Turning Point House: Pest Control

#kohutturningpoint, north hampton, new hampshire, interior designer, NH seacoast, landscape design, landscaping

Pests. Bugs. Rodents. We got ’em. We don’t want ’em. Sigh. One of the things that I knew we’d have to deal with when we bought this house was that all the trees that were overhanging the house created a mouse superhighway straight into the home. It wasn’t so bad that they were in the kitchen or anything but I could definitely hear the mouse party over my head when I was in bed at night. Ewww! But, like a lot of things that seem to happen to me lately, it was like the universe was trying to help me out and one day, completely out of the blue, I got a message from Fox Pest Control asking if our businesses could partner together. I mean, really? How weird is that timing?

It was my lucky day.

Fox Pest Control is a full service company with locally operated locations in several states, and one in based in Manchester NH, which is who I’m working with. They are going to provide a year of service for free, with quarterly visits, but the opinions are completely my own. I am going to share how the service works over the course of the year, as well as provide some tips and tricks I’m learning from the experts at keeping unwanted pests at bay. 

Setting up the service was super easy. It started an initial call with Cooper at the Manchester office. We talked about the issues we were having. He then set up the appointment on the best day that worked for ME rather than for them. There was only an hour range for arrival time. That is so much better than the typical 4 hour window of other types of services. Next, a follow up email to confirm the service and digitally sign a contract. An on service day, a call when the Pest Pro technician was about 30 minutes away. I have to say, every step was so courteous and nice, you almost forget it’s 2021. 

Let’s get real.

Right now it’s almost impossible to get anyone in almost any industry to come work on your house. Customer service is practically non-existent with some of these companies, whether it’s big one or a one man show. I truly was not expecting the kind of service I got right out of the gate. Even Ozzy was impressed with Nick, our Pest Pro.

Nick showed up on time and was great. We walked through the whole house and into the yucky parts. Well, I let him go all the way into the creepy attic and crawl spaces in the basement, but hey, I stood there and listened!

Mouse Highway

As we walked through, he pointed out places the mice might be getting into the house and ways I can block off those entrances, which can be as small as as nickel. He got behind the tools and miscellaneous stuff we have stacked up against all the walls in the garage and looked for their “highway”, where they travel around the garage. Once he showed me, I was like, ooooohhhhhh. That dirty line you might see on top of baseboards and on the back of shelves is their track. Even if there’s not mouse poo there. Ew.

One of the recommended things to help keep the critters out.

He found a spot were some wires go into the wall out there in the garage, and that must be how they get access to the storage area in the space above the garage. That open area runs from above the garage into the space above my living room, around a chimney stack, and then the dead space around and above my closet in my bedroom… which leads to my bedroom ceiling. Where they like to party at night. He found evidence of mice in those spaces, as well as old traps from the previous owners. Here’s a creepy image of that space, and you can’t even see Nick down on the right side of the chimney in the dark. AGH.

“Mice in old houses in the woods are no big deal.”

“It happens all the time, yada yada yada.” I don’t care. They gross me out when they are inside MY HOUSE. And the thing with mice, they replicate very fast. NOT INTERESTED, thank you very much! Nick and I discussed the different techniques they use and went about the house and set up traps. Like all over the place. Very thorough.

When he was finished, we went outside. He gave me a lesson on carpenter bees. They create holes you might see along the fascia. That’s the flat board the runs along the roofline on the walls of your house. First, they love wood (maybe it’s not obvious, but carpenters work with wood, so…). Since we have cedar on the house, that’s strike one. Second, sometimes wood fascia boards aren’t painted on both sides, so the underside is just unfinished wood. Strike two. The fascia is flat but it lays across the siding on an angle. That creates these little gaps that aren’t sealed off. Strike three. 

And there’s more!

I always thought carpenter bees drilled holes from the outside in, and were making hives in the house. What they actually do is crawl up that little gap and get in behind the fascia board. That’s where the unpainted wood is like heaven for them and that’s what they burrow into, sideways and lay eggs! Then they turn and make an exit out the front. Woodpeckers might come and peck into the fascia to get at the eggs, which is a whole other problem. I haven’t seen any yet, so that is good. 

How to fix all of this?

First, Nick used this long tool and was able to spray this powder into the gaps and their holes. This should get rid of what is currently there, but he said that it’s really only a temporary fix. To really fix it, the boards should be replaced with new ones that are painted/sealed on both sides. Another option is to replace them with a composite trim material. Carpenter bees don’t like that. And finally, seal the gaps! The house had been treated for carpenter bees in the past but nothing was replaced. Nick informed me that if we don’t make those repairs, they eventually start up again.

After my lesson, he did a little treatment along the base of my house. Nick also inspected it to make sure there were no other issues like termites. Thank goodness that’s not an issue! He also checked to see if mice could get in anywhere. My flower garden makes it pretty obvious I love the pollinators. I don’t want to harm the bees, birds and butterflies that are working hard in my yard. Nick explained how they will not use any spray treatment near or on any plants. He said their products are family and pet safe, as well as environmentally responsible.

Lastly, Nick decided that he wanted to return in two weeks. He wanted to check and see if we solved the point of entry for the mice. Also to see what kind of activity they’ve been up to. Again, the process of setting up that follow up was taken care of promptly by Cooper at the office. Two weeks later Nick was back. He was on time and in a good mood, of course!

Everything seems to be working well, and in three months I will receive another visit. With fall coming, I was worried that the critters might be looking for a warm place. I now I think they might go find another house to invade. 

As I said, my opinions are my own.

I don’t like to recommend companies that I don’t have a personal or client experience with. Even then, if their work is good but their customer service isn’t good, I might not recommend them. What do I like more, getting rid of the mice party or having nice people to work with? Hmm… might be a hard one to answer after this experience. 

If you’re in NH and are having issues with rodents or bugs, including carpenter bees and termites, give Fox Pest Control a call at 603-518-6611 and tell them I sent you. Do that, and mention the code “CHRISTINE” when scheduling a Home Protection Plan, you will get $50 off your service!

Stay tuned to see what happens next at Turning Point House. And why I’m calling it that, mostly to myself and to my readers. 

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Terr

Umm that’s way too much for my anxiety.

Jennifer Elliott

The mice were super feisty this spring!

Lisa

Fox sounds so informative! These pests have no place in our homes that at we are trying to improve/preserve!

Elizabeth Scruggs

I’ve never had an exterminator be that thorough- how great to find such a nice and reliable company so soon after moving! Thanks for sharing!

Bonnie

Bees, mice, and woodpeckers oh my!! I’ve had a few of these problems that weren’t fully resolved. Thanks for sharing your experience with Fox, they’ve been added to the phone book!!

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