Do You Have a Termite Problem in Your Home?

Have you noticed tiny piles of sawdust around your home, or heard strange munching noises in the walls? You probably aren’t expecting this answer, but there is a possibility you have termites traversing the walls of your home. If you suspect you have a termite problem, it’s best to look for signs or clues that confirm your suspicions before further damage is caused.

Where there is wood, there is a chance of termites. But fortunately, if you do find evidence of a termite infestation in your home, there’s Amherst Exterminators to call for relief.

Not quite sure its termites in your home? Here are a few simple tricks to help you know for sure.

  1. Look for piles of wings most likely in your basement during spring when a reproductive swarm happens.
  2. Look for hollowed-out wood. This indicates that termites have eaten through wooden parts of your home. Tap on the wood where you suspect termites have been, and listen for a hollowed-out sound.
  3. Look for mud tunnels or tubes that are as wide as a pencil. These are found along the walls inside and outside of your home near the foundation, in which the termites build with their own six short and stubby legs.

Depending on the type of termite that has entered your home, additional signs include buckling paint, tiny holes in wood, and swollen floors and ceilings.

Finding one termite doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infestation, but it should raise a red flag. While you inspect your house for termites, be on the lookout for the aforementioned signs to determine whether you have a pest problem or not. If you suspect you do have an infestation and want to confirm your findings with a professional, please call Amherst Exterminators at 716-908-2475. We’ll be able to put your mind at ease and ensure your home is termite-free.

Four of the Biggest Pest Control Myths

As pests have been a problem in homes for hundreds of years, many myths have developed surrounding their extermination. The myths we mention below are ones that families often try out before calling for professional assistance, which typically just gives the problem extra time to grow.

You Can Catch Mice with Cheese

Just because it works in the cartoons, doesn’t mean you should try it in real life! Instead of hunting for cheese, most mice prefer sweeter snacks, like peanut butter or dried fruit. And, of course, if you have a mouse infestation, one trap with some bait in it isn’t likely to solve the whole problem. You also need to figure out how the rodents are getting into your home and where exactly they are residing!

Pets Keep Rodents Away

Although your dog or cat is probably enough protection to keep one rodent from making its way into your home, they cannot keep a real infestation at bay. Rodents will actually be attracted to the scent of your pet’s food, and the easy access to a snack that it provides. And since rodents can travel inside of areas (like the walls) that your pets cannot, they will have an easy enough time avoiding your first line of defense.

Your House is Too Clean for Pests

Regardless of how clean you keep your home, there are some insect pests that will still make their way inside. Carpenter ants and termites are two pest problems that have absolutely nothing to do with cleanliness, so if you notice sawdust or strange noises coming from inside your walls, it is best to give the professionals a call.

Boiling Water Will Solve Your Ant Problem

A popular old wives tale used to get rid of ants on your property, boiling water does work to kill ants directly at the surface, but it is unlikely to reach the root of your problem – the colony (and its queen). Even when poured in the correct location, boiling water will cool before it reaches the majority of the ants, minimizing your problem very temporarily instead of eradicating it completely.

As with any problem you have, the longer you let it go, the worse it becomes. If you are facing any type of pest infestation, we at Amherst Exterminators urge you to give us a call. With years of experience in pest removal, we will work with you to find the fastest possible solution to your insect or rodent problem. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 716-908-2475.

Check for Pests When House Hunting

One of the most stressful points in any adult’s life is house hunting. There are so many factors to consider when looking at a house.

  • Does the roof need replacing?
  • Is the foundation leaking?
  • Can I fit my clothes in this closet?

All of these questions and more will be running through your mind throughout the buying process. One thing that many people overlook is if there is a pest problem.

Sometimes when there is a pest problem, you won’t even notice until it is too late and you are all moved in, and then you notice a little critter giving you the side eye when you encroach on “his space”. This is what we want to help you avoid. What should you look for then as you are touring homes?

Faucets

As you walk through the home, you may check for water pressure from the faucet. Once you do that, bend down and look in the cupboards and check for any active pests. This will be the easiest way to tell if there is a problem on your hands.

Bedrooms

Going through each of the bedrooms to you may look to check the size and see if it will measure up to what you need. Next you may look at the condition of the windows to see if they need replacing. As you do this, look at the sills to see if there are any dead bugs lying in there. If you notice the same bugs in windows throughout the house – chances are that there are many more live ones on the property.

Odd Smells

Lastly, as you are walking through taking in the sights of a possible forever home, breathe through your nose and see if anything smells off to you or the people who you are touring the home with. Many exterminators will tell you that pests will give off smells. Mice give off a urine smell, roaches have an oily odor, and the smell of garbage is also a bad sign.

