How Bad Are the Wolf Spiders In Knoxville?

How Bad Are the Wolf Spiders In Knoxville?

When you hear ‘wolf spider.’ what comes to mind? For anyone who feels uneasy around spiders, the name can invoke some terrifying mental images of giant, hairy monsters intent on destruction. Myths abound about these arachnids, including one that insists that wolf spiders kill cats. How bad are wolf spiders really? Let’s discuss the facts.

What Do Wolf Spiders Look Like and What Are Their Habits?

It’s true that wolf spiders can be frightening to look at. They can grow quite large, with females reaching lengths up to an inch and a half. Their large bodies and thick legs are covered in brown hair and they usually have lighter colored markings. 
Despite their hairy appearance, wolf spiders don’t get their name from what they look like, but from the way they hunt. Unlike other spiders that primarily use webs to catch their food, wolf spiders chase their prey. They are fast runners and typically hunt at night, choosing to remain in more secluded areas during the day. They’ll often use webbing to cover the entrances to these areas.
You are most likely to see wolf spiders outdoors, but they do occasionally get inside Knoxville homes while on the hunt. If they get inside, they might return outdoors, but if they find a plentiful food source, they are likely to stay inside the home.
Although most reproductive spiders leave their egg sacs attached to their webs, wolf spiders attach their egg sacs to themselves. Even after the baby spiders are born, mother wolf spiders will walk around with them on their abdomens for up to two weeks.

Can a Wolf Spider Hurt You?

Many people are afraid of spiders, for a variety of reasons. In some cases, this fear is justified. For instance, brown recluse and black widow spiders rarely bite, but when they do, they cause serious medical issues with their venom. 
In other cases, these fears are unfounded. When it comes to wolf spiders, many people are afraid of them because of their size, creepy appearance, and name. The truth is, wolf spiders are relatively harmless. They can bite you, but they will only do so if provoked. Although a wolf spider bite might hurt and is mildly venomous, its venom is not strong enough to cause any long-term harm. Furthermore, a wolf spider bite won’t kill your cat.

How Can You Prevent Wolf Spiders From Getting Into Your Knoxville Home?

Despite their relative harmlessness, it’s likely that you would prefer not to have wolf spiders enter your home. You can prevent them with the following tips:

  • Look around the outside perimeter of your house. Seal all cracks and crevices that you find in your foundation walls and siding.
  • Repair any damage to windows and doors, including holes or tears in screens.
  • Fill all gaps around windows and doors.
  • Make sure you don’t have other pest problems in your home. A food source will attract wolf spiders to your Knoxville home.

What Should You Do if Wolf Spiders Get Into Your Knoxville Home?

If you find wolf spiders in your house, you may need professional help to get rid of them. Russell’s Pest Control can help eliminate these large pests from your home. If you have more questions or wish to schedule an appointment, contact us! We’re happy to help. 

Why Is Knoxville’s Common House Spider So Common?

Why Is Knoxville's Common House Spider So Common?

The name “house spider” encompasses a large range of common home-invading spider species. Though the most notable of these species is the common house spider. Occasionally, common house spiders are called American house spiders. These pests are usually brown, tan, or gray in color with darker markings across their bodies. Common house spiders are small, measuring between 4 mm and 8 mm in length, depending on the gender. Female spiders are larger than male spiders. Common house spiders love to hide in dark or undisturbed areas, such as closets, attics, basements, wall voids, and crawlspaces.


Are common house spiders dangerous?

Although all species of spiders are venomous, only a few are dangerous to humans. Black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are the only dangerous spiders in the United States. Common house spiders use their venom to paralyze their insect prey, but rarely bite humans unless threatened or provoked. If you are bitten by a common house spider, you may experience mild pain, swelling, and redness around the bite site. 

