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!

Why Do Spiders Come Inside in the Fall?

Black widows are one of two dangerous spiders in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlHave you noticed more and more spiders in your home recently? As summer comes to an end and the fall begins, spiders are more likely to be inside your property. Spiders typically hatch in the springtime. By the time autumn arrives, they can seem like they are in full force. These eight-legged creatures are drawn inside homes here in Sevierville TN in search of food, water, and shelter. Thankfully, most spiders you encounter in your home are harmless. That said, there are a couple spiders to keep an eye out for this fall. Keep reading for expert insight from the experts at Johnson Pest Control.

Black Widow vs Brown Recluse Infographic - Johnson Pest Control in Eastern TennesseePreventing Fall Spiders

No one wants to look up and see a spider crawling across their ceiling. To make your home less inhabitable to spiders, try out the following tips:

  1. Keep your lawn and yard trimmed. Overgrown bushes, shrubs, piles of wood, and more can attract spiders to your property and eventually indoors.
  2. Clean your home on a regular basis. Doing so can prevent insects that spiders like to prey on and eliminate hiding spots for pests.
  3. Seal any cracks and crevices. Inspect the inside and outside of your property for tiny spots that may be inviting spiders in, and seal properly.
  4. Install or repair screens on doors and windows. Holes or crevices in screens will easily invite spiders (and other pests) inside.
  5. Inspect boxes and used furniture prior to bringing them inside. Adult spiders or egg sacs could be nestled in old unopened boxes.

Are There Dangerous Spiders in the Fall?

The black widow and brown recluse spiders are dangerous any time of year, but are often seeing in or around your home in the late summer/early fall. Because these spiders can administer a dangerous bite when they are threatened, it’s important to learn how to identify them:

  • Brown recluse spiders: These spiders have a darker brown violin-shaped mark on their brown bodies. They build loose, dome-shaped webs for shelter. A brown recluse bite is known to be very painful.
  • Black widow: These spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape on its body. They build sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, sheds, and near the ground. They can bite when they feel threatened.

When to Get Spider Control

Seeing a few house spiders here and there is perfectly normal, especially this time of year. So how do you know when it’s time for a spider exterminator? If you are noticing excess webs, spiders, or dangerous spiders in your home, the experts at Johnson are here to help.




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!

What Is This Bug Invading My Home?

Kudzu Bug
Kudzu Bug, photo courtesy of Wikipedia

It is fall, and with fall comes cooler temperatures and the season onslaught of bugs that are making their way into your home.

So what bugs are invading your home? We’ve compiled a short list to be on the look out for.

Asian Ladybugs

Sometimes considered to be Ladybugs, the Asian Ladybug can be a different coloring than the traditional red and black we are familiar with. The Asian Ladybug is looking for that place to hibernate for the winter. They are likely finding their way into your house around cracks or openings at windows and doors. The Asian Ladybugs are also more prevalent on the sunnier sides of your home.

There is not much to worry about when it comes to your health or home. The bugs are not going to pose a threat to anyone or any property. They are a nuisance bug and when they get caught in your home in the masses they will likely be flying around and landing on you from time to time. A simple vacuum will be able to clean up the living and the dead bugs and you can then dispose of them outside. If you do not get a perimeter pest treatment (and sometimes even if you do) they will likely show back up for a few more weeks until winter starts to really set in.

Stink Bugs

We’ve talked a lot about the Stinkbug lately. Much newer to the North American landscape the Stink Bug does not have a natural predator in this part of the world so they are basically growing without any population control. So when stink bugs are bad, they are really bad. They are rather large in size (for a bug) and have a tough eco-skeleton that makes them tough to squash (you have to really commit to it). They also secrete a smelly enzyme that warns other stink bugs from coming in that direction.

Stink bugs feed on vegetation, so they are terrible for farmer’s crops. However, homeowners have little to worry about beyond coming across the bugs on a regular basis in your home. They find their way into the home through cracks and openings. They, much like the ladybug, are looking for a place to call home for the winter. You can create some stink bug traps or just vacuum them up periodically and dispose of outside.

Spiders

Spiders will only be making their way into your home because their food sources are trying to get into your home as well. If you have a pretty active spider scene outside during the spring and summer months you will like see an up-tick in spider activity in the home.

Most spiders are not a threat to you home and family. The acception to this rule is the black widow and the brown recluse spider. Both spiders like to be in places that are not disturbed very much, so be cautious with basement rooms or bedrooms that are rarely used. Those would need a quick inspection to make sure they are free and clear of those spiders before you welcome guests or let kids play freely. Orb spiders or wolf spiders that make their way into your home are just looking for their next meal, not you. They can easily be scooped up or squashed and discarded outside.

Kudzu Bug

The Kudzu Bug is a close relative to the Stink Bug but has more the shape of the ladybug. The Kudzu Bug is also new to North America, it is generally believed that it came to the continent via air travel/transportation. Since it has no known predators on this continent its population has grown exponentially. This time of the year they are making their way from the plants that they call home & a food source and looking for a place to hibernate. So if they favor your home you likely have a large amount of these greenish-ladybug looking things crawling all over.

The Kudzu Bug does not pose a threat to humans, and can be disposed of in same fashion as the ladybug and stink bug. If you tried to squash them their secretions could stain floors, carpets, and other furniture. Chemical treatments that you can find at the grocery or hardware store will not work for kudzu bugs. If you have such an infestation that you are totally overwhelmed and cannot vacuum fast enough then contact a pest control professional. Commercial grade pest chemicals can help and they would have the tools to help put a perimeter around your home and many of the access points to your home.

 

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.