Pest Proofing Your Backyard in 10 Steps

A backyard to be serviced in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

The sunshine and heat of spring have been widely welcomed around Knoxville TN this year. Good weather brings us all out of our homes and into the world, but it brings all kinds of regional pests out of their winter hiding, too. Especially after a spring rain, all kinds of insects and wildlife enjoy new plant growth, easy access to food and water, and hospitable conditions. Are you looking to keep pests out of your backyard this spring and summer? Read on to find out how with Russell’s Pest Control!

10 Tips to Help You Pest-Proof Your Backyard

If you don’t take proper preventative measures during the spring, your backyard is sure to be overridden by pests all summer long. We recommend that you consider this advice for easy at-home pest prevention. Here are our top 10 tips for DIY pest control in your backyard:

  1. Deal with standing water: Standing water pools, even tiny puddles, can provide mosquitoes with a place to breed and lay their eggs. Pour out or cover still water in gutters, planters, tarps, buckets, and anywhere else in your yard.
  2. Trim plants: Letting your plants grow out of control can provide many kinds of pests with shaded hiding places. Trim your plants back to keep mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and more out of your yard.
  3. Get rid of yard waste: Scattered branches and leaves or piles of yard waste left in your yard can provide hiding places for many kinds of insects. Deal with yard waste as often as you can.
  4. Use garden netting: If you have a garden, chances are that many insects and even wild animals know about it. Using garden netting can deter common garden pests from beetles to raccoons.
  5. Mow the lawn often: Mowing your lawn once a week can prevent overgrowth from trapping standing water and hosting all kinds of bugs.
  6. Dethatch your lawn: While a thin layer of thatch keeps your lawn’s temperature regulated, too much of it will lead to a rapidly increasing lawn pest population in your backyard, capitalizing on new hiding places, moisture, and prey.
  7. Keep bins sealed and distant: If given the opportunity, pests ranging from wasps to opossums will go through your trash bins looking for food. Ensure your trash bins are sealed shut and keep them far away from your backyard if possible.
  8. Store firewood safely: Stacks of firewood left leaning against the outside of your home can lead to devastating termite infestations in your back deck or your home. Store your firewood off of the ground and far away from your house if possible.
  9. Water your lawn carefully: Overwatering and underwatering your lawn can both lead to pest problems. Installing a sprinkler or irrigation system can help you regulate your lawn’s water intake.
  10. Hire an exterminator: An experienced local exterminator can help you determine the reasons for your pest problems and figure out the best way to put a stop to them.

Pest Control for Your Backyard in Knoxville TN

If you want to ensure that your backyard is pest-free this summer, reach out to your local pest control company. The technicians at Russell’s Pest Control are familiar with all of the common pest problems that Knoxville residents face. We can develop a unique pest control plan that fits the needs and qualities of your backyard, keeping you pest-free all year long. Contact us today for a free quote!

How are Bee and Wasp Stings Different?

What honey bees look like in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Most people in our area have dealt with a bee or wasp sting at some point in their lives. We all know that their stings are painful, but did you know that they can cause serious allergic reactions, potentially resulting in hospitalization?

It is important to be able to identify stinging insects on your property in Knoxville so that you understand the risks associated with being stung by them. Read on for expert advice about bees, wasps, and their stings from the experienced technicians at Russell’s Pest Control.

How Wasp and Bee Stings Differ

Sometimes, bee and wasp stings can feel almost identical in their strength and symptoms. Although they are quite comparable in results, they work very differently. There are three main differences:

  1. Stinger: Bees’ stingers completely eject from their bodies when they target a victim, pulling out parts of their innards and causing them to die shortly after. Wasps’ stingers stay intact and can be used many times in a row on a single victim.
  2. Volume: Bees only sting once, but use all of their venom on this sting, usually totaling around 50 micrograms. Wasps limit their stings to 2-15 micrograms of venom, but it is more powerful and can be used multiple times in quick succession.
  3. Venom: Wasps and bees’ stings also differ due to the venom that they contain. However, despite the different chemical makeups of their venom, they both cause the release of histamine in our bodies, which creates hive-like bumps across our skin.

How bee and wasp stings differ in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest ControlDo Bee or Wasp Stings Cause Allergic Reactions?

You can develop an allergic reaction after either a bee sting or a wasp sting. It is possible to be allergic to both kinds, just one or the other, or neither at all. Usually, a sting from a wasp or bee will only result in mild symptoms, as in:

  • Swelling
  • Itchiness and redness
  • Pain and soreness

However, serious allergic reactions can catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared. There are thousands of hospitalizations resulting from bee and wasp stings every year. The most dangerous result of a bee sting is the development of anaphylaxis, a particular kind of allergic reaction. The worst symptoms of anaphylaxis are:

  • Swelling of the tongue and throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain and itchiness across the body
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting

Wasp and Bee Control For Knoxville Homes

Bee and wasp stings are not to be brushed off as inconsequential. Even if you’ve never had an allergic reaction to a sting before, there is an underlying chance of an adverse reaction. If you need help telling apart bees and wasps in Knoxville, talk to your local pest control company. The experts at Russell’s Pest Control will be able to assess your situation to determine the species of insect, the location of their nest, and the safest and most efficient removal strategies.

Does a Wasp Die After It Stings You?

What paper wasps look like in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Bees have many unique quirks and character traits. Beyond their intricate communication style and their profound environmental importance, another interesting fact about bees is that they can only sting once in their life. This leads many people to ask: can wasps only sting once, too?

Despite their apparent similarities, wasps are actually quite different. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times on many targets throughout their life. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between wasp vs bee stings.

Wasp Stings vs Bee Stings—What’s the Difference?

One wasp sting can be comparable in pain to a bee sting. However, one wasp sting can easily be accompanied by many more. When you are stung by a bee, on the other hand, its barbed stinger latches into your skin, ripping out part of the bee’s digestive tract that it is attached to. This causes the bee to die shortly after it stings you.

Wasps’ stingers remain attached to their bodies after they sting. The stinger looks like a small needle, and the wasp uses it to inject venom into their victim. The venom is designed to paralyze small insects so that they can bring them back to their nest, but also to convince large predators not to mess with them.

What Causes Wasps to Sting?

A wasp will sting someone when they think that their nest is being threatened. The problem with this is that they are easily provoked, and they release a pheromone that alerts nearby wasps to come help deal with the threat. This results in many people experiencing multiple wasp stings at a time. When a swarm of wasps targets you, the effects can be very serious. Multiple wasp sting symptoms include:

  • Welts, hives, and rashes
  • Fever, nausea, and headache
  • Painful bumps
  • Joint swelling
  • In extreme cases, death

Wasp Nest Removal Services in Knoxville TN

Wasp nests are built out of chewed-up wood and look like layered formations of gray paper. If you find that wasps have constructed a nest somewhere around your home, let the experts at your local pest control company know. Our wasp removal specialists at Russell’s Pest Control are trained to remove bee, wasp, and hornet nests using the safest and most humane methods possible. Reach out today for a free estimate on wasp nest removal!