Spiders, Rats, Bats: Spooky Pests Can be a Nightmare for Homeowners

The Wolf SpiderWith Halloween right around the corner, sightings of classic creepy bugs and creatures will surely be on the rise as homeowners decorate for the spookiest day of the year. We like to remind our homeowners that real pests pose threats to both health and property and an infestation can be a real nightmare.

Pests such spiders, bats, rats and mice are frequently associated with Halloween fun and campy horror movies, but if found inside the home, they are a cause for concern. These pests are more likely to invade houses as the weather cools down, so it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for any signs of pest problems.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the following pests could threaten the health and safety of your home this fall:

SPIDERS

For many people, spiders of any size and shape cause great alarm when found in the home, and their webs can be a serious nuisance. However, there are only two species of spiders in Tennessee that pose significant threats to human health: the brown recluse and black widow. Both species will bite when threatened and can cause painful, and possibly fatal reactions. Anyone who suspects they’ve been bitten by either of these should promptly seek medical attention. 

BATS

Bats prefer to settle in dark, secluded and protected areas, including the attics of homes. They have been known as carriers of rabies in the U.S. and capable of infecting humans and other animals. Their droppings can also cause certain lung diseases. Bats are protected mammals in many states, so it is necessary to contact a pest control professional or the local wildlife service before taking any action to remove bats from the home.

RATS

Rats can inflict property damage and threaten human health. Their strong teeth allow them to chew through glass, cinderblock, aluminum and wire, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also vectors of diseases including plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis. Additionally, rats can introduce fleas into a home. These pests can fit through holes the size of a quarter, so closely inspect both the inside and outside of the home for any gaps that could allow them easy entry.

3 Signs You Need Stink Bug Control

Stink bug Control Knoxville, Tennessee

So, it’s late summer in beautiful Knoxville, TN and you are just trying to enjoy the bounty from you vegetable garden before fall hits. You walk up only to discover that your garden is being ransacked by little shield shaped insects: stink bugs. You panic. What can you do to save your beautiful garden? Not only are stink bugs a pest to vegetable garden, but they can also be house pests (or as we like to call them: unwelcome houseguests!). Johnson Pest Control can get rid of these stink bugs in Knoxville, Tennessee. Before we do, let us tell you the three signs that you need stink bug control.

  1. Stink Bugs Cause Damage to Plants & Vegetables

Like we mentioned earliestink bug control in knoxville, tn pest control servicesr, stink bugs are a fan of vegetable gardens. They can be real pests! When the stink bug feeds, it pierces the skin of the fruit or vegetable in order to feed. Once it detaches, the skin will heal over but there will usually be a scar that can be seen. Some say the scar on the fruit or vegetable looks like a cat face. So keep an eye out for scarred tomatoes that have cats face scars on them! To save your vegetable garden, call Johnson Pest Control.

  1. Sunny Side Up – Stink Bugs in Knoxville, TN

Stink Bug Control for Knoxville, TN Pest ServicesStink bugs like to sun themselves to keep warm. You might notice that some sunny areas outside or around your home are prone to stink bugs posting up so they can tan. Be weary of this and try to seal your home against them. Stink bugs are active on sunny days.

  1. Stink Bug Invasion in Knoxville, TN

The most likely sign of a stink bug invasion will be just that: a large number of stink bugs in or around your home. They are easier to get rid of if they are outside. However, it’s about to get colder and the stink bugs are thinking about one thing: winter. Once the stink bugs make their way into your home, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. They will winterize themselves so that they don’t feed or move.

Don’t let stink bugs invade your home. If you need stink bug control in Knoxville, TN, give Johnson Pest Control a call. We can save your home from any infestation of bugs from harmless (but still annoying) pests like stink bugs to wood-destroying insects to stinging insects. Johnson Pest control can save the day and take steps to make sure that another infestation does not happen. You don’t think of pest control companies until you have to and when you think pest control, you should think Johnson Pest Control in Knoxville, TN.

5 Fall Home Pest Control Tips

Home Pest ControlPest control around the home is a year-round effort, but it doesn’t have to be an exhaustive effort. Here are five tips to prep for your own home pest control this fall.

