Is My Knoxville Home At Risk For A Cockroach Infestation This Summer?

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk For A Cockroach Infestation This Summer?

Cockroaches are pests that are particular and predictable about the locations they prefer to inhabit. If your Knoxville home is desirable to cockroaches you may be at risk for an infestation this summer. You may be wondering what makes a home attractive to cockroaches and how you can avoid attracting them to yours. There are mistakes homeowners make that can put their homes at risk. Learn what you can do to avoid becoming a target for cockroaches this summer.


Why do cockroaches thrive around Tennessee in the summer?

Cockroaches are inherently tropical by nature and thrive in hot, moist conditions. The Knoxville, Tennessee area provides the perfect climate for cockroaches. Add in tourists, entertainment, crowds, food, excess trash, and close living quarters and you have a recipe for increased cockroach activity.


Factors that Lead to Infestations

Cockroaches live and breed in filthy conditions. Consider the most disgusting things you can think of and cockroaches will call them home. This includes garbage dumps, animal feces, trash bins, gutters, sewers, pipes, and drains.  Cockroaches also like to hide when disturbed, so cracks, crevices, and clutter are key.


Mistakes Homeowners Could be Making

Stockpiling excess trash and clutter in and around your home is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make that plays a big part in attracting cockroaches. Dirty drains, backed up garbage disposals, and leaking or cracked pipes can attract cockroaches, as well. Food that is not stored properly or a home in disrepair may also act as an invitation to cockroaches.


Professional Treatment

Cockroaches are vectors for several diseases and pathogens.  When they invade your home, you run the risk of you or your family members becoming ill.  Even if you keep your home spotless and follow all of the tips for keeping cockroaches out, you may still find yourself with an infestation.


Don’t waste time using DIY treatments and harmful chemicals. You may make the problem worse by choosing the wrong products or missing some of the cockroaches and causing them to scatter and become more difficult to eliminate.


Contact Russell’s Pest Control at the first sign of cockroaches, or even before you have a cockroach problem, for preventative treatments. We have over 40 years of experience eliminating cockroaches and protecting Knoxville-area homes from infestations.  Keep your Tennessee home cockroach free this summer with the help of Russel’s Pest Control.

Summer Cockroach Prevention For Knoxville Homeowners

Summer Cockroach Prevention For Knoxville Homeowners

Skitter skitter. That is the sound no homeowner wants to hear. It is the sound a cockroach may make when it runs across the tiled floor of a kitchen or bathroom. That is the sound many homeowners are going to hear this summer if steps aren’t taken to keep cockroaches out. But keeping cockroaches out requires understanding how cockroaches get into Knoxville homes in the first place. Here’s what you need to know.

Cockroach Attractants

There are several types of cockroaches in Tennessee but all of them are drawn to mostly the same things. If you have conditions around your home that are favorable to cockroaches, you’re going to increase your chances of having a cockroach infestation in your home.

  • Moisture. All roaches are drawn to damp areas, especially locations that get a lot of shade.

  • Food sources. Cockroaches eat an impressive variety of things. Some of them you would not consider food. Learn what roaches eat and remove food options from around your home.

  • Clutter. Cockroaches love tight spaces. Any yard that has stored objects will be a playground for roaches.

  • Overgrowth. Keeping grass and landscaping neatly trimmed will go a long way toward reducing the number of cockroaches you’ll have exploring your foundation perimeter.

Cockroach Exclusion

When cockroaches come in close to your home, it is important that they don’t find any obvious ways to get in. While it is nearly impossible to seal cockroaches out of your home, it is a good place to start your prevention efforts.

  • Foundation. Cracks in foundation walls and gaps around pipes or conduit provide quick access for cockroaches.

  • Walls. Your exterior walls can have many vulnerabilities. Do an inspection and look for gaps, cracks, or holes that need to be patched.

  • Windows. Damaged screens, damaged seals around frames, broken glass panes and damaged frames can help to give cockroaches a path to get in.

  • Doors. Damaged seals around frames, gaps in weatherstripping, missing or damaged door sweeps, and holes chewed by rodents and other pests can make your exterior doors a doorway for roaches.

  • Pest Holes. There are many areas of your home that can be damaged by rodents, carpenter ants, termites, carpenter bees, and other wood-damaging pests. When holes form, roaches take advantage of them.

Along with these cockroach prevention strategies, it is important to consider a residential pest control plan that includes barrier treatments. Roaches are resourceful. If they find a crack in your defenses, they can get in and multiply quickly inside your home.

