5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Pest Control Company

5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Pest Control Company

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

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

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

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

Why 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.

When To Expect Ticks In Knoxville And Around Eastern Tennessee

When To Expect Ticks In Knoxville And Around Eastern Tennessee

Every year, in the early summer, ticks begin to become a serious problem in Eastern Tennessee. This increase in activity occurs for two reasons. Wildlife that carry ticks and spread them around are much more active, and summer heat often drives animals to get into homes, especially when they detect cool air coming out. This is bad news for Knoxville residents because ticks spread diseases.

Tick-borne diseases are on the rise nationally. Last year, the CDC reported that cases of tick-borne diseases had more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, with Lyme disease accounting for 82 percent of the diseases tracked. If you are not yet aware of Lyme disease, it is caused by a bacterium that of most often carried by black-legged ticks. It is associated with a bullseye rash on the skin and can have serious acute and chronic symptoms. In its chronic stage, Lyme disease is reportedly incurable. Early detection is key.

Sadly, Lyme disease isn’t the only disease spread by ticks. Ticks are known to spread babesiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, Southern tick-associated rash illness, tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever, Powassan encephalitis, Q fever, Colorado tick fever, and more. Yes, more. If that long list wasn’t enough for you, there are detailed white papers provided by entomology departments of highly respected Universities that detail many more illnesses that are linked or possibly linked to ticks. So, it is vital that all residents learn how to avoid ticks.

Tick Tips

  • Avoid walking in tall grass and stay in the center of paths when walking outside.
  • Consider spraying mosquito repellent on your legs to prevent ticks from crawling up.
  • Do an inspection for ticks after you’ve been outside. Early detection and removal of ticks can prevent the transfer of diseases.
  • Invest in a flea and tick collar for your pet(s).
  • Reduce moisture around your home to reduce conditions that allow ticks to survive in your landscaping.
  • Take steps to resist and exclude wildlife from your property.
  • Put bird feeders away from your exterior walls and away from outdoor recreation areas. Birds are a common vehicle for blacklegged ticks.
  • If you have a rodent issue in your home, seek the assistance of a pest professional to remove them and keep them out. Rodents can spread ticks to every floor of your home.

If you live in the Greater Knoxville area and need assistance with tick reduction services for your yard, we can help. Russell’s Pest Control is an industry leader and a QualityPro Certified pest control company. We have the education and experience to give you the support you need to protect yourself from tick-borne illnesses.

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.

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk For Carpenter Ants?  

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk For Carpenter Ants?  

June is the perfect month to finish the last of your spring cleaning. It’s also a great time to really pay attention to what kind of insects might be living in your house. While you are spring cleaning, carpenter ants are looking to find a brand-new nest. Don’t let them find their next home inside of yours.

Carpenter Ants

There are many species of ants in Tennessee, but carpenter ants can be especially harmful. They are bigger than other house ants and can be black or dark red in color. Carpenter ants have a varied diet, so you might not find them in your kitchen. However, if you do see carpenter ants inside, they may be scouts. They are searching your house to determine how much food and water there is and whether it will be a good place to relocate the colony–or a colony may already exist inside your home. Even one individual carpenter ant can be a sign of trouble, and you should never ignore it.

Once the scouts have inspected your house, you might see swarmers. These are flying ants that emerge during the spring to mate and set up new nests. Carpenter ants build their nests in tunnels of wood. This means that they can cause significant structural damage to a home.

Warning Signs

While you are finishing your spring cleaning and getting ready to enjoy summer, here are some signs that might be an indicator of carpenter ants in your house.

  • A single carpenter ant is a warning. Ants don’t travel very far from their colony, so if you see one ant, there are more nearby.
  • Seeing swarmers is another sign that you might have a problem. Swarmers set up new nests, so if you see flying ants, they might be building a nest somewhere in your house.
  • Even if you don’t see the swarmers themselves, you may see wings left on your windowsills. These wings could be from carpenter ants or termites. Either way, you have a problem.
  • Carpenter ants dig tunnels and discard the wood shavings. This sawdust is called frass and may be mixed with dust and dirt. You won’t always see frass because it could be hidden in crawl spaces, corners of the attic, or dark areas of your basement. If you do see sawdust coming from the walls or ceilings, call pest control immediately.
  • A final warning sign is visible damage to your house. If carpenter ants have been living in your house undetected, you may start to notice the walls are bulging, the ceiling is dipping, or the floor is warped. Doors and windows may also stick and become hard to open.

