Rats and Mice: Insulation Contamination!

How do you identify a rat infestation in and around Knoxville TN? It isn’t too hard if you know what signs toRat covering eyes with paws look out for. If you’ve found small droppings in the back of the cabinets or larger ones in the corners of your attic, these are both signs of rodents on your property. The same applies if you hear scratching or chittering in your walls or find chew marks on your stored belongings. If you have a mouse or rat infestation in your home, you can count on Russell’s Pest Control for a comprehensive extermination for your household. However, if the rodents get inside your insulation there’s a chance that they can cause damage we are not able to handle.

What attracts rats and mice to insulation, and what can you do to keep the two from meeting? Can Russell’s Pest Control help? Find out more below!

Do Rodents Like Insulation?

Why do rodents leave the Great outdoors in favor of your household? They do so by looking for a source of food and shelter. Ideally, this is in a place that is comfortable while also being relatively undisturbed, giving them the opportunity to nest, feed and reproduce in peace. Your wall voids and the space in your attic make great homes – and the insulation there is an added bonus.

Fiberglass batting is the most common choice of insulation for homes around Knoxville. Unfortunately, it’s also the variety most appealing to rat and mouse infestations. The material is soft and warm, and it’s very easy for rodents to tunnel through it while they go from place to place. They’ll even tear off pieces of fiberglass to either eat or use in their nest.

Once rodents use your insulation to nest, there’s little hope of repair. The material is not only structurally damaged, thanks to the presence of rat or mouse droppings it’s now potentially toxic. To avoid spreading Hantavirus into the air, it’s best to leave replacing your insulation to a professional.

Protecting Your Insulation from Rodents

Bad news: there is no variety of insulation that’s completely rodent-proof. We offer TAP® Insulation, which is chemically treated to kill and deter many varieties of pests. However, it’s only meant to treat insects as large as cockroaches or slugs, so even a smaller mouse would likely not be affected. No, when it comes to protecting your insulation from rats and mice, the best thing you can do is make sure they don’t get in to begin with.

It’s called wildlife exclusion, and at Russell’s Pest Control it is only one aspect of our comprehensive rodent treatment program. There’s a chance that, as you read this, there are gaps, cracks and openings rodents could use to get inside your home. With our help, we can cover and fill these potential entry points. This will not only protect you from rodents but many other forms of pests as well.

Your insulation works hard to keep you comfortable throughout the year. Returning the favor is easy with the help of Russell’s Pest Control. Contact us today to get started!

What to Know About the Giant Atlas Moth

An atlas moth on a gray background

Living in the United States, what do you think when you see a moth outside your home? Maybe you admire its subtle coloring, or maybe you scowl and hope it doesn’t follow you back inside. Or it could be that don’t think anything at all. But imagine you step outside in the morning to find a massive, winged insect quietly perched on the side of your garage. The bug is wider than the palm of your hand and looks like nothing you’ve seen before. That’s exactly what happened to one man in Bellevue WA, and he quickly took a picture to send to his local entomologist. And as he did, he may have asked himself – what is this thing? Where did it come from, and what does it mean now that it’s here?

The Atlas Moth: An Overview

This behemoth is the Atlas moth. Its wings have a distinct design of orange and black, with wingtips made to mimic the head of a cobra. The caterpillars can grow up to an inch thick, and when it pupates the females can be up to twelve inches long! That doesn’t make it the largest of the giant moths, but with a wing surface area of 62 square inches, it’s certainly near the top of the list.

As caterpillars, they can grow up to four and a half inches in length before pupating. Once they reach adulthood, they don’t move much during the day, focused solely on mating in the few weeks they have to live. They don’t eat, aren’t poisonous and have no bite or stinger, but the designs on their wingtips allow them to mimic a cobra to scare away predators.

Atlas moths are native to the tropic and subtropic rainforests of South Asia. And yet, as of July 7th of this year, this polyphemus moth has shown up in the Pacific Northwest. How?

