April Showers Bring Bugs

Western New York typically sees plenty of snow in winter months, and as a result, very few bugs. However, temperatures are warming up and seasons are changing. While April showers are certainly a sign of spring, they are also a sign that bugs will soon surface.

Why does it seem that significant rain fall typically results in an abundance of insects?

Rain Forces Bugs Out of Soil

Many bugs typically live under ground or within soil such as ants, beetles, and so forth. When significant rain falls, their underground homes are flooded. Rainwater can seep into cracks which results in the soil becoming soaked. The bugs are forced to climb out from the soil in order to escape the water and prevent themselves from drowning inside of the soil. (This is why in Western New York, we often see worms all over the ground after a rain shower)

Rain Makes Bugs Seek Shelter

Most insects search for shelter during a rainstorm. Sometimes that is underneath a leaf, in the corner of a garage, underneath a shingle, or inside of your home. Most insects don’t want to get soaked in a rainstorm, and just as we do, they seek shelter from rain showers. However, there are several bugs, such as mosquitos, that love humid conditions so they welcome the rain.

Rain Can Damage Bugs Wings

Some bugs, such as bees, are smart enough to sense when a storm is coming so they will stay stationary as a result. Rain can actually be a danger to some insects which is why so many of them avoid rain. For some insects, heavy rain can weigh down their wings making it difficult to fly. For other insects, rain can actually damage their wings making it impossible to fly. Many insects avoid rain for safety purposes.

If you have insect or pest problems this spring, contact Amherst Exterminator to take care of them for you.

Preparing Home for Spring Pests

Spring is approaching and with spring comes insects. As temperatures warm up, insects venture back outside, and often times, into our home. It is important to keep insects out of your home this spring to avoid unwanted infestations, consider using these methods:

Keep Gardens Distant

We all start working hard on our gardens during spring months but gardens can be a big contributor to insect infestations. When planting or mulching, make sure to keep gardens about three feet from your house. Many small insects and rodents are attracted to plants, flowers, and mulch. Keep gardens a short distance away from your foundation prevent lingering insects from getting inside.

Get Rid of Standing Water

Winter months leave behind a lot of standing water. Many insects, such as flies and mosquitoes, linger around standing water. If you have an in ground pool that is covered with water in the cover, drain it as soon as possible. Make sure you clear your gutters of any debris that might result in standing water within your gutters as well.

Keep Food Sealed Up

In winter, we are often able to be a bit more relaxed when it comes to storing our food. We don’t have to be sure that we shut the cereal box, but in warmer months, all food needs to be sealed away. Dry food should be in an airtight containers, from pet food to rice and otherwise. Be sure to clean counters often and make sure that nothing sticky is left behind that pests might feast on.

If spring arrives and you discover that you might have a pest problem, contact Amherst Exterminators.

Bugs Have Bedtimes Too

As humans, we eventually turn off the lights, brush our teeth, pull the sheets back, and climb into bed.

For many of us, sleeping is something we really look forward to at the end of a long day.

However, many animals sleep and the majority of bugs are no different.

Bugs, such as cockroaches, fruit flies, and praying mantises, also go to bed at the end of a long night.

Even fruit flies, who are minuscule creatures, make sleep a focus of their daily schedule. Barrett Klein, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse said “Fruit fly sleep is similar to mammal sleep since the flies respond to sleep-inducing chemicals and caffeine, just like people.” In fact, fruit flies can actually become sleep deprived just as humans can.

However, it can be hard for scientists to understand and document the sleeping habits of bugs.

Many bugs often drift into a “sleep-like state” which can make it difficult to know when they are sleeping versus when they appear to be sleeping because they are just being still.

If you want to know if a bug is sleeping, you should look to see if the bug seems to be drooping down, (due to gravity) and has relatively relaxed muscle form.

If a bug is asleep, it can also be difficult to wake them up, which is another similar sleeping habit that we share with them.