If you end up falling completely in love with a house that does have a major or minor pest problem, give Amherst Exterminators a call at 716-908-2475 before you move in. We can have everything taken care of before you unpack your bags and get settled in!

Three Tips to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay

As the weather gets hotter, more and more citizens across the United States are beginning to worry about mosquitoes transmitting the Zika virus. The chance of this disease reaching us here in Western New York is incredibly low, but it is always best to be safe! Whether you have tropical summer travel plans or would just like to keep mosquitoes away while you’re in the backyard, Amherst Exterminators has a few important tips for you to remember.

Remove Standing Water

If your yard is infested with mosquitoes, the best way to get rid of them is to remove all forms of standing water. This water is a breeding ground for flying insect pests, and without it you will see their numbers dramatically decrease.

We recommend checking your gutters to make sure they are draining properly and changing the water in your bird bath frequently to help reduce mosquitos’ numbers.

Dress to Cover

Mosquitoes are most active around dusk and dawn, which luckily enough are two of the coolest times of day. If you plan to be outside at these times, wear full length pants, sneakers and a long sleeve shirt to help prevent bites.

Use Bug Spray

Bug spray is the best and most efficient way to protect yourself from mosquito bites, and we recommend applying it whenever you will be spending an extended period of time outside. Check the repellant’s label to make sure it contains DEET and be sure to follow product instructions when applying.

For all your insect pest extermination needs, Amherst Exterminators is here to help! Contact us by phone at 716-908-2475 to learn more about our services and to schedule an appointment to remove the unwanted pest you are facing.

Spiders: Nature’s Plant Pest Exterminator

As creepy as we humans think they are, spiders are incredibly beneficial to us – especially during the summer months. If your garden is always plagued by the teeny insect pests that munch on leaves and help themselves to ripening fruits and vegetables, the spider will truly be your best friend.

These eight-legged arachnids are some of the only pest predators that don’t eat plants themselves, making them the perfect guests in your garden. A recent article in The Journal Times offers tips on how to create a more spider-friendly yard, which includes plenty of trees and shrubs.

Of the 45,500 known spider species, only a few (yellow sac, black widows and brown recluse) are venomous to humans. And since none of these species are aggressive, the chance of them harming you is rather low.

A great help in preventing other creepy crawly critters from infesting your garden and yard, spiders do make their way into homes on occasion. Since spiders lay hundreds of eggs at a time, a nest inside your home can easily result in itchy spider bites.

Seeing a spider or two is no cause for alarm, as these insects can easily make their way inside through a hole in your window screen or an open door, but if your Western New York home is facing a more serious infestation Amherst Exterminators can help.

For more information about spiders and how to get rid of them inside your home, contact our professional team of exterminators at 716-908-2475.

Fighting Summer Flea Infestations

Now that the summer weather is here to stay in Western New York, family pets will be spending more time outside the home, basking in the sun and enjoying all that the beautiful warm weather has to offer. But the more time they spend outside, the more likely it is for them to end up with fleas – especially if regular flea treatments are not provided.

Tiny, wingless critters that jump from host to host, fleas are reddish brown in color and feed on the blood of those whose fur or skin they are inhabiting. Their feeding causes red, itchy welts to appear, which can be noticed in your furry family members by frequent scratching and grooming.

While there are some simple preventative measures you can take to keep fleas off of your family pets, there is always a chance that one will still hitch a ride into your home. And if it does, your whole family might be facing itchy skin and flea-borne diseases like tapeworm and murine typhus.

Besides lodging themselves into the fur of your family pets, fleas can also be found on rodents like mice and rats, so if you see them inside but can’t find them on your cat or dog, you might have another infestation to worry about.

If you are battling a flea infestation (or a rodent one) in your home, the best course of action to take is contacting a pest control company right away. For families in the Western New York area, Amherst Exterminators is here to help. Visit us online to learn more about our services and request a free quote, or contact us by phone at 716-908-2475.

Also remember to contact your doctor and veterinarian so you and your family members – both human and furry – can be properly examined after the infestation has been taken care of.

Is That a Wasp or a Bee?

Two of the most common insects you will see in your yard during the summer months, wasps and bees are both colored black and yellow with stingers that pack quite a powerful punch. Another trait they have in common? Both of these flying pests can potentially invade your home.

So how do you tell the different between a wasp and a bee? There are a few different traits to look for.

Size

Although both insects can fit inside the palm of your hand, they are rather different in shape. The honey bee is round and wide, much fatter than his cousin the wasp. Wasps, on the other hand are long and thin, with a body that tapers in behind the wings before rounding back out.

Color

Technically, bees and wasps are the same colors (yellow and black), but to a knowledgeable eye their exact shades are rather different. Honey bees are coated in what looks like hair or fur, and they can range in color from black to brown and orange to yellow.

Wasps, on the other hand, have a bright and shiny body with smooth, bold coloration.

