Clean Sweep for a Pest-Free Home

the back of a woman wearing dishwashing gloves and holding cleaning supplies

Spring is almost here, and it’s easy to look forward to getting out in the warmer weather. But as you step out from hibernation, so do the pests in the Knoxville area. Now is the time to look around your home and yard for ways you could insure being as pest-free* as possible. Typical springtime pests that would be unwelcome guests and rodents, roaches, termites and mosquitoes

The following is a list of things to do – not only for spring cleaning – but on an ongoing basis throughout the year. 

Clean and Inspect Kitchen

Anywhere there is food or water you are likely to attract various pests. They could hibernate in colder seasons under your sink or in your cabinets. 

Some preventative inspections that can be done include:

  • Always store food in tightly sealed containers or refrigerators. Keep kitchen counters and floors clean of food debris. Ants and roaches are attracted to food sources.
  • Seal holes under or around cabinets, and walls that lead to outside to prevent rodents from gaining access.
  • Check pipes for leaks. Moisture is also an attractant to termites, ants as well as roaches.

Clean Pantry

In addition to the above-mentioned pests you want to check your pantry for these unwelcome pests in particular: Rice Weevils, Cigarette Beetle, Confused Flour Beetles, Indian Meal Moth, and Sawtooth Grain Beetle. While these pests don’t pose a health hazard to humans, they are destructive to food items. If you find evidence of infestations in your dry goods it is recommended that these items be thrown out. Consider transferring dry goods to airtight, sealed containers of plastic, metal or glass. This can help keep pests at bay.

Dry goods can harbor insects from the grocery store, so always check packages for tears or holes before bringing them home.

Declutter Closets

Warmer weather means it’s time to swap out your winter clothes for lighter springtime wear. This is a great time to declutter. An overstuffed closet can be home to pests like spiders looking for a new home. Once decluttering you can get in there and vacuum all the dark corners and get rid of any hiding pests.

Trim Shrubs and Cut Back Trees

Trim back trees and bushes, as they could be used as bridges to gain access to your house. Keep your lawn mowed and weeds down. Don’t let piles of yard trimmings or brush accumulate as this becomes a perfect place for pests to hide.

Declutter and Clean Attic

Mice are prone to take up residence in your attic, as they are looking for a nice warm, dry place to nest. The best way to prevent this is to seal any holes leading to outside, remember mice can enter through a hole the size of a dime.

Declutter by donating things you don’t use and storing items in tightly sealed plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes. This not only helps eliminate clutter but will keep your stored items pet free.

Examine Your Homes Exterior

Check for cracks or holes in your foundation or siding. How about your windows? Any opening leading into your home is an invitation for pests to enter. 

Ants are spring and summertime pests who typically invade your home through tiny cracks or holes around your doors or windows.

Sealing up any cracks or holes can’t be said enough.

Eliminating anything that could attract insects or pests to your home is the most proactive thing you can do to prevent infestations. 

Dark cluttered places are very attractive hiding places for spiders, ants, cockroaches and rodents. Minimizing any clutter discourages pests from taking up residence by taking away their hideouts.

Remove anything collecting standing water. Buckets, pots and tires become breeding grounds for mosquitos.

Trash Cans

Make sure your trash can lids are tight fitting, especially if you live in a rural area or have populations of raccoons. Consider using trash bags, as this adds an extra layer of pest prevention and control. 

Remove Firewood Away from Your Home

Stacks of firewood can attract many insects, including termites. It acts as both shelter and a food supply. To keep pulp-eating pests out of your home’s woodwork, move your firewood at least 20-30 feet away from the exterior of your property. Elevate your stacks off the ground as this makes it harder for termites and other wood-eating pests to access wood that will be brought inside.

Springtime Pest Control in Knoxville

If you take all the precautions listed above and still wind up with a pest infestation, don’t worry! The team at Russell’s Pest Control is specialized in treating all the major springtime pests, and we’ve been treating homes and businesses in the Knoxville area since 1971. So you can still work smarter in keeping all the major insects away from your property. But when the bugs start bugging you, you can trust our experts to eradicate infestations of any size and scope. Want to know more? Contact us today for more information and a free quote!

Why Does a Pest Control Company Install Insulation?

three dead roaches on a floor

If you’ve been looking into pest control techniques in and around Knoxville TN, you may have heard of TAP Pest Control Insulation. It’s a specialized service offered by a select group of exterminators across the country. What is TAP insulation, you might wonder? And why would a pest control company install insulation? Whatever questions you may have about the product or the process, we can answer them!

TAP® Insulation: What is It Used For?

TAP, or T·A·P as it’s sometimes spelled, stands for Thermal, Acoustical, Pest Control Insulation. Unlike sheets of fiberglass batting or foam insulation, TAP is made up of loose cellulose that is blown into your attic or the voids in your walls. It settles, and once it does it can kill a variety of pests while also functioning as an excellent insulation.

How Does TAP Insulation Work?

Unlike other forms of insulation, TAP is specially treated with a borate solution that, to humans, is about as toxic as table salt. But as insects come into contact with it, the material sticks to their bodies and is then ingested when they groom themselves. Since they are unable to pass the substance, it gathers in their guts and eventually causes them to die of dehydration or malnutrition.

Which Bugs Will TAP Insulation Kill?

You can see the complete list of pests that TAP insulation is effective against on the product’s EPA label. TAP is effective on smaller insects like ants and termites, as well as bigger pests like beetles, roaches, and slugs. TAP is not effective on rats, mice or squirrels, but at the same time, our insulation does not act as a food source the way that some others may.

Is TAP Eco-Friendly?

Yes! Cellulose is already considered one of the greenest building products in the world, and the cellulose TAP is made from is over 80% recycled materials. If that wasn’t enough, TAP is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which has devoted entire studies to knowing exactly how this product can control bugs and protect your home in a way that is sustainable as well as effective.

How Long Lasting is TAP Insulation?

Since insects cannot build up a tolerance to the borate inside the cellulose, TAP insulation has the benefit of maintaining its pest-killing properties for decades at a time. Unless the material is damaged by moisture or rodents, it can insulate and kill pests for decades, up to 100 years in ideal conditions!

Will I Need to Replace My Existing Insulation?

If your existing insulation is damaged by rodents or excess moisture, you may want to consider getting it removed before installing a new material. If that isn’t the case, since TAP is loose fill, it can be easily blown in over any existing insulation.

Is TAP a Good Insulation?

This is the bottom line, right? It’s nice in theory to have insulation that can combat pests, but the pest-killing properties don’t matter if that same material can’t regulate temperature or block out sound. Luckily, TAP Insulation does more than kill a majority of common insect pests that it comes into contact with it. Since cellulose is thicker than other forms of traditional insulation, it slows the flow of air through it. That means that it keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Your HVAC equipment will be able to use less energy, have less wear and tear, and ultimately save you money on your heating and cooling bills. If that wasn’t enough, TAP is also highly effective at noise insulation – reducing the sounds from outside a home that may otherwise enter through the attic.

All in all, TAP Insulation is an extra layer of protection for any home in the Knoxville TN area. And Russell’s Pest Control can help install TAP in your home today to keep it more comfortable and pest-free*. Want to know more? Visit our TAP Insulation page!