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Cockroaches, Know the Basics

Filed under: Cockroach Control — admin @ 5:45 am May 1, 2015

Cockroach ControlRoaches. The word alone gives most people the heebie jeebies. They are widely recognized as disgusting creatures that live off the filth of humans or in dumpsters – and OMG some of them can fly!

There are around 4,500 species of roaches in the world, but only around 60 or so actually share their habitation with humans. In New Jersey, the number of roaches that are actually household pests is down to a handful. That is enough, though, because roaches are known to carry dangerous bacteria and their presence can exacerbate health conditions like allergies and asthma.

So we are going to give you the scoop on these gnarly little creatures, how to get then out of your home and keep them out.

Cockroach Species

The most common species of roaches in homes today include the American cockroach, German cockroach, brownbanded cockroach, and oriental cockroach.

American

At 1 ½ to 2 inches in length, these are one of the larger species of roaches that infest buildings, these roaches tend to favor restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. They do wander into homes occasionally, but that is not their habitation of choice. Yes, they fly.

German

This is the most prevalent indoor cockroach, often referred to as a “kitchen roach.” They are small and like to hide in moist environments like bathrooms and kitchens, often near piping. They also hide in cabinets, drawers, and just about anywhere else in a house.

Brownbanded

These are small roaches similar to the German roach, but that is where the similarities end. The brownbanded tends to gravitate toward areas that are dry and warm. You will rarely see German cockroaches with brownbanded roaches.

Oriental

These roaches can get up to 1 ¼ inches in length and prefer very damp environments like sewers, basements, and crawl spaces. They are sometimes referred to as water bugs.

Why your house?

When you find a roach, or (egads!) an infestation of roaches in your home, the first thing you would probably ask is “Why my house?” It depends on the type of roach that is found in your home. Different species are attracted to different elements in a home. It just depends on what your home is offering.

The other part of the answer boils down to just two things:

  • Harborage
  • Food

They will come into your home or shelter and a place to lay eggs, or they will come seeking food and water. Often they come seeking both. If your home offers any of these things it is like putting a welcome mat out for them.

What’s more, they can come in on shipments you receive, visitors to your home, things you purchase at the store (even the grocery store), and from outside. Once they are in and start laying eggs if can lead to an infestation which can get out of control in a short time.

Sanitation and Food

There are things that you can do to make your home less appealing to roaches. Put away all food and don’t leave any food or dirty dishes sitting out, especially overnight. Clean counters, sinks, and stovetops with soapy water to remove all residue. You should also sweep the floor thoroughly to ensure that no food particles are left. Taking out the garbage regularly will also help minimize pests.

Harborage

Roaches love to hide in boxes and cracks in walls or around cabinets. Remove any bags, newspapers, or cardboard as well as other clutter, from your home. If you don’t give roaches a place to hide, they will look elsewhere for a place to live. Seal up any cracks and spaces and repair any holes in the walls, particularly around pipes.

When to call a Pro

Roaches can quickly become immune to the bug spray that you purchase at the store. In fact, those products can actually make an infestation worse. If you have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of roaches then you need to contact a pest professional. They can come in and apply product that will not only take care of current roaches that you see, but also roaches that you don’t see because they are hiding in the walls and cabinets. These pros can apply product that renders the roaches sterile, preventing them from reproducing. They can tailor their applications to fit the reproduction cycles of the roaches, thus killing off any young that may emerge later.

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How to Know If You Have Termites

Filed under: Termite Control — admin @ 5:23 am April 28, 2015

Termite ControlFew pest problems are more troublesome or annoying than a termite infestation. Fortunately, the little buggers make it pretty clear when they’re present and causing havoc, assuming you known the signs they leave as calling cards.

This article highlights the termite warning signals, damage signs and tips you need to eliminate a termite infestation.

Know the Warning Signals That Suggest a Termite Presence

In order to know whether you have a termite presence, there are a few key signs you can look for and find if termites are indeed present.

