Did You Know Bed Bugs Are Most Active In Fall?

Did You Know Bed Bugs Are Most Active In Fall?

By now, you’ve probably heard that bed bugs are a growing problem in the United States. Over the last two decades, they’ve returned to America in force. But, being a relatively new pest threat, there are still many things people don’t know about these bugs, such as the fact that they live almost exclusively with humans. Without this knowledge, your home is at greater risk of a bed bug infestation, especially this time of year. Let’s take a look at why bed bug infestations are common in fall and talk about what you can do to prevent an infestation.

While bed bugs are a year-round pest problem, infestations can ramp up in the fall. There are two big reasons for this. The first is that kids have spent the summer on vacation, which often involves taking trips, and taking trips usually goes hand-in-hand with staying overnight somewhere. This can allow bed bugs to get picked up and brought home. So by the time fall rolls around, a bed bug infestation can start to become noticeable. This is when we start getting calls.

The second reason infestations ramp up in fall has to do with what kids do in the fall. Going back to school means kids are in close contact with each other. They leave their clothing and bags near each other. Daycare kids lie down for nap time near each other. Kids have sleepovers. These are some of the many ways bed bugs can hitchhike from one home to another during the fall.

Whether you already have an infestation or you’re working to prevent one, it is important to recognize the warning signs of a bed bug infestation. Catching bed bugs early is super important. It can help you keep them from getting into your home and help you take care of them before they can torment you and your family.

Your greatest tools in the war on bed bugs is awareness of your surroundings and the power of a hot drier. Make sure you and your kids are always on the lookout for bed bugs and signs of bed bugs. Don’t let these bugs sneak up on you. If you see bed bug eggs or bed bugs in a bag, suitcase, pocketbook, clothing or some other object that can be put in the drier, put it in for 30 minutes on the hottest setting. This will kill bed bugs in all stages of development.

If you ever get a bed bug infestation in your home, seek professional assistance immediately. Trying to get rid of bed bugs is a nightmare.

For assistance with bed bugs in the Greater Knoxville area, trust the experts here at Russell’s Pest Control to resolve your problem. We have the credentials and experience to get the job done right… the first time.

What To Do If Bed Bugs Have Stayed In Your Home After The Holidays

What To Do If Bed Bugs Have Stayed In Your Home After The Holidays

After a busy season, the holidays have finally wrapped up. You’ve exchanged all the gifts that weren’t quite right, put your decorations away, and sent your guests back to their homes with promises to get together again soon. But have all your house guests left? It’s possible that some uninvited bed bugs have stayed in your home after the holidays.

How Bed Bugs Get into Your Home

Bed bugs are year-round pests that don’t take a season off. Although they are most active in the summer when the weather is hot and vacationing is at its peak, they remain active throughout the entire year. After the activity of summer, fall often sees an uptick in bed bug infestations as the bugs make themselves comfortable in their new homes. When the holidays roll around and traveling picks up again, bed bugs return to their active lifestyle.

These pests don’t just walk into your house from outdoors. Instead, they travel around with people. They might hitch a ride on someone’s clothing, a purse, bag, or backpack, or in someone’s luggage. When they have a chance they will crawl off of whatever they were riding on, and start to make themselves at home in a new location.

If you had guests over the holidays, it’s possible they inadvertently brought a bed bug or two along with them into your house. It’s unlikely that they took those bed bugs with them when they returned to their own home. If those bed bugs remained in your home, they will end up settling in and eventually reproducing, making the small problem of just a few bed bugs quickly become a much larger problem.

What to Do if Bed Bugs Get into Your Home

If you end up with bed bugs in your home, the sooner you treat the problem, the better. A female bed bug can lay between 1 and 5 eggs per day, and it takes about 10 days for an egg to hatch. That means that, even if you only have a few bed bugs in your home, their population can grow rapidly.