While common house spiders aren’t dangerous, finding an infestation in your Knoxville home usually indicates a larger pest problem. Spiders are nomadic, which means that they travel to wherever their food sources are found. If insect pests have invaded your property, it doesn’t take long for spiders to show up shortly after. Spider infestations always indicate deeper pest problems on your property


Spider Prevention Tips

Without a food source on your Knoxville property, spiders will not have a reason to invade. One of the best ways to avoid attracting spiders to your home is to remove all the factors that provide spiders with sources of food and shelter. Keep spiders at bay with these simple spider and insect prevention steps.

  • Insects love moisture. Remove moisture from your property by filling in low-lying areas of your lawn, clearing your gutters of debris, and dumping water out of items that collect rainwater (such as flowerpots).

  • Both spiders and insects are most comfortable in areas with thick vegetation and plant cover. Cut tree branches, shrubs, foliage, and weeds away from your exterior walls. Not only will this reduce how attractive your property is to pests, but it will also allow sunlight to hit your foundation and dry up excess moisture. 

  • Common house spiders and insects will invade your home through just about any entry point they can find. If you seal up these areas, fewer pests will be able to invade. Seal cracks in your foundation, install door sweeps, and replace torn window screens.

The most effective way to remove spider and insect infestations is with the help of the licensed pest specialists here at Russell’s Pest Control. We provide a variety of home pest control services, including inspections, general pest management, rodent control, and much more! For assistance with your spider infestation or any pests that encourage spiders to invade, contact Russell’s Pest Control.

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk for Spider Infestation This Summer?

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk for Spider Infestation This Summer?

We cover a lot of topics about Tennessee spiders in this blog (short for web log). As we update you on important pest information in this log, we cover topics such as the difference between nuisance spider and dangerous spiders, how spiders get inside and what to do if you see spiders in your Tennessee home. These are all great resources to help you understand the nature of this pest problem. Today, we’re going to look at it from another angle. Here are some conditions that can increase your chances of a spider infestation this summer and put your Knoxville home at risk.

Do you have lots of vegetation? If you do, you’re likely to have lots of spiders. Insects live in vegetation and spider eat insects. You can reduce spider populations by removing unwanted vegetation. Pluck your weeds. Keep your grass cut low. Trim your bushes and shrubs.

Do you have a moist foundation perimeter? Many spider species prefer to look for food in locations that are damp because the foods they eat prefer dampness. You can counteract this by keeping your landscaping as dry as possible. Clear obstructions from your gutters. Fix broken gutters. Put space between the plants in your landscaping to allow for better airflow. Trim tree branches to allow the sunlight into densely shaded locations.

Do you have lots of flying insects? Spiders catch flying insects in their webs. So don’t be surprised to see spiders if you have a high population of flying insects. A few ways insects are drawn to your home are white exterior lighting, open trash, and pet droppings in the yard. Consider replacing white lights with yellow lights or keep lights off at night. Draw your shades at night to keep the light inside. Keep trash in sealed receptacles. Cover or remove pet waste as often as possible.

Do you have entry points in your home? When spiders explore your exterior for foods, they can accidentally get in. A detailed inspection of your outside walls, particularly around windows, doors, and pipes, can reveal these possible entry points.

If you need assistance with an inspection or control of insects, bugs, and the spiders that eat them, we can help. Russell’s Pest Control serves the Greater Knoxville areas with industry-leading pest control. We can help you reduce a wide range of unwanted pests around your home and reduce the likelihood of a pest infestation inside your home.

What To Do If Winter Spiders Invaded Your Knoxville Home

What To Do If Winter Spiders Invaded Your Knoxville Home

Spiders, spiders, and more spiders! They seem to be everywhere! Cobwebs in the corners and spiders dangling from the doorways. It’s enough to cause a homeowner tremendous stress. You may be wondering, “How are they getting into my Knoxville home? They get in through cracks and crevices in your foundation and exterior walls. They can also gain access to your home through utility entrances, torn screens, and damaged vents. Finding the many entry points that spiders and other bugs are getting in through is a daunting task, to say the least. If you don’t want spiders in your home, you are going to want some answers. Even though most spiders are considered a nuisance, there are some that can prove to be very dangerous. This is why it is so important for you to do all you can to avoid them.

