How to Avoid Being Stung By a Wasp

Wasps found in Eastern TNHaving bees, wasps, and hornets living around your yard or garden in Eastern TN can be enjoyable to observe from afar. However, get too close to a wasp nest and you could be in for a slew of sharp stings. Unlike most species of bees, wasps have the ability to pierce their target repeatedly, retaining their stinger in order to continue to defend their nests. These irritable insects can join forces to protect each other when they feel they’re in danger, so it’s important to learn all that you can about avoiding their stings. If this sounds helpful to you, read on for wasp sting prevention advice from the wasp control experts at Johnson Pest Control!

What to Do Avoid a Wasp Sting

The best way to protect yourself from wasp stings is to take efforts to prevent wasps before they arrive on your property. There are a few strategies you can take to keep wasps away without professional help:

  • Keep your yard tidy. Trimming your plants, grass, and trees will prevent overgrowth, which in turn affords fewer potential nesting sites to wasps.
  • Be careful with your food. Leaving out sugary or protein-packed foods will attract hungry wasps.
  • Toss your food properly. Dispose of your food and drink receptacles in sealable bins.

If wasps have already established a presence on your property, it’s too late to rely on prevention techniques. Instead, you’ll have to tread carefully around them to avoid stings. Here’s how:

  • Move slowly and carefully around their nests. Sudden movements can be mistaken for an attack.
  • If a wasp flies up to you for a better look, be still.
  • Don’t swat at a wasp if it hangs around for too long.
  • If you’ve been stung and you have to run away, do so in a straight line and keep your arms tucked in.

Ways to Deal with a Wasp Sting

Accidentally angering a wasp is all too easy. These insects are always on edge, so they can sting without any prior indication that they’ve been disturbed. Here’s how to treat your symptoms after a sting: 

  1. Use an ice pack or a rag soaked in cold water for a compress
  2. Take ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain medication to ease pain
  3. Take an antihistamine if the area around the bite is swollen

If you start to experience nausea, swelling of the mouth or face, faintness, or shortness of breath, call for an ambulance immediately. These are symptoms of a serious form of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Professional Wasp Removal in Eastern TN

Trying to get rid of wasp nests on your own is never a good idea. It is often the case that a wasp nest hosts many more individual members than it might appear to. To avoid an onslaught of stings, it’s best to ask your local wasp nest removal experts for help. Our technicians at Johnson Pest Control are equipped to handle nests no matter where they’re built using safe and environmentally responsible wasp removal tactics. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more about our services!

Keeping Safe from Ticks & Lyme Disease

A deer tick seen in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlFinding a tick while it’s lodging itself into your skin is a very unsettling experience. What’s even worse about ticks is that some of them have the ability to transmit serious diseases, such as Lyme disease. Hiding in the dense and shaded vegetation around Eastern TN, ticks lurk in silence waiting for small animals or unsuspecting people to walk by. It’s important to be able to consciously avoid ticks so you can protect yourself, your family, and your pets from the dangers of tick bites. Learn how from the tick exterminators at Johnson Pest Control.

How People Contract Lyme Disease

Sometimes referred to as blacklegged ticks, deer ticks are the most dangerous ticks in Eastern TN because of their ability to induce Lyme disease through their bites. This most often happens when deer tick nymphs carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria bite someone. These nymphs are only about 2 mm in length, making them very difficult to spot. In addition, deer ticks inject saliva with anesthetic properties into the bite to prevent detection.

The first symptoms of Lyme disease are headaches, rashes, fever, exhaustion, and pain in the muscles and joints. If you leave it untreated, though, these symptoms will progress into arthritis and nerve damage. If you are experiencing early Lyme disease symptoms following a recent tick bite, reach out to a local medical professional right away.