Katy Prudic, a biologist at Oregon State University, explained that science still does not know if butterflies sleep or if they simply “rest.” Butterflies do occasionally experience “torpor” which is when they can’t move due to cold temperatures, which can also give off the appearance of sleeping butterfly.

After researching the sleeping habits of honeybees, scientists also discovered that bees that are “sleepy” are not helpful in the hive and struggle to communicate, similar to how a human would act if they were tired.

Whether the bugs in your home are wide awake or seem to be in a deep sleep, you don’t want them getting comfortable. Contact Amherst Exterminators to take care of any issues.

Consider These Insects Antiques

We often hear about the history of animals but we rarely hear about the history of insects. We know a lot about the role dinosaurs played years ago, how certain animals adapted over time, what animals have gone extinct, and so forth. However, we don’t seem to know much about ancient insects.

How long have spiders been crawling through the cracks? Have ants been marching for centuries? We thought we’d find out. Rumor has it that insects crawled across the planet long before dinosaurs. With the help of a study published in the journal “Science” we educated ourselves on the history of insects.


We found out that we’ve actually been sharing the world with spiders for centuries. Proof of certain spiders can be traced back 570 million years ago. It is believed that they used to primarily live in and around water. With the majority of the world being water years ago, it makes sense that they would have to be able to survive within it.


Researchers have found evidence of “roachoids” that are likely ancestors of the different roaches that we know, and dislike, today.  This evidence also reflects that mantids and termites are closely related to cockroaches. The history of these insects has been going strong for 230 million years but the cockroach we are familiar with dates back about 170 million years.


If any insect could have coined the phrase “creepy crawler,” it would be millipedes and centipedes. Millipedes can be traced back over 550 million years ago. This insect is considered the “mother of many bugs” and likely also lived primary in water just as spiders did. Clearly, they survived changing conditions for years. Apparently, having a lot of legs gives you a “leg up” on other insects.


The silverfish, a common enemy of homeowners everywhere, has been around for over 420 million years. (And we doubt it’s going anywhere) However, silverfish have changed over time and the ancestor of the silverfish we are familiar with today most likely surfaced about 250 million years ago.

Finding out that insects have been around for centuries doesn’t make them more appealing, but we have to admit, it’s pretty interesting.

If you have insects attempting to make history in your home, contact Amherst Exterminators today.

Beware of Bugs in Rustic Furniture

The thought of unwanted bugs sitting on our furniture alongside us leaves our skin crawling with uneasiness. Unfortunately, insects could be cozy next to you without you even knowing it.

There are several species of insects that are so small you would not be able to detect them until they became bothersome.

Wooden furniture, which is extremely popular, commonly becomes home to pesky insects.

Wood often serves as “home” for thousands of insect species.

Even when the wood is cut down and preserved for residential furniture use, there is never a 100% guarantee there won’t be pests found in the wood.

In Madison, Wisconsin state officials are actually warning consumers to be on the lookout for exotic inspect pests that are being found within imported rustic log furniture.

This warning is not only for the homeowner’s safety but also for the safety of Wisconsin’s forests.

In 2016, there were two incidents in the city of Madison where imported rustic furniture from China was infested with insects.

The insects were identified as wood-boring beetles that are typically native to China. This type of beetle could pose a major danger to the forest, crops, and wood product industries if they escaped into the environment.

The buyers noticed the various types of beetles in the furniture when sawdust was found around the furniture. These beetles could live up to two years within the furniture and go unnoticed.

Here are ways you can recognize if you have pests invading your furniture, especially those made of wood:

– Sawdust around the furniture
– Exit holes or small tunnels where insects burrow
– Loose bark or visible trails that indicate wood damage

If you suspect an insect infestation in your furniture, be sure to contact a professional to handle it such as Amherst Exterminators.

Ponds Can Bring Pests

If you have a pond on your property, you might find yourself fending off insects and pests frequently. Ponds usually result in critters coming into your home and frequently popping up around your property. Although ponds often bring butterflies and songbirds, they can also result in snakes, mosquitoes, mammals, and other pests.