For the most part, spiders are a problem all year long, but in the fall and winter, they do tend to be more bothersome. Why is this time of year worse for spider infestations? You would think that the cooler weather may drive them indoors, but that simply is not true. They are only following their primary food source, other bugs. Insects that seek refuge indoors during cooler weather actually draw spiders into your Knoxville home. And they are there to stay unless you take action to get rid of them and prevent them from returning.

If you think your home is at risk for spider invasions, try these prevention steps to limit them:

  • Caulk gaps around window and door frames.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in foundations and exterior walls.
  • Keep exterior doors shut.
  • Repair screens and vents.
  • Install weather stripping around doors.
  • Get rid of the many insect pests that spiders are drawn to.

In the end, professional pest control is the best solution for all of your spider and insect problems. Russell’s Pest Control in the Knoxville area is known for their expertise in getting rid of spiders and all pests that plague Knoxville homes. Our courteous technicians can help by monitoring spiders and safeguard against them by applying control measures. Give us a call at the first sign of an infestation. Find out more about our bundle packages, including the Power, Power Gold, and Power Platinum. Each one of our service packages can help protect your home, family, and pets from spiders as well as other, more dangerous pests.

What To Do If You See Spiders In Your Home

What To Do If You See Spiders In Your Home

No one enjoys having spiders in their home. Spiders are creepy, disturbing, and downright unpleasant to come into contact with. When dealing with spiders in your home, it is important to recognize the difference between the many nuisance spiders, and the spiders that could be dangerous to your health and safety. Knowing how to identify which spider you’ve been bitten by could determine whether you simply clean the bite and move on, or rush to get medical attention to avoid the many side effects caused by getting bitten by a poisonous spider.

Nuisance Spiders

Nuisance spiders include spiders that are not dangerous to your health. The common house spider and the cellar spider are two common nuisance spiders that invade homes fairly often. Bites from these spiders will not threaten your health, and will only create an itchy red bump at most. Many nuisance spiders prefer dark and hidden places in your home where they will not be seen easily. This makes attics and closets good spots for them to set up webs. House spiders can be identified by their yellow-white color and darkly striped abdomen. As with most spiders, female house spiders are larger than males.

Poisonous Spiders

The two spiders found in Knoxville that are dangerous to humans include the brown recluse and the black widow. Bites from these spiders need medical attention right away, as symptoms that occur after being bitten by one of these spiders can be quite harmful. The black widow can be identified by its midnight black body and red hourglass shape on its abdomen, while the brown recluse is a light tan color with a dark brown violin shape on its back. People bitten by these spiders may experience nausea, swelling, chest pain, tremors, and more. It is important that these spiders are dealt with properly by professional pest control.

Some DIY tips that will help keep spiders out include:

  • Keeping brush and wood piles away from your home
  • Installing door sweeps
  • Keeping storage areas free of clutter
  • Cutting back trees from the exterior of your home
  • Clearing away any existing webs in and around your home
  • Repairing torn window screens
  • Sealing all cracks and gaps in the foundation or exterior walls of your home

Professional pest control is always your best option when dealing with spiders or any other pest problem. Experts from Russell’s Pest Control have been dealing with spider problems for many years, so you can trust that we have the experience and tools needed to eradicate all your spider problems. Russell’s Pest Control understands the importance of keeping your home safe from spider intruders, which is why we offer ongoing pest control options for both homes and businesses. Contact Russell’s today to learn more about how we can help.

Why Nonvenomous House Spiders Are More Than Just A Nuisance

Why Nonvenomous House Spiders Are More Than Just A Nuisance

Here in Knoxville, we get to see a wide range of wildlife, some of which we enjoy more than others. When it comes to spiders, we all know to stay away from the two poisonous types that live here, the brown recluse and the black widow, but did you know you should also be wary of having nuisance spiders take up residence in your home?

