The Benefits of Year-Round Pest Control in Knoxville

The Benefits of Year-Round Pest Control in Knoxville

Some people think that they only need to deal with pests in the spring and summer. This is a misconception. There are plenty of pests that can survive and even thrive in the colder months, especially in areas that have relatively mild weather, like here in Knoxville. With constant, ongoing pest problems, investing in year-round pest control from Russell’s Pest Control for your Knoxville home is a wise decision. There are multiple benefits to having consistent protection 365 days a year.

Summer and Spring Pests

These two seasons are known for huge swells in pest populations. Particularly problematic pests common in these seasons are mosquitos. They are incredibly dangerous and can spread serious diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, and yellow fever.
Other troublesome pests are wasps. A single wasp near your home is probably nothing serious, but when they build nests on your property, they can start causing problems. Wasps are social insects that swarm when they are disturbed, delivering incredibly painful stings to whoever they pursue.
With year-round pest control, both of these pests are dealt with before they cause issues.

Winter and Fall Pests

Pests will still give you trouble even when the temperature drops. If you’re an arachnophobe, you’ll be disappointed to learn that this is when spiders become more abundant and may even start moving inside. While most spiders are harmless, some spiders – black widows and brown recluse – are highly venomous and can cause serious injury or even death in extreme cases.
Mice and rats looking for warmth and food can make their way into homes and start creating problems. Not only do they contaminate food, but they also dirty houses with their droppings, oily fur, and gross odor. Additionally, they can spread diseases with their excrement, by mere contact or through bites.
With year-round pest control, neither of these pests will bother you. Frequent inspections can spot any potential entry points for rodents and spiders while also noticing signs of any incoming or ongoing infestations. Our technicians can also remove spiderwebs frequently, which keeps spider populations down.

Year-Round Pests

Some pests aren’t tied to a season. They create problems regardless of the weather. Bed bugs are one of these pests, and they are not easy to get rid of. They’re incredibly tiny and can cling onto nearly anything, transporting them long distances to end up in your home. One they’re there, they can quickly multiply and start feeding on your family.
Like bed bugs, cockroaches are active year-round, and they multiply quickly as well. They spread dangerous diseases, like cholera and dysentery; contaminate your food; and dirty up your home. Not only that, they are incredibly resilient and resistant to most forms of DIY pest control.
Year-round pest control can help identify the signs of pest infestations involving these pests and outline/follow through with treatment plans to get rid of them.

Year-Round Pest Control Options

At Russell’s Pest Control, we offer four different year-round pest control options. Our regular Power plan covers over 30 common pests, has a pest-free guarantee, and quarterly inspections. These carry over to all other plans, including Power Gold, which provides additional termite protection with the Sentricon® System with Always Active™.
If you’re struggling with seasonal pests like mosquitos, our Power Plus plan is the best option. It provides all the benefits of the regular Power tier and also monthly service during active months for seasonal pests. If you’re looking for complete coverage, our Power Platinum plan offers all the benefits of every single tier combined.
Contact Russell’s Pest Control today to get started with a year-round pest control program to help keep you and your family safe from pests.

Why Fungus Gnats Are In Your Knoxville Home

Why Fungus Gnats Are In Your Knoxville Home

One of the most annoying pests that get into Knoxville homes is the fungus gnat. Like other gnats, they are very tiny. A fungus gnat doesn’t look like much more than a tiny black speck. This black color can help you tell the difference between fungus gnats and fruit flies. Fruit flies are tan with bright red eyes. Here are a few more things you should know about fungus gnats, including why you have them in your Knoxville home.

“How do fungus gnats get in?”

These insects can come into your home through a hole in your screen and an open window, they can fly in through an open door, or they can be carried into your home within plant soil. When they’re carried in, they are in their egg, larval or pupal stage of development.

“Where are the gnats coming from in my house?”

Once fungus flies get in, they will begin to reproduce. They can do this in many locations. Wherever they reproduce, there is going to be decaying vegetation or fungi present. Some common breeding locations are:

  • Damp soil in potted plants or on portions of house plants that are dying.
  • Rotting organic matter in open trash receptacles.
  • Rotting organic matter in drains.
  • Overripe fruit sitting out on a counter.
  • Fermenting liquid in returnables.