How to Avoid Ticks

Ticks aren’t only out to get humans. When living far away from our neighborhoods and paths, ticks’ primary targets are small animals wandering through the woods. This means that our dogs and children are even more vulnerable to ticks. Keep your family and pets safe from tick bites with our advice:

  • Wear long pants and socks outside to limit skin exposure
  • When hiking or walking outside, stick to the trail and keep your dogs from wandering off
  • Make sure to check everyone for ticks before coming back inside
  • If you do find a tick, don’t remove it with your hands. Use tweezers to pinch the tick close to the skin and pull it away gently

Professional Tick Control in Eastern TN

Finding ticks on your pets or your children shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If you’re frequently coming in contact with ticks, you probably have a problem on your property that needs to be dealt with by a professional tick exterminator. The tick control team at Johnson Pest Control is equipped with the gear and knowledge to find vulnerable sites on your property and set up a barrier system to keep ticks away and prevent them from breeding. For a free estimate on tick removal, contact us today!

Handling Carpenter Ant Damage

Carpenter ants found in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlWhile carpenter ants fall short of termites in terms of sheer destructive power, they make up for it by being resourceful and stealthy. By nesting and living in our wooden walls, carpenter ants are able to remain hidden while growing their colony’s numbers at the same time. The more they multiply, the more damage they have to do to sustain their population, so it’s important to know how to identify carpenter ant damage and quickly get them out of your building. If you think you’ve found carpenter ant damage in Eastern TN and don’t know what to do next, read on for advice from the ant exterminators at Johnson Pest Control.

Did I Find Carpenter Ant Damage?

It takes a bit of luck to catch a carpenter ant infestation early on. Carpenter ants tunnel through the wooden structures of our buildings to make nests and spread their colonies. When their numbers grow large enough, they’ll split off to form satellite colonies, making carpenter ant removal an even more difficult process. Keep an eye out for these signs of carpenter ants in your home:

  1. Small holes and striated structures in wood
  2. Little clusters of wood shavings in places you wouldn’t expect them to be
  3. Faint sounds of rustling ants coming from your walls
  4. Winged ants crawling out of cracks in your walls

Carpenter ants can be distinguished from other ants by the combination of their all-black bodies, large mandibles, and ¼-⅜” long bodies. Finding these ants crawling out of wooden walls is a sure sign of a carpenter ant infestation.

Getting Ahead of Carpenter Ant Damage

If you have identified signs of carpenter ant damage in your home or business, your next move should be to quickly devise a plan to get rid of them. There are a few DIY carpenter ant removal strategies that you may wish to consider:

  • Flushing out ants from their nests using soapy water or window cleaner
  • Mixing borax with sugar water to lure in the ants to a poisonous trap
  • Spreading a citrus-based cleaner, lemon eucalyptus oil, or cinnamon around active areas to drive them out

The problem with trying to handle carpenter ant control on your own is that your problem will never end if you don’t attack it at the source, their nest, which may be deep in your walls. You may even have multiple nests to remove and not even know it.

Expert Carpenter Ant Control in Eastern TN

If you want to be sure that you’re doing the best thing for your property during a carpenter ant infestation, reach out to your local ant exterminators. Our team at Johnson Pest Control can conduct holistic ant removal services, including an exhaustive property inspection, safe and efficient ant removal services, and leaving you with advice to protect your home or business from carpenter ants in the future. Reach out today to learn more and receive a free quote!

What Are Those Sounds in the Attic?

Inspecting an attic for pests in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlDo you hear scurrying or scratching noises coming from above your ceiling? Sounds coming from the attic or walls may be the first indication that animals are present, but there are other things to watch out for. The type of animal in the attic and the extent of the problem cannot be determined without sufficient experience in wildlife control. Fortunately, Johnson Pest Control‘s wildlife removal experts can help! Our critter control team has removed all sorts of wild animals around Eastern TN from our customers’ attics with efficient and humane strategies. Read on to learn more about common wildlife attic invaders!

Clear Signs of Animals in the Attic

If you suspect that the sounds coming from your attic are the result of a wildlife infestation, make sure to check around your house for other signs that can shed some light on the issue. There are several more things to look for that show you have animals in the attic:

  • Animal urine and feces behind appliances, in crawl spaces, and along walls
  • Nesting damage or destruction of insulation
  • Bite marks on your belongings or on the structure of your building
  • Branches, leaves, and torn paper litter your roof or attic

What Wildlife Do I Have in my Attic?

