How does the winter affect Insects in Western New York?

Frigid Weather  

With the temperatures hovering around zero in Western New York one might ask how insects survive. The answer is a simple one; insects do not maintain a constant body temperature like mammals do.  Insects adapt very well to their environment in which they live in.


Most insect development is contingent with temperatures above 50 degrees.  Insects are capable of slowing their body function down and go dormant when temperatures dip below 50 degrees.  Insects will survive frigid Western New York winters and slowly start to move around your home once spring weather is upon us.

Temperatures on the Rise

Not all insect will emerge all at once.  Spring time means insects, but where do they come from?   Many insects lay eggs in the fall that will hatch once the warmer arrive. Also over wintering, pupae will start to move and finally insects that have been dormant will begin their spring activities.  The bottom line is insects do survive the frigid Western New York winter and will become a nuisance to homeowners in the spring.

If you think you might have an insect problem, give Amherst Exterminator a call today at 716-908-2475.

What Are Your Options For Ant Treatment?

A single ant is just about the most harmless creature imaginable. Unlike more menacing pests like bees and spiders, we humans have a decent relationship with ants. In fact, laying on the grass on a hot summer’s day, you might not even mind having a few crawling on your arms and leg.

This peaceful coexistence can change in an instant, however, if the rest of the colony decides to show up. A single ant paying your home a visit is nothing, at least until he goes back to get his friends. When hundreds—or even thousands—of ants begin to file through your home, it’s time to deal with them once and for all. Here are a few options for treatment.

Cut Off Their Supply 

There’s a reason why all those ants decided to make the long trek to your house, and it’s not because they like the music you’re playing. They’re here for one reason and one reason only: to eat. Remember how you threw away all the junk food in your cupboard on New Year’s Day? Basically, you’ll want to do the same thing for the ants. Seal every food container as best you can and cut off any water leakage at the source to keep them from satisfying their appetite in your home. Hopefully they’ll get the message.

Seal the Perimeter

Sometimes, you’ll need to be a bit more forceful to protect your home. Act as if your home is under attack by an outside micro-army and fortify every possible entry point. Caulk can work pretty well here. You might consider spraying insecticide at suspected entry points as well. You’ll need to be persistent and stay on the lookout in case they’re able to find another way in.

Go and Find Them

It’s a scary thought, but what you see in your house is probably just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re able to follow their path, you might just discover where all the ants are coming from. If you do, you could have a chance to wipe out the entire colony all at once. Otherwise, killing the ants inside won’t even put a dent in the massive amount at the source.

Leave a Special Treat

If you’re unable to find the colony yourself, you just might be able to let the ants do the legwork themselves. Spraying insecticide in your home will only cause ants to avoid the spots you spray, and they’ll often just use a quick detour instead. Ant bait, on the other hand, attracts ants just like food. If they grab the bait and haul it back to the colony, it can be enough to wipe the entire thing out—queen and all.

Call the Pros

We wish it were always as easy as we’re making it sound, but ant infestations can be incredibly difficult to pin down. If you’re having trouble with an infestation in your Western New York home, or you’d just like to get it out of the way quickly, don’t hesitate to call Amherst Exterminators and let the pros do the dirty work.

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

Warning: just reading this blog entry will make your skin crawl with heebie jeebies and you’ll probably find yourself itching and scratching, because this blog is about… bed bugs.

Gross, right? Yes! Bed bugs are small, blood-sucking insects, oval in shape and often found in people’s beds, including their mattress, box springs and even bed frames. These little suckers do not fly. They crawl. And they just might be crawling on you while you’re sleeping!

Have you noticed any small, flat or raised bumps on your skin lately? How about redness, swelling and/or itching? You could be the recipient of bed bug bites. Lucky you– not! These annoying little buggers often bite the face, neck, hands and arms. Will these bites kill you? No. But you may itch like crazy and require some steroid cream or oral antihistamine for relief.

Search your bedding for what looks like “fecal stains as well as egg cases and shed bug skins, which may indicate you’ve got bed bugs. Then, don’t go crazy. Remain calm and call Amherst Exterminators at 716-908-2475. Serving Amherst/Williamsville, North Buffalo/Kenmore, The Tonawandas, Clarence, Lancaster and other communities in Western New York, Amherst Exterminators can come “take care” of your bed bug problem.

Did you mom ever say, “Night, night, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” If so, she obviously didn’t call Amherst Exterminators to save you from the horror of those awful creepy crawlies. No one should have to live with bedbugs. Get rid of them today!

Amherst Exterminators: Interesting Facts about Rats

When rats appear around your home, there is much cause for concern. Yet beyond keeping them out, we’re willing to bet you don’t think all too often about these scurrying little critters, and even less about some of their unique habits, characteristics, and incredible resiliency.


The Rat Pack

The term “rat pack” actually 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.

Economic Devastation

Each year rats are responsible for billions of dollars in global damages. Their teeth are stronger than iron and steel, so 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, even babies in cribs.