The Atlas Moth in the Pacific Northwest

How does a foot-long tropical moth find its way to the chilly treetops and mountains of Washington? The answer is still up for debate. There’s evidence of a nearby eBay retailer selling Atlas moth cocoons from Thailand for $60 a piece. The shop has since been closed down – as it should since Atlas moths are considered a federally quarantined pest in the United States. That means that it’s illegal to keep or sell them without a proper permit. This is more than needless bureaucratic red tape – it’s a very important guideline meant to keep from introducing a non-native invasive species into the country.

The grown Atlas moth found in Bellevue won’t do much damage. In fact, there’s a very real possibility that this specimen could be a one-off escapee and will eventually die off after a few weeks. If there is a growing population in the area, however, then that’s where things become a problem. It’s in its larval stage that Atlas moth has a tremendous appetite and will decimate growing fruit trees. When kept in captivity in another part of the world their diet is strictly monitored, but if left alone they can cause serious damage to crops across the area. That’s a major reason why experts are so concerned with monitoring their new presence in the United States.

What to Do If You See an Atlas Moth

At the moment the odds are low of finding an Atlas moth in Tennessee. But since our climate is closer to what this giant moth is used to, it doesn’t hurt to be on the lookout in case there is a population that attempts to migrate. It might be shocking at first to see an Atlas moth around your property, but if that time comes, all you need to do is send a picture and location to our local state plant health director. After that, you can leave it alone, as it’ll likely move somewhere else overnight.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we’re focused on pests more common to the Knoxville area, like pantry pests and bed bugs. These are the kind of pests that don’t make headlines when they infest a home – but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be treated with experience and intention. Russell’s Pest Control offers pest extermination for properties across Knoxville. To learn more, contact us today!

Knoxville’s Top Five Fall and Winter Pests

Knoxville’s Top Five Fall and Winter Pests

Winter is coming, and just like people, insects and rodents want to avoid the cold. While some will burrow underground, and some will migrate to warmer locales, others will simply seek out the closest, warmest, and most inviting place they can find. Unfortunately, that usually means your house. You may not even notice these fall and winter pests at first. That’s because pests prefer quiet areas that are free of people. Think in your attic, or inside your walls. Creepy, huh?

So, which pests should you be on the lookout for here in the Knoxville area?an infestation of asian lady beetles inside a home

1. Asian lady beetles

Asian lady beetles resemble ladybugs, but they’re a bit larger. Their coloration ranges from red to orange, and not all of them have spots. The problem with these little ladybug lookalikes is that they use pheromones to communicate their location. So if one Asian lady beetle comes into your house, within a few days it can turn into a large infestation. While they won’t eat your home or sting you, their waste is unsightly and triggers breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals.

2. Rodents

If you hear scurrying on the roof, it could be a squirrel, or it could be roof rats and mice. They get on your roof via nearby branches, fences, you may even see them climb a drainpipe! From there, it’s easy to get into your attic and make a warm nest. If you hear scratching or gnawing noises, you may have rodents inside your attic or walls. And that’s a problem that can quickly multiply if you don’t get it taken care of by an experienced rodent exterminator.

3. Stink bugs

While there are several stink bug species, the brown marmorated stink bug is the one you’re most likely to see in your home. An invasive species that’s rapidly spread across most of the U.S., they’re shield-shaped, with mottled brown and grey coloring, and range in size from 1/4″ to 3/8″. Stink bugs lurk in quiet parts of a home where they’re unlikely to be disturbed, and as their name implies, when they feel threatened or get squashed, they emit an awful smell. Stink bugs are attracted to lighter color homes, which is why you may see them, but your neighbor doesn’t. 

