Infuriated Yellow Jackets Buzzing Around Knoxville

Infuriated Yellow Jackets Buzzing Around Knoxville

This fall you may experience swarms of yellow jackets buzzing around Knoxville. As winter approaches, yellow jackets are more aggressive as they are busy trying to get the next generation’s queen ready for overwintering. A yellow jacket Is a type of wasp which means it can sting multiple times. You want to avoid these stinging insects, especially if you are allergic to their stings. Take precautions as a homeowner to keep your property free from yellow jackets. If you are struggling with yellow jackets or have a nest on your property, it is best to call for professional help with removal.    


Identifying Yellow Jackets  

Yellow jackets have narrow segmented bodies, thin wings, and distinct black and yellow markings. Typically, they are around an inch long. Yellow jackets typically nest in the ground, often in holes formed by burrowing rodents. This differentiates them from other wasps.


Aggressive Yellow Jackets    

Yellow jackets are aggressive stinging insects. They will sting if they are disturbed in any way. This can include walking over the top of their nest, but even vibrations from a lawnmower nearby or children playing in the yard can agitate them. If a yellow jacket stings, they can leave a scent that alerts other yellow jackets that you are a threat.


Preventing Yellow Jackets  

It’s a good idea to make your Knoxville yard less attractive to yellow jackets. You can do this by reducing the things they like to feed on on your property, including fruits and meats. If you have fruit trees, remove any overripe fruit that has dropped. Clean up immediately after picnics and outdoor social gatherings where food is served. Avoid bright patterned deck and patio furniture. And reduce the number of brightly colored and fragrant flowers near your outdoor entertaining areas.


Professional Help for Yellow Jackets    

It’s safest to contact the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control to remove yellow jackets from your Knoxville-area home. Because of their aggressive nature and in-ground nests, yellow jackets are difficult to get rid of with DIY methods and it can be dangerous to try. With one of Russell’s Power programs, your Knoxville home will be protected from wasps and yellow jackets, year-round. Contact us today for help with infuriated yellow jackets buzzing around your Knoxville home this fall. 

Preventing Wasp And Hornet Stings In Knoxville During The Fall

Preventing Wasp And Hornet Stings In Knoxville During The Fall

Wasps and hornets can be a nuisance during the thick of summer. Throughout June and July, they’ve been swarming your barbecues and buzzing through your picnics. But they aren’t only active in the summer. By the end of summer, all young wasps and hornets are out of their nests foraging for food. This means you might have more stinging insects now than you did all summer. Let’s take a look at what this means.

Increased Aggression in Stinging Insects

You’re more likely to be stung by a wasp or hornet in the fall. This is mostly because there are more of them. All the eggs have hatched, and entire colonies are out looking for food before winter hits. For some species of stinging insect, it’s important to gather enough food to keep a colony alive throughout the winter. For other species, hibernation isn’t an option, and fall is just the last chance to enjoy sweet nectar.

Either way, these insects are more active in the fall than they were in the spring. If you let your guard down, you may find yourself with uncomfortable stings. Wasps and hornets tend to be aggressive only when they feel threatened. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for hornets and wasps, especially during the fall when there are more of them around.

Preventing Wasps and Hornets

There are some things you can do now to prevent an infestation next year. One way to prevent stinging insects is to clear your yard. Stinging insects build nests in holes in the ground, in trees, on overhangs, even on playgrounds. One way to prevent this is to fill holes and trim all plants in and around your yard. Another way to prevent stinging insects is to control the presence of other pests. If you have lots of bugs on your property, wasps and hornets will probably show up in search of food.

Tips to Avoid Getting Stung

Preventative measures can be helpful, but it’s important to learn how to protect yourself from stings when stinging insects do show up in your yard. You can avoid getting stung by avoiding bright-colored clothing. Flower patterns will attract confused wasps and hornets, as will bright patches. Perfumes, or even scented soap or shampoo, can attract stinging insects. Sweet smells are enticing to them and increase your chance of getting stung. You can also minimize your chances of being stung by covering as much skin as possible and wearing long pants and long sleeves when you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. Finally, wearing bug spray can help dissuade stinging insects from coming too close to you.