For residential pest control in Knoxville that provides effective protection from cockroaches and the threats they present, reach out to Russell’s Pest Control. Our team of educated pest service professionals knows what is required to keep roaches out.

Roach-Proofing Tennessee Kitchens For The Fall

Roach-Proofing Tennessee Kitchens For The Fall

As you’re baking your apple pies and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies this autumn, the last thing you want is a cockroach crawling around your kitchen! If you’ve ever seen a cockroach move, you know just how startling they can be. Their speed alone is baffling. Not only can these pests cause a huge scare, but they also pose health threats as well. And even worse news, when you see one, there’s likely to be many more you don’t see. An infestation could include dozens or even hundreds. Don’t let your fall be ruined by cockroaches! 

What exactly are the risks that cockroaches pose? Good question. Aside from startling you and increasing your heart rate, these pests are very filthy creatures. It’s common for them to be found in sewers, dumpster, and other unsanitary places. Filth is what they love. They’ll enjoy feeding on rotting food, garbage, and even carcasses. The problem with this—if you haven’t already guessed—is they can enter your home after and run freely on your countertops. Cockroaches will gladly crawl around the toilet bowl one moment and find themselves up around your toothbrushes the next. Just thinking about the places they’ve been is enough to make our stomachs turn. 

Their traveling and living habits bring an array of problems. Lots of bacteria can be spread from place to place through cockroaches. They’re known to collect bacteria on their bodies and disperse pathogens, spreading them to people. Some illnesses that have been spread from cockroaches include E. coli, Salmonella, typhoid fever, gastroenteritis, cholera, and many others. Food poisoning can also result from cockroaches as they can damage packaging and spoil foods. On top of that, cockroaches are also able to bite. They aren’t aggressive insects, however, they will bite in self-defense and if they are hungry enough. What is enough to cause nightmares and sleepless nights, is that cockroaches will most likely bite at night and they go for eyelids as they prefer eyelashes and dead skin! But their bite is not known to be harmful and they’re not venomous. But their bites won’t be the cause of diseases spreading.

Alright, enough of how scary cockroaches are! The better question is what can we do to prevent these infestations from occurring? Russell’s Pest Control has some prevention tips for you to put in place:

  • Make sure to take out the trash frequently and store it in sealed containers away from your home.
  • Caulk any openings or cracks around the exterior of your home that might allow cockroaches a way in.
  • Keep the kitchen clean of spills and crumbs.
  • Make sure all food is stored in air-tight containers or in the refrigerator.
  • Install screens.
  • Correct ventilation issues and moisture-prone areas. Cockroaches are likely to be attracted to moisture and can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, and basements.

Inspect packages and boxes before bringing them into your home. Cockroaches can hitch a ride in a variety of items.

Controlling cockroach infestations requires persistence, patience, and probably multiple failed attempts with DIY solutions. The best thing to do if you are worried about a cockroach infestation is to get an expert involved. Russell’s Pest Control offers both home and commercial pest control services. Our professionals can eliminate more than 30 common pests in homes throughout Knoxville and eastern Tennessee. Contact Russell’s Pest Control today to find out more information! We’ll help you determine which plan is best for you. 

American, German, Or Oriental – Which Cockroach Am I Dealing With?


Did you know that there are several types of cockroaches that you could be invading your Tennessee home? Each one of these roaches present serious health threats when they invade your home as they likely spent time in some extremely filthy and unsanitary areas before entering your home. Russell’s Pest Control can provide cockroach control for each of the following types of cockroaches:

American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are the largest home-invading cockroaches found in our area and can reach up to 2 inches in length! They are reddish-brown in color and have a distinctive yellowish figure-eight pattern on the back of their head. These cockroaches prefer to live in damp, dark places with warm temperatures. They will enter homes if the weather becomes unfavorable or if they are in need of food. These pests can be found living in sewage systems and feeding on decaying matter and garbage. Once indoors, American roaches can often be found in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room areas as well as in basements and attics.

German Cockroaches

German cockroaches are light brown or tan in color and have two dark stripes on their back just behind their head. They are much smaller than American cockroaches, reaching only about ½ an inch in length. German cockroaches also enjoy warm, moist places to live and will feed on just about anything they can find. These roaches are commonly found in the same areas as the American cockroach, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental cockroaches are shiny black in color and about 1 inch in size. These cockroaches differ from the other species as they can survive in much colder weather conditions. Though they can survive outdoors in freezing temperatures, they prefer living in the basements and crawl spaces of our homes. Oriental cockroaches feed on a variety of different things including rotten or decaying substances and sewage, so having these pests in your home can be hazardous to your health and the health of your family members.

