Why Homeowners Insurance Will Not Protect Your Knoxville Home From Termites

Why Homeowners Insurance Will Not Protect Your Knoxville Home From Termites

Have you ever had to file a claim for home damages? It is usually a fairly simple process. You call your insurance company. Someone from the insurance company takes a look. The claim is filed, and you get paid. Simple, right? But it doesn’t always work like this. Sometimes, you find out that insurance companies don’t always payout. There are circumstances that can leave you holding the repair bill. Subterranean termite damage is often one of them.

Insurance companies view termite damage as preventable with routine maintenance. Why? Because termite damage is preventable with routine maintenance. The problem is that most homeowners don’t have the knowledge and tools to perform this routine maintenance. So it turns into a sort of catch-22.

Insurance companies perceive their role as protecting homeowners from sudden and unforeseeable diseases, like house fires and bursting water pipes. On a side note, if termites chew through your wires and cause a house fire, which can happen, you’re probably going to be covered. But insurance companies have very little pity when they think you’re responsible for the damage. If the damage is considered the result of neglect, you’re going to pay for it.

Imagine buying a home in a flood zone and not getting flood protection. Imagine buying a home on the tip of Florida without paying for hurricane insurance. It doesn’t make sense, does it. Well, living in Tennessee without subterranean termite insurance doesn’t make sense either. Those insects can be a serious threat to properties here.

How do you get termite insurance?

You invest in termite protection that comes with a termite-damage warranty.

If you live in the Knoxville area, we can help you with this. At Russell’s Pest Control, we deploy the Sentricon System with Always Active to protect man-made structures from the threat of these wood-destroying insects. This system targets termites, and only termites, and does not require trenching or drilling. It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it is backed by a $1,000,000 termite-damage warranty. Best of all, it doesn’t just protect you from the financial impact of finding termite damage, it keeps termites from damaging your property. Let’s see your insurance policy do that!

If you have questions or you’d like to meet with one of our licensed professionals, request a free, no-obligation estimate. We’ll take a look and give you the information you need to protect your equity.

Preventing Winter Termite Infestations In Eastern Tennessee Homes

Preventing Winter Termite Infestations In Eastern Tennessee Homes

The nice thing about living in Eastern Tennessee is that we get to experience all four seasons without experiencing the extremes of weather in other areas. Yes, summer does get hot, while our winters are mild. Spring and fall are both beautiful.

The problem with living in Eastern Tennessee is that along with our mild winters we end up with pest problems that last throughout the year. Pests that live underground can survive cooler temperatures. This means we must be on our guard against them no matter the season.

Termites are one kind of pest we need to the lookout for in the winter. Their colonies are deep enough underground that they can survive the colder months. If the colony is close enough to our homes, termites will benefit from the heat emanating from our foundation, allowing them to easily remain active all through the winter season. There is a good chance they will end up inside our homes and, in that climate-controlled environment, they can work at full capacity twelve months a year.

The Damage Termites Cause

When we say you don’t want termites in your home, it’s not just because they’re bugs and no one likes the idea of bugs in their house. Termites are some of the most destructive pests on the planet, causing $5 billion in damage to homes in the United States alone every single year. When termites get into your house, they dig tunnels and build new nesting sites within the beams of your home. Given enough time, termites can ruin entire sections of your home. They may even cause dangerous structural damage, making your home unlivable until repairs are made. 

How to Prevent Termites from Getting Inside Your Eastern Tennessee Home

Certain conditions can make your residence more attractive to termites. Consider the following when trying to keep them out of your home:

  • Termites prefer water-damaged wood. Be sure to repair any water leaks or broken pipes immediately. Replace any wood that is damaged in the process, including the wood inside and outside your home.
  • Any wood that has direct contact with soil acts as a beacon for termites. Fences are often attacked by termites. Consider alternatives for any wood-to-soil contact. Replacing a wooden fence with a composite material, and using crushed stone instead of mulch in your landscaping may be a satisfactory compromise.
  • Since termites seek moist living conditions, make sure your home has good ventilation and that outside drainage systems are in proper working order.

The Best Way to Keep Termites from Getting Indoors

Even with these prevention methods, termites still sometimes manage to gain entry to your home. Your best bet to ensure year-round termite protection is to install a termite prevention system.

