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.

Research Shows Millennials Don’t Wash Their Sheets Often Enough

How many times did your mother remind you to change your sheets regularly when you were in college? Probably so many times that you lost count. While you nodded along every time she brought the topic up, you may not have taken heed to her warning. As always, however, mom was right.

According to a recent study, only 17 percent of people under the age of 30 wash their sheets weekly, as opposed to nearly half of people over the age of 45.

What’s even more startling than these numbers is that a solid 10 percent of under-30s let seven or more weeks go by before washing their sheets! Since most cleaning professionals recommend you wash your sheets weekly – or at the very least bi-weekly – these numbers are rather startling.

On top of attracting dust mites that inflame allergies and asthma attacks, dirty sheets are also an attractive hideout for bed bugs.

Although your sheets alone won’t bring these bugs into your home, they can increase the likelihood of a prolonged infestation. Common signs of bed bugs include red, itchy bumps on the skin, as well as egg casings and shed bug skin in sheets.

Now that we have your attention, it may be time to go change your sheets. And if you happen to notice any traces of bed bugs in your home, we recommend calling your local exterminator right away!

Here at Amherst Exterminators, our experienced staff has the knowledge required to rid your Western New York area home of any insect or rodent pest you are facing.

To learn more and schedule an appointment, give us a call at 716-908-2475.

Two “Pests” That Can Offer You Help

Whether it is ants, termites or cockroaches, no one wants to see insect pests inside their home. But did you know that a couple of creatures typically considered “pests” can actually help to prevent insects from getting inside of your home?

Sure, you wouldn’t want them to take up residence in your space, but both bats and spiders can be incredibly helpful in your battle to keep your space insect-free.

The diet of most bats and spiders consists almost entirely of insects, which means that keeping them around can greatly reduce the numbers of insects in your yard (and potentially your home). According to, bats save US farmers more than 3.7 billion dollars a year. Thanks to these winged creatures, fewer pesticides are needed and fewer crops are destroyed by insect pests!

Similarly, spiders can keep common pests like mosquitoes and roaches at bay. They eat a majority of the insects that carry diseases, helping to reduce potential illnesses and allergic reactions that are related to pests in homes.

So how can you help these creatures do their best to keep all other pests out of your space?

Bat boxes are growing in popularity, offering bats a comfortable place to sleep in our yards and making them more likely to dine on the insects in your area. There are also certain habitats that spiders prefer to reside within, which you can create near your garden to keep insect pests from eating up the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor.

According to Mother Nature Network, mulching your garden creates a more comfortable home for spiders, as does adding potted flowers near your garden.

For more information on all things pest control, please call Amherst Exterminators at 716-908-2475.

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?


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.


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.