All of these cockroaches have the ability to spread over 30 types of bacteria and 6 kinds of parasites. As we mentioned before, these pests crawl through some extremely unsanitary substances before entering your home. When they do so, these roaches pick up bacteria, viruses, and other harmful pathogens on their bodies and legs that they can then carry inside and spread throughout the home they are invading. These roaches spread numerous disease-causing bacteria that can make you become very ill including salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. Additionally, their shed skins, waste, and saliva have qualities that can trigger allergies and even asthma attacks in some people, especially young children and the elderly.

If you are experiencing problems with cockroaches in your home, then it’s time to give us a call! Dealing with a cockroach infestation on your own is extremely difficult. Instead of struggling to control them on your own, contact Russell’s Pest Control to have one of our technicians evaluate your pest problem. We will recommend the pest control plan that’s right for you and your specific situation in order to get rid of your roach problem once and for all! We offer both home and commercial pest control programs, so if you are dealing with a cockroach infestation in your business, give us a call today!

Health Concerns Cockroaches Bring To Businesses

Health Concerns Cockroaches Bring To Businesses

When cockroaches show up in a home environment, there are many reasons to be concerned. But, when they show up in a business environment, there are even more reasons to be concerned. Cockroaches not only pose emotional and health threats to humans, they also pose threats to the very survival of a business.

Cockroaches Are Unhealthy For Customers

If cockroaches are present in your business, and you deal with customers, it is important to know that cockroaches can spread many forms of illness and disease. Cockroaches are proven or suspected carriers of the organisms that cause diarrhea, dysentery, salmonella, cholera, leprosy, typhoid fever and viral diseases such as poliomyelitis. They also carry the eggs of parasitic worms which may cause allergic reactions in some people, including dermatitis, itching, swelling of the eyelids and more serious respiratory conditions.

Cockroaches Are Unhealthy For Employees

The illnesses listed above are also a threat for employees. No business needs the added frustration of cockroach-related sickness. It is hard enough battling with colds, flu, and other health conditions that keep employees from coming to work.

Cockroaches Are Unhealthy For Your Reputation

If roaches are present in your business and they are not eliminated quickly, word will get around, especially if your business deals with customers. In this day and age of instant review sites, a few reports of cockroach encounters can have long-lasting and devastating effects on the reputation of your business. The internet never forgets.

Cockroaches Are Unhealthy For Your Bottom Line

If cockroaches are allowed to spread diseases to your employees or customers this can lead to all sorts of issues, including lawsuits. The presence of roaches in your business can also lead to failed inspections. And, failed inspections can lead to the complete closure of your business. Whatever the case, not taking care of cockroaches is almost certain to cost your business more than if you take action and eliminate these unhealthy creatures when they appear and, preferably, before they appear.

If you have questions or wish to schedule service to eliminate (or prevent) cockroaches in your business, reach out to Russell’s Pest Control today. We provide advanced pest control solutions in Knoxville Tennessee and the surrounding area. Give us a call to schedule a free commercial pest evaluation and get your business the protection it needs from cockroaches and other pests.

How Do Cockroaches Get Into Knoxville Homes

How Do Cockroaches Get Into Knoxville Homes

Cockroaches are commonly considered the nastiest insect that can invade your home. Knowing the risks they pose, and their lifestyle, there is nobody on this earth that would ever want a wild cockroach, let alone many of them, scurrying around their kitchen or pantry. The biggest reason for this is how filthy and disease-ridden they are. Roaches will forage for food in garbage cans, feces, and worst of all, the sewer. They pick up bacteria on their bodies, that can contaminate surfaces and food sources that can cause diseases like salmonella that can cause diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. The shed exoskeleton and dried feces can also cause asthma in some people. You’ll want to keep them far away from your home and family at all costs.

These germ riddled insects enter homes across the country through tiny spaces in walls, foundations, pipes, and drains looking for warmth, moisture, and food. Sometimes they get brought in on packages, bags, furniture, or appliances. Regardless of how they got there, you will need to get rid of them right away! You can take some steps to help stop them from coming inside in the first place, but you’re much better off with the help of a professional pest control company.