Unfortunately, regardless of the number of bed bugs in your home, they are notoriously difficult to treat. They are fantastic at hiding. Many have become pesticide-resistant, making many DIY chemical treatments ineffective, not to mention a health hazard for your family.

Get Help from the Professionals

The best thing you can do in the event that you discover any signs of bed bugs, is to call a professional pest management company like Russell’s Pest Control.

Russell’s offers bed bug treatments that involve three steps.

  • A thorough inspection to make sure your bed bug problem is actually a bed bug problem and not the result of another pest.
  • A review of our findings to discuss available treatment options based on what we discovered.
  • Appropriate heat remediation treatment to eliminate every bed bug in every stage of development, from the eggs right on up to the adults.

If you think you have bed bugs in your home, contact us immediately. The sooner we can take care of the problem, the easier and cheaper it will be!

Bed Bugs: A Christmas Gift That Nobody Wants

Bed Bugs: A Christmas Gift That Nobody Wants

Christmas is a time of year when many of you look forward to seeing family members that you may not get to visit with often. You daydream about the holiday feast, giving and receiving the best gifts, and making new memories with those you love most. Traveling back to the place where you grew up is sometimes a part of the holiday season, and you wax nostalgic about times past. 
It’s a safe bet to say that no one dreams of ending the holidays with a bed bug infestation, but that is exactly what some of you will end up with before all the traveling is over. Now you may be wondering, how bed bugs get into homes during the holidays anyway? 

How Bed Bugs Get into Your Home

Bed bugs are notorious little hitchhikers. Their favorite way to travel is in or on your luggage, tote bags, purses, coats, and backpacks. As you travel over the holidays you often stay in hotels, fly across the country, wait in public places – and all of these are places where bed bugs can be found. People unknowingly bring bed bugs with them from their homes, hotels, or other public places, and then share the wealth so-to-speak with the rest of humanity.

It’s simple for bed bugs to crawl right into your bag when you set it down at the airline ticket counter, or to climb into a pocket when you leave your coat lying on a hotel floor. Once in your belongings, they simply travel along with you wherever you go. They may decide to offload at any point along the way, beginning a new life in someone else’s home, or possibly even in yours. 

Identifying Bed Bugs 

It’s important to be able to identify bed bugs in the event that you ever encounter them. Whether you’re in a hotel, a family member or friend’s home, or even in your own home, knowing the signs of bed bugs will allow you to stop a full-blown infestation in its tracks. At a minimum, this knowledge will help you to avoid taking these annoying pests home with you.

Here are a few things to look for:

  • Pink or red bite marks on your skin that may itch.
  • Pets scratching themselves more than usual.
  • Seeing an actual bed bug in your home –  in your bedding, on furniture, on your pets, buried in carpets and rugs, etc.).
  • The shed skins of bed bug nymphs.
  • Blood stains on your sheets, pillowcases, or blankets
  • Bed bug eggs anywhere on your bed, in nooks and crannies of furniture, or in the carpet.
  • Bed bug excrement – dark spots or streaks – on your sheets or blankets.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Though you cannot be certain to always keep bed bugs out with your prevention methods, there are a few things you can do to try and help prevent their access to you and your home:

Whenever you stay overnight anywhere besides your own home, be sure to check the room where you will be sleeping for signs of bed bugs. It’s a good idea to inspect the furniture, carpeting, and the bed. If you see any evidence that bed bugs are present, ask to be placed in a different room (and conduct a re-check there) or move on to a new place to stay.

You should do periodic checks of your own bed at home to ensure you stay safe from these irritating pests.

When you travel, never set your baggage, purse, or jacket on the bed or the floor in your room. Instead, place all of your travel items on top of a dresser or chair to prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride.

