Christmas Tree Safety

Christmas Tree SafetyThe holiday season is quickly approaching, which means it will soon be time to buy a Christmas tree, hang stockings, and prepare for the upcoming festivities.

While the Christmas tree is a landmark tradition, it is important to practice proper safety measures when bringing one into your home.

For many people, the smell of fresh pine is a must and they purchase a real tree from a Christmas tree farm outdoors.

Real Christmas trees often contain insects, mites, and spiders.

The warm temperatures of your home might cause these insects to become active.

However, the large majority of pests that are hanging onto your Christmas tree are not a threat to your home or your family.

For the most part, it is just bothersome to know that they are there.

Some Christmas tree farms have mechanical tree shakers available which will shake the tree and remove loose needles along with any pests. If you have the option to take advantage of a mechanical tree shaker, we suggest doing so.

Scan your Christmas tree before purchasing for any indication of insect eggs or insects.

For the most part, they aren’t really visible but it’s worth sifting through it. Be sure to check your Christmas tree for birds’ nests. Although some people want to leave them inside as a decoration, they likely contain mites or lice.

Spiders are also a very common Christmas tree pest.

Although you don’t want a room full of spiders, spiders do eat other insects and they will not harm you or your home. Most spiders will remain on the tree and you may never even see them. If you do notice your Christmas tree has a trace of insects or insect eggs, make sure you remove them with non-chemical substances.

Most chemical insect spray is flammable, and it should not be sprayed on a Christmas tree because you are likely going to be placing lights onto the branches.

Most insects are attracted to light. If any insects venture off of the tree and into your home, they will likely go towards windows, doors, or lamps.

If you do face issues with pests this winter, contact Amherst Exterminators! W e are proud to serve customers of Western New York with any pest control issues you may face this holiday season.

 

Keeping Pests Out of Your Home This Winter

Fall has begun in Western New York, which means winter is just a few short weeks away! As the weather gets colder, rodents and pests will be looking for shelter. Unlike many species of birds, pests like mice and raccoons don’t travel south for warmth; they head indoors instead!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, your family has plenty to do. As you are decorating the outside of your home with lights, take some time to check for signs pests to keep them from disrupting your holiday get-togethers.

Here are a few ways to prep your home for shelter-seeking critters:

 Bugs and SpidersKeeping Pests Out of Your Home This Winter

While a warm, crackling fire is one of the most enjoyable parts of the winter months, the wood you bring into your home may be the residence of a variety of creepy-crawly critters. To keep bugs at bay this season, we recommend keeping your woodpile a ways away from the walls of your home. Also remember to add weather stripping to doors and windows to keep the smallest of critters from making their way indoors.

Winter Rodents

Although these critters cause problems year-round, they are especially active during the snowy winter months as they search for a cozy escape from the freezing outdoors. Mice and rats are among the most common winter pests since their small size makes it so easy for them to make their way indoors. Carriers of a variety of germs and diseases, these pests also have a habit of chewing through electrical wires. Most often found in basements and attics, we recommend sealing up all the cracks and crevices outside your home and checking for droppings regularly.

Keeping Pests Out of Your Home This Winter

Another animal that loves to make its den in the comforts of a human home is the raccoon. This critter can not only cause a lot of damage but can be extremely dangerous. If you think there is a raccoon in your home, contact a professional exterminator immediately.

No matter what pests you are facing this winter, Amherst Exterminators can help!.  Contact us online or by calling 716-908-247 today!

 

Where Do Pests and Critters Go in The Winter?

Where Do Pests and Critters Go in The Winter?As Summer nears its end and we head into Fall, you may be wondering what happens to small critters and pests during cold winter months.

Western New York winters consist of extreme cold temperatures, treacherous snowfall, and dark clouds hanging over every day.

 

Where do the critters go during the winter months when there’s no sign of their existence?

Some insects make like birds—and some of our elderly residents—by migrating south to warmer weather. Butterflies are a good example of this. While they’re not typically thought of as pests, they can be destructive to landscaping, especially in early stages of development. Other insects migrate downward into the earth, bringing stockpiles of food below the frost line to wait it out until spring.

Unfortunately, some common pests migrate into the warmth of your home. That’s right—we’ve unwillingly built winter lodging for insects like roaches, termites, and ants that post up in the dark corners of our homes for the winter. There are several ways to protect your home from pests looking for shelter.

