Ants are some of the most persistent insects we have to deal with here in Eastern TN. They’re some of the hardest pests to get rid of completely because of their ability to adapt and alter their routes into our houses. Even when we think we’ve cleared out every ant in sight, a new trail can form within days. So, why exactly is this, and what can we do about it? If you’re looking for at-home ant control advice for your recurring infestations, read on for advice from the ant exterminators at Johnson Pest Control!
Why Doesn’t My At-Home Ant Control Work?
The problem with the easy DIY ant controls strategies we know about is that they’re designed to attack the symptoms of the problem, not the source. When we find an ant trail forming inside, the first instinct that many of us have is to squash them or spray them with some kind of store-bought ant control product. These strategies will only delay your problem or make it worse. This is because ants release a pheromone signal when they die to warn their colony members of a place of danger that they should avoid. When other invading ants sense this signal, they will divert their approach to enter your home through a different access point. Because of how stealthy ants are, they can surely find another path!
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Ant Removal Strategies You Can Count On
You’re surely wondering what you can do on your own to get rid of ants if you can’t squash or spray them. It’s crucial to make your property less hospitable to ants in the first place, so follow these steps to discourage any further ant activity:
Follow their path: If you can trace the ant trail in your home back to the entry point, you can close off the hole with caulk, a screen, or by spraying a citrus-based cleaner to deter them, depending on where the hole is.
Keep them away from food and water: Ants are usually streaming into your home because they’ve found a source of food or water via crumbs, spills, open food containers, or pooling water on the floor. Make sure to clean up messes promptly, store your food in sealed containers, and keep your bathroom well-ventilated.
Hire an ant exterminator: An ant control professional will be able to trace your infestation back to the ant hill it’s coming from. Getting rid of your ant hill is the only way to ensure the ants never come back, and an ant exterminator is trained to do this completely and efficiently.
With 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:
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.
Basil: This is another plant that works particularly well against flies and mosquitoes. It will also prove useful in your kitchen!
Spearmint: This plant is easy to grow, smells fresh, and is proven to deter aphids, moths, fleas,ants, and more.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Dealing with a leaky faucet or plumbing problem is frustrating enough for any homeowner. However, the problem can become double fold when pest infestations ignite due to the excess moisture in the home. This is because all types of pests are attracted to damp environments, which is why they’re commonly found in bathrooms, crawl spaces and more. Needless to say, a broken water pipe or sewage issue can directly correlate to an increased risk of pests in the home. This makes it crucial to always attend to maintenance problems as soon as you have them. Read on to learn everything you need to know about preventing pests and leaky pipes that can cause them in your Eastern Tennessee home!
What Pests Are Attracted to Moisture?
Bugs and insects are drawn toward areas that provide them with their main sources of survival: food and water! The most common pests that are going to be attracted to areas with excess moisture are as follows.
Termites: If a broken pipe has caused water damage in the very structure of your home, you can be sure termites are to follow. Subterranean termites in particular are attracted to moist wood and soil. When there are unattended-to leaky pipes or plumbing issues, you could be leaving your home vulnerable to termites.
Ants: These tiny pests will appear seemingly out of nowhere when excess moisture is abundant. Leaky faucets or spilled water from a pet’s bowl can bring ants out in the hundreds. In addition to your typical house ant, water can be a main attractant to the wood-destroying carpenter ant as well.
Cockroaches: Roaches may be known for their resiliency, but they aren’t as strong as you’d think. Without water for a week, a roach will not survive. Cockroaches also love to linger inside of pipes and plumbing fixtures. An issue can quickly introduce roaches into other parts of the house.
Rodents: Rats and mice alike are always looking for a water supply. Leaky pipes or broken faucets in your crawl space or laundry room can provide a haven for rodents. The last thing you want is rodents scurrying around when you have a plumbing issue, making it important to prevent them.
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Pests & Leaky Pipes
A plumbing problem can cause numerous pest problems. This is because almost all pests are attracted to water. In fact, some will die without a source of water within a few days. If you want to help prevent pests in your home, the best thing to do is keep an eye out for leaks and address any issues right away. Regularly inspect to ensure your faucets aren’t dripping, your drains aren’t clogging, and there are no leaks from your fridge, washing machine, or dishwasher.
Need to Get Rid of Pests in the Kitchen or Bathroom?
If you are noticing a flux of pests after dealing with a plumbing issue, it’s important to take care of it right away. The last thing you want is a full-blown infestation, making it important to contact your local exterminator. At Johnson Pest Control, we will work hard to get rid of any pest problems and provide you with tips to prevent future ones.
They 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:
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:
Prior to the summer months, check screen doors and repair any holes.
Remove sources of standing water in your yard, including birdbaths, wading pools, or garden ponds.