  • If wood in or near your home sounds hollow when you tap it, termites could be present
  • Watch for cracked paint or termite droppings (frass)
  • Along your home’s outer walls, crawl spaces and wooden beams, check for mud tubes
  • If there is a swarm of winged insects in the home, the soil around your home or discarded wings from said swarms, this is usually a clear indicator of termite activity

Look for Tell-Tale Termite Damage Signs

If you have spotted one or more of the previous termite warning signals, begin looking for actual damage signs. In some cases, the damage is so obvious that you won’t even need the aforementioned warning signals as a clue.

Termite cement, which occurs when termites seal cracks and holes around a home’s foundation with a muddy cement, are a classic indicator of termite activity. Similarly, mud tubes are usually damage signs that signal termites are currently damaging the home. However, they still classify as potential warning signs since mud tubes can remain from old infestations, so they are not always signs of current damage.

Finally, look for wood damage. Unfortunately, noting actual wood damage means the infestation is quite advanced, so this is usually a bad time to first become aware of an infestation. Try to snuff it out by discovering hollow wood warning signals. At any rate, once you know present termite damage exists, it’s time to call in the professionals.

If You Have Termites, Eliminate Them with a Professional’s Help

If you have established termites have made your home theirs, it’s time to let them know that they are a most unwelcome guest. Take the time to find quality professionals in your area that know how to get the job done right and send those pests packing.

 

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Say Good Riddance to Kitchen Ants

Filed under: Ant Control — admin @ 3:32 am April 24, 2015

Ant ControlScientists say there are at as many as 100 trillion ants crawling around the earth. If a significant portion of them seem to be occupying your kitchen, you want to take immediate action to get rid of them. Here’s how to do it in three quick steps:

1. Upgrade Your Storage to Remove Ants’ Food Sources

The only foolproof way to protect yourself from marauding ants is prevent them from finding anything to eat in your home. Before you do anything else, deal with an ant infestation by removing all possible food sources and locking them up in airtight containers. If your fridge seals properly, ants can’t get in. Anything not in the fridge should be in a sealed plastic or glass container. Wipe down all your counters with a bleach-based cleaner and take out the trash frequently, too. Finally, vacuum and mop thoroughly to eliminate any crumbs on the floor.

2. Mounting the Attack: Chemicals to Use on Ants

Once you’ve eliminated their food source, it’s time to eliminate the ants. If you think your ant problem is coming from a nest inside your home, you’ll need to rely on a heavy duty home pesticide like a bug bomb. That usually requires vacating your home for a full day while while the poising works its way through the house.

If your ants are coming from outside, however, you can probably rely on a hand-held spray can pesticide. Target the pesticide at the ants’ favorite trails and apparent entry points. That should be enough to deter the next the wave from entering your home.

3. Maintaining an Ant-Free Kitchen

Once you’ve got the ants cleared out of your kitchen, you want to make sure they stay out. Maintaining a disciplined food storage system is the best and most effective way to do this, but you can also resist ant invaders sealing off all possible entrances physically or with chemicals.

Start by checking all corners, baseboards, windows and doors for cracks. Anywhere you see gaps, you can apply caulk to seal up the hole. If caulk isn’t feasible in a particular spot, the second best move is to spray a small amount of pesticide on the gap. Coat the surrounding surfaces within an inch or two of the opening. That should be enough to kill any scout ants that stumble upon the opening, deterring the foragers.

Don’t let ants control your life or your kitchen. Get rid of them today!

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Pesticides: Safer Then You Think?

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 11:30 am April 17, 2015

PesticideThere has been a lot of talk in the media lately regarding the safety of pesticides around humans and pets. This has led to some spirited debates as terrible accounts of pesticide use gone wrong are blasted into our living rooms on the evening new and splatters all across internet news sites. The media is using fear as a very effective tool for promoting agendas and selling papers but the truth is, the public is only seeing a sliver of the story. Were they to reveal that whole picture it would be very apparent that most of the problems that are seemingly caused by pesticides are due to human error. When pets and people are adversely affected by pesticides it is usually because the person making the application did not handle it or use it correctly.