Preventing Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are first attracted to softwoods, especially wood that has been damaged by water or rot. To prevent a carpenter ant infestation, avoid damp wood and check for leaks, plumbing issues, or spills. Make it hard for carpenter ants to move in by keeping your kitchen clean and never leaving spills or crumbs for the ants to find. Finally, make sure that you don’t have any tree branches touching the roof of your house since this is a common entry point for carpenter ants.

When to Call Russell’s

These prevention tips can make your home less inviting. However, if carpenter ants find their way into your home, you’ll need professional help. Ignoring carpenter ants will lead to significant damage to your home. Call Russell’s Pest Control if you see signs of carpenter ants. They will assess the situation and create a treatment plan to keep your house clear of carpenter ants and protected from their damage. Don’t wait and don’t think you can keep carpenter ants away on your own. Let the professionals help you control the damage and prevent any further problems.

Fire Ant Season Returns To Knoxville – Are You Prepared?

Fire Ant Season Returns To Knoxville - Are You Prepared?

It is one thing to have ants in your yard. It is another thing altogether to have fire ants. Their name alone is enough to raise concern. For instance, if there was a breed of wolf called a lightning wolf, our guess is that you would be more intimidated by it than a regular wolf. Unfortunately, fire ants do not just have an intimidating name, they also have a nasty bite. As you may know, around this time of year, they are out and about looking for yards to infest. Our question for you is, do you have what is needed to keep them away?

Why Fire Ant Hills Are Common This Time Of Year

Although fire ants were given their name because of their painful bites, it is also a good hint as to what kind of weather they enjoy. If you have already put two and two together, you have already discerned that fire ants enjoy the heat. In fact, the hot summer is their favorite time of year. During this time you can expect them to be the most active as well as most likely to build a nest in your yard.

How To Prepare To Keep Fire Ants At Bay

The good news is, fire ants have not reached peak activity yet. You still have time to set up defenses to keep them at bay. These defenses consist of habits that you can do on a daily basis to decrease your yard’s potential of a fire ant infestation. Here are some good places to start.

  • Seal up cracks and gaps in your home’s foundation.
  • Keep your yard clutter free as much as possible.
  • Clean up food and drinks thoroughly after outdoor gatherings.
  • Make sure your gutters are all in good working order
  • Pick up your pets’ food and water dishes after they are done using them.
  • Keep areas where you make and eat food as clean as possible.

By following these steps, you greatly reduce your risk of a fire ant infestation. However, despite how helpful the above tips can be, they are not a perfect solution.

Why Call Russell’s For Help With Fire Ants

If you want a solution that will last (and requires no work from you) we have options here at Russell’s Pest Control. With just a single phone call, we will send one of our qualified pest technicians out your way not only to deal with existing ant hills but also to deter any existing fire ants from settling down.

Don’t let your summer be ruined by painful fire ants. Call Russell’s today and get the treatment your yard needs to stay protected.

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 Eastern Tennessee Homes Need Spring Termite Protection    

Why Eastern Tennessee Homes Need Spring Termite Protection    

Ever wonder why termites get away with so much damage? The total yearly cost of termite damage in the U.S. is in the billions! Perhaps termites are not even on your radar. It’s easy to go about the day and not think about whether our homes are being attacked on the inside without us knowing. Termites are tiny and so hard to detect that homeowners can go months, or even years, without knowing they have a termite infestation. It’s not something that typically crosses our minds until it’s too late and the damage has already been done.

Unless, of course, you deal with pests every day. Russell’s Pest Control knows what termites can do and we want to keep homes in Eastern Tennessee safe from termites. We’ve seen the damage firsthand, damage that can cost homeowners thousands of dollars and can pose a threat to families. Termites, when left alone to breed and eat away at wooden structures, can make a home unsafe to live in. If you’re a home or property owner, or if you’re looking to buy a new home, you want to make sure it’s protected from termites.

Unfortunately, Tennessee has the perfect conditions for termites to thrive. That nice spring weather we enjoy, well, termites love it too. Spring also brings moisture and dampness, factors termites need to really thrive. Damp wood is the preferred food source for this pest. Since termites thrive in Tennessee and since they are so hard to detect until it’s too late, this means protection is absolutely necessary for Eastern Tennessee homes.

Prevention Tips for Homeowners

  • Clean up wooden debris in the yard.
  • Prevent moisture build up by cleaning out gutters and trimming back vegetation so the sun can dry things out.
  • Fix leaks.
  • Repair damaged wood.
  • Use dehumidifiers to cut down on humidity and moisture inside.
  • Always be looking for the signs termites!
  • Seek professional termite control.