Russell’s Pest Control provides the Sentricon® System with Always Active™. It is scientifically proven to eliminate current termite infestations and prevent the occurrence of future invasions. If you’re not sure whether termites have taken up residence in your home, give Russell’s a call. We will conduct a detailed inspection and discuss Sentricon® with Always Active™ with you to determine whether it meets your needs.

Call us for more information or to set up your first inspection. We are here to serve you! 

Are Termites Still A Threat In Tennessee?

Are Termites Still A Threat In Tennessee?

Termites are a pest that should never be ignored. The damage that occurs when termites are left alone can become severe. All you have to do is search for termite damage online and you’ll find an assortment of scary articles and unappealing photos. Tennessee has the perfect climate—moderate temperatures and humidity—for termites to thrive. The dropping temperatures of the fall season do not stop them from staying active, either.

Termite colonies are very efficient. They’re made up of different members that perform different duties within the colony to keep it functioning. There are workers, soldiers, and reproductive termites. Each of these members looks a little bit different. The workers are white in color. The soldiers look similar but have an elongated head and large jaws. The reproductive termites are bigger, darker, and have wings. The workers will forage for food to bring back to the other colony members who are doing their jobs. Cellulose found in wood, soil, and other organic matter is what they feed on. This is why the damage to your home can be so severe, they are eating away at the wood bit by bit. Termite colonies are very large in number, so with many mouths eating away, the damage can be quite extensive and costly. Termites are responsible for billions of dollars worth of damage each year in the United States. 

One of these reasons termites are so destructive is that they can survive year-round. Their nests are built underground allowing them to escape cold temperatures. This means that during the fall they are still as active as ever. Don’t be fooled and think they are dormant. It’s extremely important to watch out for the signs of termites to catch them as early as possible. 


  • A sure sign is seeing termites crawling in your home, though this is only likely to happen if you tear out a termite-infested wall. 
  • Termites create mud tubes that may be noticed around the foundation of your home.
  • Small piles of sawdust could also be a sign of termites.
  • Tunnels in any wooden structure of your home could be termites. The structures could be crumbling or breaking apart. This is also a behavior of carpenter ants. Either way, it’s advised to contact a professional.
  • Any damaged or damp wood can easily attract termites.
  • Checking for termite activity outdoors could give you hints to what’s indoors. If you find damp wood infested with termites outside, it’s possible they’ve made their way in the house or are going to soon. Termite colonies grow fast and are always looking for more food sources.
  • Any damage done to your home could potentially be because of termites. If you’re noticing a sagging floor or unstable ceilings, seek a professional right away. 
  • With some infestations, you can actually hear the termite activity in the walls. Try tapping on the wood and listening for a clicking sound. 

It’s never too late to contact pest control. If you are struggling with a termite infestation, or if you’d like to prevent one, contact Russell’s Pest Control today. Our termite control plan provides the best termite protection in East Tennessee. At Russell’s Pest, our technicians will install the Sentricon® System with Always Active™, which is scientifically backed and proven to work. Check out our video on how Sentricon® with Always Active™ works and contact us today to get started!

Signs Of Termite Infestation Tennessee Homeowners Need To Be Aware Of

Signs Of Termite Infestation Tennessee Homeowners Need To Be Aware Of

When it comes to pests, there is a wide range of dangers associated with them, depending on what type of pest they are. Some pests are simply nuisances meaning that they don’t transmit illnesses and don’t do a great deal of damage, but are simply annoying to have around. Other pests are dangerous to humans and may bite, sting, or transmit serious diseases. Then there are the pests that don’t transmit diseases, but cause damages to homes that can be expensive and in some cases, irreparable.

The greatest offender of this third type of pest is the termite. While termites rarely cause bodily harm to humans in the form of bites or stings and are not known to spread diseases, they do cause billions of dollars in damage to homes in the United States every single year!

The biggest problem with termites and the reason they can cause so much damage is that they usually remain undetected for far too long. Oftentimes, by the time homeowners recognize that they have a termite problem, the termites have been causing damages to their homes for years!

In order to avoid termites and the damage they cause, it’s vital that you are proactive in taking measures to prevent them from invading your home, but you should first look for the signs of termites to make sure you don’t already have a termite problem.

Signs of a Termite Infestation

If you have a termite problem, the chances that you’ll see an actual termite are very slim. The greatest chance you have of seeing termites is when they are swarming. This typically occurs in the spring when a large number of the reproductive members of a colony come into plain view to find a mate and form a new colony. You can identify swarmers by their two sets of long white wings and by the fact that you’ll likely see a large cluster of these winged termites. If you see a termite swarm outside your home, your home may be at risk of a termite infestation.

