Common Stinging Insects In Knoxville

Common Stinging Insects In Knoxville

Here in Knoxville, we have a lot of bugs, some of which are less of a bother than others, but one thing is for sure, nobody likes the ones that sting! As you get ready to enjoy the coming of spring, the last thing you want is to have to worry about being stung when you go outside. The good news is, Russell’s Pest Control can help! First, let’s take a look at some of the stinging insects you should be keeping an eye out for this spring.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Primarily black with a white pattern over its face, bald-faced hornets are long with a thin waist. Growing to more than a 1/2” in length, with the queen sometimes coming in at double, the bald-faced hornet is a large one. When a threat to a hornet or its nest is perceived, bald-faced hornets become very aggressive and can cause an excruciating pain with their sting. They can sting multiple times, and like all stinging insects have the potential to cause major allergic reactions.

European Hornets

Shaped similarly to a wasp, the European hornet has a brown body with yellow colored stripes running over it. A large insect, the European hornet is known to grow to 1 1/2” in length. Commonly referred to as the “giant hornet”, European hornets are different than other stinging insects in the fact that they are known to be very active at night.

Paper Wasps

A well-known species of wasp, paper wasps are anywhere from a 1/2” to 1” in length and are usually a dark brown or black color with yellow markings and gray wings. When in flight, the paper wasps legs hang from its body. Their sting is very painful and can require immediate medical attention.

Yellow Jackets

Equipped with six legs and two antennae, yellow jacket workers can grow to around a half inch in length. With a black head and face, the yellow jacket can be identified by its yellow and black markings covering its abdomen. Their elongated wings fold tight against their bodies when at rest, giving them a long and slim appearance.

As mentioned, all stinging insects do exactly that, sting! Not only is it extremely painful to be stung, it could present much larger problems. Many stinging insects either have the ability to sting multiple times or come in swarms that naturally present numerous stings as well. When stung even once, let alone multiple times, stinging insects can set off an allergic reaction in the recipient of the sting by the injection of its venom. If an allergic reaction is not treated quickly enough, it could ultimately lead to long-term problems and even death. Stinging insects could even be a danger to your pet should your pet come across a nest. If one of your pets are stung, it also has potential to cause an allergic reaction, so getting rid of stinging insects should be an absolute priority.

We understand that keeping stinging insects at bay is at the highest level of importance in regards to the safety of you and your family. Here at Russell’s, we offer several pest control options to choose from. Once we have identified the infestation, how it got there, and why it’s there, we can address it appropriately. By removing pests, nests, and conducive conditions, we will not only substantially decrease the risk to you and your family, but we will also use preventative measures so that you don’t have to worry about them in the future! Stinging insects are dangerous and should be taken seriously, so don’t wait, and call Russell’s Pest Control today for your free estimate!

Flea Infestations On The Rise In Knoxville

Flea Infestations On The Rise In Knoxville

Our phones have been ringing off the hook with flea complaints. It seems that these parasitic little pests just keep coming back around in Knoxville, and homeowners, renters, and business owners alike want them gone and gone for good. Flea infestations are very common because they have two incredibly helpful traits for getting around, their small size and incredible jumping ability. No pest can hitch a ride quite as easily as the flea, and with plenty of warm-blooded animals on the move, they can’t help but end up all over the place. And once they reach your home, it’s time to eat, lay eggs, and settle in.

Fleas get into homes almost exclusively by being carried. For the pet owner, this is no surprise. If Fido spends his days sniffing around the backyard, he could quite easily return carrying some quiet stowaways. But how do these fleas end up in our backyards? And what about homes without pets? Well, wildlife is the main culprit. Deer, raccoons, and rodents can all carry fleas, and having these animals in the area greatly increases the chances of them getting into your home. Neighbor pets may also introduce fleas onto your property, and even a quick visit from someone carrying fleas could be enough to start an infestation.

This all sounds very scary, especially when we hear of fleas carrying disease or tapeworms. Luckily this is fairly rare, and there are some things you can do to minimize the risk and fight against flea infestation. Your first step should be getting pets treated for fleas. This is huge, as pets are a much easier host for fleas to take advantage of than humans. Next, vacuum regularly, even often. It is a fact that milder flea infestations can be completely defeated with vacuuming alone. Finally, flush any flea you see. Most often you will feel an itchy sensation on your arm or upper ankle; quickly grab the offending bug between your thumb and forefinger and take it straight to the bathroom. The fewer opportunities adult fleas have to feed and escape to lay eggs, the more quickly their population will thin out.

