Knoxville’s Top Five Fall and Winter Pests
Winter is coming, and just like people, insects and rodents want to avoid the cold. While some will burrow underground, and some will migrate to warmer locales, others will simply seek out the closest, warmest, and most inviting place they can find. Unfortunately, that usually means your house. You may not even notice these fall and winter pests at first. That’s because pests prefer quiet areas that are free of people. Think in your attic, or inside your walls. Creepy, huh?
So, which pests should you be on the lookout for here in the Knoxville area?
1. Asian lady beetles
Asian lady beetles resemble ladybugs, but they’re a bit larger. Their coloration ranges from red to orange, and not all of them have spots. The problem with these little ladybug lookalikes is that they use pheromones to communicate their location. So if one Asian lady beetle comes into your house, within a few days it can turn into a large infestation. While they won’t eat your home or sting you, their waste is unsightly and triggers breathing difficulties in sensitive individuals.
If you hear scurrying on the roof, it could be a squirrel, or it could be roof rats and mice. They get on your roof via nearby branches, fences, you may even see them climb a drainpipe! From there, it’s easy to get into your attic and make a warm nest. If you hear scratching or gnawing noises, you may have rodents inside your attic or walls. And that’s a problem that can quickly multiply if you don’t get it taken care of by an experienced rodent exterminator.
3. Stink bugs
While there are several stink bug species, the brown marmorated stink bug is the one you’re most likely to see in your home. An invasive species that’s rapidly spread across most of the U.S., they’re shield-shaped, with mottled brown and grey coloring, and range in size from 1/4″ to 3/8″. Stink bugs lurk in quiet parts of a home where they’re unlikely to be disturbed, and as their name implies, when they feel threatened or get squashed, they emit an awful smell. Stink bugs are attracted to lighter color homes, which is why you may see them, but your neighbor doesn’t.
Termites want to enjoy your house as a meal any time of year, so what’s different about fall and winter? Subterranean termites, the most destructive species, burrow underground in the winter and build up their nests. When spring comes around, they emerge and cause immense structural damage. They ravenously consume not just the wood in your home, but any material that contains cellulose. Termite signs can include blisters on painted walls, hollow-sounding, weak, and flaky wood, mud tunnels in your crawl space, chewing sounds, and those telltale pinholes in wood. If you suspect you might have termites, hire a termite expert right away. Termites cause an estimated $30 billion in property damages every year, making them by far the most destructive pest in America.
Wasp colonies don’t survive the winter. But fertilized queens do. They usually survive in hollow logs, stumps or under leaves, but they can also be found in attics or the siding of homes. Typically, they enter through unscreened attic vents, so it’s best to ensure that your attic is as sealed as possible. If a wasp queen does winter in your home, she may decide to start her new colony on your porch, or worse, inside. Get a preventative wasp checkup this winter to ensure no nasty stinging surprises next spring.
Let Us Solve Your Fall/Winter Indoor Pest Problem
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that pest control is for the spring and summer only. Here in Tennessee, preventative pest control during the fall and winter is a smart strategy so you won’t be caught off guard when warm weather returns. Russell’s Pest Control has been serving the greater Knoxville area since 1971 and we pride ourselves on doing the job right.