Other signs of a termite infestation are so subtle that even some trained home inspectors or other professionals may miss them! One sign is long grooves created inside of the wood of your home. You typically wouldn’t notice this unless you’re doing renovations to your home. If you knock on a wooden beam and it sounds hollow or break off a piece of wood from your home and it feels light or hollow, you may have a termite problem.

Finally, if you have a major termite problem, you may notice peeling wallpaper, sagging floors or ceilings, windows and doors that won’t open or close properly, and bulging walls. If you see any of these warning signs, it may be time for a termite inspection.

How to Prevent Termites

Termites are attracted to moisture so it is very important to keep your home and surroundings as dry as possible. Establish good drainage systems around your property, repair any leaky pipes immediately, and replace any water damaged wood. In addition, here are a few other things you can do to deter these wood-destroying pests:

  • Keep wood and brush piles a distance away from your home and as dry as possible.

  • Remove dead trees from your property.

  • Keep your gutters cleaned out and free of debris.

  • Keep mulch at least two feet away from your home.

  • Most importantly, consider taking preventative measures in the form of termite prevention from Russell’s Pest Control!

Russell’s offers a comprehensive termite control service built around the Sentricon® System with Always Active™. As its name suggests, this system not only eliminates current termite colonies, it also constantly works to prevent future colonies from forming and invading your home.

Take action today to prevent costly damage tomorrow. Give us a call at Russell’s Pest Control today!

Why You Need Termite Protection Right Now

Why You Need Termite Protection Right Now

In February, we talked about getting ready for spring termites. Spring is when most subterranean termite colonies send out male and female winged reproductives to mate and establish new nests. We talked about the role moisture plays in attracting swarmers to a home and gave steps you could take to make your home less attractive. Then, in March, we talked about Termite Awareness Week and shared facts that property owners in Tennessee should know about termites, especially after the mild winter we just had. Now let’s talk about what you need to know in May that will help you protect your property.

The warm and humid weather of May makes it the perfect time for termites to be active. These are cold-blooded insects that slow down when it’s cold and speed up when it’s warm. They’re also moisture pests that need a lot of moisture to survive and thrive. May gives them the perfect conditions to grow their populations and establish new colonies quickly. If you didn’t take the steps we suggested in February and March, your home is at an even greater risk of a termite infestation. And the worst part is, you’re not likely to know it.

By nature, subterranean termites are sneaky. Even if we were to explain how to detect the presence of these wood-destroying pests, you may still not be able to see the warning signs. Subterranean termites are able to elude detection from even qualified professionals such as Certified Home Inspectors. And even an experienced termite control professional can miss termites during an inspection. Sometimes a professional has to get into a crawl space and use a flashlight and a mirror to check every cinder block pier under a home. If every detail of an inspection is not performed perfectly, termite shelter tubes, evidence of swarmers, and other subtle signs can be missed.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we employee highly-trained, certified professionals who do a thorough job of inspecting homes for termites, but they don’t have to with the Sentricon® System with Always Active™. Sentricon® with Always Active™ takes all the guesswork out of detecting and eliminating subterranean termites. Like its name implies, this system is always active. When termites come to feed, this system immediately begins the process of using worker termites to eliminate the colony that sent them. When they take the bait, your certified termite control professional will be able to easily tell.

Don’t let subterranean termites destroy your property, get your termite protection in place today.

Everything You Need To Know About Termite Awareness Week

Everything You Need To Know About Termite Awareness Week

Termite Awareness Week was implemented to spread awareness of termites. It will run from March 11th to March 17th and can help everyone! With termites causing billions of dollars worth of damage each year, being aware of them can be one of your best defenses. Often times the damage is not covered by homeowners insurance and is left up to the homeowner themselves, which can be expensive and hard work. Termite Awareness Week can help you learn how to keep your home safe from termites.

Did you know that the total weight of all the termites in the world is more than the total weight of all the humans? It’s true, and during Termite Awareness Week you can learn more interesting facts on social media by using the hashtag #termiteweek! Termite Awareness Week will also shed light on many DIY prevention methods that are safe, reliable, and affordable. Being both diligent and vigilant can help the fight against the termites. Knoxville alone is home to countless termites! Getting rid of them should be a top priority. Sometimes termites are going to find their way in and if they do you should immediately call professional pest control. Termites are an extremely hard pest to eradicate and getting professional help can ensure that they are taken care of entirely.

