Gator Pest Library

What You Need To Know About Pests In East Tennessee

A good way to help guard your property against unwanted insect activity is to learn about them. Learn about the insects that call the East Tennessee area home in this handy guide.

Ants

ant on a stick

Ants are small insects that live together in big groups. Like most living things, their main drive in life is finding reliable food sources. Unfortunately for us, our yards offer ants many places to forage for food, and why we regularly spot them traveling through our yards and homes. Worker ants leave the nest each day to forage for food; once they discover what they are looking for, they lay down a pheromone trail to alert other ants in their colony.

Though ants prefer to live outside, they often find their way into our homes while looking for food or shelter. While ants aren't the most dangerous pests to find crawling throughout your house, they do pose some threats. Ants spread bacteria to surfaces and food, and some create unpleasant odors. Then there are those that cause structural damage and others that bite or sting. If large numbers of ants are crawling around your indoor or outdoor spaces, eliminating them is best done with the help of a local and experienced professional.

Make your property less attractive to ants using the following prevention tips:

  • Always place trash bags in containers with locking lids, and store trash bins away from the outside walls of your house.
  • Maintain gardens and keep your lawn cut short.
  • Pick up logs, fallen trees, and other debris where ants can build a nest.
  • Regularly inspect your home, repairing any defect in the exterior that you come across.

If you are looking for help keeping ants off your property, give us a call today.

Bed Bugs

a bed bug on a person

Bed bugs are small, biting, wingless insects. They are among the most dreaded pests to find inside our East Tennessee homes because they bite us and feed on our blood. Though bed bugs can feed on many warm-blooded animals like cats, dogs, and rodents, humans are their preferred hosts. Any place there are people, there is the potential to come into contact with bed bugs. Bed bugs are adept hitchhikers and move with us, including into our homes, after climbing onto us or our belongings.

The biggest thing to know about bed bugs is that they don't just live in or around sleeping areas. Bed bugs migrate behind outlets, baseboards, upholstered furniture cushions, and even electronics. Having a professional inspect your home regularly is the best way to discover a bed bug infestation early on and eliminate it quickly!

To help prevent bed bugs from taking over your house, take advantage of the following prevention tips:

  • After returning home from a trip, immediately wash any clothing or luggage you brought with you.
  • Regularly vacuum your house.
  • Regularly inspect sheets and mattresses for signs of bed bugs. Encase mattresses in bed bug-proof covers.
  • Always thoroughly clean and check secondhand items for bed bugs before bringing them into your home.

For professional help removing bed bugs, reach out today!

Carpenter Bees

carpenter bee on a tree

The carpenter bee is a large bee with a shiny black abdomen; they are primarily black, with some having a white or yellow face. Unlike many species of stinging insects, they don't pose a huge threat to people. Female carpenter bees can sting but are very docile, and while the males are aggressive, they lack a stinger. However, they aren't innocent; carpenter bees are destructive. Female carpenter bees bore holes in wood to tunnel through and create a nest. Over time, carpenter bee activity leads to damage to our homes and other structures in our yards.

Carpenter bees are solitary, and females create individual nests. While one carpenter bee isn't problematic, many are! It is common for females to return to the same nesting sites year after year and for many females to choose the same piece of wood or area to nest. Carpenter bees are most attracted to older, untreated wood and use wood fences, shingles, decks, and play structures as nesting sites.

The following things will help make your yard less attractive to carpenter bees:

  • Paint or stain unfinished wooden structures on your property and your home.
  • Apply metal flashing to the end of deck boards and wood railings.
  • Inspect your home regularly using caulk to seal any holes you find in wood trim or wood shingles.
  • Remove older or decaying wood from your property, such as woodpiles, wood fencing, and old play structures.
  • Schedule regular pest control services.

If carpenter bees have become a problem on your property, reach out today for help.

If you are looking for a healthy, pest-free environment for you and your family, Gator Pest Solutions can help. We take pride in offering safe, effective pest control in East Tennessee. Call today to learn more about our solutions to your property's pest problems!

Cockroaches

cockroach on the ground in a home

Cockroaches are scavenging insects that live worldwide. A few species have adapted to living with people and become a regular sight in our Eastern Tennessee homes. Cockroaches can find their way into any house through spaces they encounter on the exterior or by hitchhiking their way inside. Cockroaches regularly move from structure to structure in items they have crawled into, like furniture, appliances, electronics, boxes, or grocery bags.

