Is the Joro Spider in Knoxville Tennessee?

joro spider | Russell's Pest Control in Knoxville TN

Imagine stepping into your backyard, when suddenly, you spot a giant spider with a large web stretched between your trees. This isn’t your typical garden variety spider; it’s huge, menacing, and unlike anything you’ve seen before. Your mind races – what could it be? It’s possible you’ve just encountered the Joro Spider, a species of orb-weaver spider that has recently made headlines as it’s been spotted in several states across the eastern United States – including, yes, here in Knoxville. 

So what is a Joro spider and should you be concerned? In this blog, we’ll unravel the mystery of this intriguing newcomer.

What Does the Joro Spider Look Like?

The Joro Spider commands attention not just because it’s a huge spider with a massive web, but also by its vibrant coloring. If you see a large Joro, it’s most likely a female, as these spiders exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females look quite different from each other.

Here’s how to tell male and female Joro spiders apart:


  • Size: Large, with a body length of about 0.75-1 inch and a leg span of up to 4 inches.
  • Color: Bright yellow and blue body with distinctive red markings.
  • Web: Builds large, intricate webs that can span up to 10 feet.


  • Size: Much smaller than females.
  • Color: Darker, less vibrant, with more subdued colors.
  • Web: Does not build webs as females do.

Also, the webs of Joro Spiders are quite distinct in themselves. They are large, golden, and incredibly strong, capable of trapping a variety of insects.

Where is the Joro Spider Found?

The Joro Spider has been increasingly noted in various habitats, showcasing its adaptability. Originally thought to require a large natural area, Joro Spiders have revealed themselves to be surprisingly urban-tolerant. They’ve even been found more and more near highways, which is highly unusual for a web-hunting spider that relies on vibrations to capture prey.

Their ability to thrive in different environments, including urban areas, underscores their versatility and potential for wider spread.

Is the Joro Spider Dangerous?

Despite their daunting size and appearance, Joro spiders are generally not a threat to humans. While capable of biting, their fangs are small and they are overall timid creatures that prefer to retreat when confronted. The fear they might instigate is far greater than the actual risk they pose, making them more of a curiosity than a concern.

Where Did the Joro Spider Come From?

The Joro Spider is native to East Asia. It’s believed that they were accidentally transported to the U.S. via shipping containers. This theory explains their initial appearances near ports and their subsequent spread across the eastern U.S..

What’s Next for the Joro Spider in Knoxville?

For those not fond of spiders, the news might be unwelcome: the Joro Spider is probably here to stay. Their adaptability and successful breeding indicate that they’re likely to continue spreading across the eastern seaboard.

Got Questions About Spiders?

While the Joro Spider might initially inspire fear due to its size and unfamiliar appearance, it’s important to remember that they are largely harmless to humans. Their presence in Knoxville and beyond is a testament to the ever-changing tapestry of our local ecosystems. 

However, if you have concerns or questions about the Joro Spider or any other pests, remember, we’re here to help. Call us anytime for advice, information, or assistance in dealing with any pest-related issues.

Why Am I Suddenly Seeing A Lot Of Spiders In My Home?

Spider in Knoxville TN home - Russell's Pest Control

Spiders are one of the most feared creatures of all time. The good news is that most of the spiders you see in your home are relatively harmless. In fact, some of them are actually helpful in helping reduce the populations of other insects and bugs in your property. Nonetheless, very few people are thrilled about dealing with an excessive amount of spiders in their home or business.

If you start to see more and more spiders or webs inside your property, there are likely a few things to blame.

There are two attractants that typically draw spiders:

1. Shelter

When it gets cold, insects look for a warm place. This brings them inside man-made structures—including your home Spiders don’t have as much of a problem with cold because they have a built-in antifreeze that makes them resistant to freezing. But they go where the food is. So, if their food sources move indoors, you can be sure they’re to follow.

2. Food

The number one reason why spiders come into our homes is in the search for food. If you have food sources that insects can get into, they will thrive inside your home. And, when insects thrive, spiders will thrive too. If you want to control spider populations in your home, it’s crucial to prevent pests in general.

