Fall & Winter Pests to Prevent in Knoxville

House mouse in Knoxville TN home - Russell's Pest Control

Here in Knoxville, we are used to dealing with hoards of pest problems year-round—including in the wintertime. Although some pest problems only persist through the summer, there are certain bugs and pests that stick around throughout the colder months as well. Namely, rodents! In partnership with PestWorld, the NPMA recently released their 2021 Fall & Winter Bug Barometer® predicting a significant increase in rodent activity this time of year. Rodent infestations have been on the rise in the past year or two, and this winter is no exception.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we understand the importance of keeping you and your family safe from pest problems, especially of the rodent variety. Our experts are here to share everything you need to know about preventing the increased risk of rodent infestations this year—read on to learn more!

Fall & Winter Pest Infestations in Tennessee

While many types of pests go away in the fall and winter, there are a few that stick around. With above-normal rainfall predicted, mosquitoes have lingered well into the fall months here in Knoxville. Moving into the winter, the most pressing pest pressures we face this time of year are those pests that look to get inside our homes to escape dropping temperatures outdoors.

In November, you may still be seeing some infamous fall pests inside your home. These include ants, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, and boxelder bugs, all of which look to overwinter until springtime right in the comfort of your property. The most concerning winter pest problem our region faces this year, however, is a rodent infestation.

2021 Bug Barometer by the NPMA

Where Rats & Mice Nest In Your Home

Rodents can squeeze through some truly tiny cracks and crevices to make their way into your home. Once indoors, they can wreak havoc. Rats and mice use all types of materials to build nests, chew on everything nonstop (electrical wires included), and can create a health hazard with their droppings. It’s important to keep an eye out on the following areas of your property for rodent nests:

  1. Mice: House & deer mice alike will seek out dark, undisturbed places in the home to nest. With their small size, they can nest in rooms, inside of furniture, and even behind warm appliances in your kitchen or basement.
  2. Rats: Norway rats are known to burrow beneath the very foundation of your home, and are thus found in basements, crawl spaces, and more. Roof rats, however, prefer to live in higher areas of a property, including inside of wall voids or inside attics and chimneys.

How to Prevent a Rodent Infestation This Winter

Especially with NPMA’s prediction of increased rodent activity this year, now is the time to implement rodent exclusion services to keep rats and mice outside. The rodent exterminators at Russell’s Pest Control are here to help. We will work with you to prevent rodent infestations this winter and year-round. Contact us today to get started!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Logo of Russell's Pest Control in Knoxville TN

Entomologists from Russell’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

How to Identify Rats and Mice

Mouse or rat in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Rats and mice are two of the most dreaded pest problems and for good reason. Many people group these two rodents together, but there are a number of important differences to know about. As rodents, all rat and mouse species share the common identifying feature that is their constantly growing incisor teeth. But how do they differ? Rats are obviously bigger than mice, but their differences don’t stop there. At Russell’s Pest Control, we want our customers to be well aware of the pest they are dealing with. For that reason, we are outlining all you need to know when it comes to learning how to identify rats and mice. Read on to learn more!

Rats & Mice: How to Identify Their Differences

There are a number of different rat and mouse species that are unique in their own way. That said, rats and mice, in general, can be identified through a number of ways.

  1. Rats
    • While they differ between species, rats typically have larger bodies that are about 6–9 inches.
    • Rats have small, hairy ears and larger feet.
    • Their droppings are much bigger than those of mice at 10–20 mm long.
    • Rats produce 3–6 litters a year with up to 10 pups in each litter.
    • Rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat meats, grains, seeds, and much more.
  2. Mice
    • Many mice species are only 2–4 inches long.
    • Mice typically have larger ears and tails compared to their body size.
    • The droppings mice leave behind have pointed ends and are just 1–2 mm long.
    • Mice produce 5–10 litters a year with up to 14 mice in each litter.
    • Mice are omnivores but mostly feed on seeds, grains, and fruits.

Mouse or rat identification in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Are Mice and Rats Equally Dangerous?

Rats may be bigger and more aggressive at times than mice, but both of these rodents can inflict a lot of damage to your home. Rodents nest in walls and chew on wires, which can cause a fire hazard. Their chewing and gnawing habits also drives them to target your insulation, wood structures, and more. Rodents are infamous for their ability to carry and spread a number of potentially dangerous diseases. They also can trigger allergies in people. A rodent problem can be a mess to clean up due to the amount of droppings and urine left behind. In short, you definitely don’t want to deal with rats or mice!

