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

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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.

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!

Characteristics of Wasp Nests

Wasp nest identification tips in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

During the summertime in Knoxville, insects are a fact of life. Wasps are one of the most common summer insects that are encountered. In nature, they’re a perfectly normal part of the environment. In fact, certain wasps are beneficial in several ways. However, they can become a nuisance when they build their nests on the sides of homes or buildings. In the late summer months, wasps can become more aggressive as their colonies grow and resources begin to dwindle. It can be difficult to identify wasp species. The easiest way to do so is to know what their nests look like. The team at Russell’s is here to share expert tips on identifying different types of wasp nests you may see near your property this summer.

Wasp Nest Identification Tips

To identify a wasp, it’s crucial to know how to identify their nest! Here’s what to know:

  1. Yellowjackets. Likely the most common nest you may see, yellowjacket nests are a papery material and have a single opening. The inside of a yellowjacket nest can have up to 100 tiers of cells. Yellowjackets can also build underground nests that can be enormous in size.
  2. Paper wasps. These nests famously look like upside-down umbrellas. Paper wasp nests are often open, and can get quite large in size. They are typically supported by a single stalk and consist of a paper-like material.
  3. Mud daubers. True to name, female mud daubers construct their nests out of mostly mud. The nests are small and tubular in size, often looking like organ pipes. They are typically found in cracks or crevices.
  4. Bald-faced hornets. These nests are almost always at least three feet off the ground. They are made of chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva. They often grow to be the size of a football or basketball.

Wasp nest identification guide in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

When do Wasps Make Nests?

Wasps usually begin to build their nests in April.  This is the time of year when certain queen wasp species awaken from the winter and begin nests. Once the queen wasp has chosen a location and built the nest, the queen will lay her eggs inside. Once they hatch, the larvae will be fed until the colony starts to grow in size. Nests typically become full size in the late summer. Certain wasp species will outgrow their nests and swarm, which is when people encounter stinging insects most often.

Can You Remove a Wasp Nest on Your Own?

It’s not recommended to try to knock down a nest on your own. Even when a nest appears inactive, there could be dozens of stinging insects inside. Certain types of wasps will not hesitate to sting you repeatedly when they feel their nest is under threat. For this reason, our team always recommends calling a professional wasp removal expert for assistance.

3 Summertime Wasps to Look For

How to prevent summertime wasps in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Everyone looks forward to the summertime in Knoxville. With the nice weather, people are compelled to spend more time outside. Whether you have an upcoming barbecue, picnic, hike, or another outdoor activity, it’s important to keep an eye out for summertime wasps! Although there are more than 4,000 species of wasps nationwide, there are three you’ll typically encounter in the summer: yellow jackets, mud daubers, and paper wasps. It can be difficult to differentiate between these wasps, making it important to know about their unique habits and behaviors. Keep reading for info on these wasps from the team at Russell’s Pest Control.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are very common and notoriously aggressive, especially later in the summer. Here’s what you need to know:

  • They are best identified by the yellow and black horizontal stripes that run across their bodies.
  • Yellow jackets congregate in colonies of up to or more than 1,000 workers.
  • Their nests look globe-shaped and are built above ground, often near garages, sheds, and more.
  • Yellow jackets will not bother you unless they feel threatened, in which case they may sting repeatedly. 

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers build their nests out of mud, and look quite different from other wasps. Some things to know include:

  • They are mostly black in appearance but may have light-colored markings. Mud daubers can be identified by their thin, thread-like waist.
  • Nests are usually located in covered areas such as porch ceilings, sheds, and attics.
  • These wasps are less social than other types, often preferring to be solitary.
  • Mud daubers aren’t as aggressive and will only sting when directly handled or threatened.

Common summertime wasps in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps aren’t as hostile as other wasps, but are common this time of year. Here’s what to know about this summertime wasp:

  • They have a similar shape as yellow jackets but are mostly brown in color with yellow markings.
  • Known for the papery nests they build, which look like upside-down umbrellas.
  • Paper wasp nests often hang from tree branches and twigs, as well as porch ceilings and door railings. They typically contain up to 30 wasps.
  • Paper wasps aren’t as aggressive as yellow jackets, but they may sting to defend their nests. Their sting is known to be especially potent.