As you return to your home, wash all clothing on a high heat setting before putting them away. You may also wish to wash your bags in the same way. If you are unable to ash them, be sure to wipe them down and inspect them carefully for signs of bed bugs before storing them anywhere in your home.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you think you have a bed bug problem, your best bet is to contact a professional. If bed bugs are left untreated, their numbers will grow to a large population in a short amount of time. The professionals at Russell’s Pest Control can get rid of your bed bug infestation quickly. You may be unsure of the kind of pest you’re dealing with. There is no need to worry – we can inspect your home to determine which pests have infiltrated your home.

At Russell’s Pest Control we offer services for both homes and businesses. We easily eliminate any size infestation. Contact us to learn more about bed bug removal and to get started right away! 

Bed Bug Prevention For The 2018 Holiday Season

Bed Bug Prevention For The 2018 Holiday Season

Do you plan on traveling this holiday season? How many of your family members are traveling with you? Three? Four? Five? What if we told you that your vehicle, which is probably large enough to seat four to ten people, could actually fit hundreds? Of bed bugs, that is. That’s right. If you are not careful, this holiday season you may bring home more than some leftover Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, you could bring home bed bugs. And even if you bring home only one bed bug, it could start an infestation, and bringing home a bed bug infestation is not a good way to end your pleasant vacation.

Traveling Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are most commonly referred to as hitchhiking pests. This means they will use items such as articles of clothing, or perhaps a newly purchased used piece of furniture, to invade your home. Inspecting these items before bringing them inside is a great first step in preventing bed bugs. If you plan on traveling this holiday season, and you find yourself staying a night in a hotel room, inspect the room thoroughly for signs of bed bugs, mainly around bedding. On sheets, look for things like small dots of blood, droppings, or even live bed bugs crawling about. These are all good indicators that it may be time to change rooms, or even hotels altogether. These same steps also apply if you are staying with relatives. Sometimes, due to their incredibly small size, bed bugs can be difficult to spot. For this reason, it is wise to take extra precautions while traveling. You can do this by storing clothing in airtight plastic bags, then when you get home, throw them in the washer and dryer on high heat. This will kill any hitchhiking bed bugs you may have not spotted.

What To  Do If They Invade

Keeping bed bugs out of your home is a lot easier than getting them out once they have invaded. If your home has fallen siege to bed bugs, the absolute best thing you can do is call a professional. Here at Russell’s, we have the top-of-the-line equipment used to handle even the most invasive of infestations. In addition, our staff of pest control professionals is highly trained to find and eliminate every last blood-sucking bed bug. If you want more information on our methods, or you would like to schedule an inspection, contact Russell’s Pest Control today! We work hard, so you can sleep well!

Why Bed Bug Infestations Are So Common In The Fall

Why Bed Bug Infestations Are So Common In The Fall

In fall, bed bug infestations are a problem for families in our Tennessee service area. This is the time of year when kids head back to school because summer vacation has come to an end. If your kids did any summer traveling, you may start to see signs of bugs in your home. It takes a few weeks for a bed bug infestation to become unmistakable. Here are a few things you should know.

How To Tell If You Got Bed Bugs This Summer

These are hitchhiking insects. If you or your kids brought them into the house this summer, some of those bed bugs may still be in the item they traveled in on. Look in the seams of luggage, the stitching of sleeping bags, the corners and cracks of boxes, and any other tight, hidden location within carriables. If you see tiny white eggs, shed insect casings, or tiny black droppings, it may be time to call a pest control professional.

Look For Bed Bugs

It stands to reason, if you see bed bugs in your home, you probably have bed bugs. But many people don’t know what bed bugs look like. These insects go through 5 development stages. When they first hatch, they are pale white, but as they develop, they become tan, and then brownish-red. Bed bugs have six legs, two antennae, and skin you can see through.

Bed Bugs And School

If you don’t have bed bugs in your home, other families may, and those bed bugs can transfer from their kids to yours when they go to school. It is important to be educated about bed bugs and schools. One of the most important tips we can give is to encourage you to do routine checks of backpacks, jackets, and clothing for the signs of bed bugs. If you find tiny white eggs sticking to your kid’s clothing, throw the item in the wash and set the temperature to the hottest setting. That hot water will kill those bed bugs.