Identifying Rats and Mice in Knoxville TN

If you think you have rats or mice in your home, you likely don’t want to get up close and personal to identify them. For that reason, it’s best to leave the identification of rodents to the professionals. At Russell’s, our rat and mice exterminators will identify the rodent you’re dealing with, draw up a plan to get rid of them, and help keep them away for good.

Are Rodents More Aggressive During COVID-19?

Rodents are entering Knoxville TN homes during the pandemic - Russell's Pest Control

With Rodent Awareness Week upon us, now is the perfect time to look into why rodent problems are on the rise. Since the start of the pandemic, reports of rodent sightings and infestations have been on the uprise—but why? When restaurants and bars were put under orders to limit or shut down operations, rodents were suddenly deprived of one of their most important food sources. This in turn caused two things: one, more aggressive behavior as they have to compete for food and two, a tendency to get into homes in search of food. Plus, with the weather beginning to change, rodents will seek out warmth and shelter right in your home for the coming months. All of this has caused an uptick in rodent problems right here in Knoxville TN. Keep reading to learn how to prevent rodents in the coming months.

Rodent Behavior During COVID-19

The good news is that rodents are not responsible for transmitting COVID-19 as they do with other diseases. The bad news? The pandemic has caused them to be more aggressive and rampant than ever. The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became colder in their hunt for resources.

This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. They also can cause significant damage to your home with their nesting and chewing habits.

Tips & Tricks to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home

Rats and mice are on the rise right now, but you don’t need to let them infest your home. To keep rodents out and away from your property, our top tips include the following.

  1. Seal off cracks and crevices around openings. Mice can squeeze inside holes the size of a dime.
  2. Keep rodents out of your food by securely storing it in sealed containers.
  3. Clean inside the house and around the garden. Less clutter means fewer places to hide.
  4. Put outdoor garbage bags in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids to stop them from feeding on contents.
  5. Clean up pet food and bird seed debris, and store pet food in robust containers with fitted lids, preferably above ground level.
  6. If you have a compost heap don’t include organic food waste, as this will attract them.
  7. Inspect your garage, attic, crawlspaces, and vents for potential rodent hiding spots.

The Importance of Rodent Awareness

Rodent Awareness Week only happens once a year, but it’s crucial to stay wary of these pests all year long. Especially during the pandemic, rats and mice are looking to get inside your home in the coming months. Russell’s Pest Control can help keep them out. Contact our rodent exterminators today!

DIY Pest Control vs. Professional Extermination

Mouse traps are a common DIY pest control method in Knoxville TN. Learn more from Russell's Pest Control.

We’ve all hopped on the DIY bandwagon from time to time. Whether you tried to treat a trail of ants with a vinegar solution or bought a spray from the store for roaches, everyone has tried to get rid of a pest problem on their own from time to time. But how often does it work? If you have a small pest problem, DIY solutions can be a short-term solution. However, for infestations and prevention, a professional exterminator is always the way to go. At Russell’s Pest Control, we want our customers to make well-informed decisions when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of DIY pest control vs. professional extermination.

Does Do-it-Yourself Pest Control Work?

When it comes to getting rid of pests, chances are you want it done quickly and effectively. Unfortunately, DIY methods rarely deliver the outcome you want. Some of the downfalls of do-it-yourself pest control include:

  1. Many store-bought products are filled with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
  2. At-home remedies rarely work in the long-term and do not prevent future infestations.
  3. DIY or store-bought products don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services, meaning you often have to buy more products.
  4. Certain pests, including rodents, termites, bed bugs, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Getting rid of these infestations can be challenging without the help of a professional.

When to Use Professional Extermination

Many people assume they only need to hire a pest control company for serious infestations, but that’s not the case. In fact, an exterminator can work with you year-round to prevent pest problems from starting in the first place! There are many benefits to this option. A professional exterminator has a unique understanding of the habits and behaviors of pests, making them better equipped to control an infestation quickly. You can also rest assured knowing that any pest control products are always applied carefully and efficiently for the safety of your family. Lastly, a pest control expert can work with you to develop a custom pest control plan suited to your unique needs, giving you the protection you need all year long.

Is Professional or DIY Pest Control the Best Option for You?

When it comes to DIY vs.professional pest control, the choice is easier than you think. Although do-it-yourself treatments seem easier, they are often fruitless and require more effort on your end. When you team up with a professional pest control company such as Russell’s, you can be sure we will work to prevent pests in your home year-round. To learn how we can provide you with pest-free* living, contact our team today!