Once you’ve determined that there are animals upstairs, the first step in handling them safely is to identify them. Following is a list of the animals most commonly found in Eastern TN attics, along with the evidence they leave:

  1. Rats and mice: Mice and rats make nests in attics by tearing up insulation. Furthermore, they must constantly gnaw on hard surfaces in our houses to prevent overgrowth in their incisors. You have a rodent infestation if you notice these signs paired with dainty scurrying in your walls or attic.
  2. Raccoons: The strongest of the common culprits, raccoons are able to tear through our walls and roofing to get inside our attics. They are active at night, and being as heavy as they are, tend to make the loudest noises while we sleep.
  3. Squirrels: Squirrels use roof vents and eave gaps to sneak into our homes, preferring a less forceful approach than raccoons. You can tell squirrel noises apart from raccoon noises by their volume and times—squirrels are diurnal.
  4. Birds: Birds nest in our attics using twigs and leaves from outside like some other animals, but can be easily told apart by the noises that they make. It’s important to deal with birds quickly to eliminate any risks posed by their hazardous droppings.

What is the Safest Way to Get Rid of Animals in the Attic?

It’s important to get ahead of wild animals in Eastern TN by taking preventative measures before they arrive, such as sealing your trash bins and closing off holes in your roofing, walls, and foundation. However, if they’ve already snuck into your home, you’re best off leaving the wildlife removal work to your local exterminators. At Johnson Pest Control, we prioritize the most humane techniques to get wildlife out of your home safely as well as quickly. Contact us today to learn more about our critter control services and receive a free quote!

7 Houseplants to Keep Bugs Away

A venus flytrap in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlWith all of the at-home and DIY pest control solutions that you can find on the internet, it can be hard to tell what actually works to keep pests away without professional intervention. If you’re looking for a reliable source, you’ve come to the right place! The technicians at Johnson Pest Control have been serving the Eastern TN area with inspections, preventative maintenance, and extermination services for nearly 40 years.

Over this time, we’ve developed an intimate understanding of the habits and features of local pests in the area. As such, we’ve learned how to repel them and can help you do so on your own. Read on to learn more about houseplants that you can keep around to prevent pest infestations!

7 Houseplants that Can Repel Pests

It’s important to preface this information by saying that simply placing houseplants in areas where you commonly experience pest infestations will not be the final answer to your problem. Some plants can, however, discourage certain pests from establishing breeding grounds or being active at sites that might otherwise be hotspots. Here are 7 plants that you can use to repel bugs:

  1. Citronella: You’ve probably seen citronella candles marketed as insect repellent products in stores. The plant itself has the potential to deter mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.
  2. Basil: This is another plant that works particularly well against flies and mosquitoes. It will also prove useful in your kitchen!
  3. Spearmint: This plant is easy to grow, smells fresh, and is proven to deter aphids, moths, fleas, ants, and more.
  4. Dill: Sticking to the trend of traditional garden herbs, dill is a helpful herb to repel aphids, spider mites, and other insects that commonly infest gardens.
  5. Catnip: Catnip can be difficult to grow indoors, but with the right amount of sunlight it can protect you from ants, beetles, cockroaches, and more common household pests.
  6. Venus flytrap: Although they are high maintenance plants, venus flytraps are fascinating organisms that will snatch up flies and other pests in your home if they get too close.
  7. Pitcher plants: Pitcher plants are other kinds of carnivorous plants, but are quite difficult to grow. These are a better option for an advanced gardener.

Reliable Pest Control Options for Your Home

Although the thought of using plants to safeguard your home from pests is a fun, non-toxic, environmentally friendly option to consider, it will not provide your property with optimal protection. If you’re looking to keep pests out of your home year-round in Eastern TN, ask your local pest control company for help. Our team at Johnson Pest Control is equipped to deal with all sorts of bugs and wildlife in the area with comprehensive strategies and advanced technology. Contact us today for a free quote!