“What are fungus gnats attracted to?”

Dampness will usually attract fungus gnats because, where there is dampness, there is usually fungus. They’re also drawn to any organic material that is decaying or fermenting. People sometimes put out traps for fungus gnats using apple cider vinegar but, if made improperly, these can allow fungus gnats to reproduce quickly in your home. It won’t be long till you’re finding apple cider vinegar-colored splotches on white door frames where eggs have hatched and larvae have slithered around. And it won’t be long till you’re finding bright-colored walls covered in tiny black flies that prefer to run away from you rather than fly away. The good news is that they’re easy to squish. The bad news is, they do fly around and they can be very annoying, especially when they land on your face and run across your forehead.

“How do you get rid of fungus gnats?”

Adult fungus gnats don’t live very long. If you really want to get rid of them because they’re driving you crazy, a vacuum cleaner can help get the job done. If made properly, a trap can help control them. But ridding your home of adult fungus gnats isn’t going to fix your problem. You need to figure out where the gnats are reproducing and address the breeding sites. This can be difficult. Fungus gnats don’t always reproduce in locations that are easy to find. They could be in your ventilation ducts. They could be in your walls. They could be in a dirty drain. It is best to contact a pest management professional to track down a fungus gnat infestation.

“Are fungus gnats harmful to humans?”

Fungus gnats aren’t a direct threat. They don’t bite people. But they climb around on rotting things. This can make them a mechanical vector for bacteria. If you have a cat box, you could have some very filthy fungus flies in your home. These insects are known to crawl on moist cat feces that aren’t properly covered. If a gnat goes from a dirty location to your food-prep areas or dishes, they can spread harmful bacteria and pathogens. But in a home that is clean, and where there is no cat box with exposed droppings, fungus gnats are low threat for illness.

Fungus Gnat Control

If you’re having issues with fungus gnats and you’re in our Greater Knoxville service area, we can help you resolve your issue. Schedule a free in-home evaluation to get started.

The Baby Beetle That Is Chewing On Your Knoxville Carpet

The Baby Beetle That Is Chewing On Your Knoxville Carpet

Too often, once a homeowner notices the signs of a pest infestation, it can already be too late. That’s certainly true of carpet beetles because once you see the flying adults, you almost certainly have their more dangerous larvae to worry about.

Identifying Carpet Beetles

There are two different life cycles of carpet beetle to watch out for:
Adults: Small, flat, and oval-shaped; these winged insects eat pollen and are attracted to light and heat sources. They have gray or brown, zig-zag patterns on their backs and typically only grow to a few millimeters in length. They fly in from outside and lay eggs immediately, hoping to find hidden spaces for their larvae to feed and develop into adults.
Larvae: Light or dark brown with worm-like bodies, these baby beetles are actually bigger than their parents. They have barb-like hairs and, as they feed and grow, develop distinct golden-colored hairs along their torsos.

How They Get In

Since the adults have wings, they can fly in from outside whenever a door or window is open. They can also crawl through holes in window screens or exterior walls to find spaces to lay their eggs. Often, carpet beetles get into a home carried in on already-infested items of clothing or other items brought inside. The adults, which typically live for only a few weeks, spawn dozens of larvae quickly so they can create a new wave of adults to start the process all over again.

Why They’re A Bother

Adult carpet beetles eat pollen and don’t generally bite humans, but they can be a nuisance by fluttering around light fixtures and lay eggs in furniture or under carpet fibers. It’s the larvae that can really cause some damage, though.
They’re the reason these pests got their name. They can chew through natural fibers and seek out animal fur trapped on furniture, fabrics, or clothing. As they feed, they leave behind holes in precious home goods, not to mention their waste can smell and cause stains. Homes with pets can be hit hard since the larvae gravitate to surfaces covered in hair and lingering animal smells. However, even human hair is delicious to these little chompers.