Once bed bugs infest a home, it is vital to reach out to a pest control professional. These are pernicious pests that will hide in more places than just your bed. If you live in our Tennessee service area, let Russell’s Pest Control help. We offer a free in-home pest evaluation to get you started. Give us a call today to learn more about our bed bug control options

Bed Bug Awareness 2018

Bed Bug Awareness 2018

In the battle against bed bugs, public awareness is the greatest weapon we have to keep these tormenting pests out. Unlike many other bugs that infest our homes and businesses, bed bugs don’t crawl across our lawns, scale our outside walls, and come in through tiny gaps. They’re carried in by people. So, regular pest treatments aren’t going to keep these bugs out. We need to work together to stop the spread. As a part of bed bug awareness week, 2018, which is from June 3rd to the 9th, we’ve put together these helpful tips to stop bed bugs in their tracks.

Bed Bug Tips To Share

  • When you travel, always do a search for bed bug signs: black streaks or black patches, tiny white eggs in a batch or as singles, shed insect skins that are tan or rusty brown, dried blood stains, and the presence of bed bugs.
  • When traveling, be aware that bed bugs are attracted to clothing that has been worn. Be sure to put laundry in a plastic bag and seal the top.
  • When you return home from a trip, it is always a good idea to wash and dry your clothes on the hottest settings. This will kill bed bugs in all stages of development. Also, make sure to check your suitcases and other bags for signs of bed bugs, preferably “before” you enter the house.
  • Bed bugs don’t just feed on people, they’ll also bite dogs and cats. Be sure to look around your pet’s bedding for the above bed bug signs.
  • While a bed is certainly a good place to look for bed bugs, they can be in other places as well, such as behind baseboards or crown molding, inside outlets, wall voids, and furniture, underneath carpet edges, inside suitcases, and more. If you’re doing a bed bug search in your home, be thorough.
  • Since bed bugs can get into furniture, it is a good rule of thumb to do a detailed inspection of any used furniture you purchase, especially a mattress or box spring.

Bed bugs are a serious and growing issue in the United States. How bad are they? According to a 2015 study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, it was determined that 99.6 percent of pest control companies had treated for bed bugs in that year, compared to just 25 percent in 2000. Please help spread the word and put these tips into the hands of friends and family. Together, we can make a difference.

For professional bed bug remediation in Knoxville and Eastern Tennessee, start here.

Avoid Unwanted Holiday Visitors

Avoid Unwanted Holiday Visitors

Christmas is a very hectic time of year. Typically, you are either hosting a gathering or going to a gathering or two over the next couple of weeks. It is important to understand that you and your visitors have the potential to unknowingly pick up unwanted pests during travel. The last thing you want to do is to become a distributor of unwanted pests!

Bed bugs top the list, but other bugs that can tuck into luggage and use it as their own personal moving van include several species of lice, fleas (in warmer climates or in homes that have pets), cockroaches, spiders, several species of beetles, and more.  Whether you are visiting or being visited, you need to be on the lookout for pests that are trying to sneak into your life.

Vigilance is the key. As you travel or after you have entertained guests, be sure to be aware that pests may have snuck into your space. There are signs, however, that you can become aware of and train yourself to spot. Let’s take a look.

