3 Common Summertime Wasps

Paper wasps are one of three common summertime wasps in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlHere in Sevierville, summertime is beloved by all. Warmer temperatures means more time spent outdoors near the beaches, at parks, or in your own backyard. Unfortunately, wasps love the summertime as much as you do, and can be a constant nuisance for people all summer long. Wasps are more than a nuisance, though–they can be dangerous and are known to sting when they feel threatened. There are 3 common summertime wasps to look out for: paper wasps, mud daubers, and, of course, yellow jackets. If you see signs of stinging insect activity or nests built near your home or business, it’s important to stay away. Read on for more things to know about these summertime wasps from the experts at Johnson Pest Control.

What to Know About Summertime Wasps

  1. Paper Wasps. These wasps are known for the papery nests they build, which look like upside-down umbrellas. Their nests typically hang from tree branches or twigs, but can be built on porch ceilings and door railings as well. The nests usually only contain about 30 wasps, but are still dangerous. While paper wasps aren’t as aggressive as yellow jackets, their stings are especially potent and can cause an allergic reaction in some.
  2. Mud Daubers. As their name suggests, mud daubers build their nests from mud. They are mostly black in appearance but may have light-colored markings. The most characteristic feature of the mud dauber is their thin, thread-like waist. Nests are usually located in covered areas such as porch ceilings, sheds, and attics. These wasps are less social than other types, often preferring to be solitary. Mud daubers aren’t as aggressive and will only sting when directly handled.
  3. Yellow Jackets. During the summertime, yellow jackets are infamous for being aggressive. Yellow jackets congregate in colonies of up to or more than 1,000 workers. This is why it’s so important to never attempt to knock down a nest on your own. Yellow jackets will not bother you unless they feel threatened, in which case they may sting more than once.

Common summertime wasps in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control

How to Prevent Wasps

Wasps are a normal part of life, but it’s important to avoid nests and swarms of them. In addition to keeping an eye out for nests forming on or near your property, it’s crucial to know how to prevent wasps when you spend time outside:

  • When outdoors, wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
  • Do not leave drinks or food in accessible areas.
  • Install screens on doors and windows.
  • Always keep garbage in sealed receptacles.
  • Do not swat at wasps as it increases the likelihood of an aggressive reaction.
  • If stung, seek immediate medical attention, as reactions can be severe.

Safe Wasp Removal

When it comes to wasp problems, it’s important to always be very cautious. Never try to remove nests yourself, as this can be very hazardous for anyone around at the time. The team at Johnson has the years of experience needed to provide safe and reliable wasp removal during the summer and all year long.

The Link Between Seasonal Allergies and Pests

Cockroaches can trigger seasonal allergies in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlSpringtime means blooming trees, nice weather, and the desire to spend more time outdoors. Unfortunately, in doing so, seasonal allergies are bound to become a problem for you or someone you love. This time of year in the Sevierville TN area, residents are dealing with runny noses, itchy eyes, and more. But is it just seasonal allergies, or is there more to it? Believe it or not, pest problems can be a contributing factor to your allergy and asthma symptoms. With May being National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, the team here at Johnson Pest Control wants to spread the word about the dangers of pest allergens. Allergies can be triggered by a number of typical household pests, making it important to know what you need to do to keep pests out in the first place! Keep reading for our best tips on preventing pests and pest allergens in your home.

Pest Allergens in Tennessee

A pest infestation can lead to many types of problems: structural damage, bacteria, messes, etc. Certain types of pests, such as cockroaches and dust mites, can also create pest allergens. If you are dealing with either of these pests, you may notice an onset of allergy symptoms. Roach droppings, saliva, skin, and more contain allergy proteins that are proven to trigger symptoms and even asthma, especially in children. Other pests tied to allergies include stinging insects–yellow jackets, fire ants, wasps, and more. Stings can trigger a wide range of reactions in people, from itching and hives to more serious symptoms.

