What’s the Secret to DIY Mosquito Control in Tennessee?

a burning citronella candle with many dead mosquitoes

Tired of itchy bites and mosquito-riddled evenings? If you live in Knoxville TN, you’re no stranger to bloodsucking mosquitoes, and you may be wondering if there are any DIY methods to stop them. The truth is that while DIY mosquito control methods can provide some temporary relief, the rapid life cycle of the mosquito means that it will likely be an ongoing effort. Even if you are successful in eradicating swathes of the adult mosquito populations, many more are constantly emerging. 

The key to mosquito prevention is to be strategic and make the most of the work you do. That’s why, in this blog, we’ve decided to use our years of expertise to offer up some tips on how to get the best results from your DIY mosquito control. From practical steps to prevention strategies, our goal is to help you enjoy a mosquito-free spring and summer.

When Is the Best Time for Mosquito Control in Tennessee?

In warm climates like ours, mosquitoes can be a problem for much of the year. That said, these pests are definitely at their worst in the heat of summer. That’s why the best time for preventative mosquito control is in the springtime – before they get bad.

Ideally, you should keep standing water off your property if at all possible. Removing standing water is one of the most important parts of home mosquito control. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, where they develop as larvae and pupae in water. The mosquitoes don’t emerge from water until they’re adults ready to fly and breed. Standing water can mean a puddle, a pool, a bird bath – any object that fills with even a small amount of water is a potential mosquito breeding ground.

You might also consider scheduling a preventative mosquito control service with a professional pest control company during this time. Calling in April to make an appointment for preventative mosquito control can make your property much more enjoyable in the summer.

Which DIY Mosquito Control Strategies Actually Work?

If a mosquito infestation is bad enough, there’s a chance that none of these will work. However, for mild to moderate mosquito infestations, you may have varying levels of success with any of these methods:

  • Heavy duty fans: You may be surprised to learn that mosquitoes are not good at flying, but it’s true. They naturally avoid areas with high winds. Many homeowners replicate this in their backyard with powerful outdoor fans.
  • Mosquito repellent topical sprays: Although they won’t solve your mosquito problem, they can greatly improve your time outside by helping you avoid bites. Just be sure to get one with DEET or picaridin as the active ingredient. These are the most effective.
  • Store bought mosquito insecticides: Be extremely careful when using any kind of insecticide and only use it exactly as directed on the product packaging for safety and effectiveness. Insecticides can be very dangerous to humans and pets if exposed to in large quantities. If you’ve reached the point where you’re considering store bought insecticides, it may be a better use of your valuable time and money to call a professional mosquito exterminator like Watson Pest Management.
  • Fish: If you have a pond, fountain, or other body of water on your property, it’s not like removing the water is an option. At the same time, mosquitoes will lay their eggs in it. Many homeowners have gotten creative with the solution – acquiring koi fish to reside in their water feature. Why? It’s simple: koi fish are a natural predator of mosquito larvae and devour them in huge quantities.

DIY mosquito control works best when you have as much knowledge of mosquito habitats and behaviors as possible. For more on that, check out our Mosquito Learning Center.

Should You Worry About Mosquito Borne Disease in Tennessee?

Around the world, mosquito-borne disease is a major problem. It’s one of the leading causes of death of people in tropical regions and makes life difficult for millions more chronic sufferers.

Here in the Knoxville area, we are fortunate enough that mosquito-borne disease is very rare. Still, people in Tennessee should be aware of the mosquito situation around them, as it’s still possible to suffer health consequences from a bite. West Nile is one mosquito-borne disease that’s been found in Tennessee. Additionally, data suggests that it may be possible to find Zika mosquitoes in areas around Nashville

Why Do It Yourself When You Can Leave It to the Mosquito Pros?

If you’re looking for your next DIY project and mosquito control is something you’re considering, take it from us: save your energy for something more rewarding. Sure, it’s possible you may save a few bucks with DIY mosquito control, but you may also end up spending over a longer period of time. And, compared to professional mosquito control, you’re likely to get inferior results. 

Russell’s Pest Control does this professionally, and we have the best tools and expertise at our disposal. We’ve worked with amazing homeowners across the Knoxville area and would be proud to work with you next.

Mosquitoes Are Coming To Knoxville… Are You Ready?

Mosquitoes Are Coming To Knoxville... Are You Ready?

There’s nothing quite like a warm sunny day in Knoxville, Tennessee. With temperatures ranging from 64 to 90 degrees, many Knoxville residents embrace the wonderful summer weather. While some families take vacations away from home in summer, many stay here in Knoxville. Whether you decide to splash in one of our rivers or take a slow drive through town, summer in Knoxville is an experience to remember! As with any warm-weather fun, however, there is the problem of being exposed to the dangers of mosquitoes. These irritating pests are one of the downsides of summer, and if you’re not careful, your summer fun could turn into summer disaster.

