The Most Damaging Pests to Your Home

Spring is almost here, and as we mentioned in our last blog post, the warm winter weather Western New York experienced may lead to larger insect populations this season. With this in mind, Amherst Exterminators has compiled a list of four common spring insect pests that can reduce your home’s value.

Termites

According to realtor.com, termites are the biggest threat to wood-based structures in the US, costing more than five billion dollars in damage each year. Common signs include discarded wings, hollow-sounding wood and tubes of mud on the outside walls of your home.

There are two different species of termites prevalent in the country, subterranean termites and drywood termites, each of which requires different removal techniques.

Carpenter Ants

A pest commonly found across the Northern United States, carpenter ants are both a nuisance to deal with and a danger to the woodwork in your home. While carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites do, they do burrow into it, creating nests for their young to grow. Some of their favorite places to burrow down include windows, doorways and in wall voids, so watch for their appearance and listen for rustling noises in these areas.

If you spot carpenter ants inside your home as the weather warms up, this could signal that a colony has been living dormant inside your walls all winter long.

German Cockroaches

Found worldwide, German cockroaches are transmitters of diseases like Salmonella and E. coli, also causing asthma and allergy flare ups. One of the most disgusting pests to make their way into homes, it is important to get rid of these critters quickly so they do not do any harm to your family, contaminate your food or damage the paper products throughout your home.

Honey Bees

As much as we love the taste of honey and the honey bees’ ability to pollinate flowers, no one wants a colony of these winged insects inside their attic or the walls of their home. Not only can the bees themselves be tough to remove, but the hive itself must be completely removed to prevent further problems. If sections of the hive are left behind, it and the honey left within it will decompose, creating a sour odor and attracting other pests to the area.

If you notice signs of any of these pests in your Western New York home this spring, contact Amherst Exterminators for help at 716-908-2475.

Mild Winter: What Does it Mean for Spring Insects?

Western New York is known for many things, with harsh winters being near the top of the list, but this past winter has been warmer than average. While that makes life a little easier for area residents, it does the same for area insects as well.

It is difficult to predict how this winter’s weather precisely impacts the insect population, but generally speaking, warmer weather allows a larger population of bugs to remain alive through the winter months. That, in turn, means a larger insect population in early spring.

“In the Northeast, milder winters are leading to changes in the distribution of plants and animals, including forest pests and insects that spread disease,” the Cary Institute explains. “Less snow translates into less snowmelt to the detriment of groundwater supplies. A lack of insulating snow cover damages plant roots. And intense rain events result in flooding, with damages to infrastructure.”

So while you’ve enjoyed our mild winter, make sure your home is ready for the spring and the return of the insects. Amherst Exterminators eliminates pests in a safe and cost-effective manner. With a proper inspection and subsequent treatments, we can correct or prevent any pest control problem.

Amherst Exterminators uses a process called Integrated Pest Management, which has six steps to ridding your home of bugs. That includes an inspection, an identification of the problem, applications of non-chemical and chemical approaches, continual monitoring and communication with you to keep you informed during and after the treatment.

We can help you fight against the possibly larger insect population and ensure your home is insect free. With years of experience, Amherst Exterminators has helped residents throughout Western New York to get rid of the pests that not only spread disease and painful or itchy bites, but can damage property as well.

As spring arrives, call Amherst Exterminators to schedule an inspection of your home. We pride ourselves on protecting our neighbors from everything from ants, flies and bed bugs to mice, rats and bats. Find out how we can help you today by calling 716-908-2475.

Keep Rats Out of Your Home and Yard

A pest that no homeowner wants to deal with, the rat is a dirty and unattractive mammal that carries a wide range of disease transmittable to humans, including salmonella. Nocturnal in nature, it is easy for rats to go unnoticed. Whether you catch a rat skittering around your backyard when you take Fido out before bed or you wake up to see your garbage cans have been raided, there are a few precautions you can take to make your yard and home as unpleasant to these rodents as possible.

Clean Up Your Yard

Rats love dark, enclosed spaces and typically stick to the same paths once they have been established, so we recommend looking for and eliminating rat runs around your yard. Tracks that are left in low vegetation, paths formed between ivy and your home, and holes through piles of wood or debris are all common when dealing with rats. The easiest way to eliminate these rodents from your yard is to get rid of the places they like to visit, removing anything that rats can get into from your property.

Cut Off Food Sources

Another important thing to do when dealing with rats is to cut off all potential sources of food. Keep garbage and grass seed in rat-proof containers, remove bird feeders from your lawn and clean up pet droppings every day. Without anywhere to hide or anything to eat, the rats will most likely leave your yard in search of somewhere that better meets their requirements.

Seal Your Home

If your home isn’t yet properly sealed from pests, we recommend sealing up gaps, holes and heating vents to keep rats from getting inside your house. Since these critters are able to chew through foam insulation, it is best to use heavy-gauge screening or to combine foam insulation with wire mesh.

