Don’t Let Hungry Groundhogs Devour Your Garden

They may look cute and fuzzy; but a groundhog can lay waste to your backyard garden plot in a single night. All the hours you spent digging and planting and the money spent on seeds and plants can be destroyed in a matter of hours by a hungry groundhog. These herbivorous rodents have a taste for leafy green vegetation but won’t think twice about feasting on your expensive landscape plants and ornamental grasses. They can also cause serious damage to lawns when they use their sharp talons to dig for grubs and snails.

Native to New Jersey and common throughout Eastern and Midwestern states, groundhogs, called woodchucks in some areas, are members of the marmot family. Adults are brown with short bushy tails, weigh between 4 and 9 pounds and grow to an average length of 16 to 26 inches. These rodents typically live in underground dens in forested areas but in suburban areas will burrow under porches, decks and sheds. Dens harbor fleas, ticks and mites which can migrate indoors or onto pets when dens are built under homes.

Fierce defenders, groundhogs can carry rabies, presenting a serious problem for New York City, Long Island and New Jersey homeowners, particularly in late spring when litters are born. For your safety, humane groundhog removal should be performed by an experienced New Jersey wildlife removal expert.

Multiple Annual Litters Cause Explosions in Mice Populations

When talking about pests, the statement “there is no such thing as one” is familiar and not the exaggeration many people suspect. Mice are an excellent example. Female mice breed year round. Capable of producing a new litter every 3 to 4 weeks, a single female mouse can give birth to as many as 15 litters per year, although the norm is closer to 5 to 10 litters. With litter sizes averaging 6 to 12 pups each, it doesn’t take a math genius to realize how quickly mice populations can explode.

Even using the most conservative calculations, if a single pregnant mouse takes up residence in an apartment complex or commercial building it can create a rodent infestation of more than 500 mice in just 6 months. Certain mice species that live in polygamous groups (one male and multiple females), such as the common house mouse, can reach overwhelming numbers even more quickly.

To eliminate rodent infestations, animal pathways into the building must be located and sealed, not an easy task given that mice can squeeze through a tiny, dime-sized hole. Stern Environmental solves this problem by employing the innovative Track & Trap mouse control program. Using fluorescent technology, our rodent tracking and trapping service is able to pinpoint mice pathways, allowing mice to be eliminated and entry points sealed against further invasion. Visit our website for full details.

Jury Awards Tenant $800K in Bed Bug Lawsuit

In what some legal experts believe could be a precedent-setting case, a Maryland jury has awarded $800,000 to a Maryland woman who was the unhappy tenant of a bed bug-infested apartment. In her suit, the 69-year-old tenant claimed that the landlord knew about the bed bug infestation before she moved. According to the New York Daily News, the jury took just 45 minutes to decide against the property owner of the bed bug-infested apartment, awarding a previously unheard of sum in such cases to the tenant. The bulk of the award — $650,000 — was for punitive damages.

Jurors were moved by the hundreds of bed bug bites the tenant endured after moving into the Annapolis apartment in 2011. Her repeated complaints were ignored by the landlord who also ignored complaints from other tenants. Eventually evicted from her apartment, the woman lost “practically everything” when her possessions were stolen after being removed from the apartment by bailiffs.

With public sympathy increasing for bed bug victims, tenant lawsuits are expected to climb and the potential for large jury judgments to increase. Regular inspections and proper bed bug treatment by a recognized New York/New Jersey bed bug control expert may offer the best protection against expensive lawsuits for apartment, condominium, hotel, motel, report and other commercial property owners. Visit our website to find out about Stern’s expert commercial bed bug services.