Some insects, like bees and ladybugs, use their collective warmth as a means for survival, bundling together in hives and other safe places. On the other hand, pests like wasps often leave a single, strong queen to survive the winter before nesting and building a new hive when conditions are ripe. Other pests live through their immature stages of development that line up with the seasons, emerging in their adult stages ready to wreak havoc at just the right time. These include moths and grasshoppers.

Finally, even annoying pests exhibit the miracles of nature. Some insects have biological processes that produce natural anti-freeze. While lying dormant, they stay just warm enough to avoid freezing from the inside out.

Now that you know how pests survive the winter, be sure to contact a professional to help remove them from your home.  Contact Amherst Exterminators today for your extermination services in Western New York!

How to Get A Mouse Out of Your House

Uninvited house guests can be extremely annoying , especially when those guests happen to be four-legged, curly-tailed critters that dig through your trash and can potentially carry over 35 diseases!

If you have a mouse darting back and forth across your kitchen floor, you’ll want to catch it first and ask questions later.

Many people go with the traditional mousetrap, the classic metal snap trap. In fact, it is a good idea to set multiple kinds of traps, especially in your new housemate’s favorite places to travel. Most food items will work fine as bait—mice are not very picky eaters. However, unless you’re trying to provide the mouse a quick dinner to go, it can be a good idea to glue the food to the trap. Peanut butter is also a popular bait due to its stickiness.

Remember to set traps  in high-traffic areas along walls, behind appliances, behind objects, and darkened corners.

Here are a few other baits that work well:

  • Cheese
  • Gum DropsHow to Get A Mouse Out of Your House
  • Marshmallows
  • Beef Jerky
  • Nesting Materials/ Yarn/ Twine

If you would like to catch the mouse humanely, consider using live traps. Many live traps use a cage that triggers when the mouse enters and closes the critter inside. This way you can get the mouse out of your home without killing it.

If you do happen to catch a mouse alive, it’s important to bring them very far away—a mile or more—because they can be incredibly skilled at finding their way back to your home.

Ridding your home of rice requires maintainence. After the mice are out of your home it is important to keep your home clean both inside and around your property outside. These rodents are attacted to food and other watse that can be used. Be sure to remove all waste from your home on a regulaar basis to avoid unwanted creatures.

You might be able to handle one mouse, but in the case of a bigger problem, it’s always best to call a professional to take care of the problem before it grows out of hand. Amherst Exterminators  can handle your mice infestation, and other extermination services needed in the Amherst or greater Western New York area.  Contact us today for a quote!

Preparing Your Home for an Extermination

Having a pest infestation can be extremely stressful and uncomfortable, which makes it all the more important to contact a professional to rid your home of unwanted residents. When preparing your home for extermination, there are a few steps you must take to be ready once your exterminator arrives.

If your home is being exterminated, here are a few ways to prepare:

 

 

  • Remove all linens from mattresses, pillowcases, mattress covers, and clothing. Wash all materials that may have come in contact with pests like bedbugs in hot water.
  • After washing your linens store them in jumbo space bags or garbage bags until the extermination is complete.
  • Remove all clothing from closets and store in space bags.
  • Unplug all electronics. Your exterminator will be doing a thorough sweep of your home, so it is important to make everything easily accessible.
  • Move all large objects away from the perimeter of rooms.
  • Remove books from bookshelves and store in plastic bags.

Once your extermination is complete it is important to maintain their work. This will help avoid another potential infestation. Here are a few things to help:

Reduce clutter– If you have a lot of items cluttering your home, it can be difficult to know if you have bugs, rodents, or other creatures habituating in your home. To avoid this, cut down on unnecessary clutter.

Vacuum and sweep regularly– Dirt, food, insects, and other items can accumulate in your carpets and on floors which will attract other creatures like cockroaches and mice. By cleaning regularly, you are able to reduce the chance of having a bug infestation.

Use protective coverings– Bugs like to live on the soft surfaces in your home like the mattress, couch, and pillows. Although you may not want to wrap your couch in plastic it is best to use a protective cover for your mattress.

