Understanding The Pests Local To Chattanooga & Signal Mountain, TN
Pests are a problem for home and business owners throughout our area as they turn to our indoor and outdoor spaces to provide them with sources of food, water, and shelter. We want to provide our customers with insight into our area’s most common pests with the help of our pest control guide. Read below to learn more about the insects and rodents that call the Chattanooga and Signal Mountain area home.
Ants are a common pest problem for people living in Tennessee. Species that regularly make themselves at home in our indoor and outdoor spaces are acrobat ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, pavement ants, and sugar ants. Like fire ants that bite and sting and carpenter ants that cause structural damage, some ants are considered dangerous; however, most household ants are just a nuisance. Nuisance ants are problematic in the sense that they invade in large numbers, contaminate food, and spread bacteria, but they don't cause physical harm or major damage to the structure of our homes.
Ants are regular visitors of our properties because they offer easy access to food and water. If you see ants wandering around your yard, gardens, deck, or kitchen, there is a nearby nest housing thousands of ants. Each day worker ants leave the nest to gather food to bring back and feed the ants back at the nest. As they travel searching for food, they often wind up in our homes, feeding on the crumbs they find on the floor, behind appliances, and under our couches. More often than not, the ants in our homes aren't permanent; they move in and out each day gathering food, but sometimes they do decide to build a satellite nest within our structural wood, behind walls, or under floors. Whether ants are nesting in your yard or home, one fact remains true; they don't belong in either location. To eliminate ants and their nesting sites, it is always best to partner with a trained professional!
We want to help you avoid problems with ants by providing you with the following prevention tips.
- Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris.
- Place lids on trash cans in your home and yard.
- Fix leaky pipes, use dehumidifiers, and cut back shrubs and bushes from your home's exterior to keep the ground from retaining moisture.
- If cracks or other openings form in the foundation of your house, repair them with caulk or another appropriate material.
- Place door sweeps on all exterior doors.
- Inside your home, regularly vacuum and place all leftover food in the fridge.
- Don't store food out on counters or tables.
Cockroaches are oval-shaped insects that can send shivers up a person's spine at the very mention of their name. There is no denying that cockroaches that live near people are dangerous pests that spread diseases and trigger allergies and asthma attacks. But, cockroaches are also unique and fascinating creatures. Did you know that they can run up to three miles per hour? Or that they can hold their breath underwater for half an hour. Or that they develop from egg to adult in only 36 days allowing their populations to explode quickly? Cockroaches have been around forever. Their success is due to their adaptability and is why these pests are so difficult to control around our Chattanooga area homes and businesses.
Cockroaches vary in appearance depending on the species, but they generally have a flat, oval-shaped body, long antennae, and six legs. Some have wings and fly short distances, and others lack fully developed wings and cannot fly at all. Winged or not, most cockroaches rely on their legs to move from place to place. Four species regularly invade our structures in our area — the American cockroach, brown-banded cockroach, German cockroach, and oriental cockroach. Cockroaches move into our homes through spaces they find in exterior walls, by hitchhiking, or in multi-unit buildings moving through walls and ceilings. Once inside, they hide in dark areas that put them close to food sources like the backs of kitchen cabinets, under sinks, behind wall voids or wood trim, behind tubs, or in attic spaces.
We want to help you avoid problems with cockroaches by providing you with the following prevention tips.
- Prevent food odors from attracting cockroaches by keeping lids on trash cans, keeping outdoor eating areas free of leftovers, and picking up uneaten pet food each day.
- Maintain your kitchen and bathroom areas, keeping them free of food debris, shampoo, or soap, all things cockroaches will eat.
- Eliminate water sources by repairing leaky pipes, faucets, and dripping tubs.
- Always inspect boxes, furniture, and other items you are bringing into your home for cockroaches.
- If there are any openings or gaps in your home's exterior walls or foundation, repair them to help keep wandering cockroaches out.
Mosquitoes are pests that we know all too well. They are a part of our lives every spring and summer and can take over outdoor spaces. Though mosquitoes are tiny, their relentless bites make it miserable to spend time outside. In addition to their unpleasant, itchy bites, limiting your contact with mosquitoes is important because they efficiently spread diseases. While not every mosquito carries a disease like the West Nile virus or parasites like heartworms, some do, and it is important to protect yourself and your pets from their bites.
There are many reasons why mosquitoes are plaguing your property. Standing water is the biggest reason you may be experiencing a mosquito problem on your property. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs on top of standing water, and the larvae develop into adults in that same water. Though mosquitoes can fly some distance, they tend to stay close to where they hatch. Therefore the more breeding sites around your property, the more mosquitoes you have to deal with. Another reason mosquitoes may be on your property is to escape the midday sun and heat. Many mosquitoes rest in our yards under trees and shrubs, in areas of tall grass, or under decks. Gardens and flowering trees also attract mosquitoes. Only the females feed on blood; the primary food source for both female and male mosquitoes is plant nectar.
We want to help you avoid mosquito problems in Chattanooga by providing you with the following prevention tips.
- Remove as much standing water from your property as possible by filling in low-lying areas, storing containers upside down, and not overwatering gardens.
- Regularly empty and refill wading pools and pet water bowls.