Mosquitoes are a common when it comes to “pond pests.” They are irritating and extremely attracted to standing water. To avoid mosquitoes from swarming your pond, you can consider installing some sort of fountain which will keep the water moving and help keep mosquitoes at bay.


Aphids are another frequent pond pest. These insects attached themselves to aquatic plants, affecting the ecology of your pond in a negative way. Do your best to soak your aquatic plants regularly in fresh water to get rid of these pests. If these pests fall into the water and you have fish in your pond, the fish will take care of them.


If you live in an area that has mammals such as raccoons or foxes, you might find them wandering towards your pond, especially if you have fish within it. To prevent the mammals from entering or snatching your fish, you can put a mesh grille over the pond. Although it can become frustrating to take this on and off as needed, it is a sure way to protect the pond from mammals.

Aquatic Leaf Beetles

These beetles are typically small, ranging in color from dark brown to black, and they feed on leaves frequently found around ponds. They will chew holes in the leaves and you’ll probably notice speckled areas on the plants. These beetles feed on aquatic plants as well which can result in dead foliage and infected plants. To get rid of them, spray them with a strong spray of water.

These are just several pests that are commonly found around ponds. If you believe that your pond is resulting in a pest infestation around or in your home, contact Amherst Exterminators.

Checking Your Fireplace for Pests

If you use the fireplace inside of your home during the bitter cold of winters of Western New York, it is important to understand how to prevent pests from gaining access into your home through it.

Inspecting Your Firewood

When you transport outside firewood into your home, it is vital that you inspect each piece of firewood first for pests. Wood that was sitting outside for an extended period of time likely has insects within the log. You should check your firewood for any holes where insects might be hiding out. Before you bring the firewood into your home, hit it against pavement several times to shake any insects loose. If there are insects inside or on your firewood, they will leave the log when the log starts to get hot and disperse into your home. Eliminate them before they get inside.

Get Fireplace Inspected

Most people only use their fireplace during the coldest winter months.  Fireplaces are dormant most of the time which makes them an easy hiding place for rodents, pests, and insects. Before you start using your fireplace, you should get it professionally inspected by a chimney sweep. If the chimney sweep suspects pests, you should then bring in a professional pest control company to get it taken care of.

Shutting the Flue

Unfortunately, a chimney pretty much serves as a tunnel for rodents, birds, and bats. A chimney can be an easy passage way into a home with food and heat, attracting rodents. Rodents typically carry mites and ticks, and you don’t want them burrowing inside of your chimney. When you are not using your fireplace, you should be shutting the flue. Shutting the flue will prevent rodents and pests from getting into your home through your chimney. When you are burning a fire, you must keep the flue open for ventilation.

Sealing the Hearth

Having a door installed onto the front of your fireplace is important, primarily, for safety reasons. Doors on fireplaces will help prevent children from getting too close to the fireplace. However, doors can also prevent pests from getting into your home through your fireplace. By sealing your fireplace shut with a door, you can help prevent pests from gaining entry.

If you do find you that you have a pest issue of any kind, contact Amherst Exterminators to take care of it for you.

Beware of Christmas Tree Pests

As the holiday season approaches, many people purchase Christmas trees that they put up in their home.

For many people, the smell of fresh pine is a must and they purchase a real tree from a Christmas tree farm outdoors. When people purchase a real tree to put into their living room, they rarely consider what might be living inside of their next Christmas tree.

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. Make sure you are also checking your Christmas tree for vacant bird nests. Although some people want to leave them inside as a decoration, they likely contain mites or lice.

Spiders are 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 them will remain on the tree and you may never even see them. If you do notice your Christmas tree has a trace of insects of 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. For the most part, you should not have many issues with Christmas tree pests. Most insects will enjoy the season from the comfort of their tree, rarely wandering elsewhere.

If you do face issues with pests this winter, call Amherst Exterminators to take care of it for you.