Some bugs don’t come into our homes because of cold or in search of food. Some bugs are carried in. If you don’t examine your packaged food when you purchase items at the store, you may have brought pantry pests into your home, and spiders feed on pantry pests.

If you brought fruit into your home and put it on the kitchen table for display, you may be seeing fruit flies or fungus flies zipping around. Flies are a dietary staple for spiders, who will show up in hoards to feed on other insect populations inside your property.

What to Do When You Have a Spider Infestation

The best way to control spiders is to control the bugs that spiders feed on. And the best way to control bugs is with ongoing pest service from a professional. At Russell’s Pest Control, we know how distressing a spider problem can be. Our spider exterminators can help you zero in on the pest service that will work best to keep spiders and other pests out of your home.

Cobwebs in the Corner: How Cellar Spiders Are Good & Bad In Homes

Cellar spider in Tennessee home - Russell's Pest Control can help eliminate.

What Should You Do About Cellar Spiders in Your House?

Have you ever wondered how so many flimsy, dusty, infuriating spider webs seem to magically appear in your house? The most likely culprit is a creature called the cellar spider (also known as the cobweb spider). You may not enjoy seeing the cobwebs around, but the good news is that there are some benefits of having cellar spiders in your house. In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of having cellar spiders in your home, so you can make an informed decision about what to do about them.

What are the Benefits of Having Cellar Spiders in Your Home?

  • Natural pest control: Cellar spiders are harmless to humans, but they’re not harmless to other pests in your house. Cellar spiders eat gnats, flies, moths, even mosquitoes and other spiders. They can play a major role in keeping pest populations in line.
  • Signal of a healthy ecosystem: Cellar spiders do well when there’s a balance between prey and competition. If you have cellar spiders in house, it’s a good indication that the ecosystem in your home is healthy and sustainable.
  • Low maintenance: Cellar spiders can infest in large numbers, but it’s rare. Most of the time, cellar spiders do their own population control, meaning you’ll only ever have a few — not an infestation. Additionally, they don’t infest food or bite humans, so they’re unlikely to ever cause any secondary issues. If you have cellar spiders, you can generally ignore them.

What are the Drawbacks of Having Cellar Spiders in Your Home?

  • Unsightly Webs: Cellar spiders build messy webs in corners and undisturbed areas. While these webs can trap pests, they can also be considered unsightly and may require regular cleaning to maintain a tidy appearance. Over time, abandoned cellar spider webs can also gather dust, debris, and insect carcasses, creating a less appealing environment within the home.
  • Perceived Threat: Despite being harmless to humans, the presence of cellar spiders can still cause discomfort or fear for some individuals. Their long, delicate legs and webs may trigger arachnophobia, leading to anxiety or unease in certain people.
  • Allergies and Asthma: While cellar spiders themselves are not known to trigger allergies or asthma, if their webs collect dust and other allergenic particles, they can trigger negative reactions. This could potentially exacerbate respiratory issues for sensitive individuals.

What Are Cellar Spiders?

Cellar spiders are hard to spot if you’re not paying attention. Here’s what to look for:

  1. They are often fairly pale in color and are unusually thin when compared to most spiders.
  2. They are equipped with incredibly long legs; in fact, they are sometimes mistaken for harvestmen (sometimes called “daddy longlegs”), though the two species are quite distinct.
  3. If you do happen to spot a cellar spider, you’re most likely to see it hanging upside down from its web. Should you disturb it, it may begin to shake its web violently to try to scare you away.
  4. They are physically unable to bite humans or pets because their jaws are too small; they can’t hurt you. 

Are Cellar Spiders Good?

Cellar spiders are one of the least worrisome pests to have around, but it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and decide if they’re “good.” If you’re not afraid of them, don’t have allergies or asthma, and sighting a few webs doesn’t bother you, yes, you can consider their presence a good thing.

Should You Kill Cellar Spiders?

