Your Seasonal Allergies May be Triggered by Pests

Cockroaches may trigger seasonal allergies in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Spring is in full force here in Knoxville. For many, that means a desire to spend more time outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather and new blooms. However, seasonal allergies this time of year will stop many right in their tracks. But is your runny nose and itchy eyes only triggered by springtime, or is there something else at play? Believe it or not, pest problems can trigger your seasonal allergies. With May being National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, it’s important to learn about pest allergens in your home. Allergens created by the presence of pests can be dangerous for your family, making it crucial to learn how to prevent pests in your home in the first place! The experts at Russell’s Pest control have gathered tips and tricks to prevent pests and the allergens they cause in your home this spring and all year long.

The Dangers of Pest Allergens

Pests can cause a whole plethora of problems: structural damage, messes, germs, bacteria, and–yes–allergies. Cockroaches and dust mites are the main culprits of pest allergens in the home. Roach droppings, shed skins, and saliva all contain allergy proteins that, when inhaled, can trigger allergies or asthma symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable. In addition to these pests, stinging insects are of course known to trigger allergic reactions. Stings can cause a wide range of symptoms, but they are typically different from your normal seasonal allergy symptoms. In any case, always consult a medical professional immediately if you are experiencing severe symptoms (swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or difficulty breathing).

8 Steps to Prevent Pests and Allergies

To prevent pest allergens, you need to prevent pests! By implementing some basic pest prevention methods, you can reduce the chance of getting pest-triggered allergies. Our best tips for pest prevention include:

  1. Storing all food in airtight containers, including pet food
  2. Cleaning your kitchen on a daily basis or after mealtimes
  3. Disposing of garbage regularly and using a tight-fitting trash can lid
  4. Sealing cracks and holes in the home
  5. Sealing entry points for pipes, and placing screens over doors and windows
  6. Ensuring your basement and crawl space are well-ventilated and dry
  7. Washing your blankets, rugs, and bedding in hot water
  8. Vacuuming and dusting your property frequently

How to Avoid Pest Allergens This Spring

We all know what a pain seasonal allergies can be. Don’t let a pest problem make them even worse! If you have done all you can to prevent pests in the home and still have trouble keeping them out, the team at Russell’s can help. We are committed to protecting our customers from the dangers of pests all year long, including allergies.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Install screens on your windows to help prevent mosquitoes in your Knoxville TN home - Russell's Pest Control

It’s National Pest Management Month and barely the start of pest season here in Knoxville. In the coming months as the weather heats up, homeowners are bound to be faced with pest problems of all kinds. One of the most concerning pests we deal with this time of year is mosquitoes! Everyone has had an outdoor barbecue or picnic ruined by these pesky insects before, which is why it’s important to prevent them in the first place.

In this blog post, the experts at Russell’s Pest Control share their top tips to make your yard less appealing for the onslaught of mosquitoes in the months ahead.

5 Tips to Prevent Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are certainly a nuisance, but they can be dangerous, too! Unfortunately, they tend to be a fact of life here in Tennessee. It’s important to know how to protect you and your family from infestations this summer. Some of the ways you can make your property less attractive to mosquitoes include:

  • Get rid of standing water. Remove standing water from flower pots,bird baths, tarps, and more to eliminate mosquito breeding hotspots.
  • Place screens on windows and doors. Installing screens can keep mosquitoes from getting indoors every time you so much as open a window or door!
  • Get fish for your pond and agitate the water. Certain types of fish will feed on mosquito larvae. Additionally, adding an agitator will keep mosquitoes from laying eggs in the water.
  • Keep your yard tidy and trimmed. Regularly maintain your garden and lawn to keep the grass short. Trim plants and bushes back to prevent mosquito resting spots.
  • Install ceiling or tower fans. Mosquitoes hate wind and are not strong fliers. Use fans to help force them away from your outdoor spaces!

How to Protect Your Family From Mosquitoes

With the summer months right around the corner, many of us have plans to go camping or attend outdoor events. When you’re away from home, it’s crucial to know how to protect yourself from mosquito bites. To avoid getting bitten, follow the below tips:

  1. Avoid going outdoors at dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitoes are most active.
  2. Try to stay away from swampy areas or spots with standing water.
  3. Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  4. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply an EPA-registered insect repellent.

Mosquito Prevention and Control

No one wants to deal with mosquitoes every time they leave their home. If you’ve done all you can to prevent mosquitoes in your property and still have problems, it’s best to call your local mosquito exterminators. Here at Russell’s, we will work with you to customize a mosquito control plan suited to the unique needs of your home!

What’s The Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants?

Wondering if you have Termites or Carpenter Ants in Knoxville TN? Learn more from Russell's Pest Control!

Although they are both wood-destroying insects, termites and carpenter ants are different in several ways. They may look quite similar as swarmers, and both cause a lot of structural damage, so how do you tell them apart? The easiest way to tell them apart is by their appearance. Termites are responsible for the most destructive pest infestations across the nation, and are dangerous for being silent destroyers, making it important to know what pest you are dealing with.

Keep reading for expert info from the experts at Russell’s Pest Control!

Appearance of a Termite vs. a Carpenter Ant

When they are swarmers, these two insects can look alike. However, there a few key differences to tell them apart:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers
    • Black in color, with an occasional red tint.
    • Measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
    • Wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant.
  2. Termite swarmers
    • Very dark brown to black in color, and measure 3/8″ long (including the wings).
    • Wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color.
    • Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This helps differentiate them from carpenter ants.
Winged ant vs termite in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Habits of Wood-Destroying Insects

Both carpenter ants and termites can destroy wood. Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids. When you notice the damaged wood, the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded. Typically, carpenter ant damage does not amount to the potential damage of a termite infestation.

Termites find their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, porches, or any other area of the property in contact with soil. Grown colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. Needless to say, termites are considerably more dangerous than carpenter ants just by how quickly they can spread!

Termite vs. Carpenter Ant: How to Get Rid of Them

If you notice the signs of either of these insects inside or outside your property, it’s crucial to enlist the help of the experts at Russell’s Pest Control. We have a unique knowledge of the pest problems in Knoxville TN and can keep you safe from wood-destroying insects all year long. Contact our termite exterminators today!