Have insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET or Picaridin available for you and your guests.
Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles that can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes.
With guests coming in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor space for eating and entertaining.
Keep food sealed in containers whenever possible, and wipe tabletops frequently.
Clean trash, spills, and crumbs immediately from tables and other surfaces.
Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
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!
Fire ants, often called “red imported fire ants” originate from Brazil but were introduced to the United States around 1940. Since then, they have spread throughout much of the southeast, including right here in Tennessee. Because these pests can pose a serious threat, it’s important to know how to recognize them as well as how to stay safe from their painful stings. Learn more with the ant control experts right here at Johnson pest Control.
What to Know About Fire Ants
Fire ants differ from your typical house ant in a number of ways. The most important things to know about these potentially dangerous pests include:
If a fire ant mound is disturbed, they will attack as one unit. When disturbed, the ants will begin spilling out ready to attack—and each ant will sting repeatedly.
To begin a fire ant colony, queen fire ants mate with males, killing the male in the process, and fly to the site at which she’ll begin the new colony. The queen will lay up to 800 eggs per day, growing the colony to an average size of 100,000 to 500,000 ants.
Fire ants don’t bite—they sting! Their stings can result in a burning sensation, hence their name. The sting site may swell and itch. A small pustule sometimes develops where the stinger enters the skin.
If fire ants get on you, it’s important to quickly and repeatedly brush them off your skin. The ants can latch on tight, meaning shaking won’t repel them. If you develop symptoms from fire ants, it’s important to seek medical attention.
Fire ants typically nest outdoors in open areas. Parks and fields are usually primary targets, but yards can be as well. The mounds are often found lining your grass and concrete, and they typically form on humid days.
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How to Prevent Fire Ant Problems
To thrive, fire ants need moisture and shelter. By making your yard less attractive to fire ants in the first place, you can keep fire ants away from your property. This is best done by taking care of your lawn and yard. Here’s how to prevent fire ants from building a nest in or near your property:
Trim back your trees and shrubs to keep fire ants from traveling on them.
Rake back any mulch, straw, or other landscaping at least 6 inches from the structure of your home.
Mow the lawn regularly to avoid overgrown grass. Remove grass clippings and piles of leaves to eliminate fire ant harborages.
Store outdoor trash cans and dumpsters as far away from the structure as possible and be sure they have tight-fitting lids.
If you start to see a fire ant nest form, avoid contact and get in touch with your local ant exterminators for treatment.
Need to Get Rid of Fire Ants?
Trying to get rid of a fire ant mound yourself is dangerous. Their colonies extend far under the ground and feature multiple queens. Fire ant treatment should always be administered by a professional ant control expert to keep yourself and your family safe.
If you are getting out into the garden this time of year then you will likely come across some ants. The ants we all know we do not want to come across are fire ants. Fire ants are serious pests that will swarm and bite all over you, your children, and your pets if they are agitated. These pests are common in Tennessee, making it important to learn all you need to know about them and the threats they bring. At Johnson Pest Control, we are committed to helping our communities learn about the threats of fire ants. Read on to learn all you need to know about fire ants in our region.
What Are Fire Ants?
Imported fire ants get their namesake from their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. Fire ants are an invasive species that are common here in Tennessee. They are most known for the large mound nests they create. These nests are large, flat, and irregular in shape. These ants will nest in the soil near buildings or in landscaping. If you come across a fire ant nest, it’s important to stay away—disturbing a fire ant nest can aggravate the ants, who will not hesitate to sting. Fire ant stings result in painful welts on the skin. This can be very dangerous for anyone allergic to insect stings.
What Do Fire Ants Look Like?
The red fire ant is larger in size than the average ant you will come across. The Red Fire Ant that is common to Tennessee will have a burnt red color and a dark, almost black posterior. These ants are segmented and have 6 legs. Needless to say, fire ants possess a stinger.
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How To Treat For Fire Ants
To get rid of fire ants, it’s recommended to get assistance from a pest control professional. The three common methods to treat fire ants include:
Surface treatment using a residual contact poison. This approach is the least environmentally sound because the treated surface remains toxic for a long time. The ants may survive by foraging underground.
Individual mound treatment, which involves the application of a large volume of pesticide to reach the queen. However, it is nearly impossible to locate all of the colonies in an area, difficult to manipulate large volumes of liquid, and treatment is more expensive and time-consuming than other treatment options. Colonies not eliminated may move or split into several colonies.
Bait treatment, which uses some sort of attractive substance the ants like to eat. Unfortunately, baits are not always consumed, and the bait’s attractiveness is short-lived. The bait must be slow-acting and effective over a range of doses, since the dose the ants get, cannot be controlled. Baits may also be attractive to and kill some native ant species that compete with fire ants.
