What to Know About Carpenter Ants

What to know about carpenter ants in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlAnts are the number one household pest problem. Most ant species are a nuisance but won’t pose much of a threat otherwise. However, that is not the case with carpenter ants. These ants are known to burrow through wood and can oftentimes be mistaken for termites. Because carpenter ants are more dangerous than other species of ants that may infest your Sevierville TN home, it’s important to learn about their behaviors and what you can do to prevent them.

The ant control experts at Johnson are here to help. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about carpenter ants in Tennessee.

Carpenter Ants 101

Carpenter ants differ greatly from other ants due to their behaviors. Here’s what to know:

  • Carpenter ants often get confused with termites because they have the similar behavior of chewing up wood. Unlike the termites, these antsdo not eat the wood for food. They will sprout wings as well and will look similar to a termite swarm.
  •  Carpenter ant identification in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlCarpenter ants chew up wood into ‘galleries’ in order to create places for them to lay eggs. Unlike the termites whose wood chewing develops mud-like tunnels, the carpenter ants chewing is dry. If you notice small piles of sawdust around a woodpile or under roof eaves then the likely hood of carpenter ants being the problem goes up. Carpenter bees will create similar piles of sawdust when creating their galleries to build nests.
  • Carpenter ants ideally chew on rotted and/or moist wood. This allows them protection and easier ability to create their galleries for laying eggs. They will chew on dry wood if that is the only source for nesting that they can find.
  • The most common carpenter ant we find in the United States is the black carpenter ant. This species is also the largest of the species found in the United States. We have approximately 10 different species of carpenter ants in Tennessee.
  • Carpenter ant close up - Johnson Pest Control in Sevierville TNCarpenter ants do not pose a threat to human health. They can damage a home structurally if allowed to feed on your home unchecked. But the most they can do to a human is bite them, which feels like a slight pinch. They do look pretty formidable a bug with their front pinchers and comparable size to other ants.
  • Getting rid of carpenter ants requires the help of a professional pest control expert. Since their nesting source can be tricky to find and eliminate with household pesticides save your energy on this pest. This will also help you from damaging your own home in trying to eliminate the colony.
  • If you do not have carpenter ants to get rid of you can help prevent them from getting into your house by doing the following. Fix roof or drainage leaks that create moisture issues, keep firewood away from the home, trim back tree branches that touch the house, and seal any cracks in the foundation that might give access to the house.





Carpenter Ants in Tennessee Homes

Carpenter ants are most active starting around March in this area and can go into October. If you see them in your home do not assume that they are feeding on your home (remember they don’t actually feed on wood) but are looking for food just like any other ant does. If you want to know even more about these ants you can download this white paper from University of Tennessee’s Extension program on carpenter ants. The ant exterminators at Johnson Pest Control are always here to help with carpenter ant problems—give us a call today to learn more!

What Are the Signs of a Termite Infestation?

Wood damage is a major sign of a termite infestation in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlAlthough termites are active year-round in Tennessee, their activity is more abundant than ever in the spring months. To better prepare yourself for the coming termite season, it’s wise to learn how to recognize the signs of termites. In doing so, you can prevent your chances of getting a serious infestation. Termites are rarely seen, which is why noticing any of the signs we’ll discuss here means it’s time to call your local termite exterminators. The team at Johnson Pest Control is committed to keeping you termite-free year-round, which is why we’re here to help you learn about looking for signs of a termite infestation.

How to Look for Signs of Termites

Not only are termites rarely seen, they are also oftentimes confused for other pests. This makes it crucial to know how to recognize the subtle signs of their potential presence. The five most common signs of their activity include:

  1. Mud tubes. Subterranean termites nest underground but use mud tubes to travel. These pencil-sized tubes protect the termites from outdoor elements as it blocks out cool, dry air. Seeing mud tubes along the outside of your property is likely the number one sign of termites.
  2. Termite swarms. Every year, reproductive termites (also known as alates and swarmers) will leave their colony to mate and form new ones. Swarmer termites are frequently mistaken for other flying insects, especially carpenter ants. Seeing winged termites in the spring or summer months is a common sign of termites spreading.
  3. Piles of shed wings. After they swarm, the reproductive termites no long need their wings. So, they will shed them! Termite wings are all the same size and translucent in color. After being shed, they can often appear in a pile together.
  4. Termite droppings. As they tunnel through dry wood as well as when they swarm, drywood termites create kick-out holes in the wood. This is when their droppings, also known as frass, can be found. Termite frass most closely resembles sawdust or coffee grounds, and can appear in groups.
  5. Termite damage. Seeing damage caused by termites is indicative of a serious infestation. Damage most frequently appears in wood around the home. Common damage includes unexplained cracks on walls, beams, and rafters. It can cause sagging wood in your floors, as well as hollow-sounding wood. Sometimes wood damage can lead to weakened baseboards and floorboards.

Inspections for Signs of a Termite Infestation

If you notice any of the above signs of termites, it’s important to reach out for professional help. An experienced termite exterminator knows exactly what to look for when it comes to termites. The experts at Johnson know that termites can be distressing, which is why we are committed to keeping you safe year-round. Contact us today to learn more about the signs of termite infestations in Eastern Tennessee.