How Can Russell’s Pest Control Help?

Here at Russell’s Pest Control, we are both educated and experienced in taking care of termites. Our termite control is efficient in keeping homes and buildings free of termites so you don’t have to! We will start with a free, in-home pest evaluation. This is where we will be able to determine exactly what we are up against, what we can do to get rid of them, and how we can prevent them in the future. Some of the key factors we look for when conducting a termite inspection are:

  • Termite tunnels and termite tunnel stains

  • Imperfections in sheetrock

  • Baseboards that have been stained by moisture from mud

  • Actual termites

  • In crawl areas, we will also make sure to pull back insulation, check under sill plates, and conduct sound tests

To assure eradication our termite control features the Sentricon® System with Always Active™y. First, we install bait stations around your home. With the use of Sentricon® with Always Active™, our bait stations are extremely effective in stopping the molting process of termites which is crucial to their survival. If termites cannot molt, they die. Once the Sentricon® with Always Active™ bait stations, which are environmentally friendly, are installed, they start working immediately. From there, termites themselves play a major part in their eradication by introducing bait to the nests. After, we will closely monitor bait stations to stay on top of any termite activity. Even better, if you sign up with our termite control service, we will offer you a termite damage repair agreement which states that if there is any damage after Sentricon® with Always Active™ is installed, we will cover it!

When eliminating termites, having both the knowledge and tools to do so, are key. At Russell’s, we have more than 40 years worth of both! So if you find termites, don’t worry, and reach out now! Keep your Knoxville home safe, clean, and sound. Call Russell’s Pest Control for help today!

Learn How To Identify Swarming Termites

Learn How To Identify Swarming Termites

Have you ever come home, stepped out of your car, and noticed a mass of crawling, winged insects on your windowsills or foundation walls? Would you be able to tell if that mass of insects was a swarm of flying ants or termite swarmers? In case you don’t know the difference, this article will explain how to identify termite swarmers, the damages termites cause, and what you can do if you discover your structure has been infested by termites.

A termite colony, when it matures, will send out what are called alates, or termite swarmers, to start new colonies. These swarmers only appear briefly, for around a half an hour, a couple of times a year, so they are easily missed. If you see termite swarmers, be aware that there is certainly a mature colony somewhere nearby. And, if that place happens to be your home, you need to take action before damages go beyond repair.

Visually identifying termite swarmers is very important, since termites cost United States property owners billions of dollars each year. First, when looking at a swarmer, look at the four wings. If they stack evenly on top of one another, you are looking at a termite. Termite wings are white, whereas the wings on a carpenter ant swarmer are tan. Also, notice if the wings go beyond the abdomen. If they are only slightly longer, you are looking at an ant. If the wings go far beyond the abdomen, this is a termite.  And termite swarmers are much smaller than ants, measuring around 3/8 of an inch long while ant swarmers can be 5/8 of an inch. Two other ways to tell termite swarmers are that they have antennae that are mostly straight, and they have a distinct pinch between their thorax and abdomen.

Damages Done By Termites

Termites can do damage to a structure for years without being detected, damage that looks like long grooves stacked on top of each other inside wood. This causes the wood to have a tattered look, almost like stacked cardboard edges. When termites feed on wood, it becomes brittle and hollow. But you are unlikely to see this unless you are doing renovations. If you break off a piece of wood and it feels light, it could have been eaten by termites. Similarly, if you tap on a support beam and it sounds hollow, this is another good indication.

Secondary damages of termites include peeling wallpaper, bulging walls, sagging floors and ceilings and windows and doors that don’t open or close properly.

If you see termite swarmers, or are noticing the signs termites leave behind, Russel’s Pest Control is here to help. For more information, or to schedule termite service, reach out to us today.