Another option and best one for defeating fleas is to call in the pest control professionals. While milder infestations can be dealt with yourself, as mentioned, it doesn’t take long for a flea infestation to reach levels that are more than you can handle with good housekeeping and diligence. Over-the-counter methods might be considered here, but they have their own health risks for people and pets, and it’s especially frustrating to enter a cycle of DIY pest control and find that it just isn’t getting the job done, even after weeks of effort. At Russel’s Pest Control we have been fighting the good fight against fleas and other pests right alongside home and business owners in the Knoxville area, and we know just what it takes to clear out a flea infestation of any size. A visit from us can identify risks and treat your problems, and even better, our year-round pest control plans cover at least 30 different common household pests, including fleas! Russell’s Pest Control can even put pest prevention methods in place to minimize the risk of future infestations. In fact, we’re so confident in our work that we offer a pest-free* guarantee; if the pests return, then so do we, at no cost! Don’t let the menace of fleas keep you and your pets indoors. Call Russell’s Pest Control and let us defend your home for you, so you can enjoy it instead.

Simple Spider Prevention Tips

Simple Spider Prevention Tips

Whether you are afraid of spiders or not, nobody wants to live with spiders in their home. Even those who aren’t necessarily fearful of the creepy, eight-legged creatures, most would say that they would rather not share their morning shower or watch evening TV with a spider hanging out in the corner. For those of us in Knoxville, the spiders that come into our homes are not only creepy but they can potentially be dangerous as well.

The most common types of spiders in Knoxville are the house spider, the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider, and the wolf spider. Common house spiders are yellow-white in color and have dark stripped markings on their bodies and legs. These spiders are a more of a nuisance—creating webs and crawling along your walls. They aren’t dangerous because their venom isn’t poisonous.

The black widow spiders are recognized by their black color with a red “hourglass” figure on their backs. A black widows venom is poisonous and attacks the nervous system of a human that has been bitten. Most know the black widow’s reputation as being deadly, however, death is very rare. It’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as you have been bitten to prevent serious injury.

Another poisonous spider is the brown recluse. These spiders are various shades of brown and are easily identified by the violin-shaped pattern on the top of their body. Also unique to them is their three pairs of eyes that are arranged in a semi-circle pattern. Brown recluse spiders don’t usually bite unless it’s during the process of being squashed or if being held. The bite will become infected and may cause fever and trouble sleeping. As with the black widow, please seek medical attention if bitten.

Last is the wolf spider, which are dark brown with light brown or yellow markings/stripes on their bodies. Their eyes are aligned in an odd way: four small eyes in the bottom row, two large eyes in the middle row, and two medium-sized eyes on the top. Wolf spiders don’t use webs to catch their prey—they hunt down and chase them. Despite this predatory nature, they are not aggressive towards humans. They will usually run and hide if they feel threatened. If they do bite, their venom isn’t strong enough to cause serious harm.

None of these spiders sound like anything you would want living in your home. Preventing these spiders from entering our homes is key. A few simple preventative measures that you can take on your own include blocking or sealing openings that spiders can fit through, taking care of your property including removal of woodpiles or leaves, installing door sweeps, and removing their webs.

If you want to guarantee that your house is protected you can call Russell Pest Control. Russell Pest Control has been protecting homes for over 45 years and knows the absolute safest, effective, and efficient techniques to keep spiders out of your home. With their year-round pest control plans, you receive scheduled visits that allow for protection all throughout the year. Their year-round plans also include a pest-free* guarantee, meaning they promise that no spiders will be joining you for family dinner.

Tips To Avoid Boxelder Bugs This Fall

Tips To Avoid Boxelder Bugs This Fall

Boxelder bugs are a common pest in Tennessee, especially in the fall. They begin to look for a place to call home over the colder months. As winter approaches they will congregate on warm, sunny sides of homes, then wiggle through gaps and cracks in siding, and around windows and doors.