4. Termites

Termites want to enjoy your house as a meal any time of year, so what’s different about fall and winter? Subterranean termites, the most destructive species, burrow underground in the winter and build up their nests. When spring comes around, they emerge and cause immense structural damage. They ravenously consume not just the wood in your home, but any material that contains cellulose. Termite signs can include blisters on painted walls, hollow-sounding, weak, and flaky wood, mud tunnels in your crawl space, chewing sounds, and those telltale pinholes in wood. If you suspect you might have termites, hire a termite expert right away. Termites cause an estimated $30 billion in property damages every year, making them by far the most destructive pest in America.

5. Wasps

Wasp colonies don’t survive the winter. But fertilized queens do. They usually survive in hollow logs, stumps or under leaves, but they can also be found in attics or the siding of homes. Typically, they enter through unscreened attic vents, so it’s best to ensure that your attic is as sealed as possible. If a wasp queen does winter in your home, she may decide to start her new colony on your porch, or worse, inside. Get a preventative wasp checkup this winter to ensure no nasty stinging surprises next spring.

Let Us Solve Your Fall/Winter Indoor Pest Problem

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that pest control is for the spring and summer only. Here in Tennessee, preventative pest control during the fall and winter is a smart strategy so you won’t be caught off guard when warm weather returns. Russell’s Pest Control has been serving the greater Knoxville area since 1971 and we pride ourselves on doing the job right.

Call us today for a free quote!

Dealing with Late Summer Pests

An American dog tick

If you think that the end of summer will come with a break from pest problems, you might be sorely mistaken. Many different kinds of bugs and wildlife here in Knoxville TN are well-equipped to deal with the conditions of the late summer. If you want to make sure that the last of your summer isn’t taken over by pests, you have to make regular preventative efforts to keep them away. Read on to learn about the late summer pests we commonly face and what you can do to keep them away with Russell’s Pest Control!

What Pests Like the Late Summer?

Although we are now past what is usually referred to as “pest season”, there are several kinds of critters that we still have to watch out for. These are the pests that we are usually called to help with in August and September:

  • Ticks: These parasitic arachnids breed during the late spring and early summer so that they have the rest of the warm season to thrive. Ticks lurk in tall grass and densely vegetated areas waiting for potential hosts to walk by.
  • Mosquitoes: If you don’t get to mosquitoes early on in their season, you could be stuck dealing with them all the way through fall. By developing breeding grounds in hidden areas, they can continue to increase their numbers through the late summer.
  • Wildlife: Animals that hibernate during the winter have to make the most of their summers. Raccoons, opossums, and squirrels commonly infest Knoxville homes and businesses in late summer.
  • Bees and wasps: Bees and wasps will hound anybody nearby who’s cooking or eating. If you’re leaving food outdoors or hosting frequent get-togethers, you might end up attracting them.

Preventing Pests during the Late Summer

Before reading on, it’s important to note that any serious pest infestation should be addressed immediately by a professional exterminator. However, if you’re dealing with a minor issue, noticing signs of vulnerabilities, or just want a head start on pest prevention, you should take this advice from our team:

  1. Close entryways: You might have gaps or cracks in your siding, foundation, fencing, roofing, windows, or doors that could lead to pest infestations. Seal any cracks you find with a silicone-based caulk or use screens on doors and windows to prevent pest entry.
  2. Be careful with garbage: taking out your garbage as often as possible and using outdoor bins with sealable lids will prevent many of the common late summer pests.
  3. Take care of your yard: If you trim trees and shrubs, quickly dispose of leaf piles and grass clippings, and do a general decluttering sweep, you can prevent pests from finding temporary hiding places in your yard.
  4. Find and remove standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in pools of still water, no matter how tiny. Try to find and get rid of standing water wherever you can on your property, paying close attention to gutters, planter boxes, and other receptacles.

Late Summer Pest Experts in Knoxville TN

Some pest infestations get out of hand before we have a chance to do anything about them. If this is what you’re going through right now, it’s time to reach out to your local pest control experts. Our technicians at Russell’s Pest Control are highly knowledgeable about the types of pest problems that residential and commercial properties often see in the late summer here in Knoxville. We can rid your home or business of pests and collaborate with you to keep them away year-round. Contact us today for a free quote!

