Is TAP Insulation Better Than Regular Insulation?

TAP Insulation in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Home insulation is important to keep your property at your desired temperature and to aid in noise reduction. But what if your insulation could also prevent pest problems common in Knoxville households? That’s where TAP® Insulation comes into play. This environmentally-friendly home insulation option is superior to traditional insulation in several ways. Not only does it outperform other options, but TAP Insulation is also renowned for its pest-resistant properties. If you’re thinking of upgrading your existing insulation, TAP Insulation comes highly recommended by the pest control pros at Russell’s Pest Control. Read on to learn why!

Why Choose TAP Insulation?

As it becomes a more popular choice over the years, it’s increasingly apparent that TAP Insulation is the best option on the market. This is because in addition to its pest control properties, TAP simply outperforms traditional insulation options. Some of the many benefits of this insulation are:

  • As an energy-efficient option, TAP can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.
  • TAP is environmentally friendly by using recycled paper diverted from landfills to create the product.
  • This insulation is capable of filling the nooks and crannies that are unreachable with traditional insulation.
  • TAP Insulation is the only insulation registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • More cost-effective than traditional insulation, TAP is a one-time investment with no need for re-treatments.
  • TAP can be installed over existing insulation and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Does TAP Prevent Pests?

Yes! TAP is known for its ability to ward off pest problems. This is because the insulation is infused with borate, which affects the metabolism of insects and eliminates them. There are many pests that can be controlled with TAP Insulation. They include ants, cockroaches, earwigs, centipedes, darkling beetles, crickets, silverfish, millipedes, firebrats, dermestids, sowbugs, lady beetles, booklice, termites (including Formosan termites), boxelder bugs, stink bugs, kudzu bugs, bat bugs, pillbugs, snails, wildlife, and slugs!

TAP Pest Control Insulation in Knoxville

If you’re interested in upgrading your home insulation, TAP is for you! In addition to outperforming other insulation types, TAP will work to create a barrier against pests. Russell’s is proud to be a licensed installer of TAP—contact us today to set up an appointment or to learn more.

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!

The Invasion Of Fall Pests In Knoxville TN

The Invasion Of Fall Pests In Knoxville TN

As the temperatures cool a bit and the fall season is in full swing, it’s time to start planning and enjoying the upcoming holiday season – not a time when you want to worry about the invasion of fall pests! Four fall pests known to invade Eastern TN and surrounding areas include stink bugs, ladybugs, kudzu bugs, and boxelder bugs. Here are a few ideas for how to avoid a fall invasion of pests in your home.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs start to enter homes in the fall, but they’re a problem that starts as early as March or April. When scared or squished, stink bugs put out a terrible smell (hence their name!) Stink bugs can be identified by the stripe running from shoulders to the abdomen and their five-sided bodies.


Ladybugs are so prominent in Tennessee that they are the official state insect. The ladybug home invasion usually starts in the third week of October for Eastern TN. They come inside in search of a place to spend the winter and will often be found on the sunny sides of the home.

If you see ladybugs on the outside of your home, use a mild detergent to wash the areas and remove any material that may be attracting the ladybugs to that area of your home.

Kudzu Bugs

Often mistaken for a beetle, the kudzu bug has a beaklike piercing mouthpart, which they use to suck juices from plants. You won’t notice these bugs in the summer, but as fall arrives and the temperatures begin to drop a bit – kudzu bugs will find sun-exposed surfaces of your home to sun themselves and wait for an opportunity to get inside. When disturbed, kudzu bugs will release a foul smelling chemical, and if you have hundreds of these bugs indoors the smell can be overpowering!

Boxelder Bugs

If a boxelder bug comes into your home, chances are hundreds more will join them! Especially during the fall when they are in search of a place to wait out the winter. The boxelder tree is the primary home for these pests. Boxelder bugs can damage fruits and trees. Inside, boxelder bugs smell foul and are unpleasant due to their large populations! You can reduce their living areas outside to keep them from coming near your home in the first place. Remove landscaping debris, wood piles, loose siding, and loose tree bark from around your home to reduce areas where the boxelder bug can hide out.

Preventing the Fall Invasion

All of these pests find their way into your home via small cracks and openings. Caulking around window frames, doors, and all of the possible gaps of your home (utility pipes, outdoor faucets, etc.) can help prevent ladybugs, boxelder bugs, kudzu bugs, and stink bugs from getting inside. Also, check for broken screens and remove window air conditioners so the bugs cannot find their way in around them.