When to Call Russell’s Pest Control

It’s good to think in terms of prevention and avoiding stings. Wasps and hornets are important pollinators, and you will inevitably come across a few here and there on your Nashville property. However, if your yard is filled with wasps and hornets, or if you think there is a nest on your property, it is best to get professional help. Russell’s Pest Control has experience in identifying the species of stinging insect and the factors that might have attracted them to your home in the first place. We can create a custom treatment plan to clear your yard of these pests so that you can enjoy the beautiful weather of fall without wondering if you’re about to receive another painful sting.

Why Call Russell’s Pest Control For Summer Stingers In Eastern Tennessee

Why Call Russell's Pest Control For Summer Stingers In Eastern Tennessee


The summer months are here and with the warm weather comes the threat of stinging insects.  These upcoming months are the most active period for wasps, bees, yellow jackets and hornets.  We all know that the most problematic issue with stinging insects is, well, that they sting!  Not only is this painful, but some people have life-threatening allergic reactions to stings.  Beyond that, stinging insects can do damage to our homes and properties, as well as attract other pests.  Don’t waste time trying dangerous DIY methods to treat for stinging insects.  Turn to the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control to keep your Eastern Tennessee home free from stinging insects.



Why Stinging Insects Are Most Active Right Now  

During the cold weather months, most stinging insects go dormant or die.  As the weather warms up, they begin to emerge and prepare for the queens to lay eggs.  Protecting the queen and nourishing the young takes a lot of work and you will see many active wasps and bees. Yellow jackets, hornets, and other stingers will be busy making nests and gathering pollen.  As we get deeper into the summer, these new stinging insects mature and their colonies begin to get full, causing lots of activity.  


Dangers of Stinging Insects

The most dangerous thing about stinging insects in Eastern Tennessee is that their stings are painful and can be deadly.  One sting from a wasp or bee, for a non-allergic person, is likely to cause some pain and mild swelling. Multiple stings can trigger an allergic reaction even in a person without allergies, due to the amount of venom injected. In people who are allergic to bee stings, it can be life-threatening.  Anaphylactic shock can occur if treatment isn’t sought immediately.  


The Nuisance of Stinging Insects

Stinging insects can be a nuisance around your property as they build their nests and damage your home. Some stinging insects like to make their nests in holes in the ground, which can damage your lawn and create a hazard. Other stingers build their nests under the eaves and overhangs on your house, sheds, and decks.  Carpenter bees burrow holes in untreated wood, which can cause structural damage to your property.


Professional Treatment Versus DIY Methods

When dealing with stinging insects it is always best to consult a professional.  The risk of disturbing a nest and suffering from stings just isn’t worth it.  Wasp and bee sprays are often ineffective and harmful to your family.  At Russell’s Pest Control we can safely remove existing nests and provide you with a plan for year-round protection.  Don’t try to handle stinging insects yourself. Contact us to keep your Eastern Tennessee home free from these pests this summer.

5 Tips To Avoid Yellow Jackets In Knoxville This Spring

5 Tips To Avoid Yellow Jackets In Knoxville This Spring

Considering their size, it is amazing how much terror yellow jackets are able to cause. What other pests can drive an individual to cross a street just from the sound of their wings buzzing? For people who are allergic to their stings, the terror they cause is even greater. Luckily, yellow jackets can be avoided and there are things you can do to prevent them from stinging you this summer.