**Immediately seek medical attention should you experience severe symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

How to Get Rid of Pest Allergens

To avoid dealing with pest allergens, it’s important to know how to prevent pests altogether! By knowing what to do to keep pests out, you can effectively reduce the chance of having your family members suffer from pest-triggered allergies. Our top tips to prevent pest allergens and the pests that cause them are:

  • Store food in sealed containers and clean kitchens on a daily basis.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and use a tight-fitting lid.
  • Seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes, screen doors, and windows.
  • Keep your basements and crawl spaces well-ventilated and dry!
  • Wash blankets, rugs, and bedding in hot water or get them dry-cleaned.
  • Vacuum and dust your property on a regular basis.
  • Keep pet food sealed in a tight container and wash food bowls.

Pest Prevention in the Spring

With the weather changing, pest problems are on the rise. Your seasonal allergies are already bad enough–don’t let a pest infestation make them even worse! If you need help preventing pests in your home, Johnson is here to help. In the spring and all year long, we are committed to keeping our customers safe from the many dangers of pests, including allergies.

Mosquito Prevention Tips and Tricks

Remove standing water from bird baths to help prevent mosquitoes in your Sevierville TN home - Johnson Pest ControlApril is National Pest Month, and the pest season is just beginning! In the months ahead here in the Sevierville area, pest problems are going to become more and more frequent. With the weather warming up, mosquitoes are a huge threat for homeowners. Thankfully, there are several things you can to lessen the risk of getting mosquitoes in your yard.

The mosquito control experts at Johnson Pest Control are sharing their top mosquito prevention tips in honor of National Pest Month–read on to learn more!

Top Mosquito Prevention Tips

Mosquitoes can be a big nuisance in the warmer months of year. But they’re much more than a nuisance–they can be dangerous, too! To protect you and your family from mosquitoes in the coming months, implement the following mosquito prevention tips into your home maintenance routine:

    1. Keep a tidy yard. Regularly maintain your garden and lawn to keep the grass short. Also trim back all plants and bushes to prevent mosquito resting spots
    2. Eliminate standing water. Dump out standing water in buckets, flower pots, bird baths, tarps, and more. Mosquitoes use standing water to breed!
    3. Install screens on your windows and doors. Doing this can save you the grief of getting mosquitoes inside every time you open a window or door.
    4. Add fish to your ponds and agitate the water. Certain types of fish will feed on mosquito larvae. Also consider placing an agitator, which will stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water.
    5. Get the air moving! Mosquitoes hate wind and are not strong fliers. Use fans to help force them away from your outdoor spaces and patios.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

One of the biggest concerns of mosquitoes is their bites, which can be dangerous. Whether you’re camping or going to a nearby lake, it’s important to do your best to prevent mosquitoes when outside. Some ways you can do this include:

      • Avoid going outdoors at dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are most active.
      • Try to stay away from swampy areas or spots with standing water.
      • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
      • Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply an EPA-registered insect repellent.

Professional Mosquito Prevention

If you have done all you can to prevent mosquitoes in your yard but still notice them, it’s time to call your professional mosquito exterminators. At Johnson, we understand how frustrating mosquitoes are and will work with you to develop a custom mosquito prevention plan. Give our team a call today!

Does DIY Pest Control Work?

Mouse traps are a common DIY pest control method. Learn the pros and cons of DIY pest control in Sevierville TN from the pros at Johnson Pest Control.DIY projects are certainly beloved by many. If you’re planting your own garden or embarking on an art project, DIY is absolutely the way to go. However, do-it-yourself pest control is a bit of a gamble. Store-bought products can occasionally help with a small pest problem, but they’re also often filled with chemicals. DIY pest control is also never a long-term solution to dealing with ongoing infestations or any underlying problems. Here at Johnson Pest Control, we want to help our customers make informed choices when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Keep reading to learn whether DIY or professional pest control is the best choice for you.

Do-it-Yourself Pest Control

If you have just a spider or two in your home, store-bought and DIY pest control typically can work. However, DIY pest control has several downfalls: 

    1. Certain pests, such as rodents, termites, bed bugs, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Getting rid of these types of pests can be challenging for any novice.
    2. A lot of store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
    3. At-home remedies rarely work in the long-term and do not prevent future infestations.
    4. DIY or store-bought products don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services, meaning you often have to buy more products.