Why Mosquitoes Are Dangerous

We all know mosquitoes are an unpleasant part of Knoxville summers. After all, who wants to swat away these blood-sucking nuisances with every other stride through the park? Finding itchy red bite marks across your arms and legs isn’t a fun experience either, though the problems mosquitoes create extend far beyond being an annoyance. While you might believe the worst part about mosquitoes is the fact that they can disturb guests and ruin outdoor activities, mosquitoes can actually be dangerous under the right circumstances. For instance, if a mosquito bites someone who is ill with West Nile virus, yellow fever, or malaria, that mosquito can carry that illness to the next person it bites. As more people become infected, diseases can spread quickly. The spread of these diseases is much less common in America than in other countries, however, there are still cases of these illnesses springing up in communities across the United States.

Professional Mosquito Control Is Essential

If your immediate instinct for mosquito control is to search online for DIY methods of removal, you could be wasting time, effort, and money. Most DIY methods of mosquito control don’t do very much to keep mosquitoes away from your Knoxville property, and DIY mosquito control certainly doesn’t eliminate your problem from the source. However, professional mosquito control services from Russell’s Pest Control can dramatically reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property. Our service technicians work with homeowners to find an effective solution for mosquito problems. Whether you need a one-time treatment or mosquito protection throughout the entire mosquito season, we can help. We will locate areas of high mosquito activity around your Knoxville home and target treatments in those areas, which effectively reduces mosquito activity on your property. Reach out to Russell’s Pest Control today to learn which mosquito services would be best for you!

Risk Factors That Summer Mosquito Infestations Bring With Them

Risk Factors That Summer Mosquito Infestations Bring With Them

Now that July is in full swing in Eastern Tennessee, mosquitoes are everywhere! Don’t let the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses ruin your summer; instead, take control of the mosquito problem around your property and reduce the risk of dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses being spread to you, your family, and your pets with the help of a pest control professionals at Russell’s Pest Control!

Many people don’t realize just how dangerous mosquitoes are. Mosquitoes can be found all around the world and are known to spread a wide range of diseases including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and canine heartworm. The spread of mosquito-borne illness is due mainly to more frequent travel; if someone contracts a disease from a mosquito in another country, when they return to the United States, other mosquitoes can then feed on them the person who contracted the illness, become infected with that disease, and then spread it to more people.

Mosquito-borne diseases are spread through mosquito bites as they feed on you. An interesting fact about these biting, disease-spreading pests is that only the females bite, as they need the blood in order to reproduce. When female mosquitoes bite, they pierce your skin and their saliva enters the bite to stop the blood from clotting, allowing them to feed easily on your blood. These bites leave behind itchy bumps that can range from mild discomfort to painful and can be quite bothersome.

The good news is, even though it may seem impossible, you can reduce mosquito populations in your backyard and on your property by following some quick tips and prevention strategies. One of the most effective ways to eliminate mosquitoes around your properties is decreasing the amount of standing water around your home; mosquitoes need standing water in order to reproduce, so by eliminating the standing water that collects in clogged gutters, bird feeders, overturned toys or tools, and puddles, you are one step closer to a lower mosquito population! To avoid mosquito bites, you can also use insect repellent and wear light colored long sleeve shirts and pants when spending time outdoors.

Even though it is the height of mosquito season right now and it may look like there is no hope in sight, it’s not too late! Call on the experienced professionals at Russell’s Pest Control; we can help you control the mosquito populations on your property and limit your exposure to dangerous mosquito-borne diseases so you can get back outside and enjoy the summer weather without the worry of mosquitoes! Give us a call today to learn more about our mosquito control options.

Plenty Of Summer Left To Enjoy

Plenty Of Summer Left To Enjoy

Even though folks are thinking back to school and some stores are already decked out in autumn colors it is not quite time to start dreaming of pumpkin lattes and roaring fires quite yet. August has arrived, and with it some of the hottest days of summer are still ahead of many of us. That means more time celebrating the summer season with backyard barbecues, family reunions, and plenty of pool time can be had.

There isn’t much that will ruin a good time in the backyard faster than hungry mosquitoes swarming around you, your family, and your guests. These little biters have ruined more than their fair share of campfire stories and an evening dip to cool off after a long day. Between the biting, swatting and the itchy welts that mosquitoes leave behind that can last for days, it is little wonder that so many of us do not get out and enjoy the beautiful summer weather while we have it.

