Recently, a was sent to a residence in Howell, NJ. The homeowner had contacted Cowleys after a surprise run-in with two mice in the kitchen the night before. Since mice are nocturnal, if these is a mouse sighting, it is usually at night when they are doing their foraging. Mice are experts at staying hidden and you’ll usually find signs of mouse activity like droppings, nesting materials, and relocated food well before observing the rodents themselves. Also, mice don’t travel far from their nest and they are not loners. Mice live in groups known as a horde or mischief of mice, so if you see one or two, it’s a safe bet that there are quite a few others hiding in the wall voids or behind your kitchen appliances.
I first checked the basement. Often, mice first gain entry through gaps and cracks around the foundation. The perimeter of he home appeared well sealed with no obvious entry points. Asking the homeowner, where he saw the mice running to before he lost sight of them, and he said they had scampered from a closet to underneath the refrigerator. Mice commonly nest underneath refrigerators because the area is well hidden and warm from the motor. Here, I moved the fridge to look behind and there were no openings in the wall behind. Next, I checked out the closet, and found a hole in the wall along with mice droppings in the area. When these mice weren’t foraging for food in the kitchen their home was a wall void that they accessed in the closet.
I temporarily sealed the hole with chew-proof copper mesh until the homeowner could permanently have the hole patched. I also placed rodent stations in the closet, and for good measure, also put two rodent stations in the basement. Upon a closer exterior perimeter inspection, I found one potential crack that could have ben used to gain entry into the home. I also sealed this opening with copper mesh and also set up another rodent station nearby. With these internal and external holes closed, the mice infestation should resolve. I told the homeowner to contact us if he saw any new signs of mouse activity, and we would be out there again for a follow-up.
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Recently, I was sent to a home in Howell, NJ, to take care of an ant problem. Ants are the most common insect infestation faced by homeowners. Almost everyone, at one time or another, is bound to come across a foraging ant or two inside their home. However, if you wind up with a full-blown ant infestation and a never-ending trail of ants, there may well be an ant nest that’s inside your home — usually in a wall or floor void. At that point, you a pest control professional should be contacted. Ant infestations can be difficult to eliminate because of the size of the colonies. Fortunately, there are professional-use treatments that quickly eliminate the queen and the rest of the colony.
As soon as I started my inspection, I immediately identified the type of ant infestation. These were odorous house ants, one of the more common ants that infest homes. Often, you’ll find them in homes after heavy rains when attempting to escape flooding of their shallow nests. Ants need water to survive, but too much water is as much of a problem as too little. Why are they odorous house ants? If you crush one of them or even just disturb or alarm them, there ants release a noticeable odor that, to me at least, smells like rotten coconuts. Also, these guys are very small ants, but what they lack in size, they make up in speed — they are fast!
Odorous ants in your home are foraging for food. Since they have a distinct preference for sweets crumbs, and water, kitchens, panties, and bathrooms are all common targets for these pests. They seek locations that are warm and close to moisture when nesting indoors — even dishwashers! Of course, they also build nests outside and then crawl through foundation cracks or around door openings to enter the home. Because of their size, sealing all of the potential cracks and openings that ants can use is virtually impossible. Instead, to control ants, it’s best to remove their attractants. Trim back trees and shrubs away from he home, keep food tightly stored, and don’t leave out pet food for extended periods of time — you don’t want your pet food to become pest food. Also, keep your counters and floors clean and dirty dishes out of the sink. Kitchen crumbs and food residue are an ant’s best friend.
With this infestation, I did a full interior inspection wherever the homeowner had observed ant activity and then inspected the exterior perimeter. Following the ant trail, I found the nest and how they were entering through cracks in the home’s foundation. To treat this infestation, I used a gel ant bait that I applied underneath the siding nearby the cracks. This will attract the foraging ants inside the house to leave. Also, the ants will carry the bait back to the nest where it will be distributed. This ant infestation will soon be gone.
I was dispatched for a service call in Howell, NJ to help a homeowner who was complaining of ants traveling into her home. Upon arrival, she was at a loss as to why she had an ant problem. Upon inspection, I immediately noticed the problem. There was a garbage right next to the house. The garbage was not bagged and the can had residue from food waste. This was a major attractant for ants and other insects. You could see the procession of ants trailing into the garbage can and back towards the house.
I informed the homeowner of the situation. She immediately had her son clean out the can and move it away from the house. She promised me that, going forward, she would properly dispose of any food debris in order to avoid attracting ants. To expedite the resolution of this ant infestation, I applied a granular bait in the area where the ants were trailing. This is a non-repellant product, so the ants will carry it back to the nest and share it with the queen and the rest of the ants. It won’t take long before the colony is killed, including the foraging ants entering her home.
Carpenter bees are solitary bees that bore holes in wood in order to lay their eggs. These large bees tend to return year after year to the same areas, reusing galleries and building new ones. Over time, their wood boring activities can cause significant property damage.
This carpenter bee treatment for a home in involved dusting behind the fascia along the peaks of a house. We also perform exclusions, which is sealing potential access areas of infestations. Exclusions are often associated with rodents and other wildlife, but we perform exclusions with insects as well. This particular exclusion involved installing plastic mesh style ridge vent behind the fascia so that the bees are unable to nest behind it. Ridge vents stop pests from getting behind the fascia while still allowing the attic to ventilate. It’s a great barrier to stop pests from getting into the fascia along the roofline.