If you continue to have trouble with a fall invasion of pests, give us a call. We’ll help you eliminate your fall pests and put a plan in place to prevent them from returning.

3 Ways Stink Bugs Get In

3 Ways Stink Bugs Get In

This is the time of year when you’re going to start seeing these shield-shaped bugs crawling all over your exterior walls and clinging to your door screens. It happens every year when temperatures drop. Stink bugs, which normally live in crop fields, start looking for a warmer place to be. They begin by congregating on the sun-warmed sides of residential homes, but as temperatures drop further, they start looking for ways to get in. And, boy aren’t they good at finding them! Next thing you know they’re climbing on your television, crawling through your curtains, and buzzing around all your lights. If you’ve spent any time at all fixing screens or caulking holes in your exterior walls, you may be wondering: How are these stink bugs getting in? Here are three ways stink bugs will get into your home, even after you’ve sealed everything up.

Doors: Sadly, you may be letting stink bugs in through your doors. After you put all that time into sealing your exterior walls, you might be accidentally letting them in when you enter or exit your home. This is especially true if you have a sliding door that opens out into the back yard or onto a balcony. These doors get a lot of use and have the potential to give a stink bug entry every time they are used. If you have children, you’re in even more trouble.

What is the solution? If you don’t have kids, simply pay more attention when you enter or exit. If you have no control over who comes in or goes out, the only way to protect against this is to make sure you don’t have any stink bugs out there waiting to come in. A treatment from a pest control company will do the trick.

Any holes: You may have used a caulking gun to fill all those rotted areas, but homes can have a ton of entry points. These bugs can get in through vents, exhausts, gaps around air conditioning units, gaps around fixtures and pipes, rotted holes under siding, and hard-to-see holes under decks.

What is the solution? Do a more thorough inspection of your exterior walls, install screening over any openings that could give bugs an entrance into your home, and use that caulking gun to seal around anything that has a gap.

Chimney: This is an entry point that many homeowners miss. Stink bugs don’t generally go higher than the first story of a home, but they can. If they get in your chimney, they can fly down and wait on the damper till you open it up.

What is the solution? Some homeowners invest in a damper that sits on the top of their chimney, so that bugs can’t climb down and wait to come in.

If you’re fighting stink bugs in Tennessee, give us a call. At Russell’s Pest Control, we have the most advanced pest solutions available, and our team is recognized by the national authority on pest management as a QualityPro pest control company. We have the solutions that will keep stink bugs out of your home.

5 Ways To Prevent Lady Bugs & Stink Bugs From Over Wintering In Your Home

5 Ways To Prevent Lady Bugs & Stink Bugs From Over Wintering In Your Home

Did you know that stink bugs and ladybugs like to hibernate in the cold winter months? Hibernating is not just for bears anymore! Well, bugs don’t really ‘hibernate’ per say, they ‘over winter’. They basically try to find a warm place to rest and wait until spring. Your home is a perfect place for them to over winter. They certainly will be trying to get in to do just that. Here are some tips on how to keep them from overwintering in your house!

Seal up all cracks and crevices in window and door frames and sills. The wood trim around windows and doors can move and crack over time and these spaces are perfect entrance points for insects. Seal these up with some caulking or expanding foam.

Repair or replace damaged weather stripping around doors and windows. New windows and doors have nice foam or brush weather stripping that helps them to make a good seal when closed. Unfortunately, these important window and door components get torn, damaged and removed over time. Most weather stripping is easily replaced. Check with your window and door manufacturer for specifics.

Repair or replace any damaged insect screens on your door and windows. Even just a small tear is an open invitation for insects. Ladybugs and stink bugs are tiny enough to find their way in through the smallest of tears.

Fill or repair any cracks or holes in your basement wall. Insects and small rodents will find their way in through any imperfection in your basement.

Check all attic, roof, gable and eave vents for screening. Screening in these important areas will prohibit all insects from entering this stealthy way. This area is often overlooked.

As winter approaches, don’t let your house become a hibernating or over wintering home for any insect! Take these easy steps to sealing up all their entrances and enjoy a stink bug or lady bug free home this winter. If overwintering lady bugs or stink bugs are a problem for you, please call the Knoxville pest control professionals at Russell’s Pest Control and we can protect your home from these unwanted winter residents.

