Clean Sweep for a Pest-Free Home

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

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

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

Clean and Inspect Kitchen

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

Some preventative inspections that can be done include:

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

Clean Pantry

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

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

Declutter Closets

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

Trim Shrubs and Cut Back Trees

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

Declutter and Clean Attic

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

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

Examine Your Homes Exterior

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trash Cans

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

Remove Firewood Away from Your Home

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

Springtime Pest Control in Knoxville

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

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.

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!