Why Do Ants Always Come Back?

Ants found inside someone's home

Ants are one of the hardest pests to get rid of because of their incredible persistence. If you’ve ever dealt with an ant infestation before, chances are you thought you got rid of them at one point, only to have them return with the same presence days later. Why is it that ants are able to cause recurring issues for us so easily?

It turns out that the ways that many homeowners deal with ants in the house usually only delay or worsen the problem. This is why it’s important to learn the best ways to get rid of them from those with experience. Read on for at-home ant control advice from our team at Russell’s Pest Control!

Why Doesn’t My At-Home Ant Control Help?

The main issue with most DIY ant removal strategies is that they focus on the part of the problem that’s present, not the root of the issue. When you notice ants in the house, is your first inclination to squash them or spray them with some kind of store-bought pest control product? If so, all you will accomplish is delaying or even worsening the problem. This is because when you kill ants, they release a pheromone signal to warn their colony members of a dangerous area that should be avoided. When the other ants sense this signal, they will relocate their approach point to adjust their invasion and continue to capitalize on whatever resource you’re affording them inside. Ants are small and sneaky enough to find dozens of entry points into your home!

Ant Control Strategies You Can Count On

So, if you can’t squash or spray ants to get rid of them, what can you do? We recommend prioritizing these three actions to conduct your own ant control at home:

  • Find their entry point: If you can trace the ants’ entry point back to a hole in the wall, a gap in the window, or otherwise, you can fix the gap with caulk, a screen, or whatever else the material calls for. Spraying a citrus-based cleaning solution at the site can also temporarily divert ants from the site.
  • Deprive them of food and water: Ants are probably in your home because they found a way to get to food and water inside. By cleaning up crumbs and spills, storing your food in airtight containers, and keeping your kitchen and bathroom ventilated to prevent water pooling, you can keep food and moisture access to a minimum and disincentivize ant activity.
  • Hire a professional exterminator: An ant control expert will be able to trace the ants in your home all the way back to the colony that they came from. Without getting rid of nests in your walls or anthills in your yard, you will never be able to completely stop your ant problems.

Expert Home Ant Extermination in Knoxville TN

If you’re tired of dealing with endless ant problems in your home in Knoxville TN it’s time to talk to the ant removal team at Russell’s Pest Control. Our licensed and certified technicians know all about the habits of every common ant species in our region. We offer exhaustive extermination services and ensure you never deal with ants again by teaching you how to keep them out. For a free quote, contact us today!

Mosquito Prevention: The 4 Signals Mosquitoes Use

A mosquito in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

During the spring and summer in Knoxville TN, mosquitoes can feel impossible to avoid. We’re here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case! Mosquitoes, for the most part, are simple creatures that base their decisions on a small set of external stimuli. Learning more about what mosquitoes are attracted to and how they find people to bite will help you avoid them while spending time outside. If you’re ready to learn the secrets to mosquito prevention, read on for advice from our mosquito exterminators at Russell’s Pest Control!

4 Signals Mosquitoes Use to Find People

Although some people are documented “mosquito magnets,” there is still no scientific consensus on the exact genetic factors that make some people predisposed to greater risk of mosquito bites. However, we do know some signs that all humans exhibit that mosquitoes are attracted to. Here are the 4 main signals we give off to mosquitoes:

  1. Breath: When we exhale, we release carbon dioxide into the air that mosquitoes pick up on to determine if there are any humans around.
  2. Body odor: Mosquitoes can smell our natural body odor quite keenly, and this odor is amplified when we perspire. Wearing floral perfumes can also attract mosquitoes looking for nectar. Instead, they’ll stumble upon a potential host!
  3. Body temperature: Mosquitoes can pick up on our body heat to find us. Wearing dark clothing traps this heat in and makes it easier for mosquitoes to find us.
  4. Color: All human skin gives off longer wavelengths of light that mosquitoes find attractive. Leaving exposed skin is a sure way to attract mosquitoes.

