What's bugging you?

Sentry Termite and Pest Control can take care of it

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  • From left, Jan TenHoeve, Marilyn Grimes, Richard TenHoeve, JoAnn TenHoeve, Brian Doyle and Jesse Takach.

Sentry Termite and Pest Control, Inc.
10 Bracken Road, West Milford, NJ 07480
Business hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday to Friday
Areas of service: Passaic, Morris, Bergen and Sussex Counties as well as portions of Essex and Warren Counties

Suppose you married the owner of a ski resort, but there’s a problem; you have a serious fear of heights and an aversion to snow. Wanting to be a good help-mate, you take over the office responsibilities, steering clear of the frosty outdoors.

Now imagine that it’s insect and critters that scare the daylights out of you and you marry a man who later becomes the owner of a pest control business. That’s the situation JoAnn TenHoeve found herself in and that’s why she’s the office manager for Sentry Termite and Pest Control in West Milford.

“I’m definitely not immune to the ‘eek’ factor. I’m probably more freaked out than most and often have to explain that other than work the office I want no part of what the guys do,” TenHoeve said and went on to speak for the couple.

Married for 47 years, Jan and JoAnn TenHoeve are the parents of three sons and have six grandchildren. After Jan was discharged from the Navy, the couple moved from Florida (where palmetto bugs rule) to West Milford. They built a home and raised their family in the township.

After his stint in the Navy Jan worked for a large pest control company and then for his uncle in the same field. He decided to start up his own company and the TenHoeves have been in business together in town since 1978.

The business also employs their son Rich, with the company since 1985. Additional office staff and other full time and seasonal technicians round out the staff.

As a pest control expert, Jan does most of the initial inspections and makes treatment recommendations.

“He’s very diligent in keeping on top of all current legislative issues, methods of treatments, changes in pesticide availability and new products coming on the market,” TenHoeve said. He has taught classes for and is past president of the New Jersey Pest Management Association.

Getting started

To become a pesticide operator or applicator an individual must take classes, pass tests and participate in on-the-job training. On-going credits must be earned to stay licensed. At Sentry both the company and each employee must be registered/licensed and insured.

The TenHoeves also prefer to have their new technicians go out in the field with an experienced operator.

“Shadowing is training. They will be going into people’s homes and the client has to feel comfortable,” she said.

Being green

The TenHoeves are supporters of Green Pest Management. Years ago they began using the Sentricon Colony Elimination System for termites. Different from the old method when sometimes hundreds of gallons of pesticides were applied around the house, Sentricon treatment involves the placement of stations that termites feed from then spread through and destroy the underground colony.

“From an industry standpoint, great strides have also been made for Green Pest Management in the manufacturing of pesticides that are now biodegradable.” She explained that while pesticides are toxic, it is the degree of toxicity that is at issue. When used correctly the formulas are for controlling insects, nothing larger.

“My favorite analogy is to explain that a baby aspirin will do nothing for an adult but that two adult aspirins can be toxic for an infant,” she said.

TenHoeve said that the most common calls they receive are for carpenter ants, carpenter bees, termites and rodents. Termite swarms typically occur in the springtime, carpenter ants are often seen where moisture is present, such as in kitchens and bathrooms.

A homeowner can prevent some problems by eliminating moisture conditions by using a dehumidifier, storing firewood away from the home, sealing structural openings and keeping tree branches from touching or overhanging the house.

Squirrels and groundhogs and bee’s nests, oh my

If you have bats in your belfry Sentry can assist, but only by exclusion. Since bats are protected by federal law, exclusion is the only bat control method allowed. Squirrels, raccoons and groundhogs must be trapped and removed from the property.

If you discover a bee’s nest on your property and want to eliminate it yourself, TenHoeve suggests that you use extreme caution.

“Put on your heaviest protective clothing and a hat with a brim with a sheer curtain draped over it to protect your face. Once you start spraying, the bees will come out. Don’t stop spraying, empty the can,” she said.

There are dangers involved, especially if you are allergic to stings. Multiple stings can also occur if by chance you mow over a yellow jacket nest in the ground.

TenHoeve considers fleas to be dangerous because they can carry Lyme disease. Mice, raccoons and even your favorite pet can be a host for fleas. Keep your pet protected.

Undoing the damage

Years ago Sentry began to repair damage on homes caused by wood destroying insects. That end of their business has grown significantly to include not only repairs but satisfied clients have contracted with Sentry to do remodeling work in basements, baths and kitchens. Sentry is a fully insured state registered contractor.

Home sweet home, bugs and all

“We absolutely love West Milford. Its home and every good feeling that goes with that is how we feel. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing and liking so many people.”

Even though West Milford has its share of creepy-crawlies, TenHoeve can count on a rapid response team eliminating any problem she has. And she gets a big laugh when her husband is on a shopping spree with the grandchildren and before any purchase is made he has them recite one simple phrase: “Thank God for bugs.”

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