Problems Yellow Jackets Cause and Why They Are Buzzing This Time Of Year

As you may know, yellow jackets are a species of wasp, which means unlike bees, they can sting more than just once. This becomes increasingly more problematic the more yellow jackets you are up against, and the angrier they are. Speaking of anger, yellow jackets are known for having the worst temper out of the list of stinging insects in our area. All it takes for them to become aggressive is just one step too close to their nest. Since their nests are often well hidden under the ground, keeping a fair distance can be difficult.

If you are wondering why yellow jackets are buzzing around this time of year, the answer is simple. They cannot survive in freezing temperatures. This means, as fall turns into winter, as long as the temperatures drop low enough for a week, the majority of male yellow jackets will die leaving only the fertile females to hide in shelter till the weather heats back up.

Tips To Deter Yellow Jackets

The first thing you should know about yellow jackets before we go into tips and tricks is that they are attracted to areas where they can find their two favorite foods: meats and sweets. Keeping this in mind, here are tips for keeping yellow jackets away this summer.

  • If your yard has fruit trees, stay vigilant to pick up any overripened fruit that drops from them.

  • After outdoor gatherings, clean thoroughly and be sure not to leave any scraps of food or drink behind for wasps to scavenge.

  • When feeding your pets outdoors, pick up their food and water bowls immediately after they are done using them.

  • If you don’t mind having a yard vacant of flowers, consider removing any floral growth that may be sprouting up around your home.

  • Keep an eye out for newly formed yellow jacket nests. Early prevention is much easier than dealing with a fully mature nest.

Why Call Russell’s If Yellow Jackets Become A Problem

Sometimes yellow jackets settle down onto properties regardless of what we do to stop them. If this is the case for your property, the professionals here at Russell’s Pest Control would like to offer assistance today. All it takes is a simple phone call and we will have one of our pest experts out your way ASAP to deal with the terrors in your yard.

Why Spring Means The Return Of Stinging Insects To Eastern Tennessee

Why Spring Means The Return Of Stinging Insects To Eastern Tennessee
Spring offers a return of many things to Eastern Tennessee. Flowers, leaves, and warm temperatures are just a few of the things we look forward to at this time of year. Of course, spring also brings a few things we don’t look forward to. Here’s why spring means the return of stinging insects to Eastern Tennessee.

Why Spring Means the Return of Stinging Insects to Eastern Tennessee

When the weather turns cold in late fall and early winter, stinging insects die off. Only the queens survive, hunkering down in their nests to hibernate through winter until the weather warms up again.
Now that spring has returned and the temperatures have increased, the queens can become active again. They’ll come out of hibernation, leave their old nests behind, and begin to look for a new place to build a home and lay their eggs.

Dangers of Stinging Insects

There are many types of stinging insects that plague Eastern Tennessee. Wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and cicada killers are all common stinging insects in this part of the world.
While many stinging insects will keep to themselves the majority of the time, the problem comes when they sense any kind of danger. Most stinging insects are territorial and will become extremely aggressive when protecting their nests.
It’s important to note that many stinging insects can sting more than once. Many people think all stinging insects lose their stinger after one sting, but that’s not always the case. For instance, wasps can sting multiple times, making them even more dangerous to any person who comes in contact with them.
Of course, the major danger of stinging insects is getting stung, but they become a big problem when they build their nest near the entrance to your home or in a heavily trafficked area of your yard. They’ll also become a problem whenever you try to enjoy an outdoor meal, as they’ll be attracted to your food.

Why Get Professional Treatment for Stinging Insects

When you try to take care of stinging insects on your own, chances are high that you’ll end up with painful stings. If you use a spray, you may end up killing more than you bargained for. A spray can kill the stinging insects you’re aiming for, but it can also kill the beneficial honeybees and bumblebees that are so crucial to our ecosystem.
That’s why it’s best to get professional treatment for stinging insects around your Eastern Tennessee home. Russell’s Pest Control can find the source of the problem and take care of it in a safe and eco-friendly way. We also offer year-round pest control that will take care of over 30 common pest problems.
Keep your yard free of stinging insects this spring and summer with help from Russell’s. Give us a call to learn more about our services today.