Of course, there is so much more to worry about with a mosquito bite than many of us realized once upon a time. When many of us were kids, they were just annoying. The diseases carried by mosquitoes that we vaguely heard about on the news was always somewhere else with an entire ocean between us and them. Now, we are well aware that mosquitoes close to home carry a number of diseases that they can easily transmit to humans, and they might be living right outside our door. Conditions like encephalitis, West Nile virus, and the now spreading Zika virus can have serious implications for your health or the health of your family.

Protecting your family from the quick breeding mosquito is essential. From spring through summer, you can cut down their breeding areas by making sure that any standing water is eliminated from around the home. Make sure that rain water doesn’t stagnate in empty plant pots or trays that might be hanging around. Make sure that gutters are clear of leaves and debris so water can run freely. Bird baths and kid’s wading pools should have their water changed regularly. Trimming back bushes and keeping the lawn cut short can also help reduce the areas where mosquitoes hide during the day.

Don’t get chased inside all summer long by mosquitoes. With plenty of weeks left to enjoy some fun in the sun give us a call at Russell’s Pest Control. With proper treatment of the spots where mosquitoes breed and hide from the midday sun, our team can greatly reduce the mosquito population around your property. Take back your yard and enjoy the rest of summer to its fullest.

Mosquito Remedies That Don’t Work

Mosquito Remedies That Don't Work

Not only are their constant buzzing annoying and their bites both painful and itchy, mosquitoes can cause disease and even death to humans. Mosquitoes can ruin your outdoor activities, from cookouts to hunting to sporting events. They’re a tiny insect but they cause huge problems.

A Bloodsucker is Born

The entire life cycle of a mosquito only lasts for a short period of time. Male mosquitoes tend to live about a week in ideal conditions, while female mosquitoes may live a few months if situations are right. Mosquitoes will not travel more than a mile from where they hatch, so the mosquitoes that buzz around your face and bite your arms and legs when you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors were born on your property. A female mosquito can produce as many as 500 eggs before she dies, making the sole purpose of mosquitoes to lay more eggs and make more mosquitoes!

Worthless DIY Mosquito Control

There are many types of do-it-yourself mosquito control techniques, but unfortunately, most of them are worthless:

  • Bug Zappers – These lights attract only male mosquitoes and when this mosquito flies into the light, it gets “zapped” and dies. Because male mosquitoes do not bite humans, it doesn’t make any sense to use bug zappers. The females will continue to bite you.

  • Citronella Plants – Some people plant citronella plants all around their home hoping to repel mosquitoes. While citronella is not favored by mosquitoes, you would have to plant a jungle’s worth of citronella plants for this to be an effective mosquito control method.

  • Dryer Sheets – Some swear that placing a dryer sheet in your pocket will repel mosquitoes. Studies have shown that dryer sheets repel fungus gnats, but there is no evidence that shows they also work to repel mosquitoes.

  • Mouthwash – Spraying yourself with mouthwash may give you a minty-fresh odor, but it’s not going to keep the mosquitoes from landing on you and biting you.

Mosquito Control That Actually Works

To control these bloodsuckers in your yard, you should call on the experts at Russell’s Pest Control. Mosquito control is part of our Power Platinum residential pest control plan, which gives you year-round protection against more than 30 of the most common pests, termites, and carpenter bees. Each quarter, we visit your home and protect you from the pests of the season. If you have trouble in between service visits, just give us a call and we’ll return to ensure you stay pest-free.

Zika And Expecting Mothers

Zika And Expecting Mothers

The Zika virus is causing a lot of fear right now, and for good reason. This virus is directly linked to microcephaly, a birth defect that stops the growth of an infant’s brain. It’s a lifelong condition that can include complications such as significant brain damage, delayed motor and speech functions, seizures, and other brain-related problems. And, with high profile news stories about Olympians being concerned about exposure to this virus when traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it is no wonder tensions are high. While we should always be concerned about mosquitoes in Knoxville, Tennessee, the immediate Zika virus threat should be considered minimal. Of course, the threat level could change at any moment.
Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk for you and your baby:

  • The greatest danger for Zika right now is travel. If you are with a child, it is not wise to take a trip to a country where Zika is known to be spreading. Cases of Zika in the United States are currently limited to those who have recently returned from a trip abroad.
  • This virus has not yet begun to spread through native mosquito populations. When spring comes, it is extremely important to watch news reports to see if these changes because a mosquito that bites someone infected with the Zika virus can transmit it to those who do not have the virus.
  • Standard mosquito prevention is needed to reduce risk. Use repellents that have DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when possible. Avoid dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Mosquitoes breed in water. By reducing standing water sources in your yard, you can help to reduce the mosquito population in your community. Make sure you do not have obstructed gutters. Apply fill to areas in your yard that collect water. Remove objects in your yard that collect water.
  • One of the reasons the United States has a significantly lower rate of Malaria cases is due to proactive mosquito abatement practices. This applies to the Zika virus as well. If you have a professional perform mosquito abatement, you can reduce your risk and the risk of others in your community. Together, we can make our country safer.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we are proud to have one of the most effective and comprehensive mosquito abatement programs available for homes and businesses here in Tennessee. We know where these insects breed and where they hide. If you have questions about how you can help to protect yourself and your community from mosquito-spread viruses like Zika, give us a call at 865-584-8549, or fill out our contact form and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.

How To Reduce Mosquitoes On Your Property

How To Reduce Mosquitoes On Your Property

Living with mosquitoes is inevitable. They come every summer as things start to heat up. They multiply quickly and seem impossible to get rid of. These tiny, little pests can ruin a nice summer day by swarming your property. These flying pests are not only annoying, they are also dangerous. They are known for spreading diseases worldwide. What can you do this summer to help keep these pests to a minimum? There a few tricks and tips to do around your property that can help reduce your mosquito population this summer.

  • Eliminate Stagnant Water: Stagnant water is the number one breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you find that you have a lot of stagnant water around your home, it is best to eliminate these sources. This could be anything from a bird bath to a pond. If you have a bird bath or kiddie pool, it is best to change the water out daily. This will keep them from breeding in that water source.

  • Repair Screens: Take time to repair any screens around your home with rips or tears. It doesn’t take that big of a tear for these pests to find their way into your home. Repair screens found in windows, doors or screened in porches. Sealing up your home’s exterior is the best way to keep the interior safe and pest free.

  • Repellent: Using the proper insect repellent is a good way to keep insects away during the hours of dawn and dusk, when they are most active. Your insect repellent should use DEET for the best results.

  • Wear Appropriate Clothing: Wearing the right clothing can help repel insects. Wearing long sleeves and pants is the best way to avoid insect bites to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing with repellent then it will be an even stronger bug barrier.

Mosquitoes are a very common pest to have during the hot summers in Tennessee. They are, unfortunately, impossible to completely eliminate. But these tips should help you to control the mosquito population around your home. If you find you need extra help reducing mosquitoes around your home, contact Russell’s Pest Control today for more help.

Mosquito Troubles In Knoxville, TN

Mosquito Troubles In Knoxville

You’re probably not going to see this on a brochure: “Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, against the banks of the Tennessee River, Knoxville serves as the perfect blend of southern hospitality and mosquitoes.” But it is true. Mosquitoes love Knoxville. Not for its festivals, nightlife or art culture. They love people. More accurately, they love the blood that is inside people. If you have blood, they’re going to love you. But not all people are as attractive to mosquitoes. See if you can determine which category you fall into.

Mosquitoes prefer:

  • People that expel more carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes use carbon dioxide emissions to zero in on their food source. If you just finished jogging or you are carrying a baby in your belly, your extra exertion will attract mosquitoes.

  • People with higher levels of acids on their skin, like uric acid. If you love soda, mosquitoes will love you for it.

  • People who wear darker colors. Mosquitoes fly low and use silhouettes to find their targets. If you wear lighter colored clothing, you can ward off bites.

Mosquitoes do not prefer:

  • Anyone wearing a repellent with DEET in it. Repeated studies show that DEET is effective at keeping mosquitoes away. A formula with between 10% to 30% DEET can protect a wearer for about five hours, according to a study led by Mark Fradin, Ph.D., a researcher with Chapel Hill Dermatology. Though DEET has a consistent safety record, you can always spray it on a long sleeved shirt if you prefer to not have it on your skin.

  • People wearing clothing infused with the chemical insecticide permethrin. This method has been used by the United States military for years. One soldier said, “I wore them in the jungles of South Africa; I would recommend them to anyone going out into the woods.”

Do you want to prevent mosquitoes from landing on you, but prefer to not get involved with chemicals? Greg Baumann, senior scientist with the National Pest Management Association says you can make your Knoxville yard resistant to mosquitoes with Integrated Pest Management. It involves eliminating breeding sites that invite mosquitoes to reproduce on your property. Unclog leaves from gutters, remove items from your yard where water can collect, and fill in areas of standing water. You may also want to consider enlisting the help of a professional. They can eradicate adult mosquitoes on your property and destroy eggs before they hatch. In the battle against mosquitoes, the best defense is a good offense.

For professional mosquito control in Knoxville, Russell’s Pest Control is here to help! Contact us today!