Bugs Cause A Stink As Colder Weather Arrives

As we enter the thick of winter, stink bugs are likely to make an appearance in homes. Homeowners can take proactive measures to help keep these smelly pests at bay this winter.

“Fortunately, stink bugs do not pose a safety or property risk to homeowners,” says Mark Nadolski, owner/general manager of Russell’s Pest Control. However, they tend to invade homes in high numbers and can become a nuisance once inside.”

Experts at the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offer a few simple tips to ward off stink bugs before an infestation develops.

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches to prevent stink bugs from entering the home.

  • Stink bugs are attracted to lights, so it’s recommended to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum.

  • Repair damaged window screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors.

  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas.

  • Install screens over the chimney and attic vents.

  • Keep branches and shrubbery well-trimmed, and make sure to store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

Debunking Myths About Stink Bugs

I have to say that right now I’m a little frustrated with the internet (no surprise there). There’s so much misinformation out there. People confidently post information or advertisements about topics they are almost entirely unfamiliar with, and they can seriously waste their readers’ time and money by doing so.

Recently, I was following a thread on a DIY forum about keeping stink bugs out of the house. Several of the participants had consulted someone about stink bugs (be it a hardware store employee or a one-man pest control operation) and had been told that there’s nothing that can be done about them and that their presence in homes is inevitable. Others had been told that winter treatments are crucial for stinkbug control to try to kill the stink bug eggs before they hatch in the spring. All of this misinformation is very troubling to us at Russell’s Pest Control because we would rather you be stink bug-free whether we do a treatment on your house or not. So, here we will give a brief repetition of some information about overwintering pests so that we can dispel some myths that are floating around on the uninformed internet.

Myth 1: Stink bugs are trying to get in the house so that they can lay their eggs.

This is just not true. Many pests in East Tennessee wait out the winter weather in their egg form, but stink bugs do not fall in that category. The adults move into warm, safe locations to hibernate during the winter and re-emerge to lay their eggs outside on leaves in the spring. If you have stink bugs in your house, they are NOT reproducing in your wall voids during the cold months.

Myth 2: Treatments during the fall and winter will eliminate the stink bugs.

We highly recommend that you do not have stink bugs treated in your home during the cold months if they are already inside in large numbers. Your options for doing so are very limited, and the treatment won’t really help much. Because stink bugs stay in attics and wall voids, treating them is extremely difficult and would involve using lots of product over large spaces. You might kill some stink bugs that way, but their bodies will be in hard-to-access places that you can’t clean. Those dead stink bugs will draw other pests (like rodents), thus making your problem worse, not better. If someone is trying to get you to pay for multiple winter treatments, then he or she is either uninformed or, worse, is hoping to waste your money. In fact, if you call Russell’s Pest Control in the winter and beg for the opportunity to pay us to treat your stink bugs, we still won’t do it; it just wouldn’t be right to do so when the treatment can’t possibly be fully effective.

Myth 3: Stink bugs are inevitable, and nothing can be done to keep them out of the house.

It is true that brown marmorated stink bugs have hit the United States hard, and they can prove to be quite a challenge, even for well-informed pest professionals. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done. Contact Russell’s Pest Control on this page if you’d like to hear about our treatment options. Bear in mind that this treatment needs to be done BEFORE the stink bugs come inside, so you need to make an appointment before we start seeing frosts on the ground.

Kudzu Bugs: A New Pest In East Tennessee

We’ve talked in previous posts about pests that have come to the United States from other countries and then created problems for our ecosystems. Pests that may be only an inconvenience in their countries of origin can be devastating when they arrive in areas that do not have the proper predator balance for them. Unfortunately, we have seen another non-native species, the kudzu bug, rise up in the Southeast in the last five years, and it’s time for Tennessee homeowner to brace for impact.

Kudzu bugs are also known as lablab bugs and globular stink bugs. They arrived in Georgia in 2009 and spread through several counties that year. Now, in 2013, they can be found in most of the states in the Southeast, including Alabama, both Carolinas, Mississippi, Virginia, northern Florida, and Tennessee.