Can Fleas Live on Humans? How to Treat Flea Bites

A cat with fleas in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlIf you’ve ever dealt with a flea infestation before, you know that the frustration can feel neverending. For people with pets, fleas are a constant threat, and even when you think you’ve removed all of the fleas from your dog or cat, they reappear seemingly out of nowhere. How do these parasites stay so persistent, and what can you do to heal their bites? Our technicians at Johnson Pest Control have all the answers and more. Read on to learn what you can do about fleas in Eastern TN!

Can Fleas Live on Humans?

If you’re dealing with a flea infestation in your house, you might be worried that they will make use of you as a host. While this is extremely rare, it is possible—there is a species of fleas known to seek out humans, but they are very hard to find in industrialized countries.

For the most part, fleas in Eastern TN prefer to live on dogs or cats where they are able to hide in long fur. However, this doesn’t exclude them from biting at your ankles if you aren’t careful. To make matters worse, even if you believe you’ve cleared your pet’s fur of all fleas, they can live in carpets, rugs, and similar surfaces temporarily until they find a new host. To ensure that all fleas in your home are eliminated, it’s best to work with a professional flea exterminator.


How to Treat Flea Bites

If you’re dealing with flea bites currently, it’s important to start taking measures to heal them right away to avoid the possibility of an infection. Here are our recommendations for treating flea bites on your own:

  1. Most importantly, refrain from scratching them at all costs
  2. Wash your bites with antiseptic soap to avoid an infection
  3. Use calamine lotion or anaesthetic creams to alleviate itchiness
  4. For swelling bites, apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation
  5. If you notice symptoms worsening or showing signs of infection, seek medical attention.

Professional Flea Exterminators in Eastern TN

If you can’t seem to get rid of fleas on your own and are worried for the safety of yourself or your pets, call your local pest control company. At Johnson Pest Control, we conduct exhaustive property inspections, finding fleas in places that you wouldn’t think to look and using industry-leading, eco-conscious technology and techniques to get rid of them swiftly. For a free quote on flea control or to ask us any further questions about fleas, contact us today!

What Does a Bed Bug Inspection Look Like?

Bed Bug Inspection | bed bug on a probe stick | Johnson Pest ControlIf you suspect bed bugs in your home or business, it’s imperative to have a professional inspect your property. The nature of bed bugs presents homeowners with a whole other level of concern that many bugs do not. Bed bugs can feel dirty and psychologically intrusive it is hard to admit to them. Even harder can be to let a stranger come into your home and start peeling away layers of a room in order to find the nasty pest.

At Johnson Pest Control, we are committed to providing thorough bed bug inspections for your peace of mind. You can trust that if there are bed bugs in your property, we will find them! Our experts are here to share some of the key steps in the inspection process—keep reading to learn more!

1. Early Detection of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be very difficult to spot even to the trained eye, especially in the early stages of infestations. As a home or business owner, it’s crucial to always keep your eye out for any early signs of pests. There are still a few actions that can be implemented to detect bed bugs in their early stages:

  • Sticky traps that are used for other pests can be placed around a room in order to capture potential bed bug activity. Capturing bed bugs in this manner is considered more by chance, so using this method to detect the presence of bed bugs works, but it is not a good tool to determine if you have eliminated a problem.
  • Mattress and box spring encasements can be placed around a bed in order to help detect an early infestation. Mattresses and box springs provide ample places for bed bugs to hide. Putting on an encasement can help by taking away the hiding places for the bed bug. If you find bed bugs using this method, it’s time to call your local pest control experts.

2. Professional Bed Bug Inspection Process

Due to the many places in which bed bugs can hide, a visual bed bug inspection is not the most reliable, especially for the earliest infestations. There are countless cracks and folds in mattresses, box springs, walls, etc., that bed bugs can hide in. It can be difficult to find bed bugs in these places. In most cases, a visual inspection will allow you to determine whether a problem exists. One of our professional bed bug exterminators will use a flashlight, magnifying glass, and possibly some tweezers to search for possible hiding spots upon arrival. In order to get as thorough a visual inspection as possible, they will likely peel away sheets and look under furniture.

If a visual inspection turns up negatives then our pest professionals will put in some of the early detection monitors and mattress encasements to ensure bed bugs stay away.

