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!

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!

Prevent Ladybugs, Boxelder Bugs & Stink Bugs From Overwintering in Your Home

Boxelder bugs in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlHeading into winter, all sorts of pests start looking to head indoors. Overwintering is the process that many organisms go through to survive the harsh cold and the conditions that come with it. It comes in many forms depending on the organism, but the two major ways that it manifests are through hibernation and migration.

Here in Eastern TN, there are a few insects to look out for when it gets cold. Ladybugs, boxelder bugs, and stink bugs all like to spend the winter indoors, so your home could be their target in the coming weeks if it isn’t already! To learn how to prevent insects from overwintering in your home, read on for advice from the Johnson Pest Control technicians!

Fall Invaders: Who Are They?

Lady bugs, boxelder bugs, and stink bugs are all grouped in together with “fall invaders,” a list of pests that start to make their way into our homes as the temperatures drop. Let’s learn more about them:

  • Ladybugs: While these are one of the most beloved insects here in Eastern TN, when they find your home suitable for hibernation, their numbers can become overwhelming. Ladybugs often find their way in through gaps around windows and doors.
  • Boxelder bugs: For most of the year, boxelder bugs live in the bark of boxelder trees. Fitting! However, even if you don’t have a boxelder or other maple tree on your property, you could be in for a swarm of nearby boxelder bugs trying to get inside your home this winter.
  • Stink bugs: As an invasive species, stink bugs have no native predators in the region. Their numbers have been multiplying every year, and as a result, more and more homeowners in the area have dealt with stink bug infestations.

How to Prevent Bugs Overwintering in Your Home

The best way to keep pests out of your house this winter is to limit the number of access points to your home that they have. We recommend taking the following steps to keep bugs out:

  • Look for cracks in the foundation of your home, plumbing fixtures, and roofing. Seal any gaps with a silicone-based caulk.
  • Install sweeps on your doors and screens on your windows.
  • Replace any loose mortar and weather stripping.
  • Use screens on your vents and chimney openings.

Professional Help for Overwintering Pests

If you’ve tried all of our prevention strategies to no avail, it’s time to bring in a professional pest control technician to assess your situation. At Johnson Pest Control, we train our techs to complete exhaustive inspections to ensure that no vulnerability is left undiscovered. We use the safest and most effective pest control products in the industry to get rid of unwanted pests and provide our customers with top tips to prevent problems on their own going forward. If you need help today, reach out for a free quote!

Keep Pests Away Over the Holidays

A cockroach indoors in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlThe holiday season is many peoples’ favorite time of the year. There’s so much to look forward to, but one of the downsides of the holidays (and winter in general) is the opportunity for pest problems to arise. Spiders, cockroaches, rodents, and pantry pests are just some of the unwanted guests that we’ve been called about over our years serving Eastern TN during the holiday season. If you’re looking to prevent pests during the holidays this year, read on for advice from our exterminators at Johnson Pest Control!

Why Do Pests Spread During the Holidays?

If you’ve never experienced a pest infestation during the holidays in Eastern TN, you’re one of the lucky ones. There are many ways that the holiday season creates pest problems—here are the main three:

  • When you stow away your decorations in boxes after the holiday season, they have almost a year of undisturbed time to house all sorts of pest populations. Bringing them out can spread an infestation throughout your home.
  • The surge of online shopping during the holiday season creates endless opportunities to spread. By sneaking into or chewing through packaging, they can find temporary shelter and a fast-track ticket to a new home and plentiful resources.
  • Holiday greenery, like trees, garlands, wreaths, and other plants can all provide temporary shelter for pests in your home.

3 Tips to Prevent Holiday Season Pests On Your Own

The holiday season is one of the most important times to take extra measures to prevent pest problems. Here are our top three tips to keeping pests from multiplying inside your home this holiday season:

  1. Shake out your Christmas tree, wreath, or other festive plants before bringing them inside. They could be hosting insects.
  2. Make sure that there are no bugs hiding in your firewood before bringing it inside. You should be storing your firewood outside, off of the ground, and away from your home.
  3. Before bringing out your decorations, check your boxes and storage area for evidence of any pest activity. This could be droppings, scratches and bites, discarded wings, and more.

Professional Pest Control for the Holidays

A pest infestation is the last thing that you need to worry about during all of the hectic hustle and bustle of the holidays. If you’re worried about the possibility of a pest outbreak, let your local pest control company take a look at your home. Our technicians at Johnson Pest Control are able to conduct all-encompassing pest inspections, labeling any active pest populations and vulnerabilities to put a stop to. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and receive a free quote!

