Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex County
This Oakhurst homeowner had some major fascia issues that allowed their attic to become a squirrel “motel.” A Cowleys wildlife technician had trapped and relocated numerous squirrels. Once he did a final sweep and determined that there were no more squirrels in the attic, the home improvement crew was called in to do some pretty involved exclusion work that involved a lot more than just plugging up a hole. Wildlife exclusion involves any type of repair work involved in order to seal potential entry points into a home to prevent any re-entry. Taking care of the existing infestation is the critical first step, but after that it is important to take steps to prevent a re-infestation.
Squirrels, raccoons, and other wildlife often seek refuge in attics. These animals are excellent climbers and generally have no problems reaching the roofline. Once there, they can do all sorts of mischief to gain access inside. One of the most common entry points into a home are water-damaged soffits and fascia boards. The fascia board is the vertical finishing edge that caps the end of the rafters. This is the usual spot where the home’s gutters are attached. The soffit is the finished wood or vinyl horizontal underside beneath the overhanging section of the roof eave. Once these building materials become water-damaged and start to rot, they become targets for wildlife that can easily tear through these weakened materials to gain access to the attic.
This particular house had some major problems along the roofline. The rear left side soffit and fascia had dropped about three inches. Fortunately, we were able to just push it back up and re-secure it. However, the rear left corner of the home had roof and fascia damage that left in wide open for wildlife, not to mention water infiltration into the attic. Water seepage into the attic can lead to insect infestations, mold growth, and damage to building materials.
The roof repair was straightforward. We patched the shingles to close up the opening. The rotten fascia had lost its structural integrity and had to go. We first had to detach the gutter in order to access and remove the rotten fascia boards. We replaced the bad boards with AZTEC-brand trim, which is made of cellular PVC. Contractors love this material. It is highly durable and won’t rot, cup, split, warp, or twist like wood. With this new trim, the homeowner will never have to worry about wood rot again. Finally, we reattached the gutters to complete the job.
This job was a lesson to homeowners about keeping up with needed home repairs and simple annual home maintenance jobs like gutter cleaning. If homeowners are unable to clean their own gutters, Cowleys offers professional gutter cleaning services. Also, most building materials degrade over time. Fascia and soffits are notorious trouble spots because they are near the roofline and are constantly surrounded by water. If the gutters are clogged, water will pool there and start saturating the surrounding wood.
There is no question that this homeowner’s squirrel infestation was attributable to the needed repairs of his roof and soffit. Of course, homes kept in good repair can also suffer from wildlife infestations. A determined raccoon or squirrel can tear through visually anything. However, homes with preexisting exterior damage give wildlife an easy “bullseye” to aim for, and if they see a weak spot, you can rest assured that they will exploit it.
I was called to a community in Oakhurst, NJ where a homeowner was concerned about a huge hornets nest on a tree outside of a school bus stop. I arrived after all children were in school to treat the nest. I dusted the entrance/exit of the nest and then poked a hole in nest to eliminate the population trapped inside the nest. After allowing a few moments to pass, giving a chance for the treatment to take effect, I cut the nest off the tree. It's quite interesting to see the inside of the nests.
Recently, I was sent to treat and remove a paper wasp nest for a homeowner in Oakhurst, NJ.
Paper wasps have that typical appearance we associate with wasps — a slender waist and long legs. They are called “paper” wasps because of how they build their nests. These wasps gather fibers from plant material and mix it with their saliva to make a brown or grey papery material for nest-building. They will build a small paper nest with a single tier of open cells to lay their eggs and rear their young. The nest has no external covering and looks like an umbrella, (that’s why paper wasps are sometimes called umbrella wasps). These nests are commonly attached to the underside of some structure by a short stalk.
Paper wasps, like any social insect, live in large colonies with a queen and the supporting workers that keep the colony thriving. Other social wasps that we regularly receive calls for are hornets, and yellow jackets. Although paper wasps are considered less aggressive than these other wasps that’s of little consolidation to anyone stung by one of these guys! Any wasp will aggressively defend its nest if it perceives someone as a threat, so a wasp nest that’s in an area where people are regularly walking to and from is a potential hazard that must be removed. If a nest is located somewhere on the property where it’s out of the way and not likely to be disturbed, I recommend to just leave it alone. Wasps can be beneficial insects by reducing other insect populations on the property.