If you do have a cellar spider or two, you may want to think twice about whether it’s worth your time to hunt them down and kill them, particularly if they’re in your garage or around the outside of your house. These spindly arachnids are excellent trappers and will rid your home of many six-legged invaders that you may not even see. In fact, the presence of a lot of cellar spiders is just an indicator that there are bugs nearby since hunters only set up housekeeping where food is plentiful. Against all odds, cellar spiders are also known to catch and consume black widows, which can make them very beneficial inhabitants in your garage. If you want to try to eliminate the cobweb makers, start by knocking down the webs every time you see them, and be persistent. 

Need Help With Cellar Spider Control?

If you are at your wit’s end dealing with cellar spiders, it’s time to reach out to an expert. At Russell’s Pest Control, our spider exterminators are happy to answer any questions you may have about cellar spiders in your Knoxville home or business. Call us today to get started.

Wolf Spiders in Knoxville: Giants In The House

Wolf spider in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Here in Knoxville, one spider in particular is making people call us left and right. If people in East Tennessee are calling us about spiders of alarming size, they probably have wolf spiders. There are more than 200 members of this spider family in North America, and they can range in size from half an inch to over four inches (including the legs, of course). Thankfully, the wolf spiders in our area are usually no more than an inch or two wide. Nonetheless, no one wants to encounter these spiders inside or outside their home. The experts at Russell’s Pest Control are here to share everything you need to know about

What Are Wolf Spiders?

Wolf spiders, in general, have a startling appearance. Like many spiders, wolves have four sets of round eyes arrayed across their heads. One of those sets happens to be front and center on their “faces,” which gives people the uncomfortable feeling that these spiders are looking at them (this is, of course, not true since spider vision is fairly poor and is mostly used to track shadows and movement). These are thick, dense spiders with sturdy, hairy legs. The broad, dark bands on their bodies make them stick out from across the room and can startle people very easily.

Something that is really upsetting to people is wolf spider hatching habits. They carry their egg sacs on their backs until the young are ready to hatch. At the right time, the mother spider opens the sac and allows the babies to crawl onto her back so that she can carry them around in relative safety for a couple of weeks. When the mother is squashed, dozens of tiny (and previously unnoticed) young will flee from her back, which almost always causes surprised homeowners to panic.

Are Wolf Spiders Dangerous?

Like all spiders, wolf spiders are predators; their main concern is hunting food. Unlike most spiders, they do not spin a web to help them capture their prey. Instead, they utilize their speed and large size to allow them to catch and overpower insects for their meals. This fearless hunter tendency creates a lot of the problems that humans have with wolf spiders.

Wolf spiders come across as very aggressive. They won’t seek out a fight with humans, but they will not necessarily scuttle off and try to hide in terror if cornered. It is not uncommon for a wolf spider to turn and charge you if you try to sneak up on one with a shoe. This makes them seem more vicious than they really are. Although a wolf spider is not afraid to deliver a bite if it can, humans have little to fear from these arachnids. Even a bite spiked with venom is unlikely to produce pain as strong as a bee sting, and allergies to their venom are rare.

How to Get Rid of Wolf Spiders in Knoxville

If you have a lot of wolf spiders or any spider for that matter, that’s likely because you have lots of other bugs providing a food source for them. Many times, this food source may be in a cluttered garage, and the spiders accidentally make it inside through cracks or open doors. Wood piles or debris against the house can also create habitats for just the sorts of creatures that wolf spiders like to eat. Either way, you’ll have to deal with the prey before you deal with the predators (which are really just trying to do you a favor by getting rid of your other bug problems).

If you are still dealing with excess spider problems, whether they’re wolf spiders or another type, the spider exterminators at Russell’s Pest Control can help! Our team can help pinpoint where spiders may be getting indoors, and implement spider prevention methods to keep them away. Contact us today!

Are Spiders More Common in the Fall?

Brown recluse spiders are dangerous in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Spiders are a common pest problem for property owners in Knoxville TN all year long. However, they are in full force in the late summer and early fall months. Spiders are drawn to your property in search of water, food, and shelter, which is why they get inside your home! The good news is that most spiders you encounter indoors are totally harmless. The bad news is that there are two spiders in particular that you need to be on the lookout for: the black widow and the brown recluse spider. At Russell’s, we know how distressing spiders can be, which is why we’re here to share to need-to-know facts about spiders in the fall!