From Research to Application

There is a very lengthy, rigorous process involved in getting a pesticide approved for use in the United States. The chemical ingredient has to be tested and researched thoroughly, which can take as many as 15 years. Only after it has been through this stringent process can it be approved for use, but even then a detailed label is created that describes exactly where the product can be applied, what pests it is intended to control, how it is to be used, and how it is to be prepared. Failure to follow these instructions explicitly is against the law and it carries stiff penalties. This ensures that people, animals, and the environment are protected from any adverse effects of pesticide application.

Pesticide Safety

The chemicals that are used by pest professionals, when used according to their labels, are safe. While sensitivities and allergies to the chemicals do occur, those instances are very rare. Most product can be applied and they cannot be detected. Most are odorless. You can request to see the label of any product that is applied in or around your home, though. You should also ask any questions that you may have. Your pest professional can answers most of the questions that you have regarding the chemicals. They also know how to safely use them. That is why you want to hire a company that you trust and that has a good reputation. Pesticide safety is important.

A Word about “Green” Pesticides

There has been a big push recently toward what are called “green” pesticides. The reasoning is that by using these so-called natural products you can avoid the “toxic” effects of chemical pesticides. This is mostly fed by the very media that is creating the frenzy about pesticides in the first place. The truth is, anything on this earth can become toxic when it reaches a certain level. In the 1500’s the German-Swiss physician, Paracelsus, said, “Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” Even aspirin, when mishandled and not taken according to the instructions on the label, can be harmful.

Store bought Pesticides also have the Potential to Harm

When you go to your local grocery or mass merchandiser store and pick up a can of pesticide, you may be putting your family or pets in danger. These products have the potential to cause health problems. Additionally, most insects, especially roaches, will quickly immune to them rendering them ineffective on pests. Most of the problems encountered with people or pets, though, are because the instructions are typically not followed correctly. When they are used incorrectly people get sick, especially young children and pets. Poison control centers around the country field hundreds of calls each year regarding people who are experiencing illness after using or being in the vicinity of store bought pest control products.

A Matter of Trust

The only way you can really know that your best interests are being considered when it comes to controlling pests in or around your home is to hire a pest professional. Find a company that has a solid reputation, someone who will talk to you, build a relationship with you – someone you can trust. The majority of pesticides are safe for humans and animals to be around, others may require some precautions. A trained, experienced pest professional knows this. He or she has been trained in preparation, handling, and application. When used and handled according to the label, pesticides are indeed safe.

 

Photo by CGP Grey. Used under CC BY 2.0.

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Keeping Pests out of Your Business

Filed under: Pest Control — admin @ 9:20 am April 10, 2015

Commercial Pest ControlIf you run a business then you know that having pests like roaches, rats, ants, flies, or mice is not conducive to a good work environment. Many pests carry diseases and can make your employees sick. When customers see pests – or evidence of pests – it can turn them away and you can lose business. There are ways to keep pests out of your business and it isn’t as difficult as you may think. With a little vigilance and a lot of consistency you can keep your business pest free. These tips will help.

Keep it clean.

Poor sanitation is a leading cause of pest infestations in businesses. Do not leave food lying around and don’t allow water to sit out. If you have a kitchen area, wash and dry any dishes immediately. Don’t leave them to “soak” in the sink. Water attracts pests, particularly roaches.

Mop and sanitize all floors every day. In food preparation areas, keep grease from building up on the floors. Also, clean any devices that are used to prepare food as well as countertops and sanitize them daily. Keep garbage in a container with a lid and dispose of it daily.

Make work areas unappealing to pests.

There are a few things you can do in your office or cubicle that will keep the pest populations down.

  • Keep desks and work areas free from clutter.
  • Do not store food in desks unless it is in an airtight, sealed container.
  • Do not overwater potted plants.

Store food properly.

If food is brought in, ensure that it is stored in airtight containers. Roaches, rats, and mice can and will get into food packaging such as boxes and bags. Make sure that the lids on any food containers seal well and are secured. Loose lids are invitations for pest to invade your space.

Hire a pest professional to do routine pest control on a regular basis.

Even the most vigilant of workplaces can still have pests from time to time. They can catch a ride on employees’ clothing or bags, they can come in with shipments, or they can come in with customers. While your business may not be the most hospitable place for pests you can still see one or two from time to time so it is wise to hire a pest control company to do scheduled maintenance to help you prevent pests from coming into your business.