Preventing The Pests From Entering

You may be wondering what you can do to keep populations under control or prevent them from coming in in the first place. Here are some tips:

  • Clean regularly. Since the bugs are attracted to dusty, hairy surfaces, regular cleaning is a must. Frequent vacuuming can keep pet and human hair off of carpets and furniture, leaving larvae with too little food to thrive. 
  • Perform proper window and door maintenance. Holes in window screens or cracks near the hinges on doors provide easy access points for bugs to enter your home. Replace or fix these problems.

Don’t Let The Problem Get Out Of Hand

Since the first sign you see of these bugs typically means that the damage has already started, it’s better to turn to ways to eradicate the problem rather than bother with prevention tips.

The experts at Russell’s Pest Control can provide peace of mind knowing that pest infestations are a thing of the past. Our experts have decades of experience dealing with carpet beetles, and we’ll also work with homeowners to prevent future problems from arising. Call Russell’s Pest Control the moment you notice bugs in your home. We’ll get it sorted out in the quickest, cheapest way possible.

A Simple Guide To Fungus Gnats In Knoxville

A Simple Guide To Fungus Gnats In Knoxville

If you have recently started seeing mosquito-like bugs in your house and all your plants seem to be dying, you may be experiencing a fungus gnat infestation. Many people are unfamiliar with these pests, which is why we’ve put together this simple guide to fungus gnats in Knoxville.

What Fungus Gnats Look Like

Fungus gnats are very small, rarely growing to be more than 1/8th of an inch in length, although they can grow up to ½ of an inch. They have an appearance similar to mosquitoes with dark bodies and long, thin legs. 
Fungus gnat larvae are worm-like in appearance with translucent white, legless bodies and black heads. They sometimes leave slime trails behind that are similar to slug trails.

Where to Find Fungus Gnats in Your Knoxville Home

Fungus gnats are attracted to moist soil and are often found in or near mulch, house plants, compost, and other organic items. 
Outside of your house, you may find them in the landscaping around the perimeter of your house. They are attracted to light, so from this location, they may get inside through small openings around your windows or doors. 
They may also get inside your Knoxville home by being carried inside in the soil used for houseplants.
If they get inside, you’re likely to find fungus gnats in your houseplants. You may also find them feeding on ripe or decaying fruits and vegetables on your counters or in other organic matter in your home.

The Problems Fungus Gnats Cause

Fungus gnats are primarily considered nuisance pests. However, when they get into your home, they are not without their problems.

  • First, fungus gnats reproduce rapidly. Even if just a few get into your Knoxville home, they can quickly grow to out-of-control proportions.
  • Second, fungus gnats destroy house plants. Fungus gnat larvae live in the soil and feed on the roots of plants. Eventually, the root damage causes your houseplants to die.
  • Third, fungus gnats can contaminate food. When they feed on produce, they make it unfit to eat. Not only does this waste food and money, but if you are unaware of the contamination and end up eating the food, you could get sick. In this way, fungus gnats can be harmful to humans.
  • Finally, fungus gnats spread bacteria. They spend time in some locations that are not sanitary. While there, they can pick up bacteria on their bodies that they can then spread to other locations, including your food and countertops.

How to Prevent Fungus Gnats

The best way to prevent fungus gnats in and around your home is to limit the things they love.

  • Since they prefer moist soil, make sure you don’t overwater your gardens.
  • Make sure mulched areas around your house receive plenty of sunlight so they don’t harbor wet, shady areas.
  • Keep compost piles well away from your house.
  • Be careful, when bringing potted plants into your house, that there aren’t any fungus gnat larvae in the soil.
  • Ensure that windows and doors have no gaps or cracks around them.
  • Make sure all window and door screens are in good repair without holes or tears.

How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats

If you find fungus gnats in your home, you’ll want to take action quickly to prevent them from getting out of control. Russell’s Pest Control offers treatments that will get at the source of the problem, eliminating fungus gnats and helping you eliminate the things that are attracting them to your home.

Fall Pest Control Efforts In Knoxville Will Pay Dividends During The Spring.      

Fall Pest Control Efforts In Knoxville Will Pay Dividends During The Spring.      

