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 Manchester Township 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 Manchester Township, 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 went on a service call in Manchester Township, NJ for a homeowner who contacted Cowleys after his daughter spotted hornets outside her second story window. I arrived and began a thorough inspection of the entire property. Within minutes, I found the hornets' nest. I also noticed a few hornets circling around the nest. Upon a closer examination of the nest, I was able to identify these stinging-insects as bald-faced hornets.
The bald-faced hornet is a relative of the yellowjacket and gets its name from its largely black color and mostly white face. This stinging insect is named a hornet because of its large size and aerial nest. A bald-faced hornet infestation is clearly visible with the presence of a nest, which would be suspended above the ground. There will also be worker bald-faced hornets flying around the nest and nearby area if there is an infestation. They are EXTREMELY aggressive and will not hesitate to sting anything that invades their space.
First, using my extension pole, I applied a direct contact solution to the nest and then safely removed it. Then, to prevent the bald-faced hornets from rebuilding their nest, I applied a liquid residual along the soffit area. This residual is undetectable to the hornets and once they come in contact with it, they’ll be eliminated. Now, the homeowner's daughter does not need to live in fear of the hornets that were hovering around her bedroom window.
During my inspection of an exterior rodent station of one of the residential communities we service in Manchester Township, NJ, I came across a large colony of yellow ants. These ants are also known as citronella ants because they emit a citronella (lemony) odor when threatened or crushed. These subterranean insects feed almost exclusively on honeydew, a sweet material obtained from aphids or mealybugs that feed on roots. As such, they rarely invade homes and like like odorous house ants or wood-boring carpenter ants. These ants, which are very common in New Jersey, nest outdoors, often next to foundations or under slabs. However, homeowners still can find stray foraging yellow ants inside their home. These tunneling ants take the path of least resistance, and they can easily wind up inside homes through gaps or cracks in foundations, door sills, and cellar window frames or through gaps around piping like water pipes.
The flying reproductive swarmers in the fall (in fact, these ants are sometimes called fall flying ants) are frequently confused with more serious termite swarms. Although most termite swarms happen in the spring, there is one species of subterranean termite in NJ that swarms in the fall about the same time as citronella ants. (Although citronella swarms often occur in the fall, they can happen at other times of the year, including late summer and late winter/early spring.) These flying ants can vary in color from light yellow to a dark reddish yellow or reddish brown. There are a few ways to tell the difference between flying ants and flying termites based on their antennae, wings, and overall body shape. However, the safest bet for homeowners is to not guess and have a pest control professional come out and definitively determine what insect you are dealing with. If you do happen to have a termite swarm, immediate treatment is necessary. If you have a termite swarm, there is an underground nest nearby that needs to be eliminated.
Yellow (citronella) ants are considered nuisance pests. They form exceptionally large colonies and, besides having foraging ants find their way into your home, they push soil through cracks in foundations and slabs with their underground tunneling activities creating an unsightly mess. Also, it is a frightening experience to witness an ant swarm in your basement or living space, giving homeowners a “termite swarm” scare (when it comes to insects, we generally assume the worst). Flying reproductive ants can also congregate on the side of your house in large numbers.
Even though these ants had not yet entered the home, I did not want to take any chances.The ants were too close to the structure for comfort. I treated the ant mounds (which is the excavated dirt from their tunneling activities) with a residual product that will be carried by the foraging ants back to the nest to be shared with the rest of the colony. Soon, this queen and the rest of the ant colony will be eliminated — before any foraging yellow ants manage to find their way into the home.
While performing a termite treatment to a home in Manchester Township, NJ, I was greeted by an unexpected guest that popped up out of nowhere as if he wanted to help me out. This surprise visitor was one of the most beautiful and interesting insects that pest control technician ever comes across when he’s out in the field. I’m talking about the Praying Mantis. These insects, with their triangular head and stem-like thorax, are deadly hunters. They are naturally well-camouflaged, with coloring and a shape that make them look like leaves or branches, seamlessly blending in with their surroundings. A mantis scans for prey and for animals like bats and spiders who eat them. And these insects can see! They not only do they have two large compound eyes, but they also have three simple eyes located between them.
The closest insect relatives of mantises that we commonly run across are true pests to humans are cockroaches and termites. Unlike their cousins, however, mantises are not considered nuisance pests. In fact, two species, the Chinese mantis and the European mantis, were deliberately introduced to North America to serve as pest controls for agriculture. They have since spread widely, and today, they can be found in almost every state, including right here in New Jersey.
Mantises normally live for about a year. In cooler climates, the females lay their eggs in autumn and die soon thereafter. The eggs, which are protected by their hard capsules, hatch in the spring. Many gardeners, especially those who have organic gardens and stay away from chemicals, encourage mantis populations to help control insect pests. Mantises are mostly ambush predators lying in wait for prey to come to them, but there are a few ground-dwelling species that actively pursue their prey. However, they are far from perfect. In actuality, they have negligible value as biological control agents. First, they are general predators. they pretty much eat whatever they can catch. A mantis is a carnivore that eats a wide variety of insects and even small animals like frogs and lizards. Good biological control agents specialize in a single pest insect. Also, they do not multiply rapidly in response to an increase in a prey species.
When treating a home, I focus only on the harmful insects like termites that are capable of causing extensive property damage. I leave the beneficial ones like this praying mantis alone. Not all insects are “bad.” Like the Praying Mantis, some insects support us in knocking down harmful pest populations. We should do everything we can to encourage them to thrive.
If you look closely at the photo, you can even see him staring me down. It’s pretty clear, that this guy isn’t afraid of anything — including me!
We recently received a call from a homeowner in Manchester Township, NJ for a bat infestation. Most bats are insectivores; they live on a diet of insects, mostly mosquitoes, moths, winged ants, and other pests. Very few bats bite mammals for blood, and of those that do, none live in the United States. Bats have an undeserved bad reputation. They are actually beneficial in keeping down insect populations. However, you don’t want to get up close and personal with a bat in a small enclosed area. They will bite if threatened, and these mammals are known carriers of rabies.
When we get a call to deal with a bat infestation, inspecting for bats that have taken up residence in a home is not what most people expect. Many think that we simply just go into the attic and look for bats. If only it were that easy! Bats are nocturnal creatures. They do their foraging for food at night. During the day, while they are in the attic, they are sleeping. They crawl up into tight crevices between rafters and trusses and stay hidden away. Unless there is a heavy infestation, we rarely see the bats themselves during our inspection. However, we do see bat guano (droppings) in the attic, but even that isn’t especially helpful other than telling us that bats have been there. It is difficult to tell how recent the bat droppings are and they don’t tell us how and where they are entering the home. Rather, for bat inspections, most of the evidence is found outside of the home. The bats we have in New Jersey are small and they can get into attics with openings as small as 1/2”. Of course, bats follow the path of least resistance, and if there is a larger hole, you can rest assured that bats will take advantage of it if they are looking for a way inside.
What really helps us during a bat inspection is their behavior. Bats are creatures of habit. They will use the same access point to go in and out every time. As I mentioned, the bats need to leave the attic at night to forage for food, and they return to use the attic to sleep during the day. Bats are mammals, and they have oils int heir skin, just like us. When bats squeeze through an opening the oils rub off along the edges of the entry point. This brownish ring is a clear sign that bats are using this gap or crack to find their way inside, and once you find this ring, you have positive proof as to where the bats are gaining entrance to their way inside. Also, another confirmation sign for bat entry is guano. There will usually be guano just below the hole stuck to the home’s siding as well as on the ground immediately below the hole.