The Importance of Professional Pest Control

It’s true that professional pest control requires a bigger investment of your time and money, but the payoff is tenfold! A professional has a unique understanding of the habits and behaviors of pests, making them more apt to know the best solution to control an infestation. An exterminator can also work to prevent future pest problems by identifying possible vulnerabilities in your property. Any pest control products are always applied carefully and efficiently for the safety of your family and pets. The biggest benefit of using a professional exterminator is having a custom pest control plan designed to treat your home.

DIY Pest Control vs. Professional Exterminators

Having a pest control plan in place is a smart idea for maintaining the health and safety of your home or business. Instead of spot treating pest flare-ups with unreliable DIY pest control and store-bought products, a pest control company can work with you to learn how to avoid infestations for good. To learn more, the team at Johnson is here for you!

Common Spring Pests to Be on the Lookout For

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Sevierville TN home. Get tips from Johnson Pest Control! Spring is almost here in the Sevierville area, and many people are welcoming the warmer weather. Unfortunately, with the spring season comes the pest season. This time of year, many pests that may have been less active in the winter have a resurgence of sorts. To prevent the many types of pests that will likely look to invade your Tennessee home, it’s important to implement some pest prevention measures into your spring cleaning routine! Read on for top tips from the experts at Johnson Pest Control.

Spring Pests in Tennessee

While many of the following pests are active all year long, they are particularly in action starting in the spring months. There are five pests in particular that create trouble for property owners every spring: ants, stinging insects (wasps and hornets), stink bugs, termites, and rodents! Spring is simply the start of the pest season and can last well into the summer if pest control isn’t implemented right away. By safeguarding your property now, you can help lessen the risk of getting an infestation as pests become more and more active.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pest Prevention

With so many people planning to clean their home for springtime anyway, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement pest control measures. For the best chance of making your home unsavory for pests, try the following tips:

  1. Tidy up! Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.
  2. Clean your windows and doors thoroughly. If you find any cracks or crevices make sure to securely seal them.
  3. Deep-clean your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam-clean the surface.
  4. Sanitize and clean your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids welcome all types of insects and pests.
  5. Remove debris from your yard, and trim any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.

You Have Pests in the Spring—Now What?

Sometimes pests are inevitable, especially this time of year. For your best chance at controlling active infestations and preventing future ones, the exterminators at Johnson can help. Our team will work with you to develop a custom pest control plan suited to the needs of your property.

How to Differentiate Between Termites & Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites in Sevierville TN - Learn the differences from Johnson Pest Control.With spring upon us here in Sevierville TN, swarming insect season is coming! The most dangerous insects to be wary of this time of year are termites and carpenter ants. These two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for each other in the swarmer stages of their lives. Although they are similar in appearance and habits, there are a few key differences to be aware of. Read on for tips from the experts at Johnson Pest Control for how to tell the difference between these insects.

How to Tell the Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants

It can be difficult to tell apart termites and carpenter ants in the swarmer stage. It’s important to look at the size of their wings in proportion to their bodies:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers!
  2. Termite swarmers: Usually, termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

Winged ant vs. termite in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control

Termite Damage vs. Carpenter Ant Damage

Termites typically cause more damage than carpenter ants. Some of the things to know about these wood-destroying insects include:

  • Termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
  • Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
  • Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
  • Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do. 

Wood-Destroying Insect Extermination

Without a doubt, wood-destroying insects cause a lot of damage for property owners. However, termites can cause much more damage in the same period of time as carpenter ants. Regardless, it’s important to enlist professional help for either of these insects. At Johnson, our termite exterminators will conduct a thorough inspection on your property to determine whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or termites. From there, we will work to exterminate these wood-boring insects with the most effective, fast-acting treatments!

Dangerous Diseases & Damage from Rodents

A rat chewing on a wire is one of the many dangers of rodents. Johnson Pest Control can protect you from rodents in Sevierville TN.If you own a home or a business in Tennessee, the last thing you want to deal with is a rodent infestation. In addition to simply being gross, rats and mice can cause property damage and spread disease. Some of the most infamous diseases that have been tied back to rats and mice include salmonella and hantavirus, among others. Rodents can cause a lot of destruction and create a hazardous environment inside your property, making it important to always work with a rodent exterminator who can protect you from the many dangers of rodents.