With the use of these tips, you can prepare for and maintain your extermination services. Amherst Exterminators can help eliminate your pest control issues. We will thoroughly inspect your home and then establish a plan specific to your issues. Call us at 716-908-2475 today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced exterminators.

Interesting Facts About Rats

Having a rat problem in your home can be extremely stressful for a homeowner, especially if you are trying to handle it alone. If you discover you have a rat problem it is best to hire a professional to help remove them. After you have consulted a professional, you can relax knowing that the situation is handled.

While waiting for your exterminator, here are some interesting facts about these invasive  little creatures:

Rapid Reproduction Rate

The average rat litter is between seven and 12 offspring, but litters can range all the way up to 20. Rats can give birth up to 5 times per year, and their mating rituals with only take a few seconds!

Economic Devastation

Each year rats are responsible for billions of dollars in global damages. Rat teeth are ranked 5.5 on Mohs Scale of Hardness this scale, which means their teeth are harder than copper and iron. They can easily gnaw their way through electrical wires, as well as wood and cinder block. Rats also can ruin supplies of food, and are known to bite people, especially babies. If you have

The Rat Pack

The term “rat pack” stems from the fact that rats, like humans, are profoundly social creatures. They need the company of at least one other rat to thrive. For this reason, if you find one rat in your home, there are likely several more lurking around.

Extremely Adaptable

Rats can survive in many different regions of the world. A rat can go without water for a longer period than a camel and can swim at least a half a mile. Many scientists believe they will outlast human beings on Earth and could be one of the few species to survive a mass extinction.

Rats Spread Diseases

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rats and mice can spread over 35 diseases.

If you’re struggling with a pest infestation of any sort, and live in the Amherst or greater Western New York area, visit Amherst Exterminators today, and contact us to set up an appointment.

Eliminate Your Fruit Fly Problem

With warm weather comes a host of critters that may be occupying your home. If you are a fan of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other sweet items, your home may be plagued with fruit flies. Although they are tiny, their presence can be extremely annoying and overwhelming the more they become present. If you are dealing with a fruit fly issue, it may seem as though these creatures materialized out of thin air but that is not the case. Fruit flies have a keen sense of smell and are able to find things like rotting fruit, juice drinks, and alcohol very quickly. Many of them will attach themselves to fresh produce. You may not notice the tiny eggs that could be on your fruit. If you are dealing with an infestation of fruit flies, here are some tips that may help:

Wash your produce– It is important to thoroughly wash your fresh produce to ensure that there is nothing on them. Use a small sot sponge to wash away any debris that may be resting on your fruits or vegetables.

Clean high-risk areas– Although you want to keep your whole house clean it is important to focus on areas that bugs may be attracted to. Wash off counter tops and clean cabinets, sinks, and your refrigerator. These areas are most susceptible to being plagued by fruit flies because of the easy access to food.

Create a trap- If you are looking for a quick fix to your fruit fly problem, set a vinegar trap. Pour apple cider vinegar in a bowl along with dish soap. The flies will be attached to the vinegar, but the dish soap will make sure they remain trapped.

If you have tried these options, but are still experiencing a fruit fly problem, hire a professional exterminator.  Amherst Exterminators are on-call 24-hour a day to help with all kinds of pest issues. Contact us for a free quote today!

Easy Ways to Rid Your Home of Pesky Ants

Just like bears, ants hibernate during the winter. Once the weather breaks, they emerge from hibernation, looking for food to start the cycle over again. Ants are most active when temperatures reach 75-95 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spring and summer are peak season for ants, and this is when you are more likely to find them in your home. Ants are attracted to warm small areas where they can easily find food. Places like your kitchen cabinets, counters, and in between couch cushions. There are many home remedies you can use if you notice an influx of ants in your house, but if your pest control issues get out of hand, it is best to hire a professional.

Here are some easy ways you can get rid of ants in your home:

Easy Ways to Rid Your Home of Pesky Ants

Clean your house– This may sound like basic information, but you should keep in mind what ants are attracted to while you clean. If you have any food that spilled in the back of your cabinet or sticky countertops this can be a goldmine for the ant. Once one ant finds food they will bring more! Wipe down your surface areas with a mixture of one part white vinegar and one part water. This will help remove any food residue and will keep ants away.