Preventing Mosquito Bites in Knoxville TN

We can’t avoid sweating or exhaling carbon dioxide, but we can make efforts to block the signals that we give off to mosquitoes, as well as discourage them from living around our properties. Here are a few ways to keep your mosquito exposure to a minimum:

  • Clear out standing water in your yard: Mosquitoes breed around and lay their eggs on standing water, which can collect in planters, buckets, tarps, gutters, and more places. Pour it out or cover it wherever you find it.
  • Wear covering clothing: Leaving lots of exposed skin will make you more susceptible to mosquito bites. Although it can be hotter in the summer, choosing light colors and long sleeves will deter mosquitoes.
  • Use a safe insect repellent: EPA-approved bug sprays using either DEET or picaridin can reduce your risk of attracting mosquitoes. If you’re looking for an all-natural alternative, try citronella oil or lemon eucalyptus oil.

Why Professional Mosquito Control Works

Because mosquitoes spend most of their days in shaded, vegetated areas, you could be hosting a booming mosquito population without ever finding out where they’re hiding. Let the mosquito experts at Russell’s Pest Control assess your situation! We can send a technician out to perform a property-wide inspection, determining all problem areas and drafting the best possible barrier spray plan for your yard. For a free quote or to learn more, contact us today!

Pest Proofing Your Backyard in 10 Steps

A backyard to be serviced in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

The sunshine and heat of spring have been widely welcomed around Knoxville TN this year. Good weather brings us all out of our homes and into the world, but it brings all kinds of regional pests out of their winter hiding, too. Especially after a spring rain, all kinds of insects and wildlife enjoy new plant growth, easy access to food and water, and hospitable conditions. Are you looking to keep pests out of your backyard this spring and summer? Read on to find out how with Russell’s Pest Control!

10 Tips to Help You Pest-Proof Your Backyard

If you don’t take proper preventative measures during the spring, your backyard is sure to be overridden by pests all summer long. We recommend that you consider this advice for easy at-home pest prevention. Here are our top 10 tips for DIY pest control in your backyard:

  1. Deal with standing water: Standing water pools, even tiny puddles, can provide mosquitoes with a place to breed and lay their eggs. Pour out or cover still water in gutters, planters, tarps, buckets, and anywhere else in your yard.
  2. Trim plants: Letting your plants grow out of control can provide many kinds of pests with shaded hiding places. Trim your plants back to keep mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and more out of your yard.
  3. Get rid of yard waste: Scattered branches and leaves or piles of yard waste left in your yard can provide hiding places for many kinds of insects. Deal with yard waste as often as you can.
  4. Use garden netting: If you have a garden, chances are that many insects and even wild animals know about it. Using garden netting can deter common garden pests from beetles to raccoons.
  5. Mow the lawn often: Mowing your lawn once a week can prevent overgrowth from trapping standing water and hosting all kinds of bugs.
  6. Dethatch your lawn: While a thin layer of thatch keeps your lawn’s temperature regulated, too much of it will lead to a rapidly increasing lawn pest population in your backyard, capitalizing on new hiding places, moisture, and prey.
  7. Keep bins sealed and distant: If given the opportunity, pests ranging from wasps to opossums will go through your trash bins looking for food. Ensure your trash bins are sealed shut and keep them far away from your backyard if possible.
  8. Store firewood safely: Stacks of firewood left leaning against the outside of your home can lead to devastating termite infestations in your back deck or your home. Store your firewood off of the ground and far away from your house if possible.
  9. Water your lawn carefully: Overwatering and underwatering your lawn can both lead to pest problems. Installing a sprinkler or irrigation system can help you regulate your lawn’s water intake.
  10. Hire an exterminator: An experienced local exterminator can help you determine the reasons for your pest problems and figure out the best way to put a stop to them.