What Types of Diseases Are Spread by Rodents?

Diseases associated with rodents can be transmitted directly through human contact or indirectly through infested fleas and ticks. The main rat-borne diseases to remember include:

  • Hantavirus
    • Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains. In serious cases, it can lead to kidney failure or worse.
  • Salmonella
    • The bacteria spread by rats and mice can track onto food. The most infamous bacteria is of course salmonella, known as food poisoning.
  • Lyme Disease
    • This is of course transmitted by ticks, which are often carried by rats and mice. This disease is dangerous and can have long-term effects on health.
  • Plague
    • Historically, the bubonic plague was caused by infected fleas that were carried by rats and mice. Even though this was centuries ago, the same disease can still be spread today.

Property Damage from Rats & Mice

One of the most commonly known facts about rats is the fact that rats possess incisors that never stop growing. This causes them to chew on anything and everything, including the wires inside your home. Needless to say, this can be extremely dangerous and create a fire hazard. Additionally, rats and mice will tear through a number of materials to create nests. Rats are also known to cut through tough materials, endangering the very structure of your property.

How to Prevent Rodent Damage

To avoid dealing with the many dangers of rodents, it’s recommended to work with a professional rodent exterminator. At Johnson Pest Control, our team will work with you to customize a rodent control plan suited to the unique needs of your property. We guarantee our services will keep you, your family, and your Sevierville TN home or business protected from rats and mice all year long!

10 Facts You Should Know About German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are one of the most common cockroach infestations in Knoxville TN - Johnson Pest ControlCockroaches are a fact of life in the Sevierville TN area. If you own a property, it’s important to know about the threats of a German cockroach infestation. Not only are these roaches gross, they also carry potentially dangerous pathogens and diseases. German roaches are common invaders of homes, schools, restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, and more, making them a constant threat.

In this article, the experts at Johnson Pest Control share the most important facts you should know about German cockroaches—keep reading to learn more!

German Cockroach Behaviors & Identification

If you are dealing with a cockroach infestation, there’s a big chance you’re dealing with German cockroaches. Some of the top facts to know about German cockroaches include:

  1. German cockroaches can carry salmonella and other diseases.
  2. German roaches can be identified by their pronotum (protective plate behind the head), which has two longitudinal dark stripes.
  3. The ootheca (egg case) of the German cockroach contains between 35–40 eggs, which take one month to hatch.
  4. German cockroaches have an extraordinary rate of reproduction. One female cockroach and her offspring can theoretically produce hundreds of thousands of offspring a year!
  5. A German cockroach takes from six weeks to six months to reach maturity.
  6. German cockroaches prefer areas of high temperatures and high humidity.
  7. They are able to climb on smooth surfaces because they have a sticky pad on their feet; this sticky pad is called an arolium.
  8. German cockroaches prefer to spend their lives hidden and protected. Roaches typically can be found hidden inside walls, behind cabinets, inside appliances, and more.
  9. These cockroaches regularly spread to new areas in a serious infestation.
  10. German cockroach skins have been tied back to causing severe asthmatic reactions in some people.

What to do About German Cockroaches

If you want to avoid dealing with a German cockroach infestation, it’s essential to learn how to prevent them in the first place. In addition to regular treatments and inspections from our team, there are a number of ways you can lessen the risk of getting a German cockroach infestation in your property. Keep all food in sealed containers and secure your garbage cans securely. Also regularly clean your surroundings, eliminate clutter, and be wary of carrying in old items before inspecting them for German roaches. Most importantly, routinely check on areas in your property that are dark or rarely disturbed for evidence of cockroach activity.

Extermination for German Cockroaches

If you have German cockroaches, you’re going to need the help of a professional pest control company to get rid of them. At Johnson Pest Control, our cockroach removal experts will implement the most effective cockroach extermination treatments. Our goal is to keep your property free of roaches all year long with our industry-leading cockroach control methods.

