Fall Pests That Can Live in Your Walls

a mouse peaking out of a hole in the wall

 As the weather gets colder, you may start to notice an increase in insects and other unwelcome creatures in your home. This is a process called overwintering, which is when pests try to escape the increasingly cold weather, and it happens like clockwork every fall. Some species migrate to warmer climates, some burrow in or under debris, while others just try to get into our homes to warm up. It’s easy to avoid in most cases, but once they cross the threshold into your living space it becomes a big problem.

There are several types of pests known for trying to get in. The most difficult pests to get rid of, however, are the ones that make their way into the attic or behind your walls. These are the hidden dangers that you often don’t notice until they’ve caused real damage. This can include Asian lady beetles, rodents, termites, stink bugs, and wasps. Read on to learn more about these common pests that invade homes in the fall.

 

Contact us today to keep these fall pests out!

 

Asian Lady Beetles

White Asian Lady beetle are a little larger than ladybugs and share the same general shape and coloration. They look harmless at first glance, so what’s the problem? White Asian Ladies stick together in groups and use pheromones to communicate their location. So, if one or two get into your home, it can very easily balloon into a huge infestation. The good news is that these bugs aren’t known for stinging, biting, or destroying the household. Still, their presence could trigger respiratory issues in sensitive people. Because of this, it’s best, like with any insect infestation, to make sure the cracks and crevices of your home’s exterior are thoroughly sealed.

Rodents

Squirrels, roof rats, and mice are all known for their excellent climbing capabilities, and the odds are good that you’ve seen one of them scurrying across a fence or through some trees. With skills like theirs, they can easily get into your attic and make a nice and cozy nest to wait out the cold. Have you been hearing any scratching or gnawing noises from inside your walls? If so, you likely have a rodent inside your attic or wall voids. That means that it’s time to call an experienced rodent exterminator like Johnson Pest Control

Stink Bugs

How do you catch a stink bug before things get smelly? The Brown Marmorated stink bug, an invasive species straight from the East, is the most common variety to find in the quiet parts of your house. They’re shaped like a shield, range in size from ¼” to ⅜, and colored in shades of brown and gray. When the cold season rolls around, they tend to stick to undisturbed spots in the home like the attic, crawlspace, or space between walls. Handling them can be tricky to do on your own, as if they feel that their lives are in danger they are known for releasing a titular smell that’s undeniable and definitely unpleasant.

Termites

Termites are the nightmare of any homeowner in America, with the estimated annual cost of damage done ranging up to $30 billion. These microscopic menaces always want to get inside your house. However, the most destructive species of termites are the subterranean termite, and they’re capable of burrowing deeper in the ground in the fall and winter and causing damage you won’t notice till spring.  Termites in the home are focused entirely on consuming anything with cellulose. If you’ve noticed things such as blisters on painted, hollow-sounding wood and unexplained pinhole-sized holes, that means you’re in desperate need of service from one of our qualified exterminators. 

Wasps

Most of the average wasp colonies don’t overwinter, which means that a majority of the population dies as the weather gets colder. However, fertilized queens are able to overwinter outdoors in hollow logs, stumps, under leaves or in structures such as the attics of homes. The most common way for wasps to get in is through attic vents that aren’t screened. So like with the stink bug and other pests and vermin, this can be prevented by making sure your attic is properly sealed from the elements.

Your Local Exterminator

Johnson Pest Control has been East Tennessee’s first call for pest control for over thirty years. We’ve earned the trust of homes and commercial properties in the Sevierville, Knoxville and Maryville areas, and we’d love to earn yours as well. If you want to avoid unwelcome fall pests, contact us today!

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!

How Do Mice Get in Your House?

A mouse found in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlAs autumn kicks into gear, animals of all sorts are starting their preparations for another cold winter. Unfortunately, this means the start of mice infestations in Eastern TN. Every year, people come to us to help them remove mice from their crawl spaces or inside their walls, and most of the time, they don’t know how the mice ended up inside their homes in the first place. Whether you’re dealing with mice in the house right now or you’re looking to get a head start on pest prevention, read on for some advice from our technicians at Johnson Pest Control!

Why Do Mice Come in Your House?

Like all animals, mice have to take precautions to keep themselves safe during the winter. When mice enter your home, you could just be a victim of circumstance, living near a growing mouse population. If mice find your property suitable, they will enter your home looking for three things:

  1. Warmth: Mice do not hibernate, so they need to find a warm place to stay during the winter.
  2. Shelter: Mice are actually a very important part of their ecosystems, but unfortunately for them, they serve the role of common prey. They have to find a consistent place to hide from their predators.
  3. Food: Although it’s commonly believed that cheese is the most coveted mouse delicacy, they actually prefer foods that are higher in carbohydrates. That being said, mice will eat just about anything that they can find.