Cats Being Hired as Exterminators in NYC

The Javits Center in New York City is an event center that hosts trade shows, conventions, and special events. It is an 840,000 square feet space, occupying six city blocks along the Hudson River. Several newly hired employees have four legs and whiskers, setting them miles apart from the rest.

The Javits Center recently hired four feral cats: Sylvester, Alfreda, Mama Cat, and Ginger. The cats have been hired as rodent exterminators. They work within in the loading docks of the convention space between the 11th and 12th avenues.

The loading docks at the facility had been experiencing frequent rat issues for two years. Rebecca Marshall, the center’s sustainability manager, decided to team up with the Feral Cat Initiative to help resolve the issue in a positive way. Through the “Trap-Neuter-Return program” feral cats are trapped, sterilized, neutered, vaccinated, and returned to where they were originally found.

The cats are brought in for this special mission when it is unsafe for them to return to where they originally came from. Often, their previous homes are destroyed due to construction, fires, destruction, and so forth. It is vital to find relocation for these cats and the Javits Center is a great solution.

The cats brought into the Javits Center live in a comfortable enclosure on the docks where they are fed and sheltered by staff. The majority of the cats are even adopted by employees and visitors. Staff members take turn purchasing food for the cats and making sure they are well fed and taken care of.

In return for the food and shelter, the cats are responsible to exterminate unwanted rats that visit the loading docks. The scent of the cats alone has scared many of the rats off. The rats are not as frequent now that the cats are hard at work on the dock.

If you struggle with a rat infestation and don’t want to deal with the paperwork of hiring a feral cat, contact Amherst Exterminators to handle the extermination for you.

Five Ways to Prevent Bugs from Invading Your Home

Most home owners are concerned about bugs festering inside their home, it is a thought that many people cannot stand. Below are some suggestions on how to keep your home as bug free as possible.

Maintain Windows and Screens
Make sure all of the windows in your home have screens that are not torn. If you are going to open a window, you need to make sure that a screen is preventing bugs from getting while allowing a cool breeze through. Without a screen in your window, bugs and small rodents could get inside of your home, including bees, ants, squirrels and birds. Windows should also be sealed round the edges and any cracks in the glass should be filled to prevent bugs from crawling through that way.

Organize Your Home
It might be common knowledge but a clean home often means less bugs. Bugs are desperate for cluttered spaces and flock to homes that are not organized. They want to hide in dark corners, small crevices, and crowded spaces. Clutter allows them to feel protected and hidden. If your home has minimal clutter, bugs will have a hard time finding a hiding spot.

Take Out Your Garbage
We are all guilty of letting our garbage sit longer than we should. However, taking out our garbage regularly is a proven way to avoid bug infestations. Many people believe that if their garbage does not smell, it does not need to go outside. Bugs will smell dirty garbage before you so it isn’t good to go off of smell alone.  Although you don’t need to change your garbage every day, you should be taking it out every few days. Make sure you occasionally clean your garbage as well. Although this is a dreadful job, it should be done on occasion. Scrub it down with cleaning solution to get off any messes.

Clean Up After Pets
Bugs are not clean creatures and they enjoy sitting on pet waste. Make sure you are cleaning any dog waste up from the backyard regularly so bugs don’t flock to the waste and surround your home and yard. Cat litter should be cleaned every day because it sits inside. Bugs are drawn to pet food and water dishes sitting on the floor as well because they get dirty. You should clean your pets bowls often and store any extra food in a sealed container.

Keep Food Sealed Away
Whenever you can, store your food, such as cereal or rice, in air tight containers. Make sure you put snacks into your cupboards and drawers. Wipe down any appliances that sit out on the counter such as toasters and coffee machines. Keep your counter clear of food whenever possible. If you put dishes in the sink to thoroughly wash at a later time, try and rinse any food or liquids from the dish first.

Unfortunately, bugs are always going to find different ways into homes. All we can do is take precautions against them. If you do face a bug or pest problem, contact Amherst Exterminators to help you get it under control.