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!


Keep Pests Away Over the Holidays

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

Why Do Pests Spread During the Holidays?

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

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

3 Tips to Prevent Holiday Season Pests On Your Own

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

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

Professional Pest Control for the Holidays

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

Pest Problems? Check For Leaky Pipes!

Roaches enter homes through pipes and plumbing - Johnson Pest Control in Eastern TNDealing 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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.

Are You Prepared For Spring Bugs?

Spring pest-proofing in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlThis 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.

Common Spring Pests

Certain pests in the warmer, moister climate of the Sevierville spring. These are three pests to look out for this April:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Benefits of TAP Insulation

TAP Insulation in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlWhether 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:

What Are the Other Benefits of TAP Insulation?

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!

The Rise of Summertime Cockroach Activity

Summer cockroach infestations can be dangerous in Sevierville TN. Johnson Pest ControlFor the most part, cockroaches are common year-round. But if there was a “cockroach season”, it would be the summertime! Especially here in Tennessee, warmer temperatures this time of year draw cockroaches out and into homes. They are attracted to warmth and humidity, which is why they frequent bathrooms or kitchens. This feared pest isn’t just a nuisance–they’re dangerous, too! It’s important to know what you can do to prevent summertime cockroach activity in your Sevierville home or business. Read on for expert info from the cockroach control team at Johnson Pest Control.

How Can I Prevent Cockroaches in the Summer?

No one wants to deal with summertime roaches, which is why it’s so important to learn what you can do to keep them out of your property. A few of our top tips to prevent cockroaches this summer include:

  1. Inspecting the perimeter of your home and seal cracks and crevices. Seal windows and doors or install screens.
  2. Keeping a clean kitchen and bathroom. Wipe or clean up any spills or messes ASAP.
  3. Picking up pet food bowls after mealtimes. Try to avoid leaving food out overnight.
  4. Securely storing all food in tight-fitting airtight containers, and refrigerating unsealed food.
  5. Ensuring your garbage cans are sealed with a tight-fitting lid, and routinely take it out.
  6. Avoiding leaving piles of clutter or junk both inside and outside of your property.
  7. Promptly fixing any leaky pipes or clogged rain gutters to avoid moisture problems.

Are Cockroaches Only Summer Pests?

Cockroaches are a year-round pest in Tennessee. That said, the summer months are when they are most likely to be active. Almost all cockroach species are known to be drawn toward warm or even damp environments. This is why they are most commonly seen in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and crawl spaces. This is also why they are more likely to infest homes in the summertime. A lot of cockroaches will be less active in the winter to wait out the warming temperatures during the summer months. For this reason, roach infestations are one of the most common pest problems we get calls for in the summer.

How to Get Rid of Summer Cockroaches

Seeing just one roach in your home or business can be a bad sign that there are many more hidden elsewhere. Because of the germs and bacteria they spread—as well as the allergies they can cause—it’s important to always enlist the help of a professional cockroach exterminator. The experts at Johnson can keep you cockroach-free in 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.

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.

How to Identify Roaches with Roach Pictures

You probably think you need an entomology degree to be able to identify all the various species of insects that can be found in and around your home. It actually would help, but we know most of you are not entertaining the thought of going to the University of Tennessee for an entomology degree. Reading descriptions of how to identify bugs can be, well, fruitless. How is one supposed to determine if their front legs are high towards their head when they are less than a quarter of an inch in length? Crazy!

We here at Johnson Pest Control like pictures. So with winter upon us and the probability that roaches are casing your house for potential food sources (as well as some warmth), we thought it a good idea to put together some roach pictures to help you identify what might be in your home.


How to identify an American cockroach infographic - Keep cockroaches away from your home with Johnson Pest Control in TN

The American Cockroach is the largest roach that you are likely to come across, it will reach a size of around 2 inches. The Oriental and German Cockroaches decrease in size. The big thing you might notice with the American Cockroach initially is the amber color. It is getting that from it’s brown and red tones. If you are still unsure you can look towards the head of the roach and see if you can spot two dark circles. The German Cockroach has similar line markings, so be sure you are seeing circles over lines.

If you want to really notice the roach, you can look to see what the roach is feeding on. American cockroaches like moist food. That might look like pet food, or some perishable item in the pantry or on the counter.


German Cockroach Pictures
German Cockroach picture courtesy University of Florida Entomology Department

The German Cockroach is probably the one you find when you turn the lights on. They prefer to come out at night, or in the darkness. If you see them out in open light conditions you could have a real infestation problem as they possibly have overcrowded their living conditions. They can vary in color, which makes them hard to identify in that way. The best way to identify a German Cockroach is to look for the, almost, parallel lines starting from its shoulders (practically head) down to its back. They are about 1/2 inch in length, so under the size of a nickel.

The German Cockroach likes moist environments, so that is why you will often first notice them around a kitchen or bathroom sink.


How to identify an oriental cockroach info graphic - Keep cockroaches away from your home with Johnson Pest Control in TN

Unlike the American & German cockroaches, the Oriental Cockroach does not have cool spots or lines as features to clue you in to who they are. They have a tubular shape to them maintaining a similar width from head to butt. The male and females will look different. The males will have wings on their backs, though they cannot actually fly. The females are a little larger yet do not have wings at all. Often these roaches can look black, but at second glance you can see they have a darker, deeper, brown color to them.

The Oriental Cockroach can survive winters hiding out under mulch, rocks, and debris and may not care for your home. If they do come into your home you will find them around pipes and in the darker/cooler places, like a basement.

Getting Rid of Roaches?

Getting rid of roaches can be attained in a few steps. However, nothing is full-proof depending on the infestation. Go ahead and try on some of the commercial traps you can find at the grocery and home improvement store. We’d caution on using the foggers and sprays initially as they can do more harm than good, especially when used incorrectly or excessively.

Removing food sources will help to get rid of roach issues as well. The problem is that their food sources can cover such a vast array of items it is hard to get rid of everything. Cleaning up food spills, not leaving food out overnight or for extended periods of time will help. Placing pantry items in sealed containers plus taking out trash regularly will provide some proactive measures to make your home less hospitable to roaches.