What Just Bit Me? How to Identify Common Bug Bites

What mosquitoes look like in Central TN - The Bug Man

Having bug bites is never a good feeling, especially when you never catch the critter that did it to you. Lots of anxiety can stem from not knowing what kind of biting pest is living in your home. It is also easy to wake up from a night of sleep with bug bites and misidentify them, leading to a longer process of pest removal. If you are trying to find out which kind of pest in Central TN is biting you, keep reading for top insight from The Bug Man.

Pests that Bite to Draw Blood

Some pests that draw blood might not look as frightening as other bugs, but are able to pass on dangerous diseases through their bites. This makes it crucial to be able to identify the bug bites on your skin. Some pests that draw blood in Central TN are:

  1. Mosquitoes: After a mosquito bites you, a raised, white welt will form right away. The bite will then spread out into a larger, red, itchy lump. Most mosquitoes in our area do not carry diseases, but in tropical and some subtropical regions, mosquitoes can carry malaria and Zika virus, along with many other serious diseases.
  2. Ticks: Tick bites can look nearly indistinguishable from a mosquito bite, or like much smaller, darker prick marks. If you notice a tick bite shortly after they find you, you will still see it digging into your skin. Ticks can spread Lyme disease, so if you find a tick on your skin, remove it right away to decrease your chances of contracting it.
  3. Fleas: While they prefer to pester our pets, fleas bite humans, too. You might not even be able to notice a tick bite upon impact, but it will be itchy afterward. Ticks do not spread diseases to humans, but their bites can become infected if excessively scratched.
  4. Bed bugs: Bed bug bites appear overnight. If you wake up with zigzag patterns of tiny red bumps on exposed skin, you are in the middle of a bed bug infestation. Although their bites don’t pass on diseases, they can sometimes transfer diseases to humans that they carry on their bodies through their travels.

Other Bug Bites in Central TN

There are plenty of other pests that bite in our area, but the four mentioned earlier are the most likely offenders. Some bugs in Central TN either seldom bite or their bites yield negligible results. Cockroaches, centipedes, and ants fall into this category. These insects rarely bite, and the effects of their bites don’t often extend beyond an annoyance.

Some spiders in the region can dish out painful bites, but again, they are rarely provoked enough to bite. These spiders include wolf spiders, brown recluses, and black widows. The black widow has the most dangerous bite of the three—if you sustain a black widow bite, seek medical attention right away.

How to Stay Safe from Bug Bites

If you are looking to stay safe from bug bites this summer, ask your local pest control company about what they can do to help. Our pest experts at The Bug Man can perform a holistic inspection of your property to locate any biting pests and promptly remove them. We will also follow up as needed with pest prevention advice and return treatments to ensure that any infestations never return. Contact us today for a free quote!

How to Keep Ants Away from Your Hummingbird Feeder

A hummingbird taking nectar from a flower in Murfreesboro TN - The Bug Man

You don’t have to be a bird enthusiast to appreciate the beauty of the hummingbird. People all over the country set up special feeders to catch closer glimpses of our flitting friends. Unfortunately, a common problem with hummingbird feeders is that they attract ants as well. The same features that draw hummingbirds in create an ample food source for hungry pests.

Read on to learn more about why ants are attracted to hummingbird feeders and what you can do to make them leave your feeder alone.

Why Are Ants in My Hummingbird Feeder?

A hummingbird feeder works by enticing the hummingbird with sugar water. The problem with this is that sugar also happens to be an ant’s meal of choice. Ants tend to target sugary foods in general, so finding a container full of sugar is like hitting the jackpot for an ant colony.

One problem with having ants in your hummingbird feeder is that they don’t mind if they have to share. On the other hand, if a hummingbird finds a trail of ants stealing their sugar water, they will be much less likely to come back. To keep a steady stream of hummingbird visitors at your feeder, you have to find a way to keep ants out.

How to Avoid Ants in Your Bird Feeder

So, what is the best way to keep ants away from your hummingbird feeder? In truth, there are a variety of strategies you can use to keep your feeder protected. Paying attention to the path the ants are taking to reach the feeder will help you determine the best answer for your yard. Here are a few preemptive measures you can try:

  1. Keep it in the shade: If your feeder overheats in the sun, it can expand and allow the sugar water to drip down the sides, giving the ants a signal to find it.
  2. Check for spills: Any cracks or leaks in the feeder will allow ants to pick up on the scent of the sugar water. If you have an ant problem, there could be a tiny crack in your hummingbird feeder that you haven’t noticed.
  3. Use an ant trap: You can actually purchase ant traps specifically designed for hummingbird feeders. They allow the ants to discover the feeder but block them from accessing the sugar water.
  4. Hang it well: Try to find a place to hang your feeder that is outside of ant access. Hanging it on a fishing line will support the weight of the feeder while giving ants a difficult surface to crawl on.

Professional Ant Control in Central TN

An ant problem in your hummingbird feeder can quickly turn into an ant problem inside your house. If you can’t seem to avoid ants on your property in Central TN, reach out to your local pest control company to see how they can help. Our expert ant control specialists at The Bug Man can use efficient and exhaustive techniques to locate the sources of your infestation and ensure that it is put to a stop. For more information or a free quote on ant control, contact us today!