5 Home Pest Control Tips

  1. Reduce Moisture and Water Around The House: Coming off the summer months you might think that we are done with mosquitoes. That is far from the case. Mosquitoes will continue for a few months. Go around the house and disperse any standing water where mosquitoes could breed. Moisture build up areas around the house are perfect environments for termites and many other pests. If you have areas of the house that are building up moisture then do what you can to dry them out. Some areas may only need some landscaping, shrubs, tree limbs, etc. cut back to give some ventilation and sunlight to dry out. If your crawl space is damp then place a fan or two around the crawl that can be turned on periodically to help ventilation. Open vents around the crawl space, but insert screens at the same time to keep out critters.
  2. Fix All House Integrity Compromises: Every day it seems we visit at least one house that has some vegetation or structural issue that is compromising the house. Walk around the house and look for trees that might be pressing into the eaves, shrubs that are covering over the house vents, leaking pipes, falling screens, or any other noticeable issues. Critters and bugs utilize these types of compromises of the house structure to make their way in for shelter for the fall and winter months. Once these pests get into your house they are difficult (and costly) to get out. Some compromises to your house can even lead to structural issues that go beyond pests and can cause thousands in repairs.
  3. Seal Cracks: This is that time of the year when we will start to notice ladybugs, Asian ladybugs, stink bugs, kudzu bugs, boxelder bugs and other pests showing up in mass around our windows and doors inside the house. They are just looking for a warmer place to call home for the late fall and winter. They will not be causing any harm to your family or destruction to your house, but they can be impossible to get rid of once they are in the house. Especially if you noticed these bugs in your house last year, seal up those windows or doors where they occupied last year first. Creating a nice seal around your house will also help keep some of your heating costs down over the winter, which is a good add on to sealing up the house.
  4. Clean Out the Cobwebs: If you go into your garage or look around the windows of the exterior of your house you will likely find cobwebs all over. Cobwebs generally indicate spiders (bit of sarcasm there) so do not be alarmed. Not all spiders are harmful to us humans, most are not. Some spiders are actually quite helpful to the ecosystem. But not many of us are raving fans of spiders. So we want them out of the house as well. Take a day or so to go through those areas that spiders have staked a little claim of your home and clean them out. If you are paying attention to the first three tips in this list then it is likely the spiders will not come back to those spots because they only want to go places that have options to feed.
  5. Put Down a Perimeter: If you have done all the prior pest control tactics then you are likely ready to put down a little bit of some chemical pest treatments around the house. Our suggestion would be to call on a pest professional at this point. Often when you consider your time, the chemical itself, a spray container, and any other random expenses you might need to get ready to spray on your own, the cost for hiring a professional is cheaper or relatively close to the same price. It doesn’t do you very much good to do this step before the others because creating a perimeter that can be stepped over by climbing trees next to the house or jumping from bushes only makes the perimeter 50% effective at best. Once you have an effective perimeter in place you will find that pests are kept out of the house more efficiently and if they do make it into the house they do not get very far without dying.

Prevent Pests From Triggering Indoor Allergies This Spring

Pests and Insects and cause indoor allergies to kick in just as bad as outdoor allergiesWith the welcome arrival of spring comes some universally unpopular side effects: asthma and allergy symptoms. Every year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, coinciding with the peak season for allergy-related symptoms. We at Johnson Pest Control like to remind our people that even though many associate spring allergies with the outdoors, household pests such as cockroaches and rodents are also known to trigger asthma and allergy symptoms, especially in children.

Pest Related Indoor Allergies

Cockroach droppings, saliva, skins and other body parts contain potent allergens that can cause allergic reactions and worsen asthma symptoms. Additionally, some species of stinging insects found in East Tennessee, such as wasps & bees, can cause serious reactions in people whose immune systems overreact to stings.

With plant-based allergens already making life harder for so many Americans this time of year, the last thing people need are triggers within their own homes. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against pests that cause asthma and allergies:

  • Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
  • Seal cracks and holes in homes, including entry points for utilities and pipes and in screen doors and windows.
  • Keep basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.

Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.

If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.

If you suspect an infestation or notice a hive or nest on your property then contact us for an inspection and treatment.

A pest-free home is a happy home, and taking a few simple steps to keep them out can make all the difference in improving day to day quality of life.