How to Keep Mice Out

Mice are tiny rodents and can squeeze through much smaller holes than you would imagine, so it can be very difficult to keep them out of your home. That said, these are our recommended steps to take for a mouse proof house:

  • Check your doors, vents, and windows for gaps. You can fit brush strips to your doors and screens to your windows to ensure that there are no slots to squeeze through.
  • Seal any holes in your pipes and roofing. Mice often squeeze through gaps in roof tiles or cracks in plumbing fixtures.
  • Keep your lawn cut short to prevent hiding places and accumulating seeds that rats can eat.
  • Store your food away properly when you’re done eating and promptly clean up any spills.

How Johnson Pest Control Handles Rodents

Rodent control can take many forms, depending on the type of infestation you’re dealing with. Whether it’s rats, mice, gophers, opossums, or any of the other rodents we find so often here in Eastern TN, our expert rodent control technicians can take care of the problem. Trained to deliver a holistic service from inspection, to extermination, to advice, our rodent control team has been serving local homeowners with top-of-the-line pest control for years. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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.

Rodents Moving Indoors This Winter

As temperatures here in Sevierville and across the country drop during the wintertime, rats and mice may be looking to take shelter. Rodents, one of the most common winter pests, love nothing more than to spend the chilly winter inside a cozy home. Needless to say, no one wants rodents making themselves at home in their property this time of year—or ever, for that matter. It’s important to be aware of the dangers rodents may bring into your home. It’s also important to learn how to keep them out in the first place! Keep reading for expert info on rodents moving indoors this winter with Johnson Pest Control.

What Time Of Year Do Rodent Problems Occur?

Fall & winter rodent movement
45% Fall & Winter
Spring rodent movement
29% Spring
Summer rodent movement
28% Summer

According to the NPMA, rodents have, at one time or another, been a problem for nearly one-third of American homeowners. Rodents don’t need much space to get inside our homes and bring with them threats to health and property. Rodent infestations are most common in the winter and fall months, but are a year-round pest problem in Tennessee.


Where Are Rodents Found in the Home?

Mouse infestations in home infographic
Size of hole for mice to get in home
Mice can squeeze through openings the size of a dime.

 

Dangers of Rodents Inside Tennessee Homes

1. Mice and rats spread salmonella and carry disease-causing parasites.

Green flea pest icon
Green tick pest icon
Green lice pest icon

These pests are capable of causing damage to property by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood, and electrical and automotive wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also known to spread a variety of diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever, and the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

2. Rodents can chew through wood and electrical wires, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Rodents have open-rooted incisors that continue to grow throughout life, enabling them to gnaw continuously without wearing down their teeth.

This gnawing habit can cause a fire hazard in your home, making it important to learn how to keep rodents out of your property for good.


How to Prevent Winter Rodents In Your Home

To avoid the dangers of rodents altogether, it’s best to learn how to make your property less attractive to them in the first place. Here’s how:

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  2. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  3. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and s feet off the ground.
  4. Keep basements and attics clear; eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  5. Keep food in rodent-proof containers

Need Help Keeping Rodents Outside This Winter?

Rodents can squeeze inside easier than you think. If you are noticing a growing rodent problem in or near your Sevierville TN home, it’s time to call the rodent control experts at Johnson. Contact us today to learn how we can keep you safe from rodents in the winter and all year long.

Size of hole required rat to get in home
Rats can squeeze through openings the size of a quarter.
Size of hole for mice to get in home
Mice can squeeze through openings the size of a dime.

 

Dangers of Rodents Inside Tennessee Homes

1. Mice and rats spread salmonella and carry disease-causing parasites.

Green flea pest icon
Green tick pest icon
Green lice pest icon

These pests are capable of causing damage to property by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood, and electrical and automotive wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also known to spread a variety of diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever, and the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

2. Rodents can chew through wood and electrical wires, increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Rodents have open-rooted incisors that continue to grow throughout life, enabling them to gnaw continuously without wearing down their teeth.

This gnawing habit can cause a fire hazard in your home, making it important to learn how to keep rodents out of your property for good.


How to Prevent Winter Rodents In Your Home

To avoid the dangers of rodents altogether, it’s best to learn how to make your property less attractive to them in the first place. Here’s how:

  1. Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home – pay special attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home.
  2. Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  3. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and s feet off the ground.
  4. Keep basements and attics clear; eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  5. Keep food in rodent-proof containers

Need Help Keeping Rodents Outside This Winter?

Rodents can squeeze inside easier than you think. If you are noticing a growing rodent problem in or near your Sevierville TN home, it’s time to call the rodent control experts at Johnson. Contact us today to learn how we can keep you safe from rodents in the winter and all year long.