Common Pests of the Late Summer

A gray squirrel

Late summer feels like the season when we should finally be left alone by pests, but this is not actually the case. All kinds of critters are capable of taking advantage of the lingering warmth and growth from previous months to sustain themselves or even continue to thrive. If you want to make sure that the last of your summer isn’t overrun by pests, you have to make conscious and regular efforts to defend yourself against them. Learn about the most common late summer pests in Eastern TN and what you can do about them from our experts at Johnson Pest Control!

Pests We See in Late Summer

Although late spring and early summer are commonly regarded as the most pest-ridden seasons, there really is no time of the year in which you can completely avoid pests. This August and September, you can expect to deal with the following:

  • Ticks: Because ticks breed in the early summer, the late summer is when we can expect to see their populations in full swing. Watch out for ticks when walking around tall grass or dense vegetation.
  • Bees and wasps: As long as people are cooking or congregating outside, bees and wasps will be present. Leaving out sugary or protein-rich food will attract these insects or even incentivize them to build a home nearby.
  • Mosquitoes: If mosquitoes can establish a breeding population in a relatively undisturbed area, they can stick around until temperatures drop below 50°F. This means that they can continue to thrive in the late summer.
  • Wildlife: Animals that hibernate during the winter have particularly active summers. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and more all cause regular issues for local home and business owners.

Preventing Pests in Late Summer

It’s important to remember that any serious pest infestation should be addressed by a professional pest control technician, but if you want to pest-proof your property before any problems arise, we have some prevention advice for you:

  1. Seal entry points: Look around your property for gaps in roofing, fencing, siding, foundation, and more places that pests could get through. Sealing gaps with a silicone-based caulk or fixing window openings by adding screens will help prevent pest problems.
  2. Be careful with trash: Taking out the trash regularly will help prevent indoor pest problems and using sealable lids on your outdoor bins can keep bees, wasps, and wildlife away from your yard.
  3. Keep a neat yard: By trimming your trees and shrubs, getting rid of grass clippings and leaf piles, and decluttering in general, you can prevent all kinds of pests from finding temporary shelter.
  4. Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water pools, so monitoring your yard for buildup in gutters, planters, and elsewhere can help prevent breeding ground establishment. If you have a pool, spa, or birdbath, it’s wise to cover it up when not in use.

Expert Late Summer Pest Control

If your summer has been full of pest problems despite your prevention efforts, you might have a problem that has to be addressed by your local pest control company. We have seen it all here at Johnson Pest Control — our licensed, certified, and highly-trained technicians will have no problem assessing your property to identify vulnerabilities and develop a sweeping pest removal plan. To learn more about how we can help you and receive a free quote, 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!

Can Carpenter Bees Sting?

What carpenter bees look like in the Knoxville TN area- Johnson Pest Control

Whether you’ve been stung once or a hundred times before, you likely won’t forget what a bee sting feels like. It’s a quick and uninvited jolt of pain, followed by a white bump that raises in size, heat, and intensity depending on the species of bee.

But did you know that some kinds of bees rarely or never sting? Although only a very small portion of bees worldwide are physically incapable of stinging, there are a few different types of bees that only sting when seriously threatened.

If you’re worried that you have carpenter bees living in your house, you shouldn’t be concerned about them stinging you.

Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

If you’ve noticed tiny holes that look like they’ve been drilled into the wood on your roof, railings, windowsills, or elsewhere – check around for flying insects with shiny black abdomen. Chances are, you have carpenter bees, but you shouldn’t fear being stung. Male carpenter bees are actually incapable of stinging – they don’t have a stinger.

Female carpenter bees will sting, but only in dire circumstances. There’s a chance you will be stung by a carpenter bee if you:

  • Swat at it
  • Step on it
  • Threaten its nest

Males protect their homes most aggressively, but their strategies work best on other insects because they rely on their threatening appearance.

Are Carpenter Bees Dangerous?

Some people wonder if the carpenter bees on their property could be seriously damaging the wood in their house. This shouldn’t be the case, but if you allow a carpenter bee population to grow in your home for a few years, the extent of the damage could exceed a negligible level.

Carpenter bees are also important pollinators. They don’t actually eat the wood that they tunnel through to nest – they sustain themselves on a primarily nectar-based diet, pollinating plants as they go along.

Although they are essential contributors to their local ecosystems, fostering too large of a carpenter bee population could result in your railings, roofs, and porches looking worn down and tattered.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Bees

If you’re tired of lending your home to unwanted carpenter bees, contact your local bee removal experts. Here at Johnson Pest Control, we train our bee, wasp, and hornet specialists to use updated, humane, and environmentally responsible methods to rid your house of unwanted pests. Contact us today for a free quote!

How to Be Pest-Free in Your Backyard

Learn to be pest-free in your Sevierville TN backyard with tips from Johnson Pest ControlIf 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.

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:

  1. Apply an insect repellent. Any repellent with DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  2. Get rid of standing water. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of standing water to breed.
  3. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Overgrown grass or vegetation provides mosquitoes and ticks with shelter.
  4. Inspect your yard for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
  5. Inspect wood structures. Your deck or porch may be vulnerable to termite or carpenter bee activity.
  6. Clean your patio or space regularly. Crumbs or spilled liquids will attract ants and other insects.
  7. Light up some citronella candles. While not a long-term solution, this will repel mosquitoes during outdoor activities.
  8. 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!