Cockroach Prevention Tips

  • Keep your kitchen clean

  • Take out trash regularly

  • Keep outside trash stored away from your house and with tight-fitting lids

  • Close off all entry points by sealing cracks and gaps in your home

  • Block off space around utility pipes, cables, and drains

  • Eliminate ventilation and moisture problems

  • Carefully examine packages, boxes, and furniture before bringing them inside

These tips are helpful, but the only sure way to get rid of cockroaches completely once they’ve infested your property is to enlist the services of an experienced pest control company in your area. Those DIY extermination tips that can be found all over the internet seldom work. They are time consuming, messy, and can be dangerous themselves. In Knoxville, Tennessee, you can count on Russell’s Pest Control, your trusted home pest control professionals, for successful cockroach solutions. Our home pest control programs offer relief from cockroaches. We know how important your family is to you, so contact us today for more information on how we can help you protect them from cockroaches in your home. We can tell you about our year-round residential Power programs that cover those unsightly roaches and other pests that plague your Knoxville, TN, home.

How To Get Rid Of Roaches

How To Get Rid Of Roaches

Have you ever asked someone how to get rid of cockroaches and gotten the response, “Good luck!”? There is a good reason. Roaches are incredibly resilient insects. Do you know that a cockroach can live for weeks without its head? It’s true. And, when it finally dies from not having its head, it isn’t because of suffocation. It dies from thirst. Here are a few more reasons cockroaches are hard to get rid of, and what you need to know to rid your home or business of these resourceful bugs.

4 Ways Cockroaches Are Hard To Get Rid Of

  1. Have you ever watched a cockroach run up the wall at full speed? It is more than a little bit disconcerting. Have you ever seen them run across a table and seem to disappear when they get to the end? This is because roaches have an ability to immediately flip to the bottom of the table when they get to the end. That is some amazing mobility, but wait, there’s more! Cockroaches can go across ceilings. Some of them can even fly! If you want to get rid of roaches and keep them out, this is going to make that task hard.

  2. Cockroach eggs don’t need their mothers to hatch. How does this make cockroaches hard to get rid of? If cockroaches drop eggs in your home, they can lead to a new infestation, even if you kill the cockroach that laid them. If you’re not aware of it, you could track more cockroaches into your home without realizing it. Cockroaches can carry their eggs on their bodies in their ootheca. If you step on a roach, you could get eggs stuck to the tread of your footwear and, quite literally, track those cockroaches in.

  3. Cockroaches can go for months without eating, and these insects eat an extensive variety of foods you wouldn’t expect. So, good luck trying to starve them out.

  4. Not all cockroaches are adventurous. Have you considered using baits or poisons to kill those roaches? It is important to understand that roaches work together to survive. If you put something down to kill them, you’re only going to get a small portion of the roaches in your wall–if any.

Cockroach prevention and eradication is a science. It takes an understanding of the habits and habitats of these resilient and resourceful pests. If you want to get rid of cockroaches and keep them out, it is time to call a pest control professional.

For control of cockroaches and other invasive, illness-spreading pests in Tennessee, Russell’s Pest Control is the right choice. Our pest control team has a category 7 certification in industrial, institutional, and structural pest control as well as health-related pest control. We can protect your business and your family from the issues that can arise from having a cockroach infestation. Contact us and get started today.

The Brown Bandit: Brown Banded Roaches

Despite a few false starts, we really are heading into colder weather. This means that pest pressure is decreasing and, in a short while, we can expect fewer encounters with our six-legged neighbors. Well, fewer encounters with most of them anyway. Why don’t we talk today about another species of roach since those are the sorts of pests we can expect to encounter all year long here in Knoxville and all of East Tennessee.

Previously, we’ve talked about German cockroaches, which have incredible breading power and can make a mess of a home pretty quickly. Today, we’ll have a look at brown banded cockroaches. Like so many other pests, brown banded roaches aren’t native to this area. They’re probably from Africa, but they’ve been in the U.S. for well over 100 years and have spread across the whole country. Believe me, any creature that can survive in Maine is not going to be dismayed by an East Tennessee winter!

Brown banded roaches can range in color from a yellowy brown to quite a dark brown. They are distinguished by the brown bands on their backs that are visible even through their wings. Yes, like all roaches they do have wings, but, unlike German roaches, brown banded roaches can use their wings. Although flying isn’t their preferred method of transportation, it’s still a viable option for them.

Most of the time, when you see roaches in a home, they are almost certainly centered in a room that has water access because roaches tend to be moisture-dependent creatures. This could mean that they have a nest in a bathroom or (even more likely) the kitchen, though they may also have set up shop in a less obvious room with a moisture problem like a water leak. Brown banded roaches, however, are not nearly so water dependent as their fertile cousins. In fact, you are just as likely to find them in a perfectly dry room of the house. If you have an inexplicable roach problem in your living room or a bedroom, there’s a good chance brown banded roaches could be the culprit.