What Bed Bug Treatments Are Available?

Once we have been able to identify bed bugs within your room or property, then we will work with you on isolating the areas and prescribing the best treatment for bed bugs. Heat treatments are the most effective practice in killing off bed bugs, but it is also the most time-consuming. This is why we want to make sure the bed bug problem is there before starting on any treatment plan. In any case, we will work hard to determine the best way to get rid of bed bugs in your home or business as quickly as possible.

Think You Need a Bed Bug Inspection?

At Johnson Pest control, we understand how distressing a bed bug infestation can be. You can trust that throughout our inspection and treatment process, we will walk you through every step. Our team is committed to ridding you of bed bugs for good. To learn more about our inspection process or to schedule service, contact us today to get started!

Tips to Get Rid of Clothes Moths

Clothes moth on fabric in Sevierville TN home - Johnson Pest ControlOne of the most common household pests that many people don’t talk about is the clothes moth. These pests can cause homeowners quite a bit of distress, especially when they destroy garments and fabrics in your wardrobe. Because these pests seemingly come out of nowhere, it’s important to learn how you can prevent them—and keep your clothing intact! Thankfully, a few simple pest prevention techniques go a long way in preventing not just clothes moths, but other moths and insects and pests as well. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know with the experts at Johnson Pest Control!

What Are Clothes Moths?

It is rare to spot clothes moths due to the fact that they avoid light. Nonetheless, it’s important to learn how to identify them and the damage they cause. Clothes moths are only about ½-inch in length and are beige or light gray in color. The easiest way to identify these pests is, unfortunately, by noticing the damage done to your clothing. Unlike pantry moths (which feast on foods in your pantry), clothes moths crave natural fibers found in clothing, drapes, curtains, carpet, bedding, and more. When feasting on these fibers (silks, cotton, wools, etc.), they can create tiny holes that will quickly become noticeable.

How to Prevent Clothes Moths

Needless to say, the last thing you want to deal with is a closet full of damaged clothing from these tiny insects. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help prevent clothes moths:

  1. Keep a clean and tidy wardrobe. A crowded closet can be more susceptible to clothes moths as it’s harder to spot the damage. Regularly washing clothes—even ones that you may not be wearing at the moment—prevents moths that are more attracted to dirty, dusty fabrics. When introducing new items to your wardrobe, especially secondhand items, always inspect for moths.
  2. Try mothballs and traps. This traditional deterrent has been used for decades to deter moths in your closet. If the smell of typical mothballs displeases you, try making your own using fragrant essential oils like rosemary, clove, lavender, or citronella. While not always successful, sticky pheromone traps will confuse male moths and prevent them from breeding.
  3. Commit to good housekeeping practices. In general, keeping a clean environment inside your property is your number one defense against a pest infestation. Regularly cleaning or vacuuming your rooms and closets will eliminate the conditions that attract clothes moths and other pests in the first place.

Need Help Getting Rid of Clothes Moths?

If you’re unsure about the presence of clothes moths in your home or need assistance getting rid of them, the experts at Johnson Pest Control can help. We know how distressing pests in your home can be and work hard to eliminate the conditions that attract them in the first place.

Contact our experts today to get started!

What is a Carpet Beetle?

What carpet beetles look like in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest Control

Have you noticed bugs that look like bed bugs crawling around in your home? At a closer glance, you might be able to tell that they are actually carpet beetles. Carpet beetles may seem very similar to bed bugs, but they come with a separate set of problems and should be dealt with using different strategies.

If you believe you have carpet beetles in your home or are wondering if what you suspected were bed bugs are something else, read on. The technicians at Johnson Pest Control have compiled some information on the nature of carpet beetles, their similarity to bed bugs, and how you can remove them from your home. 

What Are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are tiny beetles, only measuring 2 to 3 mm in length. They are oval-shaped with white, brown, and yellow-orange markings scattered across their wing covers. They are not picky eaters, feeding on many kinds of both plant and animal products, but they prefer to feed on dead animal and insect material. This is why they are called carpet beetles: when they infest homes, you can often find them living in wool carpeting and clothing, eating the material. 