Safe Wasp Control & Prevention

Seeing wasps during the summertime is inevitable. However, there are several things you can do to avoid them. Always wear shoes outside to protect yourself from ground-level wasps. In addition, seal any food or drinks you have outdoors, and always use a tight-fitting lid on trash cans. If you spot a nest forming on or near your home, it’s crucial to contact the team at Russell’s. We can quickly provide wasp removal in a way that is safe for all involved.

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.

Are You Prepared for Pests This Spring?

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Knoxville TN home! Learn more from Russell's Pest Control.

Pest problems are a fact of life in Knoxville TN all year long. However, springtime sees an influx in pest problems every year. Do you get excited about warmer temperatures? Unfortunately, so do pests! Many types of pests and bugs that may have been less active in the winter months become more and more present this time of year. Since so many property owners already have spring cleaning plans in place, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement pest prevention measures into the mix. Keep reading for expert tips from the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control.

What Spring Pests Do You Need to Worry About?

Many of the below pests may be a nuisance all year long, but they’re especially troublesome in the spring. Even worse, this is just the beginning of pest season, meaning the problems will get worse and worse through the summer and even the fall! Some of the most common pests we get called about this time of year include:

  1. Ants
  2. Termites
  3. Rodents
  4. Stinging insects
  5. Stink bugs
  6. Flies

What Can You Do to Prevent Spring Pests?

‘Tis the season for spring cleaning. Why not implement pest control measures while you’re at it? Some of our tips to prevent pests from finding your home the ideal place to infest include:

  • Thoroughly cleaning your windows and doors. Seal any cracks or crevices.
  • Deep-cleaning your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam-clean the surface.
  • Sanitizing and cleaning your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids will welcome all sorts of bugs and pests.
  • Removing debris from your yard, and trimming any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.
  • Keeping a tidy home at all times. Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.

Year-Round Pest Prevention

Pests aren’t just a problem in the springtime, unfortunately. Here in Tennessee, pests can cause property owners a lot of frustration all year long. If you need help safeguarding your home against the threat of pests, the exterminators at Russell’s are here to help!

Why Call Russell’s Pest Control For Summer Stingers In Eastern Tennessee

Why Call Russell's Pest Control For Summer Stingers In Eastern Tennessee


The summer months are here and with the warm weather comes the threat of stinging insects.  These upcoming months are the most active period for wasps, bees, yellow jackets and hornets.  We all know that the most problematic issue with stinging insects is, well, that they sting!  Not only is this painful, but some people have life-threatening allergic reactions to stings.  Beyond that, stinging insects can do damage to our homes and properties, as well as attract other pests.  Don’t waste time trying dangerous DIY methods to treat for stinging insects.  Turn to the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control to keep your Eastern Tennessee home free from stinging insects.



Why Stinging Insects Are Most Active Right Now

During the cold weather months, most stinging insects go dormant or die.  As the weather warms up, they begin to emerge and prepare for the queens to lay eggs.  Protecting the queen and nourishing the young takes a lot of work and you will see many active wasps and bees. Yellow jackets, hornets, and other stingers will be busy making nests and gathering pollen.  As we get deeper into the summer, these new stinging insects mature and their colonies begin to get full, causing lots of activity.


Dangers of Stinging Insects

The most dangerous thing about stinging insects in Eastern Tennessee is that their stings are painful and can be deadly.  One sting from a wasp or bee, for a non-allergic person, is likely to cause some pain and mild swelling. Multiple stings can trigger an allergic reaction even in a person without allergies, due to the amount of venom injected. In people who are allergic to bee stings, it can be life-threatening.  Anaphylactic shock can occur if treatment isn’t sought immediately.


The Nuisance of Stinging Insects

Stinging insects can be a nuisance around your property as they build their nests and damage your home. Some stinging insects like to make their nests in holes in the ground, which can damage your lawn and create a hazard. Other stingers build their nests under the eaves and overhangs on your house, sheds, and decks.  Carpenter bees burrow holes in untreated wood, which can cause structural damage to your property.


