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!

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!

 

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!

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!

The Dirty Truth on Bed Bug Bites

Signs of bed bugs in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlBed bug bites are gross, they’re itchy, they’re bothersome. It’s a generally unpleasant feeling. But what might be worse is the anxiety that pairs with the knowledge of an active bed bug infestation in your home. When you know that there’s a chance you’ll be bitten by bed bugs as you sleep, it’s likely that you’ll be tossing and turning for hours or getting a restless night of sleep.

So, how can we avoid this feeling? And do we really need to be so scared about bed bug bites?

Some Things to Know About Bed Bug Bites

If you’re wondering whether you currently have bed bug bites or you just want to learn more about them, read on. We’ve laid out some important bed bug bite facts from our experts at Johnson Pest Control:

  1. Bed bug bites look like small bumps or a rash. Their bites will often be laid out in zigzag patterns across skin that you leave exposed at night.
  2. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases. During the feeding process, bed bugs inject an anticoagulant in order to enable them to draw more blood, but they do not pass on any diseases through their bites.
  3. Bite symptoms imitate a rash. Bed bug bites will leave you with redness, itchiness, and possibly swelling at the source of the bites. In some cases, bed bug bites can cause allergic reactions. Hydrocortisone cream can be used as a treatment option.



What Are the Signs of Bed Bugs Inside?

Unfortunately, no matter how clean you keep your house, you are still at risk for bed bugs. Since they travel on used furniture, clothing, bags, and accessories, bringing anything into the house and back or introducing new items to your home can spur a bed bug infestation.

Because of this, it is important to be aware of the signs of a bed bug infestation so that you can deal with it before it gets out of hand. Here are some the signs of a bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Bites: People often find out about their bed bug problems by noticing bites on their skin. They will often be laid out in lines and look like a rash.
  • Excess material: You could possibly find bed bug excrement, tiny white eggshells, or reddish-brown smears along the places that bed bugs are inhabiting.
  • Active bed bugs: Bed bugs are very small, but they are visible to the naked eye. Look out for them around your mattress, furniture, and baseboards.

Don’t jump to throw away all of your belongings when you discover a bed bug infestation. There are ways to get rid of bed bugs without tossing all of your things!

Bed Bug Treatments in Eastern TN

Bed bugs can be eliminated most effectively by prolonged exposure to high heat. If you’re looking for a professional heat treatment in Eastern TN, talk to your local pest control company. Our bed bug experts at Johnson Pest Control can eliminate your infestation in only a day’s work. For more information on our services or for a free quote, contact us today!

Gnats vs No-see-ums vs Mosquito Bites—How Do They Differ?

A mosquito on the water in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlWhether you’re sleeping or awake, inside or out, getting active or just hanging around, the pests are out and biting this summer! Winged insects are some of the hardest to avoid when it comes to biting because they can attack us from all angles. We’ve heard a lot about no-see-ums, gnats, and mosquitoes being a nuisance this season, so we’re here with some advice from our Johnson Pest Control technicians on how to identify these pests and their bites.

Gnats vs No-see-ums vs Mosquitoes: Identification

These three pests are some of the most irritating insects found in Eastern TN. Although you’ve probably encountered all of them before, they can be hard to tell apart, especially from further away. Here are some features that you can use to identify them:

  1. Gnats: Gnats are a type of fly with bodies ranging from gray to black in color. They move in swarms of thousands during the spring and summer.
  2. No-see-ums: These insects are actually a certain kind of gnat. They are very small—at only 1/16” in length, they can infiltrate our homes through even the smallest gaps in walls and screens.
  3. Mosquitoes: Much bigger than the other two, mosquitoes are the most easily identifiable of the bunch. They have a needle-like proboscis, upward-slanting wings, and a hunched back.

Telling Apart Bug Bites

Learning how to identify bugs around your home based on the symptoms of the bites that you experience is another quick way to determine the best pest control approach you should take. Mosquito bites, gnat bites, and no-see-um bites vary in these ways:

  • Gnat bites: Gnat bites are small, dark red, and rough-looking. They last for a week or more depending on how much they are scratched.
  • No-see-um bites: These bites look very similar to gnat bites, of course, but are more likely to be clustered together and in more uncommon areas, like your face.
  • Mosquito bites: Mosquito bites are smoother and lighter in color. They start as a raised white welt and flatten out as they darken to a pinkish-red in a few days. They are most common on areas of exposed skin, like your arms and legs.

In summary, these bites can be told apart by their color, their location, and the length of their effects.

Keeping Safe from Bug Bites in Eastern TN

Using EPA-approved bug sprays using up to 20% DEET can work well to avoid insect bites here in Eastern TN. However, sometimes these products fail to do the trick, especially if you have a continual problem around your home. In this case, you can rely on your local pest control company to help you get rid of any pests on your property! For a free quote or more information from the experts at Johnson Pest Control, contact us today!

Prevent Summer Pests From Ruining Outdoor Festivities

Pest infestation in Sevierville TN backyard - Johnson Pest ControlThey may not be on the guest list, but many pests including ants, flies, mosquitoes, and other stinging insects are likely to disrupt outdoor festivities this summer. Pest season is in full force during the summer months here in Sevierville TN. Spending time outside can sometimes be a gamble considering the heightened pest activity.  Unfortunately, plenty of pests are attracted to our food, so they tend to frequent our outdoor cookouts, but there are ways to prevent these uninvited guests from crashing the party. To keep pests away from your outdoor living space this summer, keep reading for expert tips from Johnson Pest Control.