Habits

honey beeOnce you get past their similar appearances, bees and wasps are very different creatures. Bees are pollinators that fly from one flower source to the next, enjoying nectar as they go. Wasps are predatory insects that eat other bugs.

Both are attracted to sugar sweet smells, which is why it is so important to keep your kitchen neat during the summer months. Neither wasps nor bees are aggressive in nature, but both will sting if enticed – or if they feel that their nest is in danger.

Honey bees and wasps are both known to builds their nests inside homes when given the opportunity, with popular nesting locations being in attics or on the inside of walls. Regardless of which flying pest you are dealing with, Amherst Exterminators can help. Give us a call at 716-908-2475 to schedule your appointment or request a free quote.

Finding Carpenter Ant Nests Can Be A Learning Experience For You Children

The ability of a carpenter ant to establish a nest in a home is just as interesting as finding it once it has taken over your home. Sometime we forget that we live in the middle of nature and often have to cope with unwanted pests like carpenter ants whose natural job is to break wood down and use it to build their nest.

The problem is that they do not know that the wood they are munching on is your home!

Carpenter ants may build their nest in a window sill plate hidden between siding and inner drywall with just a hint of sawdust being kicked out of the nest in the early part of the year to lay eggs. The nest may be in an overhead garage door beam that leaves sawdust on your new car in the morning as your leaving for work. These are just two possible signs that an active nest is in your home.

Finding a carpenter ant nest can be difficult, and it may take help from your entire family. We recommend getting your children involved in the ant finding process, teaching them valuable skills for their future and making this potentially frightening situation a fun one for them.

When a ton of ants are seen in a family room and there is no sign of a nest – just ant after ant walking around the room – you tend to get a bit nervous. So the first thing to do is to look for soft damaged wood. If you can’t find any soft damaged wood or sawdust being kicked out, it is time to go grab a stethoscope.

Involve you children, allowing them to help in the search for sawdust and giving them a turn listening to the walls with your stethoscope. The minute someone hears crackling sounds in the walls, you can be sure you have found the nest.

Once the nest has been found, all that is left to do is call Amherst Exterminators to get rid of the problem before any more damage is done. To learn more about our service, visit us online or call us direct at 716-908-2475.

Calling A Pest Control Company That Can Answer Your Questions

The thought of having a pest problem in your home or business is worrisome enough, but finding a company that will take the time to listen to your problem can be just as difficult – unless you find the right company. Here at Amherst Exterminators we are always willing to listen to your concerns and come up with a game plan that will fit your pest control needs.

Cost and timely service is always out utmost concern. When you call us, we will try and handle the call as quickly and efficiently as possible. If we can’t identify the problem and create a plan over the phone we will dispatch a technician to your residence to find a solution.

Treatments for common pests include baits, residuals, monitoring and injections if needed. Once the initial service has been completed there is a time frame that allows the treatment to work effectively. Keeping monitors in the area after a treatment has been applied will help to determine if additional services are needed to assure the problem is completely resolved.

Baits especially may need to be reapplied or added in other areas, as they will be gobbled up by pests. It may take several weeks to complete the task of controlling the pests, and this is the part of the process that can be difficult for a customer to understand.

Amherst Exterminators understands that after you are charged the fee for the service, you expect results to occur as quickly as possible. We want this to happen just as much as you do, but results cannot always be guaranteed in just a few days. Some baits and treatments take several weeks to eliminate the problem, and the sanitation and mechanical steps that need to be taken along with treatments also play a role in the success of the service.

Please keep that in mind when having a technician come out and service your location, and as always, feel free to call us at 716-908-2475 with any questions you may have!

Spring Weather Brings Out More Than Just Flowers

Spring showers bring May flowers, but many unwanted pests come along with this change in weather.

The beauty of budding flowers, trees and bushes always brings along the insect pests that make their way in and out of homes and buildings.

Ants, spiders, millipedes, silverfish and many other insects forage in and around the exterior of structures, eventually making their way inside. The best defense for this type of problem is to keep your perimeter dry and free from unwanted weeds, moisture and shade. The shade around a home is beneficial for a nice, well protected area but it can also lead to moisture problems that allow ants to establish colonies in and around wood structures.

Keeping a good three foot barrier around your house with no moisture, growth or heavy shade is key in helping suppress crawling insects.

The winter winds bring neighbors leaves, sticks and debris close to your foundation, providing a great source of protection for pests and making exterior barrier applications the key to creating a pest free environment in your home and yard.

Amherst Exterminators can provide this service all spring, summer and fall as you need protection. You call and let us know what kind of control you need and we provide the protection so you are not paying for unwanted and unneeded applications. If you are in need of a spring exterior barrier application, call us today at 716-908-2475 to schedule an appointment or visit us online for a free quote.