They Spread Like Wildfire

If left unchecked, rat populations can quickly get out of hand. A mother rat’s average litter is between seven and 12 offspring, but litters can range all the way up to 20. Not every rat pup will mature, however, since mother rats will sometimes eat their newborns if they are either unfit to survive, or she is eating out of stress. On top of this, females can give birth up to 5 times per year, and their courting and romantic rituals with male rats can conclude in as fast as a few seconds—talk about getting down to business.

Tough as Nails

Rats are incredibly adaptable, which is why they can survive in many different regions of the world. A rat is able to go without water for a longer period of time than a camel, and can swim at least a half a mile. Many scientists believe they will outlast human beings on Earth by a wide margin, and could be one of the few species to survive a mass extinction.

Mmmm, Tasty

In some places, especially in southeast Asia, parts of Africa, and China, rats are a common food source. But there are also places in India where rats are revered as representatives of the god Ganesha.

They Don’t Clean Up After Themselves

Addressing a rat infestation with haste is crucial. Even after an infestation is eliminated, the acrid smell of rat urine and droppings can linger in your home without the help of professional grade cleaning and odor control.

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.




How to Catch a Mouse

There’s a mouse in your house! It sounds like a Dr. Seuss rhyme, but it’s not nearly as fun. In fact, it’s no fun at all. A mouse getting too comfortable in your territory is bad news, forcing you to live in constant fear of a dirty, hairy critter crawling up your leg at any given moment. 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, just like the ones in the old cartoons. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to set multiple 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.

Another trick that will trap a mouse without harming them has been making the rounds on the internet. It involves balancing the tube from a roll of paper towels over some sort of ledge. Bait is inserted in the end hanging off, and a trash can or similar receptacle is placed below. When the mouse travels too close to the bait, the tube should fall in the can, mouse and all. 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.

Poison works as well, but since the mouse will not die immediately, they may escape to a relatively inaccessible area of your home. You know what this means—a rotting carcass in your walls or floorboards, and an even bigger problem than you had before.

You might be able to handle one mouse, but in the case of a bigger problem, it’s always smart to call a professional to take care of the problem before it grows out of hand. If you’re in the Amherst or greater Western New York area and have mice in your home, call Amherst Exterminators to get to the bottom of it so you can stop scrambling around.




The Dreaded Silverfish

Too many Western New Yorkers have experienced a similar encounter. You crawl out of bed and sleepwalk to the bathroom, then shield your eyes as you turn the light on to begin your morning routine. Then, you freeze and gasp in horror as you find yourself face-to-face with the ugliest and scariest of household pests: the silverfish.

Remain calm. The silverfish is unlikely to come after you. In fact, they’re probably as petrified as you are, frozen and exposed in the harsh, bright light. Even if their sole goal wasn’t to stay as far away from you as possible, they most likely wouldn’t even be able to hurt you if they tried. Unlike centipedes, which can provide a painful bite—and which silverfish are often mistaken for—they don’t even have strong enough jaws to pierce human skin.

Ending the silverfish right then and there with a good squish might make you feel better temporarily, but their populations can grow fairly fast. Chances are, you won’t even be able to catch the silverfish. They are very fast creatures that can make it quickly back to where they came from, often without even being detected.

We’re not trying to tell you that silverfish aren’t disturbing. They can live for close to a decade, laying eggs—sometimes up to 50 at a time—and lurking in the dark, moist crevices of your home. If you feel like you might have a silverfish problem on your hands, the best course of action is to contact a professional exterminator who can put together a plan to be rid of the frightening critters.

There are steps you can take to prevent silverfish from making themselves comfortable, like keeping your home clean, storing food properly, and using a dehumidifier to dry rooms. Even though silverfish are unpleasant looking creatures, it’s comforting to know that coming after you is not on their agenda.

Now that you’ve calmed yourself down, stay on the lookout for more signs of a silverfish problem. If you think there’s more where that one came from, contact Amherst Exterminators for professional pest control services that can tackle the most elusive silverfish populations.




Where Do Pests Go During the Winter?

A Western New York winter is inhospitable to human beings. Extreme cold temperatures, treacherous snowfall, and dark clouds hanging over every day are all hard things to bear. So pests don’t stand a chance, right? 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, as some homeowners are all too familiar, 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 recesses of our homes for the winter.

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.

While it’s interesting to hear how bugs manage to survive our harsh Buffalo winters without the modern luxuries us humans enjoy, homeowners are largely considered with just one thing: keeping them out once they emerge. To prepare for the eventual thawing out, and the yearly onslaught of new pests, contact Amherst Exterminators today.




Picking a Pest Control Company with the Right Accreditations

Picking a Pest Control CompanyWhen the time comes to choose the best pest control company in Amherst or Western New York areas, the decision can be a little tricky. Information on the internet can get a little murky, and sometimes we find that clients aren’t exactly sure who they can trust with a problem as sensitive as pest control. Thankfully, businesses and organizations have stepped up over the years to measure the quality and reliability of services like ours.