Cockroaches are survivors, and once they are in your house, they are difficult to remove. Our homes provide them with warmth, moisture, and access to traditional food sources (the food we eat) and non-traditional (toothpaste, cardboard, and paper). Once cockroaches get into a house, they quickly find small dark places to hide, staying hidden. Regular pest control services are the best way to guard your home and family against disease-spreading and food-contaminating cockroaches.

Take advantage of the following prevention tips to help avoid problems with cockroaches:

  • Store your family's food in airtight containers or the refrigerator.
  • Regularly clean your home paying extra attention to the kitchen and dining areas.
  • Inspect secondhand items, boxes, or deliveries you bring into your home for cockroaches.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures and keep your house well-ventilated to reduce humidity.

For more information about cockroach control in East Tennessee, call now.

Mosquitoes

a mosquito on a person

Mosquitoes are small flying insects. Both male and female mosquitoes have an elongated mouthpart used to feed on plant nectar, their primary food source. However, females also feed on the blood of warm-blood animals to get the protein needed to reproduce. Mosquitoes thrive anywhere that provides females with standing water to lay their eggs on and sources of nutrition. Unfortunately, our East Tennessee yards are mosquito magnets. Gardens, flowering trees, tall grass, dense vegetation, clogged gutters, and wading pools provide mosquitoes with resting spots, breeding sites, and food sources!

Dealing with mosquitoes year after year is not only a huge annoyance and inconvenience, but it is a threat to your health and safety. While most of their bites "only" result in itchy welts, the spread of diseases by mosquitoes is a significant threat. Worldwide, mosquitoes are responsible for around one million deaths per year. Reducing your contact with mosquitoes is always best!

Use the following tips to make your outdoor space less habitable to biting mosquitoes:

  • Keep grass cut short and cut back overgrown shrubbery, bushes, and trees to reduce hiding spots.
  • Remove as much standing water from your property as possible.
  • Store containers that collect water upside down and regularly empty and refill pet bowls and wading pools with fresh water.
  • Plant lavender, marigolds, basil, and mint that naturally repel mosquitoes.

Call today to learn about mosquito control in East Tennessee.

Spiders

spider on a living room rug

Spiders are arachnids that love our East Tennessee yards because they offer free room and board. Our gardens and landscaping plants provide spiders with a place to live and easy access to the insects that they love to catch and eat. In addition, things like downspouts, clogged gutters, and leaky hoses supply them with water. Who could blame spiders for wanting to call our yards home?

Most spiders are not a problem to have in our yards in controlled numbers. However, populations of spiders and their insect prey go hand in hand, so if insects are starting to take over your yard or move into your home, spiders will follow. If you see large numbers of spiders or their webs near, on, or in your house, it is time to take action and reach out to a professional.

To avoid problems with spiders on your property, use the following prevention tips:

  • Maintain outdoor eating areas and gardens, keep lids on trash cans, and pick up uneaten pet food to prevent insects from swarming your property.
  • Repair leaky pipes and clean out clogged gutters.
  • Cut bushes, shrubs, and other landscaping back from your home's exterior.
  • Routinely look over your home's exterior and seal any openings spiders could use as an entry point.

For the best spider control in East Tennessee, call today.

Termites

a termite chewing on wood

Termites are a serious problem for Tennessee homeowners. They are the silent destroyers of the pest world, getting into homes and leaving extensive structural damage through their persistent tunneling. Making matters even worse is that, unlike many typical pests, termites are practically invisible to humans. They’re small and operate out of sight, so many homeowners don’t even become aware that they have a problem until it’s too late.

When it comes to these destructive pests, it’s essential to prevent them before they can become established in your home if you want to save yourself thousands in costly repairs.

Here are some prevention tips to help you minimize your risk for termites:

  • Ensure your crawl spaces are ventilated properly and free of debris
  • Install dehumidifiers in the basement to keep it dry
  • Keep your gutters clear to stop rainwater from building up and seeping into your roof
  • Replace any old or damaged weather-stripping throughout your home
  • Keep any leaf or compost piles stored well away from the exterior of your home
  • Remove any dead or fallen trees from your property, as well as stumps
  • Maintain a barrier between your foundation and any mulch 
  • Make sure there is no direct wood-to-soil contact across your home

However, it should be noted that even taking these preventive measures might not be enough to save you from getting a termite infestation. There might be factors outside of your control at play, such as your neighbors getting termites, or you might simply be unlucky.

Whatever the case, if you’re worried about termites threatening your home in Sevierville or the surrounding areas of Tennessee, look no further than Gator Pest Solutions for help. Contact us today to find out how we can protect your Tennessee home from termites today, tomorrow, and forever. 

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