Pest Control for Your Backyard in Knoxville TN

If you want to ensure that your backyard is pest-free this summer, reach out to your local pest control company. The technicians at Russell’s Pest Control are familiar with all of the common pest problems that Knoxville residents face. We can develop a unique pest control plan that fits the needs and qualities of your backyard, keeping you pest-free all year long. Contact us today for a free quote!

Dealing with Carpenter Ant Damage in Knoxville

A carpenter ant in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Carpenter ants might not be able to cause as much damage as termites in Knoxville TN, but they come with their own quirks that make them a hassle to deal with. One of the advantages that carpenter ants have over termites is that they don’t have to leave the building—they tunnel through walls to build nests as well as pathways. Because they split off to make new nests all throughout our buildings, it can be especially difficult to get rid of a carpenter ant infestation on your own. Read on for Russell’s Pest Control’s advice on dealing with carpenter ant damage.

Finding Carpenter Ant Damage

Because carpenter ants nest inside our walls, it can be hard to discover your infestation until it reaches sizes that can’t be ignored. Carpenter ants will be quick to create satellite nests in different parts of your home or business once their population grows enough to do so. Make sure to be on the lookout for these signs of carpenter ants:

  • Tiny piles of wood shavings
  • Faint rustling noises from your walls
  • Small holes or striated structures in wood beams
  • Winged ants coming in and out of holes in the wall

If you’re finding ants in your house and you’re not sure if they’re carpenter ants or not, check that they are all black in color, ¼-⅜” in length, and have large jaws. You might also see winged carpenter ant swarmers.

What to Do When You Have Carpenter Ant Damage

If you’ve found carpenter ants or evidence of their damage on your property, it’s important to take steps to get rid of them right away to stop any future damage. You might wish to try some of these DIY carpenter ant removal strategies:

  1. Spraying a citrus-scented cleaner, diluted lemon eucalyptus oil, or cinnamon near areas of activity to drive them away
  2. Flushing them out of their nests by pouring soapy water or window cleaner inside
  3. Mixing borax with sugar water to create your own bait trap

The problem with using these techniques is that you can never be sure if you’ve reached every ant in your building, and without doing so, your infestation can quickly build back to dangerous sizes.

Get Help from Carpenter Ant Exterminators

To be 100% certain that all carpenter ants in your building have been eliminated, contact your local pest control company for help. Our ant extermination experts at Russell’s Pest Control have been eliminating carpenter ants from Knoxville TN homes and businesses for more than 45 years. To learn more about how we conduct our professional carpenter ant removal and receive a free quote, contact us today!

Warning Signs Of A Spring Termite Infestation In Eastern Tennessee

Termites in Eastern TN - Russell's Pest Control

Termites are one of the sneakiest pests in Eastern TN, which doesn’t pair well with the fact that they’re also the most destructive. A fully-developed colony of subterranean termites can consume up to a pound of wood in a single day—you can imagine the kind of destruction that can occur if they go undiscovered for months or years. This is all too common! At Russell’s Pest Control, we work hard not only to get rid of termites in our customers’ homes, but also to teach them how to prevent termites and identify termite infestations on their own. Read on to learn for yourself!

Signs of a Termite Infestation

Right before spring starts and the weather begins to warm up again, we have to remind ourselves to keep watch for termite swarmers around our properties. Because every other termite caste is specialized to avoid detection, looking out for swarmers is the best chance that we have to get ahead of a termite infestation early. Here are some ways to identify a termite swarmer:

  • Catching their flight: Although their swarms don’t last much longer than a half an hour, finding tiny black insects with long, white, rounded wings taking flight around your property in the early spring is a sure sign that termites are going after your home or business.
  • Finding wings: Because it’s fairly rare to witness a termite infestation, you’re more likely to find their discarded wings. Look for them scattered around outside your home, in your garden, or trapped in any spider webs.
  • Damage: Although this is later than you want to find them, you’ll also want to know what termite damage looks like. Termites choose to remain hidden and infest structural timbers in most cases, but this damage will be reflected visibly through sagging ceilings, chipping paint, and floors that appear water-damaged.