The best way to prevent termites is through professional termite control. Russell’s Pest Control uses the Sentricon® System with Always Active™, a system that is scientifically proven to wipe out termite colonies invading your home and yard. Not only will it eliminate current infestations in a safe way, but it is proven to prevent future termites from invading. Want to know how it works? Learn more about the Sentricon System for termite defense. Contact Russell’s Pest Control today to ensure termites aren’t infesting your home. You can have peace-of-mind like many other Sentricon users.

Why Call Russell’s Pest Control For Mosquitoes Around Knoxville

Why Call Russell's Pest Control For Mosquitoes Around Knoxville

Once mosquito season hits Knoxville this summer, there will be no escaping. Therefore it is a good idea to start thinking about mosquito control right now.

Mosquitoes can contract and spread diseases like West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever, tularemia, encephalitis, and Zika virus, all of which can become serious if not treated promptly, and some can be lethal.

One thing is for sure, to be safe, humans should not come into contact with mosquitoes. But they are nearly impossible to get rid of completely. Mosquitoes will soon be everywhere, flying around us, biting us, and breeding like crazy.

Hot summers, high humidity, and standing water all contribute to the high mosquito population in Tennessee. We don’t have any control over the weather but there are a few things we can do to limit places mosquitoes breed. The first thing you can do is inspect your property to eliminate sources of standing water by…

  • Emptying water from toys, tools, bird baths and wheelbarrows.
  • Emptying kiddie pools and flipping them over daily.
  • Drilling holes in the bottom of tire swings or other items that collect rainwater.
  • Aerating your soil so that it will effectively absorb water.
  • Keeping your lawn raked.
  • Keeping rain gutters clear of clogs.
  • Directing rainwater so that it will drain properly.

When you are outdoors, you should use effective mosquito repellent as well as wear long sleeve shirts and pants to cover your skin and avoid mosquito bites. But there is a way you can relax and enjoy your back yard. All you have to do is enlist the help of Russell’s Pest Control.

Many DIY methods to eliminate mosquitoes will actually draw more mosquitoes to your yard. Other methods just use up time and hard-earned money and don’t offer any guarantee.

The best solution is to contact Russell’s Pest Control in Knoxville for seasonal mosquito treatments. Our licensed professionals can treat your yard monthly during mosquito season where they land and breed. The result will be a drastic reduction in the mosquito population in your yard so that you can get outdoors and enjoy the summer. If you’re ready to combat mosquitoes, we can help, just give us a call at Russell’s Pest Control.

What National Pest Management Month Means For Knoxville Residents

What National Pest Management Month Means For Knoxville Residents

In April, organizations across the country observe National Pest Management Month for its role in helping homeowners and business owners protect their health, food, and property from common pests. The one thing pests need to thrive, more than anything else, is for residents and business professionals to be unaware of the measures that work to control them. Here are some helpful pest-proofing tips that National Pest Management experts and professionals here at Russell’s Pest Control recommend. Consider sharing them on social media to help spread awareness and stop pests from thriving in Knoxville and the surrounding area.

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water around the foundation perimeter of your home, including clogged gutters, compacted soil, and plumbing leaks to reduce biting mosquito populations.

  • Do an inspection of your exterior and use a caulking gun to seal cracks, gaps, and holes. Look closely around utilities, pipes, and door frames.

  • Replace weather stripping and door sweeps on doors that have gaps.

  • Repair loose mortar around the foundation of your home, especially around windows and doors.

  • Trim tree branches and shrubbery away from your home. Branches that hang over your roofline or touch your home can be highways for pests.

  • Fix fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles. Many pests get on your roof in search of vulnerabilities.

  • Keep mulch at least 15 inches away from your foundation walls.

  • Ventilate your basement, cellar, and attic spaces and install dehumidifiers, where necessary, to reduce moisture that pests need to survive in your home.

  • Store all garbage in containers that have a lid and dispose of your trash regularly.

  • Do a routine cleaning of trash receptacles to reduce the smells that can attract pests.

  • Avoid leaving pet food on the floor or ground for long periods of time.

  • Consider partnering with a pest control professional to establish a protective barrier around your home and to provide ongoing pest control support for the health of your family and the protection of your property.

April is the beginning of the warm weather in Knoxville that leads to increased pest activity. Take steps to reduce the conditions that attract pests to your home and seal entry points to make it harder for bugs and animals to accidentally get into your home.

For more information or to schedule service for your Greater Knoxville home, contacts us for a consultation. Russell’s Pest Control is an industry leader. We can give you the support you need to keep pests out.