Why Do Spiders Come Inside?

Just like other pests, spiders are attracted to sources of food, shelter, and water inside. These tiny arachnids can get inside through the tiniest of cracks in your home. Broken screens or crevices in your doors and windows often let spiders in. An unkempt yard or lawn will invite spiders to your property. You may also notice more spiders when you have other bugs and insects in your property. Spiders will be more drawn to properties that provide them with shelter and food (bugs) inside. For this reason, keeping a clean home will go a long way to prevent spiders.

Black Widow vs Brown Recluse Infographic - Russell's Pest Control in Knoxville TNAre There Dangerous Spiders in Knoxville?

The black widow and brown recluse may not be a common pest problem, but they are nonetheless a dangerous one! Both of these spiders can bite when they leave threatened, which can be dangerous. Here’s what to know about these potentially dangerous spiders:

  1. Black widows
    • These spiders have a characteristic red hourglass shape on its body.
    • They build sticky, tangled cobwebs in garages, sheds, and near the ground.
    • They can bite when they feel threatened.
  2. Brown recluse spiders
    • Brown recluse have a darker brown violin-shaped mark on their brown bodies.
    • They build loose, dome-shaped webs for shelter.
    • A brown recluse bite is known to be very painful.

How to Stay Spider-Free

Let’s face it: no one wants spiders in their home. Even if you have harmless house spiders, these creatures can be frightening for everyone.

If you are noticing spiders on a daily basis or if you’ve spotted a more dangerous spider species, it’s best to contact your local spider exterminators at Russell’s for assistance.

6 Tips for a Pest-Free Patio

Mowing your lawn helps reduce pests in your Knoxville TN backyard - Russell's Pest Control

When you’re spending more time outdoors as the summer winds down, you likely don’t want pests invading your space. Insects are infamous for being uninvited guests to your backyard barbecues, picnics, parties, and more in the summertime here in Knoxville. Pests may be a normal part of outdoor life, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with them infesting your yard! At Russell’s Pest Control, we are committed to providing our customers with pest-free* living both inside and outside the home. Our team of experts has gathered their best tips to help you achieve a pest-free* patio and outdoor space.

What Pests Are In Your Backyard?

Insects are out in full force this time of year! Whether you spend time in your backyard on a playset with your children or barbecuing with neighbors, you’ve likely encountered an insect or two. Here in Tennessee, we are home to many types of pests that infest year-round. The most common ones you’ll see this time of year in your yard include mosquitoes, stinging insects (bees, wasps, and hornets), ants, spiders, ticks, fleas, and flies. Out of these nuisance pests, it’s important to be especially wary of mosquitoes and ticks, both of which can transmit diseases to humans.

How to Get a Pest-Free Patio

There are endless tips to keep pests out of your home, but what about out of your yard? It’s best to know how to make your yard less attractive to pests and insects in general. Russell’s best tips are to: 

  1. Get rid of standing water. Stagnant water is one of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes.
  2. Keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed. Ticks and mosquitoes will shelter in overgrown vegetation or tall grass.
  3. Be on the lookout for ant hills. Even a tiny mound can contain thousands of ants inside.
  4. Inspect all wood structures. Wood-destroying pests (carpenter ants and termites) will damage your wooden decks or porches.
  5. Use an insect repellent. Most store-bought repellent containing DEET will help repel mosquitoes and ticks.
  6. Clean your patio or space regularly. Spills or leftover food will surely bring ants around.

Preventing Pests Outdoors

Pests aren’t just dangerous to your family—some can be dangerous for the structure of your home, as well! For this reason, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional exterminator for protecting your property (inside and out) from pests. The residential exterminators at Russell’s can help. Contact us today!

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk for Spider Infestation This Summer?

Is My Knoxville Home At Risk for Spider Infestation This Summer?

We cover a lot of topics about Tennessee spiders in this blog (short for web log). As we update you on important pest information in this log, we cover topics such as the difference between nuisance spider and dangerous spiders, how spiders get inside and what to do if you see spiders in your Tennessee home. These are all great resources to help you understand the nature of this pest problem. Today, we’re going to look at it from another angle. Here are some conditions that can increase your chances of a spider infestation this summer and put your Knoxville home at risk.

