Are Centipedes Dangerous?

Centipede in Knoxville TN home - Russell's Pest Control

Here at Russell’s Pest Control, one of the most common calls of concern we receive is something along the lines of, “I’m seeing a lot of centipedes in my basement. Should I be concerned?” This is certainly the time of year to see centipedes in your basement. These creatures have two things going against them when winter comes: They can’t control their body temperature, and they have a hard time regulating their body moisture. For this reason, they will sometimes enter man-made structures to protect themselves and wait out the winter.

Centipedes also lay their eggs in late spring and early summer, which means they will be adults when they come to overwinter in your home. This makes them hard to miss, but the real question is whether these legged insects are dangerous or not. The experts at Russell’s Pest Control are here to lay down the facts.

Dangers of Centipedes

  • If one centipede in your home is one centipede too many, you should be concerned. These creatures are just about as disgusting to look at as any critter you’ll find invading your home. For some people, the sight of them can instill an immediate sense of panic. If this is you, you should probably be concerned.
  • Centipedes can bite. It is quite rare, but they can do it. These pests are no more toxic to most humans than a house spider. There are some people, however, who experience severe pain when bitten. If you know yourself to be one of those people, you should be concerned.
  • If centipedes are getting into your home, you may have some rot issues and water problems that need to be addressed. These creatures like moisture and will often find a way into a home through areas where moisture has caused the wood to rot.

Are Centipedes Beneficial Insects?

House centipedes are known to kill arachnids. If you don’t like spiders, a basement full of centipedes may be a good thing. These creatures can crawl up through wall voids and reduce the spider population in your walls. But it is important to point out that this reduction is slight, and nowhere near as effective as direct pest control measures. So, if you don’t have a pest plan and you’d like fewer arachnids around, you may not need to be concerned. Overall, if bugs don’t bother you, you have nothing to worry about. These pests can crawl over your house with little or no effect on your health or well-being.

Need to Get Rid of Centipedes?

Are you concerned about a basement full of centipedes? The pest experts here at Russell’s Pest Control can give you a hand with that problem and help you assess entry points that are allowing these pests to get in. Effective pest control isn’t just a quality of life upgrade, it is essential to protecting your home’s equity and your family’s health. Contact us today to get expert advice or to schedule an inspection!

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

Every fall in Knoxville, one of the most common household pests we get calls for here at Russell’s is none other than the boxelder bug. These small red and black bugs are infamous for congregating on the sides of homes this time of year. When populations are large, they may even make their way into your property through tiny cracks and crevices. And while these bugs aren’t considered terribly dangerous, they are a nuisance nonetheless—if they do get indoors, they’ll likely look to stay with you through the holiday season. To learn how to keep boxelder bugs away for good, keep reading to learn everything you need to know with the experts at Russell’s Pest Control!

What to Know About Boxelder Bugs

These insects may look scary with their bold red markings, but it’s important to educate yourself about these potential pests that are, for the most part, pretty harmless.

  1. Boxelder bugs first emerge in late March or early April when the buds on a boxelder tree start to open. The adults will spend the warmer months in the host tree, feeding on fallen seeds before moving to seed-bearing boxelder trees or maple trees to eat new leaves.
  2. Females will lay eggs on stones, grass, shrubs, or in the crevices of boxelder trees. Once hatched, the nymphs will also feed on fallen seeds and new leaves.
  3. As the season shifts into fall, boxelder bugs will gather in the dozens to seek out sunny, warm spots on greenery or houses before migrating to nearby properties to overwinter. This is why fall is when people begin to notice these bugs more often.

 

Are Boxelder Bugs Harmful?

Boxelder bugs are not particularly threatening to humans and tend to leave your cats and dogs alone. They also rarely cause damage when they’re inside homes. That said, their feces are known to stain any light-colored material, such as curtains, clothing, or rugs in your home. Like several other pests, they will emit a strong unpleasant odor if squished or crushed. But do bed bugs bite? It’s rare. If and when boxelder bugs bite people, humans may experience slight irritation and redness, but they do not transmit diseases.

Tips to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs Naturally

To get rid of these pests naturally, the key is to prevent them in the first place by making your property impenetrable. Basic boxelder bug prevention tips include:

  1. Trimming back trees and bushes to keep all vegetation away from the perimeter of the home.
  2. Cleaning and repairing the corners of fences, decorative rocks, old piles of wood, and patio furniture.
  3. Replacing torn screens on windows and doors.
  4. Checking the caulk around the molding of the windows and vents.
  5. Repairing any cracks in stucco and bricks.
  6. Sealing up cracks around roof soffits, windows, siding, and foundation.

Fall Insect Control With Russell’s Pest Control

If you’ve done all you can to keep these fall pests out and still are noticing the little red-and-black bugs around your windows or curtains, the experts at Russell’s Pest Control can help. Our exterminators work to eliminate the conditions that let these pests indoors to begin with. To get started, contact us today!