Carpet beetles aren’t dangerous pests—they don’t bite or spread disease in any sense. However, they can become a major nuisance for home and business owners alike if the infestation gets out of hand.

Are Carpet Beetles as Bad as Bed Bugs?

Both carpet beetles and bed bugs like to infest furniture and carpeting in our buildings. However, they are nuisances for different reasons:

  • Carpet beetles don’t bite like bed bugs, but they do cause allergic reactions in some. Exposure to the small fibers that their larvae have can cause the skin to react adversely.
  • Bed bugs leave us with similar-looking rashes, but they are actually rows of tiny bites. Although bed bugs are more famous for infesting our mattresses, carpet beetles may be found there, too.
  • Both of these pest problems are short of dangerous, but can still be quite distressing. Discovering either in your house can be frustrating, and it’s hard to say what’s worse between a carpet beetle rash vs bed bug bites.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

There are a number of purported at-home carpet beetle treatments. Diluted vinegar sprays, vacuums and steam cleaning, boric acid, and more DIY remedies can handle smaller infestations, but carpet beetles won’t go away unless you find the source of the infestation and neutralize it. That’s where the experts at Johnson Pest Control can help. Our beetle control technicians are well-versed in the habits of carpet beetles in Eastern TN and are equipped to remove active infestations safely, keeping them out for good. For a free quote, contact us today!

How Quickly Can Mice Breed Indoors?

A house mouse in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlWinter is just about back here in Eastern TN. When the rain starts to fall and temperatures start to drop, all sorts of rodents are looking for hiding places and warm shelters to last them through the winter. Every winter, mice look to the structures of our homes to provide warm nesting sites where they can continue their breeding routines, given that the colder months come with conditions too harsh to sustain reproduction outside. Are you looking to learn more about mice reproductive habits and what you can do to stop them from breeding in your home? Read on for some information gathered by the technicians at Johnson Pest Control!

How Quickly Can Mice Breed Indoors?

Mice are able to reproduce at a much higher rate than many other animals living in Tennessee. To show just how quickly they can proliferate, we’ve gathered some alarming statistics for you to look over:

  • Female mice have a 25 day gestation period and are able to mate again directly after delivery.
  • Mouse mothers can produce up to 10 litters per year with up to 14 pups per litter at the most. These are the extremes, though—an average female mouse produces 40-50 pups a year.
  • Mouse pups can begin to reproduce just 4-6 weeks after being born.

As these numbers show, having just a few mice enter your home in the late fall can allow for an infestation of hundreds to be active by the early spring.

How to Keep Mice from Reproducing in your Home

In order to keep mouse populations from overflowing in your home, it’s important to find ways to prevent them from coming inside in the first place. This can be much harder than you might imagine—with the ability to squeeze through holes the size of a dime, mouse access points can hide in plain sight! We understand that it can be very difficult to properly mouse-proof a home without training, so we are offering advice to people looking to be preventative or who are already dealing with an infestation:

  • Preventing an infestation: Pest-proofing the outside of your home comes in many forms. First, you should look for any holes in your walls, foundation, roofing, plumbing fixtures, vents, or anywhere else that mice could sneak through. You can seal these with a silicone-based caulk or by placing steel wool in the gaps. Also be sure to keep your yard clear of waste, your plants trimmed away from your home, and your garbage cans sealed and distanced.
  • Getting rid of an infestation: You can spray diluted peppermint oil or apple cider vinegar around mouse hotspots to drive them away. Kitty litter and fabric softener sheets have worked for some, but we find these to be less effective and only viable as supplemental treatments. If your infestation is bad enough to necessitate using traps, talk to your local rodent exterminators about which trap options are suitable for your home and your family.

Top Mice Exterminators in Eastern TN

If your at-home mouse control measures aren’t getting the job done, reach out to your local pest control company. At Johnson Pest Control, we pride ourselves on our holistic approach to rodent control, complete with exhaustive inspections, preventative maintenance, and a long list of options to conduct the most effective mice removal services for your property. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more about how we can help!