- Stop mosquitoes from viewing your yard as a place to rest by maintaining your grass and landscaping plants.
- Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk; if possible, avoid being outside during those times.
Rodents are mammals belonging to the order Rodentia and are known for their sharp front chisel-like teeth and the damage they cause with them. Some species like mice and rats have developed close relationships with people taking advantage of the food, water, and shelter we unintentionally provide them. In Tennessee, our natural habitats and warm weather conditions allow many different rodents to feed and breed throughout most of the year. Some of the most common rodents that find their way to our residential and commercial properties are mice and Norway rats, roof rats, and wood rats.
Knowing what attracts these pests is important so you can do your best not to provide them with what they are looking for. Rodents are destructive, and they are dangerous to our health. These pests contaminate food, spread bacteria, diseases, and parasites that will make people ill. Their shed fur and feces trigger allergies, and their sharp teeth damage furniture, walls, flooring, cabinets, and more. The main attractant for rodents, and most other pests, is food. Trash cans, gardens, fruit trees, bird feeders, and outdoor eating areas provide rodents with a regular food source. But, rodents don't just look for food outside; they also move into our homes to find their next meal. While most rodents in our area nest outside, if there are extreme weather conditions or a serious lack of food or water, they move into our homes to nest.
We want to help you avoid rodent problems in Chattanooga by providing you with the following prevention tips.
- Rodents are prey animals and like to stay hidden from view. Remove as much clutter and overgrown vegetation from your property as possible to reduce hiding spots.
- Remove bird feeders from your yard.
- Regularly pick fruits and vegetables from gardens and fruit trees.
- Inspect your home's exterior and repair any cracks or other openings you discover.
- Whether cooking indoors or outdoors, quickly put away leftover food and clean up crumbs and spills.
- Repair leaking hoses and pipes that can offer a water source.
Having a stinger located at the end of the abdomen is why insects like wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets are called stinging insects. In nature, stinging insects are extremely helpful; not only do predatory insects help control nuisance insects, but they help out with the pollination of plants and crops vital to our survival. Yet, in our Chattanooga yards, stinging insects present a significant danger to people and our pets.
Predatory stinging insects like wasps and hornets feed on many of the same foods we do and forage from our trash cans and outdoor dining areas, in addition to the insects they find in our yards and gardens. Our yards not only provide stinging insects with food but with suitable nesting spots like in trees, gardens, under decks, in yard clutter, on the exterior of a home, or any other location that offers them protection from predators or the environment.
Stinging insects are unwelcome near people because of their ability to sting us; not only are their stings painful, but their venom is potent enough to trigger serious and sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions. Finding a stinging insect nest or large numbers of stinging insects foraging for food on your property means that you should immediately contact a professional for assistance removing them.
We want to help you avoid stinging insect problems by providing you with the following prevention tips.
- Cut back tree branches and shrubs that provide suitable nesting spots for stinging insects.
- Fill in ground holes you discover in your yard.
- Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
- After eating or cooking outside, immediately take inside leftover food and drinks.
- Don't keep flowering plants rights next to your home, especially around walkways, steps, entrances, and exits.
- Limit water source by keeping gutters clear, filling in areas that allow rainwater to puddle, and fixing leaky hoses and outdoor fixtures.
If termites have found their way to your yard or into your Tennessee home, they are most likely subterranean termites. Subterranean termites have high moisture needs, and their diet is the cellulose that they acquire from wet or decaying wood. These termites live underground and need constant contact with the damp soil or the interior of wood to survive. If termites can't easily move through the earth, they will build mud tubes that they travel through above the ground in order to maintain their moisture needs and protect themselves from predators.
Subterranean termites are social insects and live together in large colonies- dividing their members into three groups. Winged reproductive termites produce new termites. Soldiers protect the colony from danger, and workers make up the majority of the colony and do most of the work, including leaving the nest each day to gather food. Termites move into our homes through wood that's making contact with the ground or spaces they discover in the foundation or around utilities. Usually, termites remain hidden until their damage is discovered, and this can be months or even years. Partnering with a professional and having regular pest control service visits is the best way to prevent problems with these pests.
We want to help you avoid problems with termites in Chattanooga by providing you with the following prevention tips.
- Remove as much decaying vegetation from your property as possible such as tree stumps, fallen trees, and brush piles.
- Help prevent termites from making their way into your home by sealing cracks in the foundation, removing wood that makes direct contact with the soil, and creating a barrier between any mulch and your home's exterior.
- Subterranean termites have high moisture needs, so remove their access to water by repairing leaking pipes, dripping hoses, and ensure your yard has good drainage.
- In your home, if there are damp areas, use dehumidifiers to eliminate excess moisture. It is also important to ensure that your kitchens, bathrooms, basements, or crawl spaces are well-ventilated.
For home or business owners in the Chattanooga area looking for a solution to their pest problems, turn to the professionals at Perfect Blend Pest Solutions. We are a local pest control company with a deep understanding of the pests that live in our area and what pest control services will provide our customers with the best solution to their unique pest problems. If you would like more information about our residential or commercial pest control solutions, give us a call today and speak with one of our knowledgeable and friendly professionals!