Mark your territory– There are many different entryways to your home for an ant. Draw a chalk line around windowsills and doorways to keep ants at bay. The calcium carbonate in chalk throws off their scent trail and will help stop them from entering your home.

Cinnamon– Not only will this tip make your home smell like fresh baked goods, but it will keep ants away. Cinnamon acts as a natural repellant. You can stray cinnamon essential oil around entryways like windows and doors.

With the use of these tip, you can decrease the number of ants in your home, but if you have a serious insect problem you will need professional help. Amherst Exterminators can help eliminate your pest control issues. We will thoroughly inspect your home and then establish a plan specific to your issues. Call us at 716-908-2475 today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced exterminators.

Tips for Cleaning Your Clothes After Being in Contact With Bedbugs

Dealing with a bed bug infestation in your home can be a huge pain in the neck for a number of reasons. One reason is that bed bugs can get all over your clothing and make the infestation even worse. For this reason, you should take any clothes that may have potentially come in contact with the infested area and clean them immediately to eliminate the threat of bed bugs spreading when you wear your clothing. Here are some tips for cleaning clothing that may have come in contact with bed bugs in your home.

Sort any clothes that may have bed bugs on them and place them into sealed bags.

Before you take your clothes to the washing machine in your home or drive them to the laundromat, you should sort them out as you normally would and put them into heavy-duty bags that will prevent any bed bugs from getting out. You should also make sure you bring every single article of clothing that was exposed to bed bugs to be washed. All it takes is one shirt or pair of pants with bed bugs on it to keep an infestation going, so don’t leave any clothes with bed bugs on them behind.

Wash your clothes on the hottest temperature possible and then dry them.

Once you get to the washing machine in your home or at the laundromat, you should take the bags and tip all of your clothes into the machine. Do not touch the clothes, since bed bugs could attach themselves to you or the clothes you’re wearing and spread that way. After you have all your clothes in the machine, turn the temperature to the hottest setting and let your clothes wash. Then, remove them from the machine and place them into a dryer and dry them like normal. This will kill all of the bed bugs on your clothes.

Keep your clothes away from the bed bug infestation in your home until it is under control.

After you’re done washing and drying your clothes, they should be 100 percent free of bed bugs. But before you bring them back into the part of your home that had bed bugs, you should have an exterminator come in and take care of the infestation for you. It can take some time to treat a home for bed bugs, so in the meantime, you should store your clothing in a different area of your home away from where the infestation took place.

Amherst Exterminators understands just how frustrating a bed bug infestation can be. So if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of having bed bugs in your home, we can come out and get rid of them as quickly as possible for you. We can also give you tips for treating clothes, bedding, furniture, and more to prevent a bed bug outbreak from getting worse. Call us at 716-908-2475 at the first sign of bed bugs, and we will come right out to help.

Don’t Let Cluster Flies Get Comfortable in Your Home!

Most people are pretty familiar with common house flies. They come out in the summer months, and once they work their way into your home, it can be really difficult to get rid of them. You can spend days, weeks, and in some cases, even months swatting at them and trying to get them to leave. However, there’s another kind of fly that can also work its way into your home, and when it does, it will often drive you crazy throughout the winter.

What Do Cluster Flies Look Like?

Cluster flies are dull-gray in color with black markings and are slightly larger than the house flies that you know. Unlike house flies, they don’t come out in the summertime. They wait until the fall, and when they are able to get inside of homes, they often work their way into rooms that get a lot of sun. They seek out spots inside of walls and attics to stay, and once they find them, they will usually make themselves right at home. They don’t reproduce in these spots, but they will often congregate in the spots and fly throughout your home on winter days.

How Can You Get Rid of Cluster Flies?

It can be difficult to get rid of cluster flies, so if you suspect that you might have them in your home, it’s best to leave the extermination of them to a professional. You should also take steps to prevent cluster flies from entering your home in the first place. They tend to enter homes through broken screens and in cracks located around windows. They also have trouble finding their way out once they’re in, which is why they don’t usually leave on their own.

Amherst Exterminators understands how frustrating it can be to get rid of cluster flies. If you are currently dealing with a cluster fly infestation, call us at 716-908-2475 today to hear about some of the options you have as far as getting them out of your home. We will work on your behalf to eliminate cluster flies from your property once and for all.