The Ants are Marching in Murfreesboro

A budding ant colony found in Murfreesboro TN - The Bug Man

Everyone has found an unexpected ant trail in their home at one point or another. Ants seem to move in staggering numbers everywhere they go, and even when you find hundreds of them, it can be hard to tell where they’re coming from. It leaves many wondering, “how exactly do ants get into our homes, and what can I do to keep them out?” Keep reading to learn The Bug Man’s expert tips to help you avoid ant infestations this summer.

Why Are There So Many Ants In My House?

Ant colonies produce worker ants that are designed to seek out food and resources for the colony. When they discover a food source, they send out a pheromone signal to other worker ants to alert them of their findings. Ants will make use of just about any food source, but they do have their preferences. You can commonly find ants around these foods:

  • Grains
  • Meats
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Sweet foods made of simple sugars

Keep in mind, though, that ants will eat almost anything that has been left out or improperly sealed.

How To Control Ants On Your Own

Once an ant colony has established itself in your house, it can be very tricky to get rid of. The only way to reliably control ants on your property is to put proper preventative measures in place. You can decrease the likelihood of an ant infestation in your home by following these steps:

  1. Clean up spills promptly and wash dishes right away
  2. Seal and put away your food after you eat
  3. Routinely check for gaps by doors and windows and cracks in walls
  4. Make a spray of diluted essential oils like lemon juice or peppermint oil. Spray it in problem areas.

Preventing Little Black Ants in Murfreesboro TN

If you’re experiencing ant issues in your house today, you might want to try using an EPA-approved insecticide to combat active ants. However, this will only work as a temporary solution—long-term ant control requires consistent attention to ant prevention. If you need help dealing with a large infestation in Murfreesboro TN, you can trust The Bug Man to help you put a stop to it. Our expert ant exterminators can use industry-leading equipment and strategies to quickly and safely remove ants from your home. For a free quote, contact us today!

Mosquito Problems? The Bug Man Can Rescue You!

mosquito problems in Central TN

Spring is finally here in Tennessee and with it, the warm sun, rain, and blooming flowers. However, these aren’t the only accompaniments to springtime. Mosquitoes are emerging and are here to stay for the months ahead. It can be very difficult to enjoy spending outdoors this time of year when mosquitoes are so active during much of the day. This makes it important to learn not only how to prevent mosquitoes, but how to get rid of them if you already have an infestation. The mosquito control experts are here to help—read on to learn more!

Mosquito Prevention 101

When it comes to mosquitoes, we recommend that each person take steps to help with the mosquito populations.  Our top tips are to:

  1. Drain all standing water from the yard, including buckets, bird baths, old tires, planters, and toys. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in just a capful of water! 
  2. While outside during mosquito season, it is recommended to use a repellent to help keep the mosquitoes from biting. Just be sure to read the label instructions for proper use.
  3. To prevent bites, wear light or bright colored clothing. If it is cool enough at dawn and dusk, wear pants and long sleeved shirts to limit skin exposure.
  4. For the ultimate protection against mosquitoes, team up with your local mosquito control experts at The Bug Man, who can provide targeted treatments.

Mosquito Management With The Bug Man

If you have a mosquito problem, the team at The Bug Man can come to your rescue. Our mosquito management service consists of the following steps to keep you mosquito-free:

  1. An inspection of your property.
  2. Removal or recommended removal of breeding sites.
  3. Application a larvicide to areas of standing water.
  4. Application of a residual adulticide to the bushes, shrubs, and other resting sites around the perimeter of the outdoor living areas.  

Say Goodbye to Mosquito Problems in Murfreesboro TN

If you want to enjoy your time spent outside this spring and summer, it’s important to team up with your local mosquito control experts. At The Bug Man, we know how to prevent mosquitoes from bothering you or your family. Contact us today to get started!

What to Know About the Emerging Brood-X Cicadas

What to Know About the Emerging Brood-X Cicadas

This May, we’re in for a rare occurrence here in Murfreesboro TN: the emergence of the Brood-X Cicadas! After being underground for 17 years, the massive swarms of cicadas are about to emerge in late May through early June throughout 14 eastern states. Whether you view this event with delight or disgust, it’s important to prepare by learning about these cicadas. The experts at The Bug Man are here to help. Keep reading to find out everything you should know about the Brood X cicadas!

All About Brood-X Cicadas

This spring and summer, you’re about to hear a lot about the Brood X cicadas. If you’re unfamiliar, this brood emerges just once every 17 years—meaning the last emergence was all the way back in 2004! Unlike your typical cicada, Brood X cicadas are slightly frightening insects that are up to two inches long with a 3-inch wingspan and bright red, beady eyes.

Most people associate cicadas with the extremely loud noise they produce. Male cicadas are the noisy ones, producing nearly 100 decibels of sound. This deafening noise can be heard across long distances and is used to attract female cicadas.

When Do the Brood X Cicadas Emerge in Tennessee?