Knoxville’s Complete Guide To Rodent Prevention

Knoxville's Complete Guide To Rodent Prevention

The term “rodent” has become somewhat synonymous with mice and rats. While squirrels are also considered rodents, they don’t travel around inside Knoxville homes. They get into attic spaces and go in and out to gather food. So, for the purposes of this guide, we’re going to focus on mice and rats.

What Mice and Rats Are Pests in Knoxville?

In our area, house mice and deer mice are the mice to worry about, with the house mouse being the worst of the two. House mice love to live in our homes with us. When they get in, they tend to stay in permanently. Deer mice prefer rural areas and would rather infest a barn, shed ,or outbuilding. They can get into your home. But they may not stay inside your home.

Knoxville is home to two pest rats. They are the Norway rat and the roof rat. A case can be made for each of these rats being the worst of the two. Norway rats are considered by many to be the worst because they can get aggressive. But Norway rats prefer to create ground burrows outside rather than live permanently in your home. The roof rat, which is also referred to as the common house rat, prefers to be in man-made structures. When roof rats get in, they often stay in. But, like a squirrel, roof rats may go in and out to gather food. This makes the common house mouse the worst of all rodents that can get into your home.

Rodent  Activity

A rodent that prefers to be in your home will be a greater threat to you, your family, and your property because it is prone to cause more damage and spread illness to more locations. Mice and rats chew holes. They chew their way into your home. They chew holes in insulation. They damage items that are in storage. They chew holes through sheetrock and baseboards. They chew on the wiring inside walls. They also spread organisms around your home. Some are so small you aren’t able to see them, such as bacteria and parasitic worms. Some are large enough to see, such as ticks, fleas and lice.

Rodent Attractants

There are a few things that can attract rodents to your yard. Removing them will reduce rodent populations and reduce your chances of an infestation.

  • Rodents love bird seed as much as birds do. If seed falls onto the ground, you’re going to have a very attractive food source in your yard. Consider moving feeders to at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Rodents get into open trash. They can jump high and climb walls like ninjas. Make sure your trash is in sealed receptacles.
  • Rodents prefer a yard that has lots of hiding places. Remove items from your backyard that don’t need to be there. This will reduce rodents.

Rodent Exclusion

There are many ways rodents can get into your Tennessee home. They can use entry points from the very bottom to the top of your chimney. Sealing entry points and protecting vulnerable spots is key to keeping all rodents out of your home.

  • Seal cracks, gaps, and holes in your foundation walls, especially around pipes, windows and doors.
  • Inspect your doors and windows for damaged screens, holes in frames, missing door sweeps, gaps in weatherstripping and damaged seals around the frames.
  • Make sure your vents are covered.
  • Make sure your weep holes are protected.
  • Add metal flashing to areas of your roofline that are vulnerable.
  • Install a cap for your chimney.

What a Pest Control Company Can Do

Once you’ve done what you can do to reduce rodents and seal them out of your home, it is time to consider what a pest control company can do. At Russell’s Pest Control, we use tamper-resistant traps to control rodent populations around Knoxville homes. This gives added protection from gnawing-rodents for homes that are sealed up tight, and it gives much-needed protection for homes that aren’t sealed very well. If you need help making your home rodent-free, reach out to us. We can help you get the control you’re looking for. Get started by requesting a free in-home pest evaluation.

Why DIY Is Not A Great Idea When It Comes To Rodent Control In Knoxville

Why DIY Is Not A Great Idea When It Comes To Rodent Control In Knoxville

Rodents can get into Knoxville homes all year long, but during the cold winter days, they have more incentive. As a rodent scurries past an exterior door and senses heat radiating through the door or warm air leaking from a gap in some weatherstripping around the door, it will want to know where that heat is coming from. This can inspire a rodent to chew through the rubber protective barrier and slip right into your home. When they do, you may consider addressing your rodent problem with DIY rodent control methods. Let’s talk about some of the methods you might use and discuss some of the ways they fall short of appropriately dealing with a rodent infestation.

Not-So-Great DIY Rodent Control Ideas

We’re always being asked questions about natural rodent remedies, such as, “What scent will keep mice away?” “Do mothballs keep mice away?” “Does cinnamon keep mice away?” And, “Do mice like vinegar? All of these questions center on controlling mice and rats with natural products that rodents find repelling. But repelling rodents isn’t going to solve a rodent problem. These animals can climb up and down through your wall voids and chew access holes in locations you haven’t sprinkled with something repelling. They aren’t likely to leave your home, especially if it is cold outside. Repellents are best used for keeping mice and rats from getting into your home in the first place. Some common repellents that can be successful at deterring rodents are: used kitty litter in an open container, peppermint oil, instant potatoes, mothballs, vinegar, and onions.