Below are three common nuisance spiders that live in the Knoxville area, why you don’t want them in your home, and what to do if you discover they have already invaded:

Orb Weaver Spiders

As their name suggests, orb weaver spiders weave intricate, wheel-shaped webs that they anchor between tree branches or other objects in order to catch their prey.

Orb weavers range from ¼ of an inch to 1 inch in length. These spiders have brown or black bodies with brightly colored markings on them that can be red, yellow, or orange. Their legs are spiny and hairy.

Orb weaver spiders are also commonly referred to as garden spiders as they are typically found in garden areas. These spiders can also be found in the corners of doorways, porches, and decks. Because the insects they feed on are drawn to light, they are also often found near porch lights.

Although they will bite if threatened, orb weaver spiders are not dangerous and their bites typically do not cause any health problems for humans.

Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders range in size from ¼ inch to about 1 ½ inches. The females are typically larger than the males. These spiders have dark brown bodies with light brown or yellow colored stripes and long spiny legs. Wolf spiders can also be identified by their unique eye arrangement: four small eyes on the bottom row, two large eyes in the middle, and two medium-sized eyes on top.

Wolf spiders do not build webs. Instead, they hunt and capture their prey.

Although their name indicates otherwise, wolf spiders are not aggressive and would rather hide from humans than bite them. In addition, the bites of these spiders pose no serious threats to humans.

Cellar Spiders

Cellar spiders have small bodies that range in size from ¼ to ⅜ of an inch long and are typically pale yellow, light brown, or gray in color. Because of their long, skinny legs, cellar spiders often get confused with daddy long legs.

Cellar spiders build large, irregular-shaped webs that they continually add to. These spiders are social spiders and prefer to live in groups.

Cellar spiders cannot bite because their mouths are too small and therefore pose no danger to humans.

Why You Don’t Want Nuisance Spiders in Your House

Although they pose very few health risks in and of themselves, the presence of nuisance spiders in your home is not something to ignore. Though having nuisance spiders living inside your home is unpleasant enough, the presence could indicate other problems as well.

Spiders prefer to live in areas with high humidity levels. High humidity in your home or basement is not just uncomfortable, but could actually cause or indicate damage. Reduce humidity in your home by installing dehumidifiers, running fans, and making sure you have no leaking pipes or drainage issues.

Spiders also like to live near abundant food sources. If you begin to find large populations of nuisance spiders in your home, it could indicate that you have another pest problem as well!

What to Do About Them

Ridding your home of nuisance spiders from your home can be tricky business. Besides keeping humidity low and food sources to a minimum, you should also check outside your home for cracks or spaces that would provide them with easy entry to your home and seal any that you find.

If you have a spider problem in your home, it’s time to call the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control! Our ongoing pest control is the best way to ensure that your Knoxville home stays free of eight-legged home invaders. Give us a call today at Russell’s Pest Control for your free estimate!