Vigilance during travel:

Understand that pests can be found anywhere – planes, taxis, hotels, grocery stores, malls, hospitals, libraries, and even Grandma’s house – anywhere people frequent is a target for pests. Make sure that as you travel you check soft surfaces like seats, chairs, and beds for signs of pests. Also, be sure to inspect clothing as you shop for signs of pests, paying particular attention to scarves and hats. Inspect food packaging before you purchase any dry goods for signs that pests have tampered with it. Also, glance around checking for droppings from mice or roaches in hotels, restaurants, and other areas known to be plagued by these pests. What, exactly, should you look for? Well, things like:

  • Shed casings

  • Droppings

  • Actual bugs

  • Blood stains

  • Tiny brown spots

  • Black streaks coming from outlets

  • Small tears or punctures in product packaging

  • Unusual odors

  • Discarded wings

Vigilance after visitors leave:

The best way to avoid becoming a home for wayward pests is to clean, clean, clean. Once your company has gone home be sure to wash all bedding on the warmest setting possible and dry thoroughly in your dryer on the hottest settings safe for that fabric. Vacuum and wash floors with hot, soapy water; and be sure to pull out the sofa, stove, and refrigerator and clean there too. Bathrooms should be scoured and bath mats washed in hot water as well. Keeping your eye out for the signs that pests leave behind is a sure way to ensure that you do not spread pests to others, and they have not accidentally introduced them to you.
If after all the tinsel has been pulled from the tree, all the pie has been eaten, and the holidays are nothing more than a memory, you find yourself face-to-face with nuisance, harmful, or dangerous pests, give us a call. The highly trained experts here at Russell’s Pest Control know exactly how to safely and effectively eliminate any pest from your home. With more than 45 years of experience in local pest pressures, Russell’s Pest Control is the name people trust for pest control solutions that work.
Have a safe, happy, and pest-free Christmas.

Creepy Crawly Fall Pests

Creepy Crawly Fall Pests

The Halloween season is upon us and the stores are filled with candy, costumes, and, of course, creepy decorations. Hairy scary spiders, skeletons, ghosts, goblins, red beady eyed mice, and creepy crawly cockroaches are all common Halloween props that are used to scare the neighbors and trick or treaters. Halloween is a fun holiday, as long as those creepy crawly things are fake and not actually living in your home.

Russell’s Pest Control is here to remind you that actual creepy crawlers like mice, earwigs, spiders, and bed bugs can enter into your home and give you and your family a real scare! Below are some helpful tips about pests that are a bit more creepy and scary than most and how we can help.


While some people may find mice “cute” most people find them downright creepy especially if they are living in their home. Mice will eat and contaminate your food-including the stash of trick or treat candy you’ve been building; chew through and damage the structure of your home and personal items; transmit a variety of dangerous diseases; and leave trails of urine and feces throughout your home.

Bed bugs

Bed bugs hitchhike their way into people’s homes and feed on their blood as they sleep- really, how much creepier can you get? While they aren’t known to transmit any dangerous diseases, once inside a house they can breed quickly and take over an entire home in a relatively short period of time. Their mere presence can trigger a fear response and cause people to lose sleep until they are completely eliminated.


Earwigs are a nuisance pest. They are attracted to basement and bathroom areas that provide them with a high humidity environment. Most people are afraid of earwigs because of the myth that is associated with them. The myths states that earwigs burrow into people’s ears as they sleep in order to lay their eggs in the brains if their unsuspecting victims. Luckily for everyone, there is absolutely no truth to this myth – it’s just a good story to tell on Halloween!


Spiders, poisonous or non-poisonous, are probably one of the most feared pests. They have 8 legs, can be large or tiny, are sometimes hairy, quick moving, and reclusive. Many people don’t even realize that they have spiders living in their home until they are startled by one as they are trying to find their shoes in the closet; or when they walk through one of their webs dangling from the ceiling in the guest room; or, worst of all, you just climb into the shower and get the water adjusted to the right temperature when a big black spider descends from the top corner of the shower stall heading directly for you. Ahhhh! Spiders are definitely the most feared!

Russell’s Pest Control can help to control all of these creepy crawly pests and other common slightly less creepy pests now and throughout the rest of the year. Don’t be scared living in your own home. Implement a year-round home pest control service and have the peace of mind that you, your family, and pets are the only ones living in your house!

For more information about how we can help through our home pest control or bed bug control services contact us today, and you, too, can experience the Russell difference!