Boxelder bugs are about 1/2” in length, are black and have red stripes on their body and edge of its wings making V shapes. They are mostly attracted to boxelder trees, and silver maples, where they feed off of the moisture from the trees. In the fall when they make their way into your home, they may look for moisture in your houseplants, but they are not a danger to them or humans. The only real damage they can cause is if there is a high population of them, otherwise, they are considered a nuisance pest. The biggest problem is, boxelder bugs can get into your furniture and drapes, where their feces can cause staining.

As with any pest, once they get into your home, they are hard to remove. Prevention is the best way to avoid a boxelder bug infestation. Here are a few prevention tips that you may find useful:

  • Inspect your home for openings like crevices, gaps, and cracks

  • Seal those openings with caulking

  • Repair or replace any damaged screens or vents

  • Fill in gaps around utility lines, cables, cords, and pipes

  • If you have any boxelder or silver maple trees you may want to consider removing them from your yard, but that can be costly and not very practical

If your home is already infested you will need to remove these pests. Try vacuuming them up with a long vacuum hose or sweep up the dead bug remains. Smooshing a boxelder bug can stain surfaces, so you may want to avoid that.

Russell’s Pest Control in Knoxville and Eastern Tennessee offers year-round pest prevention so that you don’t have to worry about pests, ever again. We have a variety of pest control programs to choose from that can control and prevent infestations in your home.

Our Power program protects your family, pets, and home from 30+ common pests and has a pest-free* guarantee. Additionally, our Power Gold program includes termite service and our Power Plus includes mosquito, carpenter bee, fire ant, flea and tick services. If you want it all, then our Power Platinum program is for you. We have something for everyone to suit your needs and your budget. Just give us a call today at Russell Pest Control in Tennessee, so that your home can be pest free.

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.

Take The Sting Out Of Spring

Take The Sting Out Of Spring

Ouch! You don’t want to get stung this spring – or any other time this year! Avoiding yellow jackets and their sting can be a chore, as they are worthy opponents if you come across them in your yard. They are not usually aggressive; but if they feel threatened or think their nest is at risk, they will become defensive.

Some people can be allergic to the venom that they inject with their stinger. Each yellow jacket can sting multiple times because they do not leave their stinger behind after a sting. These multiple stings can be extremely dangerous for people that are allergic and can make some people very ill – sometimes even to the point of death – although that is very rare.

Yellow jackets nest underground and in trees or bushes. Sometimes they nest inside walls or attics. If they feel any type of threatening vibration like a mower close by, that will alert them to danger, causing the colony to become aggressive as they want to protect their homes.

If a nest is spotted in a populated area around your home, it is a threat to your family and visitors, and you should contact a professional pest control technician to safely remove the nest. It is not advised that you attempt to remove the nest on your own.

Watch for signs of yellow jackets and try to eliminate anything that is attractive to them that is located too close to your home. Fruit from trees should be picked as soon as they are ripe, any overly ripe fruit will be enticing to yellow jackets. Garbage should be tightly closed and bins should be emptied and cleaned out to remove any sugary residue that is left behind. When eating a meal outdoors, be sure to clean up any food or drink spills right away. Open drink cups, cans, and bottles should not be left unattended since the yellow jackets will buzz right inside for a drink. If someone should bring that to their lips, they will get stung for sure.

Once a few yellow jackets have found your secret stash of sweets, they will bring others with them and continuously come back for more. That is why it is important to avoid having yellow jacket nests close to your home. In order for you to protect your family and visitors on your property, it is best to contact a professional.

When you choose your year-round pest control services from Russell Pest Control, you get a community focused company with effective solutions and quality service at a fair price. What could be better than that? Give Russell Pest Control a call today with your pest control and yellow jacket problems. We have the right solutions!

Little Pests, Big Problems

Little Pests

Who knew that a tiny little pest that grows to be only 1/16th of an inch in length could cause such a stir? The panic over these pests is not related to size, but rather it is related to their sheer numbers. What is this tiny little pest that can draw such concern? It is the springtail. Although small, it is estimated that springtails become so numerous once they invade an area that they can reach as many as 100,000 individual pests per square meter.