 

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Protecting Your Home from Mold after a Flood

Filed under: Mold Control — admin @ 11:48 am April 3, 2015

Mold ControlWhile most people know that flood damage is nothing to scoff at, often it is the aftereffects of a flood that can be the most damaging to your home. The moist conditions after a flood occurs are the perfect breeding ground for mold. There are serious health risks associated with mold, so it is essential to understand the ways you can dry out water damage, prevent mold from growing and defeat mold once you find it.

Drying Out the Water Damage

When it comes to drying out the water damage, take a sooner rather than later approach. Dehumidifiers, fans and heaters will all help dry moisture quickly and efficiently when water damage is minimal to moderate. If your home has experienced severe water damage, you may need to get it pumped out by professionals, and they will have the tools necessary to handle the job. No matter which strategy you choose, complete moisture removal is imperative in order to alleviate safety concerns and reduce further home damage.

Preventing Mold Growth

The best way to prevent mold growth is through a proactive approach. In short, always be on the alert for mold. When you catch mold growth in its early stages, you can prevent further growth by a comprehensive bleach and water cleaning. You can also prevent further mold growth by disposing of irredeemably moldy items such as carpeting and other porous household items that have been damaged past the point of no return. Examples include drywall, upholstery and certain woods, leathers and ceiling tiles. Another excellent mold defense strategy is adding mold inhibitors to your paint before water damage has even occurred. This can make all the difference between expensive and lengthy drywall repairs and a home with minimal repair costs and hassles after flood damage.

Eliminate All the Mold You Discover

Finally, be sure to take no chances with mold. Eliminate all the mold you discover by fully drying out your home, and then fully removing all mold sources. Even dead mold can cause health risks, so only total mold elimination is acceptable for your home. When it comes to complete mold remediation and removal, it is highly advisable to seek out professionals with the equipment and knowledge you need to restore your home and your peace of mind.

If you need mold services for your home, you can contact Horizon Pest Control now!

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Ways to Rid of Rodents in Your Home

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — admin @ 11:33 am March 31, 2015

Rodent ControlWhen rodents invade your home you want to get them out of there as quickly as possible. Many rodents carry diseases like Hantavirus and rabies. They can also introduce a flea infestation into your home. These tips will help you serve those unwelcome guests with an eviction notice.

Make your home uninhabitable (for rodents, that is)

Before you start getting rid of the rodents, you need to find out how they are getting into your home in the first place. Look around for cracks and holes in walls or near windows and doors. Make sure that your doors are sealed well. A mouse can go through an opening that is just 3/8 inches wide so any opening that is larger than around ¼ inch should be sealed.

Next, you want to clean your home well and put any food into air tight containers. Cereal boxes, bags of rice, and cookie packages are nothing more than open invitations to mice and rats. If it isn’t in the refrigerator, then it needs to be in an airtight container, preferable glass or plastic.

Types of extermination

There are two basic methods for getting rid of rats and mice: trapping and baiting. In severe infestations you may want to combine the two methods, but if you only have a couple then you are probably good with one or the other.

Trapping

One of the best perks of trapping is that you can dispose of the dead mice and rats before their odor spreads through your home. You bait a trap, lay it out, the rat gets caught, and you dispose of the animal. It is that easy. This is preferable for smaller rodent populations.

Baiting

Rat and mouse bait is a powerful poison that the animal ingests and then dies. If you have children or pets around you need to put the poison in a tamper resistant bait station so they cannot get to it. This is a good option for populations of just about any size, but when the animal dies it may be in your home – and you may not be able to find it. This means you may have to endure the smell for a few days.

Don’t be afraid to call in a professional.

If you see one mouse or rat it usually means that there are many more nearby. Typically, you would only see evidence of the rodents – feces or chewed food packaging. If you actually see a mouse or rat in your home then your situation may be bigger than you can handle on your own. If you have a large infestation or you can’t seem to get a handle on your rodent problem, your best bet is to call a pest professional and let them help you get your home pest free.

