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!

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!

How to Avoid Being Stung By a Wasp

Wasps found in Eastern TNHaving bees, wasps, and hornets living around your yard or garden in Eastern TN can be enjoyable to observe from afar. However, get too close to a wasp nest and you could be in for a slew of sharp stings. Unlike most species of bees, wasps have the ability to pierce their target repeatedly, retaining their stinger in order to continue to defend their nests. These irritable insects can join forces to protect each other when they feel they’re in danger, so it’s important to learn all that you can about avoiding their stings. If this sounds helpful to you, read on for wasp sting prevention advice from the wasp control experts at Johnson Pest Control!

What to Do Avoid a Wasp Sting

The best way to protect yourself from wasp stings is to take efforts to prevent wasps before they arrive on your property. There are a few strategies you can take to keep wasps away without professional help:

  • Keep your yard tidy. Trimming your plants, grass, and trees will prevent overgrowth, which in turn affords fewer potential nesting sites to wasps.
  • Be careful with your food. Leaving out sugary or protein-packed foods will attract hungry wasps.
  • Toss your food properly. Dispose of your food and drink receptacles in sealable bins.

If wasps have already established a presence on your property, it’s too late to rely on prevention techniques. Instead, you’ll have to tread carefully around them to avoid stings. Here’s how:

  • Move slowly and carefully around their nests. Sudden movements can be mistaken for an attack.
  • If a wasp flies up to you for a better look, be still.
  • Don’t swat at a wasp if it hangs around for too long.
  • If you’ve been stung and you have to run away, do so in a straight line and keep your arms tucked in.

Ways to Deal with a Wasp Sting

Accidentally angering a wasp is all too easy. These insects are always on edge, so they can sting without any prior indication that they’ve been disturbed. Here’s how to treat your symptoms after a sting: 

  1. Use an ice pack or a rag soaked in cold water for a compress
  2. Take ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain medication to ease pain
  3. Take an antihistamine if the area around the bite is swollen

If you start to experience nausea, swelling of the mouth or face, faintness, or shortness of breath, call for an ambulance immediately. These are symptoms of a serious form of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Professional Wasp Removal in Eastern TN

Trying to get rid of wasp nests on your own is never a good idea. It is often the case that a wasp nest hosts many more individual members than it might appear to. To avoid an onslaught of stings, it’s best to ask your local wasp nest removal experts for help. Our technicians at Johnson Pest Control are equipped to handle nests no matter where they’re built using safe and environmentally responsible wasp removal tactics. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more about our services!

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!

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!