Termite Awareness Week

Termite Awareness Week
Are you as excited about termites as we are here at Russell’s Pest Control?  Well, it’s that time of year again- Termite Awareness Week is quickly approaching!  You may be wondering why we are so excited about termites, aren’t termites bad news?  We agree termites are very bad news, which is why we so are excited to spread the word about these damaging pests to hopefully help to stop termite infestations before they have the chance to start for the residents of East Tennessee!
Termites are a year-round pest that, once inside of a home or other building, will silently and continuously create tunnels and feed on the structural wood found inside.  Termites, if not stopped, can cause a lot of structural damage to homes that can be very time consuming and costly to repair.  In fact, it has been estimated that termites are responsible for causing over 5 billion dollars’ worth of damages to properties annually- believe us when we say, these pests are no joke!
Spring is right around the corner which means that temperatures start to increase and termites will become even more active.  Spring is also the time of year when the winged reproductive members of termite colonies swarm from the colony, mate, and start a new colony of their own.  This is why spring is the perfect time of year for the National Pest Management Association to “celebrate” and bring about termite awareness!  The fifth annual Termite Awareness week will be held this year from March 13-19, the goal is to increase termite awareness, educate the public about termites, and of course provide helpful prevention tips!
Russell’s wants to jump start termite awareness week by providing you with our own tips to help you notice the signs of termites in your home.  By understanding the warning signs you can get help from a professional termite control expert sooner rather than later and hopefully limit the damages caused by these pests!  Signs of termite activity in and around your home include:
  • Noticing mud tubes running on the surface of the ground toward your home or on the foundation or exterior walls of your home.  These mud tubes are usually about the width of a pencil and are what the termites use to travel from their nest to their food source.

  • Finding piles of wings near doors or windows. The reproductive members will discard their wings after swarming from the colony.  This is a good indicator that there is a mature termite colony living in or near your home.

  • Soft wood located within your home that sounds “hollow” when you tap on it.

  • Painting on the walls of your home that is starting to appear splintered or blistered.

  • In the case of a large infestation, you may notice doorways or ceilings that are starting to appear warped. 

For more information about termites, the termite control services provided by Russell’s Pest Control, or for more information about termite awareness week 2016, contact Russell’s today!

Cold Winter Weather Makes Home More Vulnerable To Termite Infestations

Cold Winter Weather Makes Home More Vulnerable To Termite Infestations

Oh, the weather outside may be frightful, but what is going on inside the walls of unprotected homes can be even more frightful. Snow, ice, and wind are notorious for leaving properties damaged come springtime, and this can leave homes vulnerable to the most destructive pests. Namely, termites. This article will alert you to the property threats that are posed by these wood-eating insects, and will give several do-it-yourself tips on how to detect and prevent an infestation.

Termites, which cost property owners more than $5 billion annually, are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability of chew through many parts of your home completely undetected. Things like wood, flooring, and even wallpaper can be destroyed silently without anyone even noticing, until it is too late. And most homeowners insurance policies do not cover termite damage.

In springtime, termites will come out of hiding in search of mates and to find new structures in which to establish new colonies which, if we are unlucky, may be our homes. Unfortunately, these insects can be hard to spot, so it is important for homeowners to know the signs of termite activity. The following is a list of the three top things to look out for:

  1. Discarded wings. These are usually found near closed windows, doors, and other access points. When termites swarm to start a new colony, they twist off their wings upon landing, because they will never use those wings again. These wings will be white in color and uniform in size.

  2. Mud Tubes. Where the ground meets your home, these pencil-sized mud tubes will be found if you have termites. To find out if these tubes are actively being used, break off a piece and then check it a few days later. If it has been repaired, you are looking at an active termite infestation.

  3. Wood damage. Termites chew through wood, leaving behind long grooves. Over time, these grooves weaken the wood and cause costly structural damage.

Some valuable tips to prevent a termite infestation:

  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from your home, and up off the ground.

  • Create an 18-inch gap around your home between soil and wood by using crushed rock or some other material.

  • Make sure there is no standing water near your home.

  • Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around your foundation.

  • Repair soffits and rotted roof shingles

  • Repair any water leaks inside and outside your home.

  • Keep your home, especially the basement, attic, and crawl spaces, dry and well ventilated.

If you have done all you can to keep these home-destroying pests out, but you are seeing the signs of an infestation, consider having a termite inspection done. The sooner you get these creatures out of your home, the less cash you will have to shell out for repairs. Here at Russell’s Pest Control, we’ve been helping folks keep their homes pest free since 1971 and our pest control technicians have a Category 7 certification, which is classified as Industrial, Institutional, Structural Pest Control and Health-Related Pest Control. If you have a problem with termites, you can trust Russell’s Pest Control to give you industry-leading service and guaranteed protection.