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How to Know if a Rodent is in Your Home

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — admin @ 10:46 am March 27, 2015

Rodent ControlNo one wants to think about the possibility of having mice or rats in their home, but it can happen to anyone. Maybe you have heard something moving in the cabinets or even a squeak or two. It might be your imagination or something completely, but it also may be rat or mouse. If it is, you need to find out because they can be destructive to your house and they carry diseases that can make you, your family, and your pets sick.

Once you determine that you do have rodents in your home you can move forward with getting rid of them. The first question before deciding a course of action, though, is do you have rats or mice? Look for these telltale signs throughout your home

Are your pets restless?

Cats and dogs will get restless or nervous when they smell, hear, and see rodents in the house. Your cat may stare at the bottom of the stove in a “stalking posture” or your dog may sniff certain areas very intently. Pay attention. Your animals can see, hear, and smell things that you can’t and they can clue you in as to what is going on.

Is there a musky odor in your house or basement?

Mice and rats smell bad. They have an odor that is heavy and musky. You may also smell urine or a smell that is similar to the urine of a male cat.

Have you found any rodent feces?

You can tell if you have rats or mice by inspecting the feces.

Rats

Rat droppings are black, shiny and blunt at both ends. They are about ½ to ¾ inches long.

Mice

Mouse droppings are black or dark brown, smooth and have pointed ends. They are smaller than rat droppings at just 1/8 to ¼ of an inch long.

Have you found any wood around baseboards, window sills, or even furniture that has been gnawed?

Mice and rats gnaw wood but you can tell by the size and type whether it is a rat or mouse. Rat tooth marks are about 1/8 inch long while mice tooth marks are smaller and appear scratchy or chipped.

Have you found any tail trails or small footprints in areas that are dusty?

They would typically be near sources of food or at points of access but can be found just about anywhere.

Have you noticed smears along the lower part of the wall, around baseboards, or on lower cabinet doors?

Rats have poor eyesight so they travel along walls. They usually rub against the walls so if you see greasy smears or streaks along baseboards it may be from dirt or grease from rat fur.

Have you found any food or packages in cabinets that have been torn up?

Rats and mice will chew through cereal boxes and food packages. They can make quite a mess.

Do you have insulation that is torn up or is the underside of your sofa or mattress torn?

Rats and mice will find soft areas to build nests. They will also build nests in dresser drawers, closets, and on shelves.

Have you actually seen a rat or mouse?

If you have seen them, you have them.

 

Tired of dealing with rodents? Contact Horizon Pest Control for reliable Residential Pest Control in New Jersey.

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Identifying Bed Bug Bites

Filed under: Bed Bug — admin @ 6:53 am

Bed bugs are rarely caught in the act because they are nocturnal and usually bite people while they are sleeping. Additionally, bed bugs inject an anesthetic when they bite that prevents the bite from being felt and possibly waking the sleeper. So how do you know if those red, itchy bites you woke up with are from bed bugs?

 

 

 

Recognizing Bed Bug Bites

 

What do bed bug bites look like?

The bitten area may be red, with the surrounded skin appearing swollen or inflamed. Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites do not have a red spot in the center. The skin around the bite may be irritated or itchy. Since a single bed bug may bite multiple times, bites may be found in clusters of three or more. These bites can occur in a straight line or a random pattern.

Where do bed bugs bite?

While flea bites are usually found near the ankles, bed bug bites tend to be on the face, neck, arms, and hands. Although, bed bug bites can be found on any part of the body that is exposed during sleep.

Other Signs of Infestation

If you’ve examined your bites and you’re still not sure if bedbugs are the culprit, there are a few other signs and symptoms of bed bug investigation.

  • Molted Exoskeletons: Bed bugs shed their exoskeletons after feeding as they mature.
  • Blood Spots: The fecal material of bed bugs is laden with blood and may leave rusty colored spots on sheets, mattresses, or nearby furniture.
  • Smell: Bed bug scent glands produce a sweet, musty odor

If you wake up with bug bites and have any of the above symptoms, you may have a bed bug infestation.