Stinging Insects Are Back

Stinging Insects Are Back

There is an old saying that folks have used for generations to welcome the emergence of springtime. The saying is, SPRING has SPRUNG! This is a beautiful saying! Flowers are blooming, trees are showing off new greenery, butterflies are flitting about… But there is something that could change this saying drastically if you don’t have proper pest protective measures in place. Spring has STUNG!

The fact is, nothing ruins a perfectly pleasant day in your backyard faster than a lot of stinging insects plaguing you as you try to work, or play, or simply relax. While we understand that pollinating insects, such as honey bees, are necessary, you don’t need to have hives on your property. And it certainly isn’t necessary to allow wasps and yellow jackets to set up shop in your yard.

Why Do Stinging Insect Populations Increase In Warmer Weather?

Insects are cold-blooded creatures and cold weather cause them to slow down or stop completely. When the weather warms up, cold-blooded creatures (like stinging insects) become more active. They will come out of hiding, create nests, and begin multiplying as soon as the temperatures become ideal.

Steps To Defend Yourself From Stinging Insects

  • Have nests removed from your property. While this is dangerous to attempt on your own without proper equipment and knowledge, the removal of nests and hives by a professional is a key way to reduce stinging pests.

  • Check window and door screens. Make sure these are present and in good condition to keep stinging insects out of your home.

  • Refrain from wearing perfumes and other sweet-smelling products when you are outside. Stinging insects are drawn to sweet smells.

How To Make Your Property Less Appealing To Stinging Insects

  • If eating outside, keep all food in sealed containers as much as possible. Make sure drink containers have lids. Also, do not leave leftover food, pet food, or other food sources in your yard.

  • Keep all garbage in receptacles with tight-fitting lids. If your trash cans have loose lids, consider using bungee cords to fasten them. This will help keep smells in and bugs out.

  • Try to keep your property dry. All pests need a water source to survive. The dryer you keep your property, the less appealing it will be to pests. Remove items that collect water, and fix spigot, hose, and gutter leaks. Trim vegetation away from your home so things can dry out.

The Best Plan

If you don’t want to be saying, “Spring has stung!” this year, reach out to Russell’s Pest Control. With our year-round pest plans, you will benefit from the reduction of stinging insects as well as the elimination and reduction of a host of other dangerous or nuisance pests. Give us a call today for prompt, professional assistance.

Common Stinging Insects In Knoxville

Common Stinging Insects In Knoxville

Here in Knoxville, we have a lot of bugs, some of which are less of a bother than others, but one thing is for sure, nobody likes the ones that sting! As you get ready to enjoy the coming of spring, the last thing you want is to have to worry about being stung when you go outside. The good news is, Russell’s Pest Control can help! First, let’s take a look at some of the stinging insects you should be keeping an eye out for this spring.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Primarily black with a white pattern over its face, bald-faced hornets are long with a thin waist. Growing to more than a 1/2” in length, with the queen sometimes coming in at double, the bald-faced hornet is a large one. When a threat to a hornet or its nest is perceived, bald-faced hornets become very aggressive and can cause an excruciating pain with their sting. They can sting multiple times, and like all stinging insects have the potential to cause major allergic reactions.

European Hornets

Shaped similarly to a wasp, the European hornet has a brown body with yellow colored stripes running over it. A large insect, the European hornet is known to grow to 1 1/2” in length. Commonly referred to as the “giant hornet”, European hornets are different than other stinging insects in the fact that they are known to be very active at night.

Paper Wasps

A well-known species of wasp, paper wasps are anywhere from a 1/2” to 1” in length and are usually a dark brown or black color with yellow markings and gray wings. When in flight, the paper wasps legs hang from its body. Their sting is very painful and can require immediate medical attention.