Benefits of TAP Insulation

TAP Insulation in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlWhether you’re looking to upgrade your existing insulation or need to insulate a brand-new home, TAP® Insulation is a sound choice. This home insulation product is renowned for many reasons, including its energy-efficient performance and pest-resistant properties. Infused with borate, TAP works to prevent and control pest problems in the household. Because it outperforms traditional insulation, TAP is quickly becoming the go-to insulation option here in Sevierville TN and beyond. The pros at Johnson Pest Control are here to share all you need to know about this industry-leading home insulation option.

How Does TAP Insulation Control Pests?

TAP is prized for its pest control properties. The insulation is infused with a borate product that will prevent and eliminate pests. Some of the pests affected by this insulation product include:





What Are the Other Benefits of TAP Insulation?

TAP Insulation outperforms other home insulation options on several levels. Not only is it energy efficient, TAP provides superior thermal and acoustic insulation and wards off pest problems in your home. Other benefits include:

  • TAP Insulation is the only insulation registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • More cost-effective than traditional insulation, TAP is a one-time investment with no need for re-treatments.
  • TAP can be installed over existing insulation and comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • As an energy-efficient option, TAP can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.
  • TAP is environmentally friendly by using recycled paper diverted from landfills to create the product.
  • This insulation is capable of filling the nooks and crannies that are unreachable with traditional insulation.

How to Get TAP Insulation in Tennessee

Johnson Pest Control is your local leader in TAP installation. Our technicians are licensed and registered to install TAP on top of your existing insulation. To learn more about our home insulations service or to schedule an appointment, call our team today!

Rodents Moving Indoors This Winter

As temperatures here in Sevierville and across the country drop during the wintertime, rats and mice may be looking to take shelter. Rodents, one of the most common winter pests, love nothing more than to spend the chilly winter inside a cozy home. Needless to say, no one wants rodents making themselves at home in their property this time of year—or ever, for that matter. It’s important to be aware of the dangers rodents may bring into your home. It’s also important to learn how to keep them out in the first place! Keep reading for expert info on rodents moving indoors this winter with Johnson Pest Control.

What Time Of Year Do Rodent Problems Occur?

Fall & winter rodent movement
45% Fall & Winter
Spring rodent movement
29% Spring
Summer rodent movement
28% Summer

According to the NPMA, rodents have, at one time or another, been a problem for nearly one-third of American homeowners. Rodents don’t need much space to get inside our homes and bring with them threats to health and property. Rodent infestations are most common in the winter and fall months, but are a year-round pest problem in Tennessee.


Where Are Rodents Found in the Home?

Mouse infestations in home infographic
Size of hole for mice to get in home
Mice can squeeze through openings the size of a dime.

 

Dangers of Rodents Inside Tennessee Homes

1. Mice and rats spread salmonella and carry disease-causing parasites.

Green flea pest icon
Green tick pest icon
Green lice pest icon

These pests are capable of causing damage to property by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood, and electrical and automotive wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also known to spread a variety of diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever, and the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

2. Rodents can chew through wood and electrical wires, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Rodents have open-rooted incisors that continue to grow throughout life, enabling them to gnaw continuously without wearing down their teeth.

This gnawing habit can cause a fire hazard in your home, making it important to learn how to keep rodents out of your property for good.


How to Prevent Winter Rodents In Your Home

To avoid the dangers of rodents altogether, it’s best to learn how to make your property less attractive to them in the first place. Here’s how:

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  2. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  3. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and s feet off the ground.
  4. Keep basements and attics clear; eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  5. Keep food in rodent-proof containers

Need Help Keeping Rodents Outside This Winter?

Rodents can squeeze inside easier than you think. If you are noticing a growing rodent problem in or near your Sevierville TN home, it’s time to call the rodent control experts at Johnson. Contact us today to learn how we can keep you safe from rodents in the winter and all year long.

Size of hole required rat to get in home
Rats can squeeze through openings the size of a quarter.
Size of hole for mice to get in home
Mice can squeeze through openings the size of a dime.

 

Dangers of Rodents Inside Tennessee Homes

1. Mice and rats spread salmonella and carry disease-causing parasites.

Green flea pest icon
Green tick pest icon
Green lice pest icon

These pests are capable of causing damage to property by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood, and electrical and automotive wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also known to spread a variety of diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever, and the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

2. Rodents can chew through wood and electrical wires, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Rodents have open-rooted incisors that continue to grow throughout life, enabling them to gnaw continuously without wearing down their teeth.

This gnawing habit can cause a fire hazard in your home, making it important to learn how to keep rodents out of your property for good.


How to Prevent Winter Rodents In Your Home

To avoid the dangers of rodents altogether, it’s best to learn how to make your property less attractive to them in the first place. Here’s how:

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  2. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  3. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and s feet off the ground.
  4. Keep basements and attics clear; eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  5. Keep food in rodent-proof containers

Need Help Keeping Rodents Outside This Winter?

Rodents can squeeze inside easier than you think. If you are noticing a growing rodent problem in or near your Sevierville TN home, it’s time to call the rodent control experts at Johnson. Contact us today to learn how we can keep you safe from rodents in the winter and all year long.