Q&A with Branch Manager Todd HenchesWhat are some of the more challenging accounts you work on? Office complexes can present challenges. Pests are often tracked in by the people who work there, and you have to quell people’s fears. You can also get a lot of rodents, which thrive in these kinds of environments.Where Western is different is that we solve the problems from the ground floor – looking for the causes rather than just fighting the pest. We service a LEED account where there are limits on what can be done with pest-control materials. By emphasizing structural and maintenance issues, we take care of the problem for the long term. Do you get a lot of bed bug calls? In some ways, people seem to be getting more educated, which is a good thing. Our bed bug service is mainly in Newark and Jersey City, and we also work with universities. To me, with bed bugs, you want to leave no stone unturned.In property management, you see DIY attempts all of the time, for bed bugs especially. Over-the-counter pesticides will kill other pests, but often drive others deeper into a home or business. Recently, a University sponsored research project showed that bed bugs are not adequately controlled when over the counter, DIY products and techniques are used. I think there is a lot of embarrassment and confusion about responsibility, so people don’t report bed bugs when they should. When working with a client with some heavily infested apartments, it took us a long time to educate the tenants. People should always contact their property manager, who will most often take responsibility for managing treatments. Do you have any “pest” peeves? I can’t stand rats, which pose big problems in warehouses and on some university campuses. The closer to the port and water that you go, the more you’ll find. A lot of times with rodents, the problem is also that properties aren’t sealed up properly. I always recommend that whenever people are doing construction, that they let me take a look and point these things out. That’s going to lead to better pest management overall. What about Mice? Henches explains, “Mice are our biggest problem. It’s always mice, even in the summer. In our area people are frequently seeing field mice in particular.”Your best bet against these four-legged creatures is knowledge, and the ability to recognize the signs of a potential issue. These signs include:The pitter-patter of small claws in your attic Gnaw marks on stored food Small droppings throughout the house Gnaw marks along the walls and to other items in the home What are the most common pest issues that homeowners face in your area? Cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, mosquitoes, mice, rats, and squirrels. How do the seasons affect pest activity in your area? Beginning in late March and early April, termites begin to swarm to begin new colonies. Ant activity starts to become a bit heavier at that time as well. Rats and mice remain year-round issues. Squirrels are huge pests year-round and can cause serious damage in a home. Cockroaches are present in commercial environments and apartments all year as well. What are some common signs of pest activity around the home? Ant swarms can often be confused with termites. However, ants will be visible in the home, around kitchens and bathrooms. Rodents -- mouse droppings are the quickest way to identify the activity of mice in a home along with gnaw marks around garage doors or gable vents. Ticks can be found on pets and people. Any pest prevention tips for residents in your area? Keep yards well maintained and minimize vegetative growth up against buildings. Look for signs of pooling water and eliminate them, such as in gutters, wheel barrows, and tire swings. When should homeowners call Western? It is always better to be proactive than wait for a pest issue to arise. Western will always provide a free inspection and provide recommendations for a pest-free home.
Branch Spotlight: West Orange, NJ
Western’s West Orange commercial pest control business runs the gamut, from food production and property management accounts to restaurants and universities. We checked in with Branch Manager Todd Henches to get his insight on commercial pest control trends for the region.
Pest Talk with Western
Get out the bug spray. We recently spoke with Regional Sales Manager for NY / Northern NJ, and he predicts a heavy pest season this year, with bugs and rodents alike bolstered by the warm winter. Here’s what he wants you to watch out for.
- Mosquitoes will be abuzz:
Mosquitoes will be out in force, so people need to be prepared. I anticipate a potentially unprecedented outbreak this year – walk your property, especially if your home is near the woods. Removing any standing water now can help.
- Bed bugs still going strong:
People tend to think “I can’t get bed bugs, I’m a clean person.” We’ve seen bed bugs everywhere from rentals to mansions. You can be very clean and still be affected. It’s important to be on alert: if you think you may have found a bed bug, call.
- Animal removal calls spike:
Raccoons are opportunistic, looking for the same things we all need: water, shelter, and food. They seem to be getting well-adapted to cities, and we’ve started to get raccoon calls in urban areas. If raccoons can get in, so can mice, rats, and squirrels.Cases are also arising where birds are nesting beneath solar panels, causing roof damage from the excrement. It’s a perfect habitat, because they fit right under them.
Mice Control: The Pest That Won’t Quit
Relegating mice to the winter pest category is your first big mistake when dealing with these animals. While commonly found indoors during the cold, winter months, if conditions are suitable, rodents will make their way into your home during the rest of the year as well.
We recently caught up with Todd Henches, Western’s West Orange, NJ Branch Manager to gain further insight on this year-round pest. Henches explains, “Mice are our biggest problem. It’s always mice, even in the summer. In our area people are frequently seeing field mice in particular.”
Your best bet against these four-legged creatures is knowledge, and the ability to recognize the signs of a potential issue. These signs include:
- The pitter-patter of small claws in your attic
- Gnaw marks on stored food
- Small droppings throughout the house
- Gnaw marks along the walls and to other items in the home
If there is one mouse, there are bound to be more. Ignoring the signs of a potential issue can create damage to your home and incur possible health-related risks. Western’s rodent control solutions ensure your home’s protection against this common household nuisance. Do not hesitate to call if you suspect an issue.
West Orange Local Pest Pressure
The eclectic neighborhoods that comprise West Orange, NJ, give the town its unique personality. Unfortunately, all of them have to deal with insect pests. During warmer months, ants can wander into homes through open doors and windows, seeking sugary foods and crumbs. To reduce their numbers, New Jersey homeowners must follow good sanitary practices. This includes removing garbage every day, immediately wiping up spills, and keeping floors and other surfaces free of food scraps.
Bed bugs are another frequent pest in West Orange. The blood-sucking insects must feed repeatedly on human hosts to survive. Since they prefer to make their move while people sleep, bed bugs typically live inside mattresses. After spending up to ten minutes dining on blood, the pests immediately return to their hiding places and defecate, leaving fecal smears on bedding. Victims may develop red, itchy welts on their skin as a result of the bites. Contact Western Pest for rodent and pest control services near you.
About Western Pest
Western Pest is a longstanding pest control company serving the Eastern United States. We offer residential and commercial pest control services near you, including termite protection, bed bug control, and rodent removal. Our comprehensive service offerings also include our Home Protection Plan, a year-round program designed to keep pests out for the duration. If a pest infestation occurs in your home or business, trust Western Pest to take care of the problem safely and effectively.