Like the brown marmorated stink bug, kudzu bugs have straw-like mouth parts, which they use to suck liquids out of plant stems. Based on their name, you might be inclined to call them beneficial since they do, in fact, eat kudzu and significantly hinder its growth. However, their second-favorite food is soybeans, which makes up an enormous part of the U.S. farming economy. In just a few short years, they have already demonstrated their ability to cause devastating damage to crops, and they are a huge point of concern for local entomologists and pest professionals alike.

Even if you’re not a farmer, kudzu bugs are likely to be a hindrance for you. Just like stink bugs, lady bugs, and boxelder bugs, adult kudzu bugs move indoors when the weather first starts to cool off, and they overwinter in attics and wall voids. Light-colored houses are more at risk for invasion (they have a particular affinity for white), and they are most likely to enter homes after sunning themselves on south or west walls on chilly fall days. They then emerge in the spring when the weather warms up to eat, mate, and lay their eggs. Unfortunately, overwintering pests are not blessed with spectacular senses of direction, and kudzu bugs can end up inside your home instead of leaving through the crack they used as an entrance. And, you guessed, just like the other bugs listed above, they emit a smelly, staining liquid when they are agitated or smashed that can be very problematic in a home.

I write about overwintering pests every year to try to warn as many homeowners as possible because we are now in the season when you need to take action to keep these pests out of your home. Check your weather stripping, ridge vents, and the holes around your utility entrances. Make sure to keep those well-sealed so you’re not presenting easy entrance points for pests. If you do not want to have a professional pest treatment, consider getting a hose attachment that will allow you to spray your home with very soapy water. This is a short-term treatment (since both sun and rain dissipate soap very quickly), but if you do it every few days, you may deter these bugs from sunning on your siding. If you do want a professional treatment, call Russell’s Pest Control before the weather turns truly cold. We can use a backpack sprayer to treat the outside of your home to make sure that our products get into the small cracks that the kudzu bugs, stink bugs, and lady bugs are most likely to find appealing.

Contact us if you’d like more information. We’ll keep you informed as we find out more about this new type of invader.

Stink Bugs And Lady Bugs: The Hassles Of A Mild Winter

Because of our mild winter, we at Russell’s Pest Control were getting calls from homeowners in Knoxville, Maryville, Lenoir City, and other surrounding cities throughout early February for pest problems ranging from ants to mice to meal moths. One thing is for sure: This winter has (so far) proven to be milder than the record-breaking cold seasons we’ve had in the past few years. Before we gear up for the spring-time swarmers, I wanted to warn you about the critters that you may be finding in your southern windows on these sunny afternoons.

You haven’t forgotten about stink bugs or lady beetles, have you? We usually try to post about them in the late summer or early fall because that’s the time to get treatments for these overwintering pests. The term “overwintering pest” just means a bug that hibernates through the cold weather inside your warm wall voids or attic. On nice, sunny days in late winter or early spring, they start to emerge and make their way outside. Unfortunately, their sense of direction is not so impressive just after they wake up. All of the ladybugs and stinks bugs that you find inside your house are just lost. They were trying to get back to the open air, and they took a wrong turn through a crack under your baseboard or through one of your light fixtures.

There is just nothing pleasant about sharing space with these bugs, particularly if you have them in large numbers. Both species give off a very unpleasant odor when you squish them, and ladybugs pack a surprisingly sharp (though harmless) bite for bugs of their size. If you’ve got them in your house now, there’s nothing you can do but buckle down and ride out the insect exodus. Do not spray an over-the-counter pesticide inside your wall voids to try to kill them there. That will only draw predator bugs in large numbers to feed on the ones you kill.

Use your vacuum with a hose attachment to suck up groups of stink bugs or ladybugs that you find inside. Be sure to either empty the canister in an outside trashcan or remove the bag and put it outside. The bugs don’t die when they are vacuumed up and will just walk back out into the house if you leave the bag inside.

Although we at Russell’s Pest Control will not do a wall void treatment to kill the stinkbugs and ladybugs that are already in the house, we would be glad to help you handle any predator pests like spiders, centipedes, or rodents that may show up to hunt the overwintering pests. We can give you safe coverage during the high-pressure pest months that are coming this spring and summer and then do a thorough treatment this fall to work on keeping out next year’s stink bugs and ladybugs. In other words, we can protect your home from pests year round so you don’t have to worry about it. Give us a call, or visit our contact page, if that sounds like the sort of help you need.