Do you have lots of vegetation? If you do, you’re likely to have lots of spiders. Insects live in vegetation and spider eat insects. You can reduce spider populations by removing unwanted vegetation. Pluck your weeds. Keep your grass cut low. Trim your bushes and shrubs.

Do you have a moist foundation perimeter? Many spider species prefer to look for food in locations that are damp because the foods they eat prefer dampness. You can counteract this by keeping your landscaping as dry as possible. Clear obstructions from your gutters. Fix broken gutters. Put space between the plants in your landscaping to allow for better airflow. Trim tree branches to allow the sunlight into densely shaded locations.

Do you have lots of flying insects? Spiders catch flying insects in their webs. So don’t be surprised to see spiders if you have a high population of flying insects. A few ways insects are drawn to your home are white exterior lighting, open trash, and pet droppings in the yard. Consider replacing white lights with yellow lights or keep lights off at night. Draw your shades at night to keep the light inside. Keep trash in sealed receptacles. Cover or remove pet waste as often as possible.

Do you have entry points in your home? When spiders explore your exterior for foods, they can accidentally get in. A detailed inspection of your outside walls, particularly around windows, doors, and pipes, can reveal these possible entry points.

If you need assistance with an inspection or control of insects, bugs, and the spiders that eat them, we can help. Russell’s Pest Control serves the Greater Knoxville areas with industry-leading pest control. We can help you reduce a wide range of unwanted pests around your home and reduce the likelihood of a pest infestation inside your home.

What To Do If You See Spiders In Your Home

What To Do If You See Spiders In Your Home

No one enjoys having spiders in their home. Spiders are creepy, disturbing, and downright unpleasant to come into contact with. When dealing with spiders in your home, it is important to recognize the difference between the many nuisance spiders, and the spiders that could be dangerous to your health and safety. Knowing how to identify which spider you’ve been bitten by could determine whether you simply clean the bite and move on, or rush to get medical attention to avoid the many side effects caused by getting bitten by a poisonous spider.

Nuisance Spiders

Nuisance spiders include spiders that are not dangerous to your health. The common house spider and the cellar spider are two common nuisance spiders that invade homes fairly often. Bites from these spiders will not threaten your health, and will only create an itchy red bump at most. Many nuisance spiders prefer dark and hidden places in your home where they will not be seen easily. This makes attics and closets good spots for them to set up webs. House spiders can be identified by their yellow-white color and darkly striped abdomen. As with most spiders, female house spiders are larger than males.

Poisonous Spiders

The two spiders found in Knoxville that are dangerous to humans include the brown recluse and the black widow. Bites from these spiders need medical attention right away, as symptoms that occur after being bitten by one of these spiders can be quite harmful. The black widow can be identified by its midnight black body and red hourglass shape on its abdomen, while the brown recluse is a light tan color with a dark brown violin shape on its back. People bitten by these spiders may experience nausea, swelling, chest pain, tremors, and more. It is important that these spiders are dealt with properly by professional pest control.

Some DIY tips that will help keep spiders out include:

  • Keeping brush and wood piles away from your home
  • Installing door sweeps
  • Keeping storage areas free of clutter
  • Cutting back trees from the exterior of your home
  • Clearing away any existing webs in and around your home
  • Repairing torn window screens
  • Sealing all cracks and gaps in the foundation or exterior walls of your home

Professional pest control is always your best option when dealing with spiders or any other pest problem. Experts from Russell’s Pest Control have been dealing with spider problems for many years, so you can trust that we have the experience and tools needed to eradicate all your spider problems. Russell’s Pest Control understands the importance of keeping your home safe from spider intruders, which is why we offer ongoing pest control options for both homes and businesses. Contact Russell’s today to learn more about how we can help.