Professional Treatment Versus DIY Methods

When dealing with stinging insects it is always best to consult a professional.  The risk of disturbing a nest and suffering from stings just isn’t worth it.  Wasp and bee sprays are often ineffective and harmful to your family.  At Russell’s Pest Control we can safely remove existing nests and provide you with a plan for year-round protection.  Don’t try to handle stinging insects yourself. Contact us to keep your Eastern Tennessee home free from these pests this summer.

Learn More About Scorpions

Learn More About Scorpions

Professional Scorpion Prevention Tips

You and your family have decided to put down roots and create a home in a more rural, tranquil setting, outside of city limits and away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You understood that moving away from the city and close to nature would bring you and your family closer to things like birds, squirrels, mice, spiders, insects, and even the occasional skunk or porcupine; you may not have, however, have realized that you would also be moving closer to scorpions. To help protect your family and give you peace of mind regarding these potentially dangerous creatures, the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control want to provide you with some helpful information about scorpions, including how to keep these stinging pests out of your home!

The first thing to know about scorpions is that while there are some very venomous and dangerous species of scorpions found living in the United States, the species found in East Tennessee pose much lower health risks to people. However, this is not to say that you shouldn’t be cautious around scorpions. Scorpions are definitely a pest that you want to take great care around. A sting from a scorpion is very painful, like a very painful bee sting, and depending on the person, could cause a serious allergic reaction. A scorpion sting should always be taken seriously, and if necessary, medical attention should be sought. Another problem with finding a scorpion on your property, near your home, or inside of your home is that if you see one, there are likely many more lurking around that you aren’t seeing.

Now that you have learned a bit more about East Tennessee scorpions, you are probably wondering how to keep them out of your home. The following scorpion prevention tips will help to keep scorpions from being attracted to your property and finding their way into your home, as well as help prevent you from being stung:

Outside your home:

  • Remove clutter and debris from your yard; scorpions like to hide in the cool shade that clutter provides.
  • Trim back trees and bushes away from the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect the exterior of your house, sealing any spaces or gaps that could allow scorpions to gain access into your home.
  • Make sure that all window and doors screens are completely intact.
  • When working outside or in outbuildings like garages and sheds, always wear work gloves.

Inside your home:

  • Reduce clutter inside your home, especially in storage areas like basements and closets, where scorpions typically like to hide.
  • Shake out clothing and shoes before putting them on.
  • Pull down bedding and inspect your bed for scorpions before lying down for the night.
  • Try not to leave piles of clothing on the floors, especially damp towels; scorpions love to hide under them.

If you are experiencing problems with scorpions on your East Tennessee property or inside of your home, contact us at Russell’s Pest Control. Our highly trained professionals are experienced at handling problems with scorpions and will safely remove them from your property; they will then work with you to put prevention measures into place, including implementing a year-round home pest control plan, to prevent their return. To receive the necessary professional help needed to keep your rural home free of scorpions, give us a call today at Russell’s Pest Control – East Tennessee’s pest control experts!

Are Wasps Dangerous?

Are Wasps Dangerous?

Wasps are a pain – literally – when they get too comfortable in your backyard. You see them buzzing around your garden and swarming your garbage cans, but are wasps dangerous to humans? Russell’s Pest Control examines the different types of wasps and the dangers they pose to you, your pets, and your family.

Problems with Wasps

There are a few types of wasp species in Tennessee. The most common types of wasps are:

  • Paper wasps
  • Solitary wasps
  • Yellow jacket wasps

The problem with wasps is that they are overly territorial and aggressive. When wasps decide they want to nest, the entire colony will help out. When a colony of wasps targets your home or yard, wasps will begin to build nests anywhere they can hang it, and it will be protected. Paper wasps will create large, elaborate nests in rafters, under eaves, under decks, in windows, in door frames, under railings, and in trees. Wasps use a combination of saliva and wood or paper to build comb nests.