Now that warm summer weather has gone and the chill of fall has arrived, it’s easy to believe you don’t have to worry about pest infestations. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pest animals don’t just die off as soon as the first frost hits, not all of them anyway. Some pests will try to invade any Knoxville home that protects them from the cold.

Why do fall pests invade?

There are many types of pests that try to invade as the weather gets cooler, but a few of the most common fall pest infestations include spiders, mice, rats, cockroaches, box elder bugs, stink bugs, and ladybugs. Insects such as ladybugs and stink bugs invade Knoxville homes to find a warm, safe spot where they can enter diapause for the winter. However, many insects that overwinter become active before spring arrives. Like insects, rodents invade to avoid the cold, but they also seek out properties with easily accessible food sources. Some fall pests create nests in your attic or basement, ripping up insulation and other materials to do so. Pest infestations can lead to damage, disease, and stress, which is why fall pest prevention is imperative.

Tips for Fall Pest Prevention

You should always increase your pest control and prevention efforts during the fall. Not only are fall pest infestations difficult to get rid of, but they can also be a danger to you and your Knoxville home. Without proper pest prevention, you might be spending your winter with rodents and experiencing your spring with overwintering insects crawling out of your walls. No matter what pests invade your property, pest prevention is important. To make your property less attractive to fall pests, implement a few of these pest prevention tips around your home.

  • Keep your garbage cans sealed and stored away from your exterior walls.
  • Seal gaps, cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home.
  • Install door sweeps.
  • Replace torn window and door screens.
  • Store pet food in airtight containers when not in use.
  • Reduce moisture around your property.
  • Keep the interior and exterior of your home clutter-free.
  • Contact professional pest control.

For more prevention tips, advice, or help with your pest problems, contact the licensed pest specialists here at Russell’s Pest Control today. We have the skills and equipment needed to keep your Knoxville home 100% pest-free all year long. 

Avoiding Fungus Gnats Infestations In Eastern Tennessee

Avoiding Fungus Gnats Infestations In Eastern Tennessee

Gnats belong to the same family as flies and are characterized by their small size and tendency to form large swarms. There are many species of gnats. Some feed on plants, others feed on insects, and some even feed on blood. Fungus gnats are one of the most common species of gnats to invade Tennessee homes and infest soil, potting mix, and other organic materials. These dark-colored insects have elongated legs, thin bodies, long antennae, and clouded gray wings. 


Problems Fungus Gnats Cause

Fungus gnats invade while searching for food sources. They are most attracted to damp soil, moisture, potted plants, and compost piles. Fungus gnats don’t bite, sting, or transmit harmful diseases, which is why they are considered nuisance pests instead of dangerous ones. These annoying insects infest soil and feed on decaying plants and fruits. Fungus gnats reproduce quickly, which means even a small infestation can become a large one in a short period of time. 


Fungus Gnat Prevention Tips

There are many ways that fungus gnats can invade. Some fungus gnats might enter your Tennessee home in the soil of potted plants, while others can find a way in through holes in your window screens and gaps around doorways. No matter how fungus gnats get inside, it’s important to understand prevention steps you can take to keep them out before they arrive. 

  • Reduce moisture in your lawn

  • Keep compost piles away from your home

  • Repair leaking pipes, faucets, and fixtures 

  • Remove piles of leaves or other decaying organic matter from your property

  • Replace torn window or door screens

  • Seal gaps around your foundation, windows, doors, and exterior walls

  • Avoid overwatering gardens and plants

  • Drain sources of standing water


Why You Need Professional Pest Control

Getting rid of a fungus gnat infestation isn’t easy, but with the help of the pest control professionals here at Russell’s Pest Control, you can trust that your Tennessee home will receive the care and attention it needs. Our team of licensed pest experts will figure out why you have gnats in the first place and implement a plan to get rid of them. We believe that every pest problem can be solved with quality products and pest-specific services, which is why we offer a wide range of programs to take care of all your pest problems, big or small. For more information about our fungus gnat control programs, or to request a free estimate, contact Russell’s Pest Control today.