What Are These Stink Bugs?

What brown marmorated stink bugs look like in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlMany people here in Eastern Tennessee have come to us asking questions about the amount of stink bugs that they’ve seen around their home over the last few years. They have been around for a little while now, but it seems like their numbers just keep growing. What exactly are these stink bugs, and why are they multiplying so quickly? Read on to learn more about them with help from the technicians at Johnson Pest Control!

What Are Stink Bugs?

There are some species of stink bugs native to the United States, but brown marmorated stink bugs are the ones that are taking over. They were accidentally introduced to the country after being brought over on Eastern Asian cargo ships in the 1990s. Since they were documented in Pennsylvania almost 30 years ago, they have spread to most of the continental United States and are projected to spread across our entire continent, given that they have almost no natural predators here.

Brown marmorated stink bugs can be differentiated from other stink bugs by their brown coloring and scattered markings of black, white, and brown on their backs and antennae. They have a characteristic shield-shaped body and are usually about ½” long.

Do Stink Bugs Bite?

Brown marmorated stink bugs will bite on very rare occasions, and their bites won’t do more than cause temporary pain. Stink bugs aren’t dangerous, but they are aptly named. Their main defense mechanism comes by way of the release of a foul-smelling gas from their scent glands. This reaction is usually triggered by grabbing, touching, or trapping them.

Stink bugs are probably in your home looking for plants or produce. They are infamous in the agricultural industry for extracting nutrients from crops. Here in the states, they have plentiful resources and barely any inhibiting factors keeping them from proliferating.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Eastern Tennessee

It’s much easier to prevent stink bugs than to get rid of them once they’re in your home. You can keep them out best by using screens in your ventilation system, sealing gaps by doors in windows and cracks in plumbing fixtures, and making sure that your roofing and foundation are completely intact. Stink bugs in the house are best dealt with using a vacuum cleaner.

That said, we know how quickly a small stink bug problem can turn into a huge one. If you have an infestation on your hands right now, no matter the size, your local pest control company can take care of them. The technicians at Johnson Pest Control are trained with the best strategies and products to get rid of stink bugs and can teach you how to best prevent them around your unique home. For a free quote on stink bug removal, contact us today!

How Do Mice Get in Your House?

A mouse found in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlAs autumn kicks into gear, animals of all sorts are starting their preparations for another cold winter. Unfortunately, this means the start of mice infestations in Eastern TN. Every year, people come to us to help them remove mice from their crawl spaces or inside their walls, and most of the time, they don’t know how the mice ended up inside their homes in the first place. Whether you’re dealing with mice in the house right now or you’re looking to get a head start on pest prevention, read on for some advice from our technicians at Johnson Pest Control!

Why Do Mice Come in Your House?

Like all animals, mice have to take precautions to keep themselves safe during the winter. When mice enter your home, you could just be a victim of circumstance, living near a growing mouse population. If mice find your property suitable, they will enter your home looking for three things:

  1. Warmth: Mice do not hibernate, so they need to find a warm place to stay during the winter.
  2. Shelter: Mice are actually a very important part of their ecosystems, but unfortunately for them, they serve the role of common prey. They have to find a consistent place to hide from their predators.
  3. Food: Although it’s commonly believed that cheese is the most coveted mouse delicacy, they actually prefer foods that are higher in carbohydrates. That being said, mice will eat just about anything that they can find.

How to Keep Mice Out

Mice are tiny rodents and can squeeze through much smaller holes than you would imagine, so it can be very difficult to keep them out of your home. That said, these are our recommended steps to take for a mouse proof house:

  • Check your doors, vents, and windows for gaps. You can fit brush strips to your doors and screens to your windows to ensure that there are no slots to squeeze through.
  • Seal any holes in your pipes and roofing. Mice often squeeze through gaps in roof tiles or cracks in plumbing fixtures.
  • Keep your lawn cut short to prevent hiding places and accumulating seeds that rats can eat.
  • Store your food away properly when you’re done eating and promptly clean up any spills.

How Johnson Pest Control Handles Rodents

Rodent control can take many forms, depending on the type of infestation you’re dealing with. Whether it’s rats, mice, gophers, opossums, or any of the other rodents we find so often here in Eastern TN, our expert rodent control technicians can take care of the problem. Trained to deliver a holistic service from inspection, to extermination, to advice, our rodent control team has been serving local homeowners with top-of-the-line pest control for years. Contact us today for a free estimate!