If you do notice signs of a rat infestation inside your Western New York home, contact Amherst Exterminators immediately at 716-908-2475.

Cockroaches Inspire Rescue Robot

Often more than two inches in length and a carrier of a variety of diseases, the cockroach is one of the most disliked critters to regularly make its way into human homes. This bug can get into almost anything, devouring the food in your pantry and causing allergies to flare up. But in spite of all the trouble that they cause, the very features that make us despise the cockroach are the same ones that have inspired researchers Kaushik Jayaram and Robert J. Full to create a prototype rescue robot in its likeness.

In an article recently released by PNAS, the researchers discuss the discoveries they made when studying the cockroach and its exoskeleton, and how this information has played a vital role in the creation of a soft, legged search-and-rescue robot.

Called the exoskeleton, the outer shell of the cockroach is made up of overlapping places of chitin, a material held together with a flexible membrane. The combined flexibility and durability of the cockroach’s shell allow it to fit into tiny spaces with ease. How tiny? The researchers discovered that a cockroach can fit into a space less than a quarter of its height by collapsing its exoskeleton and spreading out sideways. Incredibly fast and able to get into almost anything, the cockroach is practically built for finding humans in the debris of earthquakes and other natural disasters.

See just how cockroaches and the search-and-rescue robot work in the video below:

While you probably love the idea of the search-and-rescue cockroach, that doesn’t mean you have to accept the presence of real roaches. If you find one in your Western New York home, Amherst Exterminators is here to help! Contact us at 716-908-2475 for all your pest control needs.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Attacking US Agriculture

A recent article from Texas newspaper Times Record News highlighted three of the most damaging pests to crops, one of which is the brown marmorated stink bug. A bug that was first found in Pennsylvania during the 1990s, the brown marmorated stink bug wreaks havoc on farms across the United States, causing more than $30 million in damage to apple crops alone in 2010.

Not only is the brown marmorated stink bug extremely harmful to crops, but it is also known for spending its winters indoors, both in homes and vehicles. And although this stinkbug won’t do any damage to your house, it can be quite a nuisance, since is lets off a foul odor when bothered or squished.

Where Are They Found?

Found across most of the continental United States, this invasive stinkbug originated in Asia and has been able to spread so rapidly because of a lack of natural predators. Detected in 42 states and two Canadian provinces, these bugs are a big nuisance to farmers and residents across the Northeast. Brown marmorated stink bugs aren’t picky when it comes to snacking, but Stop BMSB has created a crop-by-crop analysis of their favorite foods to feast on.

What Can You Do?

If you are finding brown marmorated stink bugs throughout your home or business, don’t panic. These creatures are completely harmless to you and your home. There are a few ways to get rid of stinkbugs without the stink, including vacuuming them up and trapping them in a metal pan filled with soapy water. We recommend using a Shop-Vac or an old vacuum that you don’t frequently use to prevent the stink from getting into your everyday cleaning companion.

If you need help handling your infestation, Amherst Exterminators is just a phone call away at 716-908-2475. Servicing the Amherst, Williamsville, Kenmore, Tonawanda areas and more, we are happy to assist with all your exterminating needs.

Source:

http://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/brown-marmorated-stink-bug

Buffalo Moves Up on List of Most Infested Bed Bug Cities

Orkin recently released their 2016 list of the top 50 cities with bed bugs, and while Chicago topped the list for the fourth year in a row, Buffalo made quite the jump, moving up from number 26 to number 20. A small, brown insect that feeds on human blood, bed bugs are about the size of apple seeds and leave itchy red welts, similar to mosquito bites, on the skin. Not necessarily a sign of uncleanliness, there are a couple different ways that bed bugs can make their way into your home and bed.

Used Clothes and Furniture

Although shopping thrift stores for unique, vintage finds is a popular trend, it is important to take proper care before bringing any type of used clothing or furniture into your home. Common carriers of bed bugs, clothes should be put in the washing machine immediately to prevent potential bed bugs infesting your home. When it comes to furniture it is important to perform a thorough inspection before your purchase, checking for the presence of bugs and stains. If you are still worried even after checking for bugs, you can also reupholster the furniture – preferably outside or in a garage – to keep bed bugs at bay.

Hotel Stays

Before booking your next hotel stay, remember to check the web for complaints of bed bugs. While these critters can appear anywhere, it is better not to take chances. Regardless of where you stay, it is a good idea to check your room for bugs upon arrival, searching the beds and nearby furniture. Instead of hanging luggage in the closet or tossing your bags on floor, set it up on a luggage stand to keep your things out of the way of any potential infestation. If you do see signs of bed bugs, head to the front desk immediately to report your findings.