Another solution people turn to is natural forms of poison, such as mixing Plaster of Paris and cocoa powder together. It is believed that mice will eat this mixture and then leave a home in search of water. When they do, they die outside. Don’t count on those rodents to eat this concoction or to go outside to die.

Once rodents have gotten in, the best solution to get rid of them is to trap them. This is another way DIY can fail. There are many traps that just don’t work. And if a trap does work, it can become ineffective when placed in the wrong location or when the wrong type of bait is used. There are many ways trapping can go wrong.

Effective DIY Rodent Control Tips

When we provide rodent prevention tips, we focus on environmental modifications to exclude and resist rodents rather than “control” rodents with natural remedies and DIY products. Some examples of natural rodent management are:

  • Removing unnecessary clutter and vegetation from landscaping.
  • Sealing holes, gaps and cracks in your exterior.
  • Addressing conditions that promote moisture or create puddles.
  • Putting trash in sealed receptacles.
  • Putting foods in sealed, hard plastic containers.

Using rodent management, you can make your Knoxville home less interesting to rodents. But, when it comes to “controlling” rodents, it is best to hire a professional. A rodent control professional uses tamper-resistant traps that are appropriately selected for the animal being trapped and placed in a way that will achieve the desired results. Most of all, a professional is able to monitor rodent activity and make sure that no rodents remain in your home once the service is completed.

Make Sure You Get All The Rodents

The best solution for rodent control in Knoxville is to reach out to the rodent control experts at Russell’s Pest Control. Our pest control team knows what is required to monitoring rodent activity and effectively eliminate rodents. Don’t trust DIY rodent control to protect your health and property from mice and rats. It just isn’t worth it.

How Rodents Get Inside Eastern Tennessee Homes In The Winter

How Rodents Get Inside Eastern Tennessee Homes In The Winter

Do you consider your home to be secure? If you have locks on the doors and windows, outdoor lights, and possibly a security system or camera set up, you probably feel good about your safety. However, there are intruders lurking about this winter that won’t break in through the front door. If you’ve ever wondered how rodents get inside your Eastern Tennessee home, we have the answer.

Why Rodents Get Inside Eastern Tennessee Homes in the Winter

In the warmer months, rodents are not often a concern. You may see them outside once in a while, but they’re unlikely to get into your home because they don’t need to. So why do they enter homes in the winter? When the weather turns cold, they begin to look for warm shelter. Even if they’ve already found a relatively warm spot to nest, they may decide to move if the area where they currently live doesn’t offer a steady food supply. Chances are, your Eastern Tennessee home offers both shelter and food.

How Rodents Get Inside Eastern Tennessee Homes in the Winter

In order for rodents to make the transition from outdoors to indoors, several things must happen:

  • The outside of your home must be appealing enough to make them want to investigate further. A yard that has a lot of areas to hide, plentiful food, and easily accessible water sources will attract rodents.
  • Once rodents have made it into your yard, they will move closer to your home. If there are easy ways to access your roof or there are areas around your foundation that allow for entry, they will check them out and, most likely, end up inside your home.
  • Once inside, rodents choose a secluded spot to build their nests. Wall voids, attic spaces, and cluttered storage areas are all favorite spots for rodents.

How to Keep Rodents Out of Your Eastern Tennessee Home in the Winter

To prevent a rodent invasion, you need to start by making your property unappealing to rodents:

  • Keep your grass trimmed short.
  • Remove lawn debris and wood piles so there are fewer places for rodents to hide.
  • Cover garbage bins with tightly fitting lids.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Make sure there is no standing water on your property.
  • Cut back tree limbs so they do not touch the exterior of your home.

You also need to make sure your home doesn’t have any obvious entry points. Smaller rodents, like mice, can fit through a hole the size of a dime, and all rodents have the ability to nibble on a small hole to make it big enough to squeeze through.

  • Cover or cap all obvious holes, such as chimneys, vents, and downspouts.
  • Check for and repair damaged roof shingles.
  • Inspect your foundation for cracks and holes, and fill any that you find.
  • Check for gaps around windows and doors, repairing those you discover.
  • Repair torn screens.

What to Do if Rodents Get Inside

Sometimes even our best precautions aren’t enough to stop rodents from getting inside. If they do, it’s important to call a pest management professional to help take care of the problem. Russell’s Pest Control can safely eliminate your rodent problem while also identifying how they were able to get inside in the first place, helping to prevent future infestations.

You can also save time by calling Russell’s to do the prevention work for you. Our Power Programs keep your home safe from over 30 pests. Give us a call to learn more.