Common Backyard Pest Problems

In our region, we are used to dealing with all types of pests all year long. However, the summer and early fall are known for their influx of insects. This includes right in your backyard! The most typical pests you may encounter right in your backyard include:





Keep Pests Away From Your Yard

The good news is that keeping pests away from your yard can be simple when you take the time to make your property less attractive to the pests in general. The National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food, and property from household pests, offers these tips to help pests from ruining your summer gathering: 

  1. Prior to the summer months, check screen doors and repair any holes.
  2. Remove sources of standing water in your yard, including birdbaths, wading pools, or garden ponds.
  3. Have insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET or Picaridin available for you and your guests.
  4. Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles that can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes.
  5. With guests coming in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
  6. Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor space for eating and entertaining.
  7. Keep food sealed in containers whenever possible, and wipe tabletops frequently.
  8. Clean trash, spills, and crumbs immediately from tables and other surfaces.
  9. Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
  10. Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in tightly closed garbage containers.

Outdoor Pest Control in Sevierville TN

We all know that pests are a fact of life, especially outdoors and especially in the summertime! If you’ve done all you can to keep pests away from your backyard to no avail, it’s time to enlist the help of your local pest control experts. At Johnson Pest Control, we will work to keep pests out and away from your yard for good. Contact us today to get started!

Was I Stung By a Bee or a Wasp?

Bee vs wasp sting infographic in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control

Spending time outside in the summer can lead to a plethora of bug bites. Two of the main culprits are, of course, bees and wasps. Unlike mosquitoes, bees and insects will sting to defend themselves. Usually, they prefer to mind their own business and have no interest in stinging you whatsoever. That said, stings happen—typically when they are provoked. Wasp stings are more common than bee stings, and also more painful. Although the symptoms from bee and wasp stings are similar, it’s important to know how to identify whether you were stung by a bee or a wasp. The experts at Johnson Pest Control are here to help you differentiate between the two—read on to learn more!

Wasp Sting or Bee Sting?

With different temperaments, bees and wasps have different stinging habits. For the most part, bees are not aggressive and thus unlikely to sting unless directly provoked. Honey bees are the bees that will lodge their stinger in the person they sting, causing them to die shortly afterward. Other bees can sting repeatedly, but it is rare for them to do so.

Wasp stings can be much more painful than bee stings. This is due in part to the fact that wasps are capable of stinging repeatedly—often in the same spot. Wasps are more aggressive and will sting at will, especially when they are provoked or when their nest is threatened. They get more aggressive in the late fall months, which is when their populations grow in size and resources start to thin out.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bee or Wasp Sting?

The reactions to or symptoms of a bee or wasp sting are usually the same, and will clear up in just a few day’s time. After being stung, it’s important to remove the stinger (if it was lodged) and immediately clean the area with antibiotics. Some of the common reactions to a bee sting vs wasp sting include:

  1. A sharp, stinging pain at the site of the bite
  2. Swollen, red bumps wherever a bite occurred
  3. Itchiness and irritation
  4. A numb feeling at the site of the bite

If someone is allergic, the symptoms of a bee or wasp sting can be much more dangerous, or even lethal. Anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting can start within two hours of the incident and rapidly get worse. Immediately get to a doctor if you start to break out in hives or have trouble breathing.




Wasp and Bee Problems in Sevierville TN

Bees and wasps play an essential role in pollinating our flowers and foliage! That said, stings are a common occurrence in the spring and summer. If stinging insects build a nest on or near your property, it’s crucial that you contact a local bee and wasp removal expert to deal with the problem. Trying to get rid of them yourself can lead to being stung by these insects repeatedly. For help with wasp or bee problems, contact the experts at Johnson Pest Control today!

Are Brick Homes At Risk For Termites?

Can termites infest brick homes in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlAs wood-destroying insects, termites are most infamous for infesting and damaging wooden structures. But what about brick, concrete, or stone homes? Unfortunately, termites are still a threat to these types of buildings. This is because there are many risk factors at play when it comes to what makes a property vulnerable to a termite problem. For Termite Awareness Week 2021, the termite control experts at Johnson Pest Control are here to help our Sevierville TN customers understand what may put them at risk for a termite problem. Read on to learn more!

Can Termites Infest Brick or Stone Homes?

It is a myth that termites only infest wood homes. This is because there are many things that are attractive to termites, as long as it contains cellulose. This puts your drywall, flooring, deck, porch, mulch, or even wallpaper at risk of being infested with termites. So while a brick home may be more difficult for termites to enter, once inside, they can still infest many items. For this reason, it’s smart to always work with a professional who can pinpoint what may put your home at risk for termites and keep you safe from infestations.

3 Risk Factors For Termites

No matter the structure of your home, you could be at risk for termites. The three biggest contributing factors to what makes your home attractive to termites are as follows. 

  1. Moisture problems.
    • Subterranean termites in particular are attracted to moisture, especially in soil. Standing water or excess moisture will invite termites to take up residence in your home. Always fix leaks, broken sprinkler systems, downspouts, and clogged gutters to ensure you are protected from moisture problems.
  2. Cracks or openings.
    • Termites will take advantage of structural vulnerabilities, no matter whether your home is wooden or brick. A crack in the structure of your property allows for termites to easily build mud tubes upon it. Frequently inspect your home for cracks and make repairs as needed. Look for other issues that could contribute not just to termite problems, but all sorts of pest problems!
  3. Wood in contact with the soil.
    • Even homes that aren’t made of wood can have siding, decks, porches, fences, posts, and more that contain wood. Any wood that comes into contact with your home’s exterior is at risk for termites. For this reason, avoid storing firewood on the ground near your property. Remove decaying logs or stumps, and avoid mulch. Trim back trees to avoid branches coming into contact with your home.

How to Avoid the Risks of Termites

Whether you own a homemade of wood or brick, it’s best to work with your local termite exterminator to pinpoint anything in or around your property that could invite termite problems right inside. Contact the termite control experts at Johnson today to learn more!