Smelly Stink Bugs Invading Knoxville

Smelly Stink Bugs Invading Knoxville

Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive insect species native to Asia but were introduced to the United States in the state of Pennsylvania in 1998. Since that time, stink bugs have become a widespread problem across our continent, causing many problems for U.S. residents, including those in Knoxville. Brown marmorated stink bugs are brownish-gray in color and often described as “shield-shaped insects.” These invasive insects got their name from the putrid smell they release when crushed or threatened.     


Why do stink bugs invade?

Stink bugs are classified as an agricultural pest because of their tendency to destroy crops. Some of the plants stink bugs damage include fruit trees, ornamental plants, and gardens. Stink bugs aren’t threatening or dangerous to people, as they don’t bite or sting. Brown marmorated stink bugs are considered more of a nuisance pest. Stink bugs are a type of overwintering pest, which means they find warm, sheltered areas to become dormant during the colder months. Now that fall has arrived, stink bugs are actively searching for places to overwinter. They often try to invade Knoxville homes to hide in walls, attics, or crawlspaces. In winter, if the weather warms up, stink bugs overwintering in your home may be tricked into thinking spring has arrived and become active inside your home.


Stink Bug Prevention Tips

Stink bug infestations can be prevented with several basic pest prevention tips, as well as a few that are stink bug-specific. Keep stink bugs out of your Knoxville home by doing the following.

  • Cut thick brush and foliage away from your exterior walls

  • Remove clutter from your lawn

  • Reduce moisture on your property by repairing leaky faucets and dumping out items that have collected water

  • Replace torn window screens

  • Seal all possible entry points, including gaps in your foundation, holes made for utilities, and crevices around your exterior walls

  • Wipe your window sills and doorways with scented dryer sheets

  • Kill stink bugs found around the outside of your home to deter other stink bugs from invading

It’s important to remember that prevention tips are not 100% effective and you may still end up with an infestation. If you find stink bugs in your Knoxville home, it’s time to contact the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control. We understand how frustrating pest problems can be, which is why we are dedicated to keeping your property pest-free all year long. For assistance with your pest problem, give Russell’s Pest Control a call today. 

Discover The Many Benefits Of Year-Round Pest Control In Knoxville

Discover The Many Benefits Of Year-Round Pest Control In Knoxville

Have you ever brushed your teeth and stared at a big centipede in an upper corner of your bathroom and wondered where that bug was going to roam after you went to bed? Have you ever watched a big wasp flying around in your garage and wondered whether or not it was from a nest inside your walls? Have you ever had to go chasing after a nasty spider in the middle of watching a television show because it crawled across the wall behind your TV? Pests are disturbing. But their ability to make us feel uneasy and interrupt our lives is only the beginning of the troubles they can cause.


While centipedes are gross houseguests, they aren’t going to make you sick. That is not the case for cockroaches, rodents, flies and other pests that pick up harmful bacteria and spread it around. When you have year-round pest control, you get ongoing protection from bugs and animals that are drawn to rotting organic material.


While a random wasp flying around in your garage or outside in your landscaping is probably nothing to worry about, it can be downright dangerous when they create a nest in your yard. Social insects have a nest-protection instinct that can cause them to swarm and attack. Year-round pest control comes with routine pest inspections that work to catch stinging pests before they can do harm.


While most spiders that get into your home will just creep you out, we have two venomous spiders in Knoxville that can present a threat. They are the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. Black widow spiders only get into homes occasionally, but recluse spiders can do quite well in your home and grow a significant population. With year-round pest control, you’ll get ongoing removal of spider webs around your home which will work to deter common household spiders and your pest control technician will alert you when signs of black widows or brown recluse spiders are present.


When mosquitoes come into your yard, year-round control can make them regret it. When termites try to feed on your home, your termite protection will immediately begin to eliminate the attacking colony. When ticks are brought into your yard and near your home, they won’t live long enough to get onto your pets or climb onto you while you’re working on your landscaping. Year-round pest control protects your health and property all year long.


If you’d like to learn more, we’d be happy to answer your questions. If you’re ready to take the next step and begin service, request a free, in-home pest evaluation and we’ll send a pest control professional right to your Knoxville home to help you get started.