Yellow jacket wasps, often confused with honeybees, become problematic when they detect a nearby food source. Yellow jacket wasps will invade picnics, outdoor gatherings, compost piles, and garbage cans. Yellow jackets scavenge areas that offer protein and sugary foods.

Identifying Wasps

Wasps are not difficult to spot. Papers wasps are identified by their large bodies, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch, and their black or brown bodies. Paper wasps have yellow markings on their bodies and grey-colored wings.

Yellow jacket wasps look like large bees, but their bodies are shiny, and they don’t have as much hair. The yellow jacket wasp is between 10 and 16 mm. Typically, yellow jackets are black and yellow. The yellow jacket has long wings on the body that fold when the yellow jacket is not in flight.

Why Wasps Are Dangerous

Wasps are dangerous because they are aggressive and territorial, and they will use their long stinger to attack. Unlike bees, wasps can use the stinger several times. If someone or something approaches a wasp nest, wasps will attack to keep the intruder out. Wasps will also sting if they are agitated or disturbed while pollinating or scavenging. Wasps will also attack in packs, which can be dangerous and deadly. If someone in your home is allergic to wasp stings, they can suffer from a severe reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Don’t risk a wasp attack. Once wasps begin nesting in your yard or on your home, it is hard to get rid of them. If you do attempt to control wasps on your home, you put yourself in the line of fire for an attack. Call the professionals instead.

The Russell’s Pest Control year-round pest control service successfully prevents and treats problems with wasps and more than 30 other types of household pests.

Avoiding End Of Summer Stings

Avoiding End Of Summer Stings

The final weeks of summer are here, and that means it is time to enjoy as much of the warm sunny outdoor weather as possible. There a few weekends left to dine on hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta salad, and deviled eggs, and to go with family and friends to local fairs and festivals. It is important to remember that if precautions are not taken, stinging insects like wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets may also join in uninvited and ruin your outdoor fun.

Not only are we trying to squeeze in the most of the last days of summer, but so are stinging insects. In the late summer and early fall stinging insects are more active and ornery because they are stressed out about making sure they find and gather enough food to keep their queens well-nourished during the cooler weather months of the fall and winter seasons. This is the time of year to be aware of stinging insects and to try and avoid as much contact with them as possible.

Stinging insects like yellow jackets and others are particularly pesky pests at outdoor events and cookouts because most of them like to feed on the proteins and sweets that we also like to feed on. They are attracted to open containers of sweet drinks and plates of grilled food. Some things you can do to help protect yourself and your guests at cookouts and other outdoor events include:

  • Make sure to provide trash cans with tight fitting lids for people to throw their empty plates and cups in.
  • If possible provide cups that have lids on them.
  • Go around and clean up any food and plates that have been left behind during the party.
  • Place food inside, have people fill up their plates inside, and then come outside to sit, eat, and mingle.

In addition to protecting your guests and your family at outdoor events, there are many things that you can do around your property to help deter stinging insects from becoming an issue whether it is cookout season or not.

  • Remove old tree stumps, fallen trees, or piles of debris that stinging insects could use to nest in.
  • Limit the amount of flowers and other colorful landscaping that you have planted on your property.
  • Place outdoor trash cans away from the exterior of your home.
  • Make sure that gutters are not clogged and that they are draining water away from your home.
  • Make sure that screens are intact, caulk spaces found around windows and doors, and place caps on chimneys to help prevent stinging insect from getting inside and nesting within your home.

If stinging insects have created a nest in close proximity to or actually on your home or have become particularly aggressive, the best way to deal with them is to call a professional. Their stings can be very painful and their venom can cause severe allergic reactions in some people; because of these dangers, it is best to leave controlling stinging insects up to professionals who are experienced in dealing with them.

At Russell’s Pest Control, our stinging insect professionals have the experience, equipment, and knowledge needed to safely remove dangerous stinging insects nest from your property. Our Power Platinum program provides year-round protection for your home and family against a wide variety of pests including stinging insects. Contact us today, for more information about our stinging insect control services and enjoy the rest of your summer, free of stings!