Here are a few examples of these organizations:

  • Angie’s List – An online, members-only website that allows people to rate their experience with local businesses (never anonymously) and to peruse a database of past ratings, and also receive assistance in the case of a particularly poor experience. Amherst Exterminators was presented with the 2013 Super Service Award from Angie’s List
  • National Pest Management Association and QualityPro – The NPMA has been educating and promoting the pest management industry since 1933. They serve as an authoritative leader that works tirelessly to improve the quality of service in the industry. QualityPro is NPMA’s certification program that provides these tools directly to pest management companies like Amherst Exterminators.
  • Chamber of Commerce – Association that promotes the interests of businesses and holds them to higher standards.


Membership in these organizations gives service providers like Amherst Exterminators credibility, ensuring customers that they will experience a high level of service that ends in total satisfaction. When it comes to the pests that are crawling across your floor or hiding in the shadows of your home, you need to be able to put trust in a pest control company that will do the job right.

To inquire further about Amherst Exterminator’s experienced record, or to set up a consultation in the Western New York area, visit our website today.




Amherst Exterminators: Preventative Home Inspections

This year, we’ve had more than a winter’s fair share of snow on the ground, and it has been so cold—too cold— here in our neck of the woods in Western New York. However, soon enough, spring will arrive, and we won’t be the only species to perk our heads up at the coming of warmer weather. Pests will undoubtedly come out from hiding, looking for a safe place to nest or forage food.

Before you experience an epic disaster of, say, hornet infestations, or baby mice scurrying across your kitchen floor, consider the advantages of preventative pest control from an experienced exterminator.

Would you rather risk having to replace a damaged structural component of your home later, or get rid of the termites and carpenter ants before they start chewing in the first place? Undetected critters can put you and your family in very real danger by chewing on electrical wires in the wall, for instance. Sometimes, the warning signs come too late, and you’ll be left wishing you were more proactive about pest control.

Infestations can happen fast, spiraling out of control over night. Instead of frantically dealing with an existing problem, preventative home pest inspections can uncover issues before they’re out of hand. In fact, once an interior pest problem is properly dealt with, protection can usually be maintained from the outside of the home. Staying proactive can save you from a huge headache, a great deal of discomfort, and a large amount of real money.

Amherst Exterminators offers preventative home inspections in the Western New York area. Our exterminators will visit and assess your home, predict risks for certain pests, and advise you on preventative measures to make your place as pest-proof as possible. Visit our website on the services we offer, and stick to our blog to stay informed on how best to protect your home from unwelcome visitors.




Amherst Exterminators: Carpenter Ants

In Western New York and beyond, the springtime brings out Carpenter Ants and other insects that are as excited about the newfound Sun as we are. The Carpenter Ant varies in size and color, but they are usually large (1/4-1/2 inch) and blackish in color.

Occasionally, swarms of winged Carpenter Ants called reproductive Carpenter Ants emerge inside a home. If, in the early Spring, the weather is not suitable for a Carpenter Ant to survive outside, then you could have a Carpenter Ant nesting issue in the structure. During nesting, Carpenter Ants damage wood by hollowing it out. They excavate galleries in wood which have a smooth, sandpapered appearance. Wood which has been damaged by Carpenter Ants contains no mud-like material, as is the case with termites. Shredded fragments of wood, similar in appearance to coarse sawdust, is ejected from the galleries through preexisting cracks or slits made by the ants.

While Carpenter Ants nest in both moist and dry wood, they prefer it to be moist. Consequently, the nests are more likely to be found in wood dampened by water leaks, such as areas around sinks, bathtubs, poorly sealed windows or doorframes, roof leaks, and poorly flashed chimneys. Nests are especially common in moist, hollow spaces such as the wall void behind a dishwasher, or in a hollow porch column.

It is important to realize that nests can be located either inside or outside the structure. Carpenter Ants actually construct two different kinds of nests: parent colonies which, when mature, contain an egg-laying queen, brood and 2000 or more worker ants, and satellite colonies which may have large numbers of worker ants but no queen, eggs or young larvae. The Carpenter Ants inside a home may have originated from the parent colony or from one or more satellite nests. For example, ants may come from a parent nest located outdoors in a tree stump, landscape timber or woodpile, or from one or more satellite nests hidden behind a wall in the kitchen or bathroom, or in wood dampened by a roof leak in the attic.

The extent and potential damage to a home depends on how many nests are actually present within the structure, and how long the infestation has been active. Although large Carpenter Ant colonies are capable of causing structural damage, the damage is not normally as serious as that from termites. In some cases, the damage may be relatively insignificant, but this can only be determined by locating and exposing the nest area.

Control of Carpenter Ants is best achieved if the nest is destroyed. If the nest can be found, it is normally directly injected and destroyed. The technician who addresses this issue with you will review all areas where a moisture issue is a possibility. Barrier applications, with a baiting process or residual chemical application, are the norm for this type of problem.

Seasonal Programs that provide regular maintenance are very helpful in resolving these problems, along with pinpointing the source. If you’re having issues with Carpenter Ants, call Amherst Exterminators today at 908-2475 to set up an initial consultation.