Life is better without pests. Get your protection in place today.

5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Pest Control Company

5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Pest Control Company

We live in a time where pests are presenting more and more threats to our health. Tick-borne diseases alone have more than doubled in the last decade. And the diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes, cockroaches, rodents and other pests have become more than life-threatening, they can alter the course of a life. You can be moving right along through life raising a family, going to work, enjoying vacations, and with one bite, find yourself struggling every day with weakness, fatigue, depression and a long list of other medical issues. That is why it is vital to choose a pest control provider who can give you the best protection possible. But how do you do that? How do you read between the lines and find out which pest control company can really do the job?

Here are five things to look for in a pest control company:

  • The National Pest Management Association helps make the selection of a pest control company easy by awarding the QualityPro Seal of Excellence to companies that demonstrate a high grade in key areas such as business operations, consumer relations, employee training, environmental stewardship, and more. When you see the QualityPro stamp on a website, you can know that you’re dealing with a company that has achieved what only 3% of pest control companies in the United States have achieved. That is saying something.
  • Check to make sure the company you’re hiring has employees that are licensed and certified. Pest control is complicated. It requires ongoing training. The proof of this training is licensing and certifications.
  • See if the company you’re choosing has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. When complaints happen—and they do because pest control is complicated—you can see how well a company does at addressing these complaints by looking them up on the BBB.
  • While a nice uniform and a company vehicle is certainly not a guarantee of great pest control service, you should not trust your pest control needs to someone who does not at least demonstrate this level of professionalism.
  • At the end of the day, the best place to find out what a company offers is to check out their reviews on resources such as Google. It is extremely difficult to keep a high rating on review services because pest control is complicated.

If you live in the Greater Knoxville area, we want you to know that our team of licensed and certified professionals has earned the QuailtyPro seal of excellence and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. When you choose Russell’s Pest control, you’ll always have a professional show up at your door, and you’ll always get the highest level of pest control available. Just ask the over 600 customers who have left us 5-star reviews on Google. Let our team provide your family with the service you deserve. Contact us today to request a free pest control estimate. We’re here to help.

Why DIY Cockroach Prevention Methods Can Fail

Why DIY Cockroach Prevention Methods Can Fail

Cockroaches are not just a nuisance pest. They pose serious health concerns for people and pets that reside in the home they choose to invade. They readily spread germs to food and to surfaces, germs that they carry on their bodies. They not only contaminate food and cause illnesses, but they can also bite. This makes cockroaches a triple threat in your home that you will want to get rid of quickly.

If you have seen cockroaches in your home, you may have been tempted to use DIY methods to treat them yourself. What you might not know is that cockroaches are downright difficult to get rid of. One of the reasons for this is that they are very hardy. They can live without their head for about a week, and go without eating for months. They do not need their mother after her eggs have been laid, the eggs remain hidden away until they have hatched, increasing the cockroach population in no time at all. Lastly, if you have ever seen cockroaches scurrying around, you may know that they can run pretty fast and even upside down on ceilings and under items, making them extremely evasive.

Here are some of the problems with DIY cockroach control:

  • Bombs and foggers don’t penetrate the deep cracks and crevices of a home.
  • Chemicals can be messy and dangerous.
  • They may be short-lived solutions for a long-term problem.
  • Different types of cockroaches require different treatments.
  • Last but not least, these methods can end up being costly, time-consuming, and ineffective.

This is why your best option for guaranteed safety in regards to cockroaches is through a professional pest control plan. Why risk the failure of DIY methods when you can have a cockroach-free home through Russell’s Pest Control in Eastern Tennessee. We know how important the health of your family and pets are to you, and that your #1 priority is to protect them.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we use the most effective and safest treatments possible and offer a variety of residential service bundles that are sure to suit your needs and your budget. Our Power programs include Power, Power Gold, Power Plus, and Power Platinum. All of these include the 30 most common pests, including cockroaches. Our experienced service technicians are ready to help. Give us a call to learn more about our residential pest control options and discover which plan works best for your family, home and budget.