Wolf Spider Prevention Tips

Wolf Spider Prevention Tips

Have you seen a wolf spider? Would you know one if you saw one? There are actually around 200 species of wolf spider found in North America, and they don’t all look the same. The most common wolf spider we see in Tennessee homes is brown with two dark parallel lines on the back of its head. This spider is sometimes mistaken for a grass spider, and your grass is actually where it prefers to be. But, all too often, it finds its way into places it does not belong, or even particularly want to be, because, unlike the grass spider, wolf spiders don’t hang out in webs and wait for their food to come to them. In fact, they don’t make webs at all. They prowl for their food.

Wolf spiders are drawn to moist or humid areas, and places where they can get a meal. This will bring them into garages, sheds, and basements in search of crickets, cockroaches, beetles, flying insects, and more. While it may be nice to think about having a creature taking care of these other pests in your home, it is better to have all the pests removed from your home.

The bite from a wolf spider is not medically important, but it does hurt, and it can leave you with a red, itchy welt. For those who are allergic to the venom of a wolf spider, it can take several days for this wound to heal. In all cases, it is possible to get a secondary infection if a wolf spider bite isn’t properly treated.

Wolf Spider Control

  • Reducing insects around your home can reduce wolf spiders. Make sure all exterior trash is sealed, and consider replacing outside lights with yellow insect-resistant bulbs, or simply keep them off.

  • Removing vegetation that is near your exterior walls can deter these spiders from exploring where you don’t want them to be.

  • If they get on your wall, it is important to make sure they don’t find an entry point. Repair or replace any damaged or missing screens on your home, and use a caulking gun to fill in any holes that have developed in your exterior walls.

  • Remove clutter that is next to your walls.

  • Make sure your doors have working door sweeps.

  • Reduce the humidity in your basement and other areas these spiders may explore.

  • Have a professional pest controller give your home year-round protection.

There are a lot of bugs that try to get into Tennessee homes this time of year, and wolf spiders are one of them. Make sure your home is protected with a year-round, seasonal pest control you can trust. Find out about our Power, Power Gold, and Power Platinum pest plans, and how they guard against over 30 common household pests.

You can probably live with wolf spiders–but it nicer to live without them. Get your quality of life upgrade today.

Spiders Predicting A Long Harsh Winter?

Spiders Predicting A Long Harsh Winter?

In the midst of all your fall activities and busy preparations for the winter months, it dawns on you that there are numerous spiders everywhere…in the garage, the basement, and yes, inside the house!  Why are there so many spiders this year?
According to an article from the Farmer’s Almanac:

One of the listed signs of a hard winter is, “spiders spinning larger than usual webs and entering the house in great numbers.”  While it is too soon to know if the Farmer’s Almanac prediction will prove to be true regarding a harsh winter, we do know that there seems to be an abundance of spiders this year.
Very few people have an appreciation of spiders.  Those menacing looking creatures just don’t make you feel warm and fuzzy!  In fact, very few things cause a reaction of fear and anxiety like the sight of a spider.  Many people will assume that if it is a spider, it is poisonous.  Tennessee has a large number of species of spiders, but there are actually only two that are poisonous—the black widow and the brown recluse.  The Tennessee Poison Center states that both of these species are found in every Tennessee County.
Most spiders are rather shy and not in the “attack mode.”  They actually prefer closed, dark places.  However, this characteristic also makes it difficult for the novice to treat the home and eradicate or remove spiders.  Your best approach to correcting a spider problem is to contact Russell’s Pest Control and ask for information regarding their Power Package Programs.  They have three packages, all of which include the removal and treatment of spiders and 30 plus common household pests.
Remember, all household pests have one thing in common—they are searching for food and shelter.  Spiders are looking for shelter and warmth but there are a few suggestions that will reduce your chances of being bitten:

  • Keep your bedspreads and skirting off the floor.  This will hopefully keep spiders out of your bed.
  • Shake out clothing and shoes before wearing.
  • Store those seldom-used items in plastic bags or storage boxes.
  • Seal all cracks around windows and doors and any other areas in which spiders may enter.

Let the professionals secure your home and eradicate those dreadful spiders.  When you choose your Power Package from Russell’s Pest Services, you will get a quarterly pest service, Russell’s pest-free* guarantee, and year round protection from more than 30 common household pests.