Take care purchasing used goods, check your room when staying at hotels and watch for signs of bed bugs to keep your home and family bite-free. If you are experiencing a bed bug infestation in the Western New York area, contact Amherst Exterminators at 716-908-2475 to handle the problem immediately.

Enjoy a Pest-Free New Year with These Resolutions

As 2016 draws near, many of us are trying to come up with some great New Year’s resolution we can keep. Whether you plan to make changes to your lifestyle, learn a new hobby or read more this year, there are a few extra resolution ideas that Amherst Exterminators encourages you to consider. While cleaning and repairing your home may not be the most exciting New Year’s activities, they can reduce pest problems, making your home a more enjoyable and stress-free place throughout the upcoming year.

Clean Out the Pantry

There is nothing that pests love more than a dark pantry with crumbs galore. Instead of worrying about ants and other insects as the weather warms up this spring, take preventative measures by putting aside some time to clean your pantry this year. Wipe down the shelves, make sure everything is properly sealed and sweep up the floor to keep bugs at bay.

Move Your Firewood

One of the most common mistakes that families make is stacking firewood next to their house. Carpenter ants, spiders and termites all like to cozy up in the wood pile and end up being carried right into your home when you go to start a fire. Start off the new year right by moving your woodpile across the yard this January to keep your home and garage pest-free.

Seal Up Cracks and Crevices

If you haven’t winterized your home yet, make a New Year’s resolution to do so in the next month. As the weather grows colder, rodents and bugs are more likely to head towards your home for warmth, and even the smallest holes can give them access. Seal up cracks and crevices around the foundation of your home and check to make sure all of your doors and windows seal tightly closed for a warm and pest-free year.

Check Areas Prone To Pests Regularly

After taking the above preventative measures, remember to check for pest activity regularly throughout the year 2016. We recommend taking time to check your attic, basement and outside walls every few weeks for signs of unwanted visitors. Even if you see just a couple of bugs, contact us right away at 716-908-2475. Insects and rodents reproduce quickly and the fastest and easiest way to stop a pest problem is to get to them before things get out of hand.

Prevent Winter Pests from Cozying Up in Your Home

As the snow begins to fall here in Amherst, New York, our thoughts immediately turn to the critters outside and where they will seek 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.

 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.

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 dangerous to deal with. If you think there is a raccoon in your home, contact Amherst Exterminators right away.

Bugs and Spiders

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 wood pile 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.

No matter what pests you are facing this winter, Amherst Exterminators to take care of your problem.  Contact us online or by calling 716-908-247 today!

Keep Bugs Out Of Your Christmas Tree

A beautiful way to fill your home with the smell of pine, the real Christmas tree is the preferred choice for many families. As the holiday season draws near and you and your children head out in search of your perfect tree, we at Amherst Exterminators would like to provide you a bit of advice to keep your home free of bugs and pests. Some of the most common insects found on Christmas trees are bark beetles, mites, praying mantis and spiders. None of these pests can cause harm to you or your home, but they can be an annoying nuisance as you are preparing to entertain holiday guests. Follow these words of advice to keep your home and tree bug-free this winter.

Take Preventative Measures

Instead of worrying about pests this season, take some preventative measures to remove them from your tree before bringing it inside. Visit a Christmas tree farm that has a mechanical shaker to dislodge bird nests, debris and stray pests before you head home. This will also get rid of loose needles that are bound to fall onto your floor.

Get Out the Vacuum Cleaner

Although the warm temperatures in your home will kill pests quickly, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove bugs sooner. We recommend steering clear of aerosol insect sprays, because of their flammability.

Regardless of what types of pest you are dealing with this holiday season, contact Amherst Exterminators to take care of the problem quickly and efficiently. Contact us online or by calling 716-908-2475 today!

Cluster Flies Love Taking Up Residence In Your Attic

If you’ve been noticing flies around your property that don’t seem like the average housefly, you may have something a bit different on your hands. One of the biggest nuisances property owners deal with is cluster flies, a specific type of fly that are a bit more aggressive than you may be used to. In fact, these flies tend to gather around windows and try to make their way into structures, sometimes even tearing through screens. We’re here to provide you with a few more facts about these flies that you should be aware of.

Cluster flies have also been called attic flies, and that’s because they tend to make their way into the attic of homes in order to hibernate. Fortunately, they tend to leave people alone for the most part, and they tend to congregate in areas of homes that are usually uninhabited, hence the attic.

Why are these flies called Cluster flies? Well, they tend to gather and form clusters around windows and inside walls. You may notice some stains left on your curtains or walls where these flies have been recently. Unlike some species of flies, Cluster flies can live for several months, so don’t expect an infestation to go away by itself any time soon.

No matter what type of flies you are dealing with in and around your property, you don’t have to deal with the problem all on your own. Contact the professionals at Amherst Exterminators today to find out how we can get rid of cluster flies in no time!