Yellow Jackets

Equipped with six legs and two antennae, yellow jacket workers can grow to around a half inch in length. With a black head and face, the yellow jacket can be identified by its yellow and black markings covering its abdomen. Their elongated wings fold tight against their bodies when at rest, giving them a long and slim appearance.

As mentioned, all stinging insects do exactly that, sting! Not only is it extremely painful to be stung, it could present much larger problems. Many stinging insects either have the ability to sting multiple times or come in swarms that naturally present numerous stings as well. When stung even once, let alone multiple times, stinging insects can set off an allergic reaction in the recipient of the sting by the injection of its venom. If an allergic reaction is not treated quickly enough, it could ultimately lead to long-term problems and even death. Stinging insects could even be a danger to your pet should your pet come across a nest. If one of your pets are stung, it also has potential to cause an allergic reaction, so getting rid of stinging insects should be an absolute priority.

We understand that keeping stinging insects at bay is at the highest level of importance in regards to the safety of you and your family. Here at Russell’s, we offer several pest control options to choose from. Once we have identified the infestation, how it got there, and why it’s there, we can address it appropriately. By removing pests, nests, and conducive conditions, we will not only substantially decrease the risk to you and your family, but we will also use preventative measures so that you don’t have to worry about them in the future! Stinging insects are dangerous and should be taken seriously, so don’t wait, and call Russell’s Pest Control today for your free estimate!

Aggressive Stinging Insects

Aggressive Stinging Insects

You’ve seen the wasps, hornets, bees and yellow jackets around all summer and they have been somewhat ominous, but now they are becoming much more aggressive. What’s going on to make them that way? Their main focus is a sweet treat, so you’ll want to be aware of those stinging insects when picnicking, barbecuing and having any type of outdoor event.

The yellow jacket queen, in particular, and all of her daughters have laid eggs, cared for their larvae and pupae, and have increased their population to up to 1,000 workers. These workers are now at the stage of their life where they no longer need to care for and feed the young, they can freely seek out what their appetites desire, which tends to be sweets. Sweet nectar, sticky candy, aromatic perfumes, luscious pastries and beverages.

Make sure you look into beverage bottles, cans and cups before taking your next sip so you don’t inadvertently anger an eager stinging insect that is lurking within. Better yet, keep your drinks covered so they won’t be tempted to dive in there in the first place. You should also keep foods tightly covered and trash can lids securely sealed. Keep an eye out for nests as well, because if you accidentally disturb their nest they are apt to be even more aggressive. These tips will help you avoid some stinging insects, but won’t protect you completely.  

These stinging insects, including wasps, hornets and yellow jackets can sting multiple times. Their stingers are not barbed and do not remain in your skin after a sting. They will all aggressively defend their nest and colony by attacking the intruder. Some people that are allergic to the venom will have a severe reaction and require immediate medical attention.

The best thing you can do if you experience a stinging insect problem on your property is to call a pest control service right away. You will not want to attempt nest removal on your own, you could potentially get stung and aggravate the colony even more.

The trained professionals at Russell’s Pest Control in Tennessee can help resolve your stinging insect problem. Once the problem has been removed and area treated, you will want peace of mind knowing that they will not return. Russell’s Pest Control offers year-round pest control services that will prevent any future issues.

Here at Russell’s Pest Control, our mission is “to provide the highest quality pest management services to homes and businesses in Tennessee through our determined quest for customer satisfaction and employee excellence”. So, give us a call today at Russell Pest Control.

Are Wasps Dangerous?

Are Wasps Dangerous?

Wasps are a pain – literally – when they get too comfortable in your backyard. You see them buzzing around your garden and swarming your garbage cans, but are wasps dangerous to humans? Russell’s Pest Control examines the different types of wasps and the dangers they pose to you, your pets, and your family.