It can be quite disconcerting to see hundreds of thousands of tiny purple/grey bugs moving and jumping around. At first glance, a colony of springtails seems to move as a unit appearing as if it were a long purple stream of water as they move across the ground. On closer inspection, you can clearly see that this purple stream is thousands of tiny little bugs moving and jumping like fleas.

Your first thought is concern about thousands of little flea-like bites, but do not worry, springtails do not bite, and they do not transmit diseases. In fact, they are actually quite beneficial out in nature where they help to break down decaying matter. But they are not harmless as they can damage house plants and crops.

The real problems with springtails begin when they decide to invade your home as they move in search of food. Not only is it unacceptable for you to have to live with hundreds of thousands of bugs inside your home, but an invasion of springtails can actually indicate a much larger issue. These tiny pests are drawn to moisture. Their appearance in your home can signal a moisture issue inside your walls or under your floors which is a strong indication that springtails are not the only pest you are hosting.

If you find that springtails have chosen your home, do not panic. Give the pest experts here at Russell’s Pest Control a call. We offer safe, affordable options to eliminate springtails from your home. You may choose a one-time service that safely deals with springtails, or you may choose the peace of mind that comes with year-round protection from more than 30 common pests, including springtails, when you implement one of our comprehensive Power residential pest protection plans.

Not only are our Power protection plans affordable and safe, but they are also effective at protecting your home from the year-round threat of pests. Plus our Power, Power Gold, and Power Platinum residential pest protection plans are backed by the Russell’s Pest Free Guarantee. To learn more about these industry-leading pest prevention plans or to discover the benefit of a one-time treatment for springtails, simply contact us today.

Why Do I Have A Boxelder Bug Problem?

Why Do I Have A Boxelder Bug Problem?

Boxelder bugs love trees! They feed, live, and breed on all trees that bear seeds like the boxelder, maple, ash, and fruit trees like apple and plum. In fall, they infest homes in large numbers to seek a warm environment for shelter to overwinter. They flock to sunny sides of homes, storage sheds, or garages and enter through cracks and crevices on exterior walls, gaps around window and door frames, or through vents. While enjoying the warmth of your home or storage areas, they will leave marks and stains with their feces that may be noticeable. In the spring, homeowners will experience a flurry of boxelder bug activity as they start trying to move back outdoors.

Before you chop down all of the seed bearing trees that are in your yard, you should know that this may not solve all of your boxelder bug problems because they will just move to another area or to your neighbor’s yard, and they still may flock to your home in the fall. Not to mention cutting all of those good trees would be a terrible shame.

Boxelder bugs are black with a red outlined thorax, sides, and wings. Their wings lay flat and allow them to fly and relocate if necessary. Their mouth has sucking-piercing parts that they can use for feeding on trees. An adult boxelder bug can be as long as 1 inch, but they are not dangerous, and they do not transmit illnesses. They can infest a home in large numbers creating a nuisance to homeowners, thus making it necessary to eradicate them. Your best bet is to contact your local pest control service so that they can identify your infestation and correctly target these pests.

In order to help prevent an infestation, you will need to seal up all cracks, holes, and gaps coming into your home or storage areas. You need to replace damaged screens, window frames, and door frames. Also, install door sweeps under all exterior doors. If boxelder bugs are present, you can sweep or vacuum them away to help reduce their numbers, but for total eradication, you will need a professional to take control of all aspects of the infestation.

In order to control a boxelder infestation, you can rely on Russell’s Pest Control in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area. Give us a call, and ask about our ongoing year-round home pest control programs. Our courteous, professional staff will help you with all of your pest control needs.

Make Year-Round Pest Control Your 2017 Resolution

Make Year-Round Pest Control Your 2017 Resolution

Pest control is like the doctor’s office: you go only when something is wrong. What many forget is that annual checkups and proactive care can prevent bigger problems later. Think of pest control the same way. Proactive care and year-round pest control can save you money, protect your health, and prevent large headaches. This year, make year-round pest control your resolution. Check out the many benefits why.

Benefits of Year-Round Pest Control

When we talk about the benefits of year-round pest control, we want to address it from many different angles: health, money, and prevention. Russell’s pest control thinks you will appreciate a few of our favorite pest control benefits.