A prime source for a brown banded roach infestation is actually corrugated cardboard. They love to lay eggs in the creases of the cardboard. If you have an unexpected roach problem when nothing else around your house has changed, consider whether you’ve received any packages recently and whether the box was disposed of quickly. There’s a chance the roaches rode in with your mail.

In general, roaches are a pain in the thorax to get rid of, and brown banded roaches can be even more frustrating since potential nesting sites for them could be spread all across the house. Step one in eliminating them will be to locate that nest if you can. You should be on the hunt for egg capsules, which are small, flesh-covered parcels that will be stuck to undisturbed areas in closets, drawers or cabinets. When you find where they’re laying eggs, you’re closer to solving the problem. Of course, baits are generally a good idea with roaches since they are such avid eaters. If you contact Russell’s Pest Control, we can also do crack and crevice treatments to get at the roaches where they’re nesting instead of waiting for them to cross over a treatment product. Just let us know if you need us!

German Roaches: The Worse Roach You’ll Ever Meet

Since we’ve been covering pests like odorous house ants and wolf spiders that cause frequent problems for Knoxville home and business owners, we might as well discuss another pest that probably ranks near the top of a list of East Tennessee’s most troublesome creatures. Today, we’ll cover some information about German cockroaches, the most problematic roach species in our area.

A lot of people in the South think of roaches as big insects (the infamous “water bug” in Florida is really just a species of roach). German roaches defy that stereotype. They are dwarfed by their larger cousins and are likely to only reach half an inch in length. This species can also be distinguished from its relatives by its pale brown coloring with two darker brown or black stripes running from the tip of their heads back toward their wings.

There are few pests that give people the creeps the way that roaches do. This is reasonable because they are completely filthy. During a night of feeding, it would not be at all uncommon for a single roach to look for food in the toilet, on your toothbrush, in the garbage disposal, and inside the pantry. They are shamelessly indiscriminate eaters, so you should expect that if roaches are moving through a structure, they are spreading germs as they go.

However, the real problem with German roaches is not just their poor eating habits; it’s also their unbelievable biological potential. The average female German roach will lay about thirty eggs in a little package that she’ll carry around until the young are ready to hatch. That same female will lay about five batches of eggs, which means her reproductive capacity is about 150 young.

But here’s the kicker. Most roaches take a full year to reach adulthood, so you have twelve months to kill them before they have the chance to add to the population. German roaches reach sexual maturity in three months. That means that you will get four generations of egg-laying females in the time that it takes another species to produce one. The rate of reproduction grows exponentially with each generation. In other words, it is not even slightly difficult for a single female cockroach to start the creation of hundreds of thousands of roaches in a single year. We have seen well-founded speculation that several million roaches could be produced under ideal conditions in that amount of time, but we don’t need to consider only their maximum breeding potential if we’re looking for alarming numbers.

Now that you’re completely disgusted and worried, what should you watch out for when trying to avoid a German cockroach infestation? Unlike most other roaches, this species actually prefers to be inside. You are most likely to have them come to your home or business inside something you brought in yourself. One of our customers bought a very nice toaster at a garage sale that had a blossoming roach population in the bottom of it. In fact, all second-hand electronics are potentially risky (particularly if they’ve been stored in the garage) because, for some reason, roaches are fond of making nests inside electronics. Cardboard boxes also provide pleasant housing material for them, so be sure to throw away packaging in a timely manner (this is particularly relevant for boxes that come from warehouses, like those used when you order an item online).

In addition to paying careful attention to what you bring into your home, you can also make your house unattractive to roaches by keeping it clean and relatively tidy. Dishes left in the sink for long periods provide easy meal access to roaches, and excessive clutter offers them comfortable shelter away from disturbances.

If you think you have a German roach problem, act immediately before they have a chance to establish a thriving colony at your expense. Baits are almost always the best course of action against roaches; they will carry the bait back to the nest, thereby killing many young roaches that you could never find. Also, roaches are cannibals, so if you use a slower-acting bait, you increase the chance that a roach will die in the nest and provide yet another poisonous food source for its family.

If you are unable to get control of a roach problem immediately, call a trusted professional like Russell’s Pest Control. A roach problem that is identified early can be treated quickly and effectively. Waiting until the population has exploded will only increase the amount of time needed to exterminate them. If you have questions, you can reach Russell’s on our contact us page, or just give us a call.