Problems with Wasps

There are a few types of wasp species in Tennessee. The most common types of wasps are:

  • Paper wasps
  • Solitary wasps
  • Yellow jacket wasps

The problem with wasps is that they are overly territorial and aggressive. When wasps decide they want to nest, the entire colony will help out. When a colony of wasps targets your home or yard, wasps will begin to build nests anywhere they can hang it, and it will be protected. Paper wasps will create large, elaborate nests in rafters, under eaves, under decks, in windows, in door frames, under railings, and in trees. Wasps use a combination of saliva and wood or paper to build the comb nests.

Yellow jacket wasps, often confused with honeybees, become problematic when they detect a nearby food source. Yellow jacket wasps will invade picnics, outdoor gatherings, compost piles, and garbage cans. Yellow jackets scavenge areas that offer protein and sugary foods.

Identifying Wasps

Wasps are not difficult to spot. Papers wasps are identified by their large bodies, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch, and their black or brown bodies. Paper wasps have yellow markings on their bodies and grey-colored wings.

Yellow jacket wasps look like large bees, but their bodies are shiny, and they don’t have as much hair. The yellow jacket wasp is between 10 and 16 mm. Typically, yellow jackets are black and yellow. The yellow jacket has long wings on the body that fold when the yellow jacket is not in flight.

Why Wasps are Dangerous

Wasps are dangerous because they are aggressive and territorial, and they will use their long stinger to attack. Unlike bees, wasps can use the stinger several times. If someone or something approaches a wasp nest, wasps will attack to keep the intruder out. Wasps will also sting if they are agitated or disturbed while pollinating or scavenging. Wasps will also attack in packs, which can be dangerous and deadly. If someone in your home is allergic to wasp stings, they can suffer from a severe reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Don’t risk a wasp attack. Once wasps begin nesting in your yard or on your home, it is hard to get rid of them. If you do attempt to control wasps on your home, you put yourself in the line of fire for an attack. Call the professionals instead.

The Russell’s Pest Control year-round pest control service successfully prevents and treats problems with wasps and more than 30 other types of household pests.

Take The Sting Out Of Spring

Take The Sting Out Of Spring

Ouch! You don’t want to get stung this spring – or any other time this year! Avoiding yellow jackets and their sting can be a chore, as they are worthy opponents if you come across them in your yard. They are not usually aggressive; but if they feel threatened or think their nest is at risk, they will become defensive.

Some people can be allergic to the venom that they inject with their stinger. Each yellow jacket can sting multiple times because they do not leave their stinger behind after a sting. These multiple stings can be extremely dangerous for people that are allergic and can make some people very ill – sometimes even to the point of death – although that is very rare.

Yellow jackets nest underground and in trees or bushes. Sometimes they nest inside walls or attics. If they feel any type of threatening vibration like a mower close by, that will alert them to danger, causing the colony to become aggressive as they want to protect their homes.

If a nest is spotted in a populated area around your home, it is a threat to your family and visitors, and you should contact a professional pest control technician to safely remove the nest. It is not advised that you attempt to remove the nest on your own.

Watch for signs of yellow jackets and try to eliminate anything that is attractive to them that is located too close to your home. Fruit from trees should be picked as soon as they are ripe, any overly ripe fruit will be enticing to yellow jackets. Garbage should be tightly closed and bins should be emptied and cleaned out to remove any sugary residue that is left behind. When eating a meal outdoors, be sure to clean up any food or drink spills right away. Open drink cups, cans, and bottles should not be left unattended since the yellow jackets will buzz right inside for a drink. If someone should bring that to their lips, they will get stung for sure.

Once a few yellow jackets have found your secret stash of sweets, they will bring others with them and continuously come back for more. That is why it is important to avoid having yellow jacket nests close to your home. In order for you to protect your family and visitors on your property, it is best to contact a professional.

When you choose your year-round pest control services from Russell Pest Control, you get a community focused company with effective solutions and quality service at a fair price. What could be better than that? Give Russell Pest Control a call today with your pest control and yellow jacket problems. We have the right solutions!