How to Prevent Termites from Infesting your Home or Business

Now that you know how to watch out for termites, it’s important to be able to protect your property from them, too. Here are the best ways to termite-proof your building:

  1. Inspect the exterior of your building for cracks, gaps, and damp wood.
  2. Move mulch away from the foundation of your home
  3. Fix any plumbing leaks, especially those around structural wood or the foundation
  4. Keep any wood piles off of the ground and far away from the structure
  5. Ensure that crawl spaces and bathrooms are properly ventilated

As you can see, these steps follow a clear theme of preventing damp wood from accumulating in your building. This is the key to DIY termite control.

How Professional Termite Exterminators Can Help

If it’s already too late to prevent termite from infesting your home or business in Eastern TN, call your local pest control company. The termite control experts at Russell’s Pest Control are well-versed in multiple termite removal strategies that use eco-conscious methods to find and exterminate termites. Contact us today to learn more and get a free quote!

Do I Hear Animal Noises in the Attic?

Inspecting an attic for pests in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Are you hearing scratching, scampering, or loud thuds coming from your attic? Odd sounds from your ceiling and walls are the first signs that many use to identify their wildlife problems. While it can be plainly apparent that animals are living in your attic by the sounds, the kind of animals and the source of the infestation can be difficult to discern without professional help. The critter control team at Russell’s Pest Control has your back here! We have the tools and capabilities to safely remove all kinds of animals from homes around Knoxville TN. Read on to learn how to get rid of animals in the attic!

Finding Animals in the Attic

If you think the noises you’re hearing from above are being caused by animals, you’ll want to inspect your home for other signs of animal activity. Here are a few things to look for in your search for evidence of a wildlife infestation:

  • Torn-up or destroyed insulation
  • Bite marks on hard surfaces in your home or on items stored in your attic
  • Urine and feces in crawl spaces, behind appliances, or in cluttered corners
  • Branches, leaves, and torn paper around your roof and attic

What Animals Do I Have in my Attic?

Once you’re sure that you have animals inside your home, it’s important to figure out what they are in order to safely move forward with wildlife removal measures. These are the animals that we most commonly find in our customers’ attics around Knoxville TN, along with the signs that reveal them:

  1. Raccoons: Raccoons are the strongest wild animals that we deal with inside our homes. They can tear through walls and break off roofing to get inside. Raccoons are active at night, so if you’re hearing loud noises while you sleep, this could be your problem.
  2. Squirrels: Squirrels sneak into our homes through gaps in roofing fixtures, as opposed to the more destructive raccoons. They are active during the day, so if they’re in your attic, you’ll hear light scurrying noises. Squirrel noises are softer and happen at different times than raccoon noises.
  3. Rats and mice: Damaged insulation is a good sign of rats or mice nesting in your attic. You’ll also likely notice gnawing marks and droppings around your home—rodents have to access water daily, so they’ll move around your property often.
  4. Birds: These invaders make themselves well known with their chirping sounds. If you believe you’re hearing birds inside your home, act quickly to get rid of them, because their droppings can create multiple health risks.

Safest Way to Get Rid of Animals in the Attic

You can seal off your trash bins, keep your yard tidy, and routinely inspect your home for holes and gaps to keep wildlife out. However, if wild animals have already started nesting or breeding inside your home, the safest and most effective way to deal with them is to get your local critter control professionals involved. At Russell’s Pest Control, we equip our wildlife removal team with humane and effective pest control products and strategies to safely get rid of wildlife and restore your home’s peace. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more!