For this nest, I used a quick knock-down aerosol and then removed the nest. These stinging insect jobs are particularly rewarding to me because I know that I likely prevented some awfully painful stings.
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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 Oakhurst 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 Oakhurst, 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.
Spider infestations can quickly get out of hand. Here, I am at a home in Oakurst, NJ where a cluster of spiders took up residence in the ceiling area of the front porch. With family members and guests coming and going, it is unpleasant and frightening to say the least, especially for children. Most spiders are not aggressive to people and only bite when threatened. Nevertheless, spiders taking up residence on a porch may find a way to access the home, so it is important to have their often inaccessible nesting areas treated. Here, you can see the immediate results of the product I had applied in the gaps and cracks above — the spiders decided this was not such a good place to hang out!
To help prevent spiders from taking up residence on your porch, or if there is already a growing spider infestation problem, homeowners should start dealing with the issue by first eliminating their harborage areas. Get any potted plants, hanging flower baskets, bricks, and firewood off the patio. While these may be attractive to us, they are also attractive to to spiders. Firewood is a favorite hiding spot for many pests, including termites, and too many homeowners store their firewood far too close to their homes. Sweep the porch to remove webs and egg sacks, and spraying there area with water also helps. Trim back any shrubs growing next to the porch. It’s always a good idea to have a no-vegetation zone around the home’s perimeter. Finally, if there is an entrenched heavy spider infestation and it is apparent that they are entrenched in deep hiding places, a professional pest control service has the products and equipment to flush them out and keep them out.
During a routine home protection plan, (HPP), servicing of a home in Oakhurst NJ, I observed mouse activity in and around the home. Mice were able to access the garage area of a home through an opening around an outdoor water spigot.
Gaps around utility pipes or wires going through the foundation wall are a common entry point. Often, the sealant around the pipe erodes from the outdoor elements creating enough of a gap for mice to squeeze through. And it doesn’t take much. Mice can get through extremely small gaps and cracks that are easily overlooked — they only need an opening about the size of a dime.
Here, I used copper mesh and silicone caulking to seal this entry point. The homeowner was unaware of a mouse problem since mice had only gained access to the garage and not inside the home itself. Nevertheless, these mice were too close to the house and it was just a mater of time before they gained entry. This particular job shows the importance of periodic residential inspections for pest activity. We often find pest control problems in their early stages and take care of them before homeowners find themselves dealing with a significant problem.
Rats had invaded this home in Oakhurst. During my inspection of the home’s exterior to determine potential access points, I observed rats in the backyard slipping underneath the outdoor siding. Apparently, were removing insulation to gain entryway into the home behind the kitchen sink. Often, with rats, you’ll find that if there is not a pre-existing hole for them to gain access into your home, they will create one themselves. And the hole doesn’t need to be that big. Even a hole about the size of a quarter is enough for them to gain access. For mice, gaining access is even easier. Because of their diminutive size, a tiny mouse can squeeze through a hole about the size of a dime. I also found a second access hole in the closet (see photo). The homeowners tried using Brillo to stuff the hole but it did not deter the rats. They simply chewed their way right underneath.
Upon further inspection, I observed a major rodent attractant that many homeowners are unaware of — bird seed! Bird seed may well attract birds, but it can also attract a host of other unwanted animals onto your property, including rodents. The homeowners had a bird feeder set up in their backyard, and all the seeds that fell to the ground were in the same area as where the rats made their access point into the home. The lesson learned is that once rodents are on your property, it is often only a matter of time before they find their way inside. The homeowner stated she used to sore the bird seed underneath the kitchen sink, and then move the bird seed into the closet. Wherever there was bird seed, the rats soon followed!
I installed an LP (low profile) bait station outside right near the exit hole for the rats. I also applied a residual tracking powder under the kitchen sink as well as in the closet. I informed the homeowners that, because they have pets, they need to be extremely careful about keeping the doors shut, so the pets can’t snoop around.
I’ll return for a follow-up visit in two weeks to re-inspect and perform any additional treatments as necessary. At that time, I’ll also seal the points of access into the home.