Easy-to-manage payment schedules and control options. A small monthly or quarterly fee now can save you hundreds or thousands in the future. When you pay a small amount to control pests regularly, you won’t be left with a large bill to eliminate insects later.
Avoid Large Infestations

Year-round pest control keeps large infestations at bay. When you get year-round treatments, your home will not be targeted by insects who want to live and reproduce in your home. Doesn’t avoiding thousands on bugs in your home sound like a good idea?

Prevents Illness And Disease

Most pests carry bacteria and other pathogens that can be transmitted to people and animals in your home. Year-round control keep insects from biting, stinging, and transmitting disease in your home. Additionally, if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or respiratory concerns such as asthma, year-round pest control helps avoid symptoms and attacks. Many insects shed their shells, emit odors, lay eggs, and leave droppings. All of them are irritants that can cause breathing troubles.
Your Home Won’t Smell

Infestations cause your home to smell. If roaches get in, they emit a pheromone that attracts other roaches and keeps the family unit together. The more roaches in your home, the worse your house smells. Once you get rid of the roaches, your home has to be cleaned professionally. Year-round pest control prevents roaches from invading in the first place.
Protect Your Belongings And Furnishings

When insects invade, they leave their stains and nest with your linens. Curtains, sheets, bedding, clothing, and rugs can become stained with feces and other fluids when insects make themselves at home. Year-round pest control allows you to protect your belongings and favorite furnishings.
Better Sleep at Night

When you have year-round pest control, you can sleep better at night. You won’t have to worry about the pests that are nesting in your walls, digging into the food in your pantry, crawling in your bed at night, or lurking in your basement. You can rest easy knowing that you have the bugs and rodents under control.
Russell’s Pest Control wants you to have the peace of mind and quality of life we know you deserve in 2017. Call us now to see how we can help you with your New Year’s resolution. Have a Happy New Year. We look forward to serving you in the brand new year.

Rodent Awareness Week

Rodent Awareness Week

October 23rd-29th is rodent awareness week, this annual event comes at the perfect time to educate home and business owners about these invasive and dangerous pests. Rodents like mice and rats are a year-round problem, but during the fall and winter months, they are more motivated to enter your home or business to seek refuge from the colder weather as well as easy access to food and water. Russell’s Pest Control wants to make sure that you aware of the negative impacts that rodents can have on your home or business and why it is so important to protect both from these furry terrors.

Rodents will take every advantage given to them while trying to enter your home, a tiny crack in the foundation, a gap underneath an exterior door, a space found around a pipe entering into your home, or a hole in the roof line. Once rodents get into your home they tend to make themselves right at home, but we are warning you- rodents make terrible houseguests. Listed below are some of the reasons why rodents need to be eliminated from your home as quickly as possible!

  • They need to eat, which means that they are going to be eating the food you have stored in your kitchen and pantry areas, contaminating it with their saliva, urine, and feces.

  • They spread a host of dangerous diseases like Salmonella and the very serious Hantavirus.

  • Rodents are constantly chewing on items and can cause major structural damage within your home. They will chew through wires, pipes, drywall, insulation, flooring, and more. The damages that they cause can lead to fires, water leaks, and mold issues.

  • Rodents destroy personal items like books, clothing, pictures, and furniture.

Rodents don’t just invade family homes; they also enjoy invading commercial properties. Inside of a commercial facility they cause many of the same damages that they do in homes: structural damages, damage to personal items, damage to inventory, contaminate food; and they spread diseases that could potentially affect you, your employees, and customers. In a business however, rodents can cause a type of damage that may be even worse, damage to your business’s reputation. Just one customer spotting one rodent dropping or spying a mice running along the wall will cause them to not want to return and to tell their friends and family about the incident, causing people in the community to have a negative opinion about your business.

So now you know why rodents are such dangerous pests, what do you do to stop them? The best solution to any rodent or pest infestation is to put into place a year-round pest control program. At Russell’s Pest Control we offer both residential and commercial year-round pest control services to protect your property from the dangers that rodents bring inside with them. Our highly trained rodent control experts can safely and quickly solve current problems with rodents in your home or business and provide routine services to prevent future problems with them.

Don’t let rodents invade your home or business this fall, winter, or any other time of the year, keep them outside where they belong with the help of the rodent control experts at Russell’s Pest Control. Give us a call today to start protecting your property from rodents!