Imported Fire Ants in Tennessee
If you notice a fire ant mound in or near your property, it’s important to reach out to your local ant exterminators. At Johnson Pest Control, our ant control team is trained to properly take care of imported ant problems here in Sevierville TN. Contact us today to learn more!
This April, we at Johnson Pest Control are proud to celebrate National Pest Management Month. We honor this tradition set forth by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) every year to acknowledge the pest control industry’s commitment to serving the public and eliminating health threats caused by pests.
April is also right around the time that many people start to notice an explosion of pest populations around them. From ants, to termites, to mosquitoes, to bed bugs, there is no shortage of pest activity in the Sevierville area come springtime.
Spring Cleaning to Prevent Pests
This year, incorporate some pest-prevention tactics into your spring cleaning routine. You might notice a pleasantly surprising drop in insects around your home! Here are a few of the ways that we recommend you pest-proof your home for spring:
Keep a neat yard: Tree branches and shrubbery should be trimmed so that they don’t provide an insect access point from your yard to your house. Keep all mulch at least a foot and a half from your foundation. Additionally, limit the amount of yard waste or piles of firewood laying around, or store them as far away from the house as you can.
Limit exposed food and garbage: Ants and cockroaches are both very likely to find any garbage or food that is left out for too long. Sealing your food in airtight containers and taking your garbage out regularly are two important ways to prevent them from taking refuge in your house.
Complete any necessary repairs: Make sure that the make-up of your house isn’t inviting pests itself. Seal any cracks on the outside of the house with a silicone-based caulk. Check for any gaps to fill at entry points for pipes and other utilities. Replace any rotted shingles that could be giving pests a pathway through the roof.
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Common Spring Pests
Certain pests in the warmer, moister climate of the Sevierville spring. These are three pests to look out for this April:
Mosquitoes: When the temperatures rise in the spring and summer, mosquitoes come back to bother us again. Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water, so covering your pools, spas, and birdbaths and pouring out any unnecessary still water will prevent them from hanging around you.
Termites: They usually remain hidden, but in the spring, termite swarmers in your home are an indicator that there is a colony growing within your walls. Look out for tiny, brown flying insects, or their discarded wings.
Ants: In the springtime, ants will start to capitalize on any food left out or unsealed in your house. They also seek out moisture, so keeping your house clean and properly ventilated are good measures to take to prevent ants at any point of the year.
Professional Pest Management in Tennessee
If the start of your spring has been particularly plagued by pests, talk to your local exterminator about the right plan of action for your home. Our technicians at Johnson Pest Control are trained annually to assess the many pest problems that Tennessee homeowners might have and swiftly deal with them. Contact us today for a free quote before your infestation gets out of hand!
Whether 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:
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!
Entomologists from Johnson’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021
READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.
To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.
1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:
With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.
“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”
Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.
“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”
2. Mosquitoes on the Move:
Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.
“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”
Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.
3. Bed Bugs:
The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.
“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”
Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.
If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.
4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.
From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.
In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:
Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.
Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”
Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.
5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere
Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.
“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”
6. Pests in the News:
There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”
The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.
“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”
The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.
The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.
“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”
While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.
If you are spending more time in your backyard than ever this year, you’re likely noticing just how many pests are outdoors! Especially in the late summer months here in Sevierville, insects are out in full-force. Unfortunately, they can quickly put a damper on your outdoor plans. Whether you’re spending time barbecuing outdoors at night, or your kids are playing on a swing set, it’s important to know how to keep pests away from your outdoor living space.
Insects & Pests in the Backyard
Your backyard can be a haven for many pests and insects, especially this time of year. Whether you’re dealing with mosquitoes infesting your birdbath or ants surrounding your outdoor dining set, pests are at full-force. The most common pests you’ll encounter in your yard are stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants, spiders, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, flies, and more. Any of these can be a nuisance to deal with, but mosquitoes and ticks are especially dangerous to be in your yard.
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8 Ways to Prevent Pests in Your Outdoor Living Area
No one wants pests infesting their outdoor living areas. While it can be hard to avoid pests when spending time outdoors, there are a few things you can to do help steer them away from your property. Our top tips are:
Apply an insect repellent. Any repellent with DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
Get rid of standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
Inspect your yard for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
Inspect wood structures. Your deck or porch may be vulnerable to termite or carpenter bee activity.
Clean your patio or space regularly. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.
Light up some citronella candles. While not a long-term solution, this will repel mosquitoes during outdoor activities.
Consider replacing your light bulbs. Yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights will not attract as many insects as bright light bulbs do.
Professional Outdoor Pest Prevention
If you have endless pests in your backyard, it’s best to contact your local exterminator. An expert can pinpoint areas of your yard that may be conducive to pest problems as well as help you prevent them! The team at Johnson is happy to help–contact us today!