 

What To Do If You’ve Been Bitten by Bed Bugs

 

Medical Concerns

The good news is that for most people, bed bugs do not cause medical concerns. Symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as painful swelling near the bite, may need to be evaluated by a medical professional.

Contact a Pest Professional

Some pest concerns can be handled by homeowners, but bed bugs are particularly difficult to eradicate and should be dealt with by a professional.

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Rodent Control Using Identification, Sanitation and Elimination

Filed under: Mice Control,Rat Control,Rodent Control — Megan Howard @ 2:44 pm March 24, 2015

Rodent ControlFinding mice or rodents inside your home can really be disturbing. Most of us will feel repulsed just by the sight of them. Having a single rodent inside a home can be dangerous because they have the ability to produce more than 60,000 droppings and 150 liters of urine. Imagine the risk of contamination by a single rodent, especially when it is not eliminated right away. The presence of rodents can bring about a spread of disease, contamination on foods and produce, and the damage to structures and equipment.

It is not safe to have these rodents in and around the house since they have the ability to feed on different types of foods while carrying different infectious diseases. One of the most dangerous diseases these rodents can pass is leptospirosis, which can be spread through their urine. Rodents also have the ability to spread and populate in just a matter of weeks. With the different complications these pests can bring, homeowners are always suggested to be cautious against them, and defend their homes from these unwanted guests.

Rodent Control

Identification

If you find a rodent in your home, it could mean that you have rats or mice inside and that a possible infestation is about to happen. Other means to know whether you have an infestation includes their gnaw marks, urine and feces, and distinctive odor. Once you have enough proof of their presence, your next step is to know the type of rodent problem you have. Rats and mice are two different pests with two different characteristics. Knowing who the enemy is, will make controlling them faster.

Sanitation                                               

Sanitation involves the process of getting rid of any food sources that these pests might get attracted to, and the elimination of possible harborage areas. Rodents are normally attracted to garbage, which is why it is necessary to store garbage and rubbish in rodent-proof containers. Garbage containers should be water tight, rust resistant, and should have tight-fitting lids.

Pet foods should also be monitored since rodents may consume this type of food when they are left overnight. Make certain to just give pet foods that your pets can consume and not too much. Once your pets are done with their food, clear their bowls and keep them clean. Other food sources for rodents can come from fallen fruits from trees and garden vegetables, bird seeds that fall from feeders, unwanted trash on the ground, dog droppings, and the likes.

Elimination

Finding where these rodents hide is one of the most crucial steps in properly controlling them. Rodents can hide in a variety of places that include unused appliances, abandoned vehicles, attics and basements, untrimmed shrubbery, and so many more. To eliminate these possible harborages, make certain to check on them and clean and get rid of these unwanted places. Outdoor harborages such as dense ground plants and untrimmed shrubbery should be trimmed. It is also essential to remove dead woods around the surrounding area. Eliminate the possibility of rodents crossing the roof by cutting branches that are touching the foundation of the home and utility wires.

Traps and Baits

Traps. Trapping rodents are the most common method in controlling and eliminating them. Traps can be easily bought in stores and can be placed in areas where rodents are frequent. Unlike baiting, trapping can yield good result, especially when they are done properly. Trapping can also allow you to dispose of the rat properly. The trap will not get lost along with its victim, thus it will not create any foul odor.

Baits. Unlike trapping, baiting should be meticulous and should only be placed in areas where pets and children will not have access on them. Baiting can be highly effective for homeowners who do not know where the harborage areas are. This can also be effective outdoors since the area for their harborage might be difficult to find.

How to Rodent Proof Your Home

  • Fill in even the smallest gaps that are seen in the house structure. Keep in mind that mice can enter openings that are just 1/4 inch while mice can enter gaps that 1/2 inch.
  • Always maintain your windows and repair them when needed.
  • Doors should always be maintained well and can also be fitted with sweeps or channels to avoid openings at threshold.
  • Attic vents should be screened with a sheet metal frame.
  • Crawl spaces should also be securely covered with no gaps
  • Gaps at intersecting roof eaves should also be screened.

Schedule a FREE appointment with Horizon Pest Control and let us worry about your rodent problems for a change. Visit New Jersey Pest Control TODAY!

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