. The homeowner had contacted Cowleys complaining of a wasps nest on his porch ceiling. Come August and September, all those stinging insects are in full swing and are establishing their nests on the most inconvenient places on a homeowners property.
As soon as I arrived and began inspecting the homeowner's porch, I immediately spotted the nest in question and examined it carefully, so I don't get stung. After surveying the nest, I identified these wasps as paper wasps. Paper wasps get their name from the paper-like material out of which they make their nests and are sometimes called umbrella wasps, after the shape of their distinctive nests. They are about 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch in size and are usually brownish in color with yellow markings. Paper wasps are semi-social creatures, as they typically live in small colonies but do not have a worker caste.
Whenever you come in contact with a paper wasp nest or any stinging insect nest, you must back away slowly and do NOT wave your arms at the nest — these stinging insects take that as a threat and will aggressively defend their nests against anything that comes within close proximity to their nest. Paper wasp stings can be very painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings. If you do wind up getting stung by a paper wasp, immediately clean the area with soap and cold water and monitor the location of the sting. If the pain worsens, contact a healthcare provider. I inspected the entire exterior of the home to find any additional paper wasps nests, to which I found none.
Since paper wasps are extremely aggressively, I will need to treat their nest from a safe distance in order to avoid getting stung. I used my extendable pole, attached an aerosol flusher to it, and began treating the nest liberally. The aerosol application will almost immediately eliminate the paper wasps on contact. After a few minutes, I used my scraper to remove the nest and then disposed of it properly. Now the homeowner can enjoy sitting on his porch without worrying about paper wasps stinging him.
Recently, I was sent to a home in Forked River, NJ, for a routine home protection plan servicing. Upon arrival, I spoke with the homeowner to inquire if she were aware of any pest control issues before stating my inspection. She told me that she would see ants crawling around her kitchen window when it rained or immediately thereafter. The timing did not surprise me. Although ants need water, thy can have too much of a good thing. Most ant species live in shallow, underground nests. It does not take much rain for their nests to become flooded. Once it starts to rain, ant nests can flood in a matter of minutesThe ants head for higher, drier ground, which sometimes includes our homes, especially our kitchens since that’s where food and water is often available. On the way into your house, ants leave a pheromone scent trail that allows them to return to the nest after the sun comes out and their turf dries out.
I first treated around the kitchen window. Afterwards, I conducted an outdoor inspection near the window to see if I could determine where the ants were likely coming from. I suspected that there was a hidden ant nest somewhere nearby. Sure enough, I noticed a few ant hills at the base of the home’s foundation right under the kitchen window. For these ants, it was a short commute! It happened to be a nice sunny day, and the ants were busy on the ground outside. But all we needed was a little rain, and once again, they would be back — scrambling up to the kitchen window to escape, what for them, is a flood. To treat the outside area, I fan sprayed product underneath the window. I also applied a granular bait. This bait is carried back to the colony by the foraging ants and spread throughout the colony. With this indoor and outdoor treatment, I’m confident that this homeowner will no longer be visited by ants come the next rainfall.
Bed bugs are the one houseguest that nobody asks for and nobody wants. These bugs are parasites in the truest sense. They feed exclusively on blood, and, unfortunately, they have a distinct preference for human blood. These bugs do not hop or fly, and they can’t crawl great distances. In fact, the only way for a home to become infested with bed bugs is by hitchhiking their way into your home. They quietly attach themselves to a new host or find a place hidden in their belongings. Anyone who travels uses public transit, or is in a high-density area (store, movie theater, you name it) can inadvertently bring a bed bug back into their home. All you need is one lone bed bug to find its way inside, and you’ll find yourself with a bed bug infestation in no time. Bed bugs have nothing to do with sanitation issues. Even the cleanest, most spotless residence can find itself with an infestation. Often, the first sign of an infestation is finding yourself with unexplained, mysterious, itchy bites after waking up in the morning. Bed bugs like to feed while we are staying still or fast asleep.
Recently, I, along with my partner, as a bedbug team, performed a bed bug inspection at a senior residence building Forked River NJ. The resident had complained of bites, ad the property manager wanted to be sure that there wasn’t a bed bug problem. Once inside a high-density residential building, bed bugs can easily spread to other units because of all the common areas shared by the residents. Also, these infestations are especially a problem with the elderly. Oftentimes, there is a delay in discovering the infestation. The elderly may have poor eyesight or mobility issues and not even see the signs of an infestation, they may have a diminished capacity to realize that there is a problem, and many seniors, especially because of anti-inflammatory meds they are on, do not even realize that they are being bitten. It’s one of the saddest situations we come across as bed bug specialists.
Bed bug inspections must be thorough and systematic. These bugs are masters of hiding in the smallest places when not feeding, and they can be anywhere! They like to hide underneath mattresses and box springs, and nearby in nightstands and picture frames. Many times, we find them hidden in recliners and sofas. Here are a few pictures of us performing an inspection, looking at every possible nook and cranny.
While servicing a home for one of our home protection plan customers in Forked River, NJ. I needed to go into the crawl space to check, and replace as necessary, the bait in the mouse bait stations that I had set in a prior visit. As I opened the hatch to access the crawlspace I was greeted by a few of eight-legged arachnids (spiders).
Before I started working with Cowleys as a pest control technician, like most everyone else, I had a strong aversion to spiders. I did not have a debilitating case of arachnophobia where I was paralyzed with fear, but spiders definitely gave me the creeps. However, like many pest control techs, when you run into pests on a daily basis, you start to become a desensitized and you overcome your fears. Many insect infestations require us to inspect the non-living areas of the home like dark crawl spaces whose humid environment attracts many insects, especially spiders. Any time you enter a crawl space, it’s part of the job to run into a lot of sticky spider webbing. Spiders just love basements, crawl spaces, and garages. These cool, dark areas of the home are great places for them to hangout and wait for their prey to get stuck in their webs.
Objectively, spiders have an underserved bad reputation. Just like with snakes, very few are venomous. For example, here in New Jersey, we only have to worry about one venomous spider, the black widow, and even then, their bites are rarely lethal. The reality is that spiders are beneficial insects. Spiders are insect-eating machines, and they help reduce the populations of many other insects that carry diseases including flies, fleas, cockroaches and mosquitos. Spiders rarely bite people, unless they feel threatened or they are inadvertently sat or laid on.
So, although I'm still cautious around spiders, as a pest control technician, I’ve gained a much better understanding and respect for the benefits of having spiders around to control those pesky insects that no one wants. Of course, you can have too much of a good thing, and every so often, Cowleys has to help out customers whose homes have been overrun with spiders.