5 Prominent Pests in 2020

Pest predictions for your Knoxville TN home in 2020 - Johnson Pest Control When it comes to protecting your family and home against pests, hindsight doesn’t have to be 20/20. Johnson Pest Control is helping homeowners prepare for the 2020 pest season by offering insights into anticipated pest activity.

The experts at Johnson Pest Control have used their field experiences and examined trends and company data to determine these five pest predictions. Along with the predictions, we are offering quick tips for homeowners to help keep their homes pest-free in 2020.


Mice

Warmer than usual winters over the past several years may be to blame for increased mouse populations. With warmer weather predicted for the winter of 2020, mice will continue to reproduce at an alarming rate, which is bad news for homeowners. Mice are year-round pests that invade homes looking for food and shelter to nest.

Homeowner Tips: Mice can squeeze through small openings and gaps under garage doors, door frames, windows, or pipes and cables that penetrate your house. Rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be repaired with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing.


Stinging Pests

Alternating climates cause rippling effects in the pest world, and with mild weather, experts are seeing more yellow jacket and hornet nests. Female yellow jackets and hornets can successfully overwinter in freezing temperatures and will invade structures and manmade or natural voids. When the weather warms up in spring, stinging insects will emerge from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: Since stinging insects can overwinter, they may be out and about at the first sign of warmer weather. Stay alert and look for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity.


Ticks

With outdoor activities, like hiking and camping on the rise, and years of warming winters, humans and their pets may come into contact with ticks more frequently in 2020. The deer tick or black-legged tick, the Lone Star tick, and the American dog tick are ticks of special concern. Nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever were reported in 2018. Pets are also at risk for some of these diseases.

Homeowner Tips: When spending time outdoors, wear an EPA-approved insect repellent. It’s also a good idea to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks, in areas where ticks may be active. Perform tick checks on yourself and any family members, including pets, after spending time outdoors.

Mosquitoes

If you noticed more mosquitoes this past year, it wasn’t your imagination. If we have another relatively warm, wet winter and spring, mosquito populations could increase by late spring and early summer. Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter.

Homeowner Tips: With an increase in mosquitoes comes the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) reported in 2019. To protect yourself and your family, eliminate standing water from your property and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outdoors.


Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the most destructive termites in North America, and they are also the most common termite in Tennessee. According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon.

Homeowner Tips: To deter subterranean termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Because termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.


Expert Pest Predictions

The experts at Johnson Pest Control agree that the best step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues is to have a proactive approach to pest control. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, utilize the new year to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the coverage you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.

Pantry Bugs to Watch This Thanksgiving

As the holiday season ramps up, families will soon be spending more time in the kitchen. Cooking turkey dinners and baking pumpkin pies are popular traditions this time of year. However, we want to remind everyone to check their cabinets and seldom-used ingredients for pantry bugs that can become a hassle during this joyous time of year.

Pantry Pests 101

Indian Meal Moth identification in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control
Indian Meal Moth

Merchant grain beetles and Indian meal moths are among the most common pantry pests found in kitchens. Theses pests contaminate stored ingredients that are typically used to bake delicious holiday treats, such as flour, dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate.

Pantry bugs don’t pose serious health or property threats, however, they can infest an area in a short amount of time. One of the easiest ways to prevent an infestation is to routinely clean out pantries and cabinets, and sift through common stored products like flour and spices.

How to Prevent Pantry Pests

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends some additional tips to keep pantries pest-free during the busy holiday baking season:

  1. Store food in plastic or glass containers with secure lids.
  2. Add a bay leaf to canisters of dry goods. The herb’s pungent scent repels many pantry pests.
  3. When grocery shopping, carefully inspect food products in cardboard packages for signs of damage prior to placing it in your cart.
  4. Only purchase items that show no sign of damage.
  5. Check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use.
  6. Keep kitchen counters, floors, and sinks clean because crumbs and spills quickly attract pests.
  7. Dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  8. Seal cracks or holes around the stovepipes and water pipes.
  9. Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.

If you discover any pests in your pantry, thoroughly clean the shelves with a vacuum, and discard the infested food in an outdoor trash bin. If you discover an infestation, it is important to consult a licensed pest professional.