Scientists predict that the Brood X cicadas will emerge here in Virginia in late May. Here’s what to know about their life cycle during this time:

  1. When soil temperatures reach about 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the Brood X cicadas will emerge from the ground as nymphs.
  2. About 6 days later, the nymphs will morph into adult cicadas. This stage will last about 2-4 weeks.
  3. The adult male cicadas will use their tymbal to attract females. After mating, the females will lay her eggs in twigs on the ground.
  4. After mating, the adult cicadas will fall to the ground, providing nutrients for the animals and soil. This marks the beginning of the next 17-year period until Brood X cicadas emerge once more.

 

Are Brood X Cicadas Harmful?

As frightening as this event may be—especially with the massive swarms—Brood X cicadas pose little threat to humans or structures. In fact, cicadas are a feast for all types of animals, even your dogs. Cicadas feed on sap from tree roots, which will only threaten young trees and saplings. Cicadas have no interest in coming indoors, but keep your windows and doors shut during their emergence to keep them outside. Lastly, Brood X cicadas may look terrifying, but they do not bite, sting, or carry diseases.

How to Keep Brood X Cicadas Away

You may not want to deal with these cicadas, but there is little to do to prevent them. Spraying or applying a pesticide would do more harm than good. To stay protected from their emergence, consider covering any young trees and make sure to keep your windows and doors closed securely! To learn more about the Brood X cicadas, the experts at The Bug Man are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

Termite Season is Once Again Knocking at the Door

Termite Season is Once Again Knocking at the Door

Termite season has officially started here in Murfreesboro TN. As soon as the weather warms up even a bit, termites become active. With our climate, termites are a problem for homeowners most of the year. Because they are such a dangerous pest problem, it’s crucial to learn what you need to do to prevent a termite infestation throughout the spring and summer months.

To help, the termite experts at The Bug Man are here to share all you need to know about termite season in our region. Read on to learn more!

The Start of Termite Season

When the weather breaks, the termites will begin to swarm. Swarming is when the new reproductive termites take flight looking for a new place to call home. The termite swarm will usually occur on a sunny, humid morning. Once the termites have swarmed, they find a mate, and attempt to return to the soil to begin a new life. Most of the swarming termites will die. If they swarm inside a house, they die. When they swarm outside, other predators such as birds, lizards, spiders, and other insects will dine on the termites.

How to Prevent Termites Throughout the Year

Many homeowners ask what they can do to protect their homes. The best way to stay protected against termite problems is to work with a professional termite exterminator. This ensures your home or business is inspected on a yearly basis for termites in order to stop an infestation before it begins. In addition, there are a number of things you can do to make your home less attractive to termites:

  1. Eliminate sources of standing water in or near the home and fix any moisture problems, such as a leaky faucet or broken water pipe.
  2. Ensure your yard has good drainage, avoid excess mulch, and clean out gutters regularly.
  3. Keep piles of lumber or firewood away from the foundation of your home, and eliminate any sources of decaying lumber.
  4. Regularly inspect your deck, patio, or outdoor furniture for signs of damage.
  5. Remove dead trees and branches from areas surrounding your yard.

 

Stop Termites This Year

Spring is the time termites swarm, so now is the time for an inspection! At The Bug Man, we will thoroughly check your home to seek out any vulnerabilities that could lead to a termite problem.

6 Factors That Put You At Risk For Termites

Termite identification in Murfreesboro TN; The Bug Man

Termites are a year-round pest problem for Tennessee residents. But what makes your home attractive to termites in the first place? Many people are under false pretenses that termites only infest wood. Unfortunately, there are many other factors at play that may put you at risk for an infestation. This Termite Awareness Week, the experts at The Bug Man are here to share all you need to know about what could unknowingly attract these destructive pests to your home. Read on to learn more!

Top Termite Risks Around Your Home

No matter what kind of home you live in, there are several things that could make you a hotspot for termite activity. Here are the top factors for termite infestations:

  1. Cellulose. Termites may be infamous for infesting wood, but they’re actually after the cellulose contained within! This cellulose is a main component that can be found in wallpaper, plants, mulch, drywall, and more.
  2. Moisture. Leaky pipes, broken sprinklers, or clogged gutters can all lead to moisture problems in your home. In turn, this could attract subterranean termites (not to mention hoards of other pests) inside.
  3. Access to soil. Subterranean termites need contact with soil to live. Any wood items, whether it’s your home, porch, or firewood in the yard, in contact with soil is at risk for a termite problem.
  4. Warmth. Termite problems are generally more common in warmer, humid parts of the world. This puts our Southern state at a higher risk of termite activity year-round.
  5. Decaying wood. If you have logs, trees, or stumps that are rotten or in decay, you can be sure termites will seek them out.
  6. Landscape. Termites can infest mulch, making it important to keep it away from the perimeter of your home. Also, trim back tree branches that may be too close to your property.

 

How to Protect Your Home From the Risk of Termites

Unsure if your property is vulnerable to termites? The best way to know if you are protected against termites is to work with a professional termite exterminator. A thorough home inspection will pinpoint anything in or around your property that could put you at risk for termites in the future.