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Are you seeing more of these lately?

Posted at 10:36 AM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 07:43:32-04

It appears the summer drought that Western New York is experiencing is causing an increase in the number of complaints about rats and spiders.

Key points:

  • Rat problems
  • More spiders and beetles getting into homes

Experts say the dry weather is forcing rats to travel further looking for sources of food and water. The result is some residents who normally don't have a rat problem are now seeing rats in their yards - and some in their homes.

The Village of Lancaster is one of several areas dealing with the problem.  Officials will be meeting with the Erie County Department of Health to discuss the problem later this week.  Officials are reminding residents to make sure trash in properly stored in containers with lids, animal droppings picked up, spilled bird seed cleaned up and any fruit that has fallen taken out of yards.

Even your backyard garden could be attracting rats.  It is advised that vegetables be picked quickly, although, once rats discover the garden, there is a good chance that it will be ruined.

Many people are also reporting an increase in the number of spiders around their homes.  According to Ehrlich Pest Control in Cheektowaga, spiders and ground beetles are getting into homes to escape the hot weather.

Tiny bugs called Springtails are also a problem as many people think the bugs are fleas because they hop. Normally, Springtails live in the grass but have found homes a good second choice now that most grass has died off.

What can you do to keep the pests under control?  For rats, seal up any holes larger than the size of a thumb.  To keep the bugs out, seal up holes and cracks that are large enough to fit a pencil point.

Things should get better when the temperatures cool off and more moisture makes it way to WNY.  

However, experts warn that Yellowjackets will be out in large numbers during the next few weeks.  Due to the hot weather, the insects are expected to be more aggressive than normal.  Problems with Yellowjackets should be handled by professionals because the bugs can swarm and cause serious injuries due to the fact that they can sting multiple times.