Warm Tennessee Weather Makes Brown Recluse Spiders Happy

Warm Tennessee Weather Makes Brown Recluse Spiders Happy
We love perfect growing season weather! It means that, when harvest time comes, we can visit the farmers market and get locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables! Brown recluse spiders feel the same way about the warm weather this season as we do. No, they aren’t looking forward to yummy Tennessee grown tomatoes or snap beans, but they know that warmer weather brings more of the food that they love: other insects!
Brown recluse spiders, like most other spiders, prefer to feed on flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and other insects. They have a paralyzing bite that paralyzes their prey almost immediately. These nocturnal hunters are actually more of a scavenger than an actual web-sitting spider. They are most commonly found roaming around at night in search of dead insects to feed on.
Brown recluse spiders are one of the most feared spiders in Tennessee, though they hardly live up to their reputation. As their name suggests, these spiders are rather reclusive and will hide away in warm, dark places during the daytime. Hunting at night also allows them to avoid coming into contact with people, especially when they are invading a home. Some of the most common places to find these spiders are:
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Closets
  • Heating and cooling registers and ductwork
  • Inside storage boxes (in clothing, shoes, boots, linens, etc.)
  • Eaves of buildings
  • In the corners of storage sheds, barns, and garages
  • Inside rock walls
Encounters with the brown recluse spider are relatively uncommon; these spiders typically only bite if a person inadvertently surprises the spider or tries to trap the spider as the spider’s natural instinct will be to bite in order to protect itself. Contrary to popular belief, these spiders do not seek out humans to bite them.
These small, 3/8” long and 3/16” diameter, light brown spiders are easily identified by the dark brown fiddle-shaped marking on their backs. Anyone who is bitten by a brown recluse spider should seek medical attention immediately; the bite of this spider can be extremely painful and the venom that is injected can cause a variety of reactions. If possible, obtaining the spider you were bitten by and keeping it secure for proper identification is important in order to take the proper course of medical treatment.
The warm summer weather in Tennessee is a happy time for many of us, including the brown recluse spider. Keep these dangerous spiders out of your home or business with a year-round pest control plan from the Tennessee pests control professionals at Russell’s Pest Control. We offer several pest control plans to fit your needs, your schedule, and your budget. Don’t wait another day; give us a call to learn more about our residential pest control plans!

Simple Spider Prevention Tips

Simple Spider Prevention Tips

Whether you are afraid of spiders or not, nobody wants to live with spiders in their home. Even those who aren’t necessarily fearful of the creepy, eight-legged creatures, most would say that they would rather not share their morning shower or watch evening TV with a spider hanging out in the corner. For those of us in Knoxville, the spiders that come into our homes are not only creepy but they can potentially be dangerous as well.

The most common types of spiders in Knoxville are the house spider, the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider, and the wolf spider. Common house spiders are yellow-white in color and have dark stripped markings on their bodies and legs. These spiders are a more of a nuisance—creating webs and crawling along your walls. They aren’t dangerous because their venom isn’t poisonous.

The black widow spiders are recognized by their black color with a red “hourglass” figure on their backs. A black widows venom is poisonous and attacks the nervous system of a human that has been bitten. Most know the black widow’s reputation as being deadly, however, death is very rare. It’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as you have been bitten to prevent serious injury.

Another poisonous spider is the brown recluse. These spiders are various shades of brown and are easily identified by the violin-shaped pattern on the top of their body. Also unique to them is their three pairs of eyes that are arranged in a semi-circle pattern. Brown recluse spiders don’t usually bite unless it’s during the process of being squashed or if being held. The bite will become infected and may cause fever and trouble sleeping. As with the black widow, please seek medical attention if bitten.

Last is the wolf spider, which are dark brown with light brown or yellow markings/stripes on their bodies. Their eyes are aligned in an odd way: four small eyes in the bottom row, two large eyes in the middle row, and two medium-sized eyes on the top. Wolf spiders don’t use webs to catch their prey—they hunt down and chase them. Despite this predatory nature, they are not aggressive towards humans. They will usually run and hide if they feel threatened. If they do bite, their venom isn’t strong enough to cause serious harm.

None of these spiders sound like anything you would want living in your home. Preventing these spiders from entering our homes is key. A few simple preventative measures that you can take on your own include blocking or sealing openings that spiders can fit through, taking care of your property including removal of woodpiles or leaves, installing door sweeps, and removing their webs.

If you want to guarantee that your house is protected you can call Russell Pest Control. Russell Pest Control has been protecting homes for over 45 years and knows the absolute safest, effective, and efficient techniques to keep spiders out of your home. With their year-round pest control plans, you receive scheduled visits that allow for protection all throughout the year. Their year-round plans also include a pest-free guarantee, meaning they promise that no spiders will be joining you for family dinner.