Why Call A Professional For Rodent Problems In Tennessee

Why Call A Professional For Rodent Problems In Tennessee

A lot of people would point you to pests such as termites or carpenter ants when talking about invaders that damage homes most severely, and, while these pests are definitely something to worry about, rodents are also a pest that poses not only a threat to your home but also to you and your family. Rodents are among the most common household pests, often invading homes seeking food, shelter, or warmth. But it doesn’t matter why they invade, rodents are a pest problem that should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Mice and rats are the most common rodents to invade homes, and once they’ve gotten inside, the problems they cause will begin to pile up. Rodents reproduce very rapidly, meaning that if you started out with one or two, could turn into dozens very quickly. Rodents are also responsible for damage to the structure of your home. Electrical wiring, piping systems, and furniture are all potential targets for mice and rats that have to wear down their teeth. This need to chew is capable of ruining furniture or even creating power outages and fire hazards.

Additionally, rodents often bring disease, bacteria, and parasites inside with them, which can be harmful to the health of you and your family. If ticks or fleas suddenly become a problem in your household, it could be an indicator of an underlying rodent infestation and should be handled as such.

Mice, rats, and other rodents are a major problem in homes, and DIY methods of prevention and removal are almost never effective. Rodents are quick, sneaky, and fully capable of avoiding or escaping traps that many DIY tips might tell you to use. Preventative measures are a great way to reduce ways that rodents can enter your home, but they will never do anything to help with an already existing rodent infestation.

The best and most effective way to eliminate rodent problems in and around your home is to contact the pest control experts here at Russell’s Pest Control. Many Tennessee residents face rodent problems every year, but Russell’s is helping reduce the number of homes affected by rodent invasions with our home pest control programs. Our team of pest control professionals understand what to do when it comes to rodent control, and we will work with you to find a plan that works perfectly for your home. Don’t let rodents get in the way of your health and safety, contact Russell’s Pest Control and protect your home from pesky rodent intruders.

How Rodents Get Inside Tennessee Homes In Fall And Winter

How Rodents Get Inside Tennessee Homes In Fall And Winter

The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and winter is on its way. Tennessee is beautiful this time of year and, as much as we’d like to spend all our time enjoying the weather, certain preparations must be made for the coldest months.

As we prepare for winter, so too are the wildlife who live around us. If we’re not careful, our two worlds might come into contact in a way that is much too close for comfort.

When fall hits, rodents realize that it’s not as warm as it was a couple of months ago and that food supplies are not as plentiful as they were in the summer. Their instincts kick in and they begin to look for warm shelter that also offers an easily accessible food source. Oftentimes, they’ll find both of these things within the walls of your home.

How Rodents Get Inside Tennessee Homes

While you can’t eliminate the warmth or food in your home, you can prevent rodents from getting inside. In order to do so, you need to understand how they find their way indoors in the first place.

Mice and rats are cautious creatures. They like to hide, and are not eager to come out in the open. If the outdoor landscape around your home offers plenty of hiding spots in the form of tall grasses, bushes and shrubbery, stone walls, wood piles, and the like, they are much more likely to be near enough to your house to look for openings to the inside.

They’ll also be attracted to your yard if there are food sources outside. Pet food left on the porch, bird feeders, or open garbage containers are a sure way to attract rodents to your property.

Once near the perimeter of your home, rodents will look for any entry points to get inside. Mice can fit through an opening the size of a dime, and rats can fit through an opening the size of a quarter, so it does not need to be big to serve as an easy entry point.

How to Prevent Rodents From Getting Inside

Now that you know how they get inside, you can eliminate or diminish the things that are drawing rodents to your property. Consider landscaping options that keep grass trimmed short and bushes, shrubs, rock walls, and wood piles a distance from your house.

Remove all potential outdoor food sources and place garbage in containers with tightly fitting lids.

Check around your home, including on the roof, for holes, gaps, and cracks, and fill or cover any that you find. Don’t forget vents and the chimney!

What to Do if Rodents Get Inside

In the event that mice or rats make their way inside, it’s important to take care of them in a timely fashion. They can cause extensive damage to a home and present some serious health hazards to the people residing in the home, as well.

While DIY methods of extermination are often tempting, they are also frequently ineffective. Traps, for instance, rarely take care of an entire rodent population. Instead, the best way to eliminate the entire problem is to bring in professional pest control experts. Russell’s Pest Control will eliminate your rodent problem at its source, as well as correct any conditions that are making it easy for rodents to get inside in the first place. We also offer ongoing home pest control solutions so that you can get back to enjoying autumn while knowing your home is well-protected. To learn more, give us a call today.