Guide To Fall Spider Elimination

Guide To Fall Spider Elimination

Have you ever walked into your shed or garage and stepped through a spider web? Have you ever walked out your sliding glass doors only to have a web drape across your face? Walking through a spider web is no fun. Not simply because it is annoying, but because you have no idea whether or not there was a spider on that web, or whether or not that spider is now crawling on your clothing somewhere. But, as unsettling as spiders can be in your yard, they are even more unsettling when they get in the house.

Fall is a unique time of year. It is the time of year when temperatures start to drop, and bugs start to look for places to hide from the freezing temperatures of winter. When they do, they often find their way into our homes.

You may not know this, but spiders are actually pretty resilient when it comes to freezing temperatures. They have a natural sort of antifreeze that protects them. While it is possible for them to freeze, it is much less likely than it is for many other bugs. But, since spiders feed on other bugs, they are likely to go where their food goes.

There are many spiders that will not be happy to stay in your home. They prefer to be in your garden or exterior flower beds. But, there are some that will find your house to be the perfect environment. These spiders are often called common house spiders. The name pretty much says it all. These are the spiders you’re going to commonly find making webs inside your home. But there is one thing this name does not reveal. It does not reveal the role that fall plays in introducing these spiders to a home. While they can get inside any time of the year, it is much more likely to occur when food sources outside become scarce.

Before those spiders start to invade your home, it is a good idea to seal your exterior walls and foundation, inspect and repair all your screens, examine weather stripping and door sweeps, and take measures to reduce insects on your home. This will help to reduce the number of spiders inside your home this fall–and beyond.

If you need assistance with insect and spider control, reach out to Russell’s Pest Control. We offer comprehensive pest solutions that will help to keep all the bugs out of your home and manage the bugs around your home, all year long.

Knoxville Pest Companies Respond To Spike In Spider Infestations

Knoxville Pest Companies Respond To Spike In Spider Infestations

Raishad Hardnett
July 18th, 2017


As temperatures continue to rise in East Tennessee, some pests are becoming more active.

Several Knoxville pest control companies say calls are flooding in this summer more than past years, especially for spider infestations.

Calls are ringing off the hook at Russell’s Pest Control company, where staff are now receiving 20 to 30 calls per week for spider problems alone.

“Spiders especially have skyrocketed this year,” said Brian Smith, service manager for Russell’s Pest Company. “It wasn’t as active last year. It was very hot, but very dry, and there wasn’t a lot of rain. We’ve had a good amount of rain this year.”

Across Knoxville, at least three pest companies report a rise in spider-related calls, including a venomous spider called the Brown Recluse.

The spider, identified by a violin-shaped torso, can be found all over the South, from East Tennessee to Oklahoma. Smith said they are usually more prevalent in the Midwest than East Tennessee, but multiple companies say calls are becoming increasingly more common.

One company, Dayton’s Pest Control, reported about half a dozen calls for Brown Recluse in the past month. Experts say that is not overly prevalent, but still more than usual for East Tennessee.

Last week, another Knoxville company, Frogg’s Pest Control, responded to a home littered with them.

“The Brown Recluse gets a lot of attention because of the severity of the bite,” said Smith. “Their venom can cause flesh and muscle to deteriorate.”

However, experts at the University of California Riverside found “90 percent of Brown Recluse bites are not medically significant, and heal very nicely often without medical intervention.” 

Smith said the spider is likely to live in more homes than many people realize, due to their secluded nature. Exterminating the spiders is tricky, however, because they hide in nooks and crannies, often making glue traps more effective than pesticides.

“We try to put a lot of glue boards, a lot of monitors out to try to catch those spiders because they are so reclusive,” Smith said.

Smith said Russell’s Pest Control is beefing up staff to handle the uptick in pest calls.

If you do find Brown Recluse in your home, your best move may be to call the professionals.