Learn How to Avoid Ticks & Lyme Disease

A deer tick found in Central TN - The Bug Man

Have you ever caught a tick mid-bite? Finding a tick trying to latch itself onto you to draw your blood is one of the creepiest pest-related experiences you can have in Central TN. Unfortunately, our climate proves suitable for many different species of them to thrive. The most dangerous species in the area is the deer tick because of its ability to spread Lyme disease. Wondering how you can keep safe from tick bites and their dangerous consequences? Read on to learn how with expert advice from The Bug Man.

How Do People Contract Lyme Disease?

The most common reason for people contracting Lyme disease is being bitten by a deer tick nymph. Deer ticks are capable of harboring and spreading Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that leads to Lyme disease in humans and animals. At only 2 mm long, deer tick nymphs are tiny enough to sneak up onto our legs undetected, and with their anesthetic saliva, they can ensure that their bites cause no pain during the process.

If you contract Lyme disease from a tick bite, the first symptoms you will feel are usually headaches, fever, rashes, muscle and joint pain, and exhaustion. However, if left untreated, these symptoms will snowball into serious nerve damage and arthritis. If you think that a recent tick bite has left you with the initial symptoms of Lyme disease, call your doctor immediately.

Best Ways to Avoid Ticks

Ticks usually hide out in shaded, vegetated, humid areas, waiting for small animals or humans to cross their paths. No one wants to spend their spring and summer inside in fear of tick bites, so it’s important to understand the best methods of protecting yourself, your children, and your pets from coming in contact with these pests. Follow our advice to steer clear of ticks:

  • Wear long pants and long socks while spending time outside to limit exposed skin.
  • Keep your children and pets on the trail and close by when going on hikes or walking in densely vegetated areas.
  • Always perform a tick check on yourself and everyone else when coming back in from extended time outside.
  • If you find a tick on your body, don’t pinch it with your fingers. Secure the tick with tweezers as close as possible to the skin and pull it out slowly.

Professional Tick Control in Central TN

You shouldn’t be dealing with ticks on a regular basis. If you, your children, or your pets are constantly coming back inside with ticks on their legs, you have a tick problem that needs to be addressed by a professional tick exterminator with regional experience. The Bug Man’s team can come out to your property to inspect the premises for tick hotspots and apply a barrier treatment that will keep them away through the summer. Contact us today for a free quote on our tick removal services!

The Bug Man’s Top 10 Spider Facts

Searching for spiders in Central TN - The Bug Man

The Bug Man’s technicians are no strangers to spiders. We’ve helped many different home and business owners around Central TN put a stop to their spider infestations. You can’t help but learn a lot during the spider extermination process, both about spiders and the people that want them gone. There are a lot of arachnophobes out there! We believe that if you learn more about spiders, you might be less afraid of them and more intrigued by them. Read on to hear our exterminators’ favorite spider facts!

The Bug Man’s Top 10 Facts About Spiders

  1. Most spider bites won’t hurt you: There are only a select few spiders around Central TN with enough venom to seriously harm a human. Although all spiders are venomous, most of them only need enough venom necessary to kill small bugs.
  2. There are spiders everywhere: Not just around the world, around you, too! Research suggests that you’re likely within 10 feet of the nearest spider at any time. Don’t worry, though. Spiders would much rather stay hidden than bother you.
  3. Thousands of spider species have been found: Over 35,000 species of spiders have been documented, and experts believe that they’ll find many more in years to come.
  4. Male spiders give presents: When a male fancies a female, he might capture and wrap an insect in silk to present to her as a gift. Some dishonest spiders have been observed cutting corners by wrapping up leaves or other junk instead.
  5. They also dance: Some male spiders perform a dance routine consisting of arm-waving and scurrying movements as part of their courtship practice.
  6. Female spiders will attack males: Some female spiders will kill and save the body of their mate after copulation to be able to provide food to her offspring later.
  7. Spider silk has many purposes: Spiders don’t just use their silk to spin webs. They also create transportation lines, tunnels, nests to hide in, and use it as a floating device.
  8. Spider silk trumps steel: If you were to cut a piece of silk down to the dimensions of a string of spider silk, it would be 5 times weaker!
  9. Silk starts as a liquid: Before coming into contact with air, spider silk sits as a liquid in the spinning gland. It is solidified after it is ejected. This makes its strength all the more impressive!
  10. Spider muscles are quite different from ours: Spiders can’t extend their legs out with the same muscular mechanism that draws them in. Instead, they pump a special fluid through their legs that also allows them to jump great distances.

Do You Still Need Spider Control?

We hope you’ve come away from this with a few new spider facts to take with you going forward. However, we understand that even if you think they’re interesting, having hordes of them in your home or business can be quite distressing. If you need spider removal services, reach out to our team at The Bug Man. Our spider exterminators will provide you with a free quote if you contact us today!

Termite Season is Here in Middle Tennessee!

Termites in Middle Tennessee - The Bug Man

Every Spring, as the temperatures warm and the rains fall, a tiny insect wakens. This tiny insect, known as the subterranean termite, emerges from inside walls, floors, trees, and the ground to make a mating flight and begin a new life as the king and queen of a newly established colony. In the pest business, we call this termite swarm season! When this occurs inside a home, thousands of winged ant-like insects begin to fly from out of the wall and towards the windows and other light sources. Fortunately, all of these will die if they are unable to reach soil quickly.

However, what they leave behind are the worker and soldier termites inside the walls of your house. These are the termites that do the damage, eating the wood that your home is built with. These are also the termites that the homeowners in Tennessee must be concerned with. The experts at The Bug Man are here to help you learn everything you need to know.

Signs You Have Termites

  • Termite shelter tubes or mud tunnels on the foundation of your house. These may be found in the crawl space, on exterior foundations, and in the garage walls. In Middle Tennessee, they are usually orange in color, due to our clay soil.
  • Crumbling baseboards or drywall on the interior of the house. The termites will eat the wood and paper behind the paint, and then the paint will crack or sink in, making it brittle.
  • Swarm castles and pinholes are usually found in the drywall; termites will penetrate through the paint layer in preparation for the swarm.
  • Dead insects are usually black in color and look similar to ants and or wings. The termite swarmers will break off their wings after flight before returning to the earth. They can usually be found near windows and under light sources.

Termite wood damage in Middle TN home - The Bug Man

Preventing Termites in Your Property

The key to termite control is to prevent them in the first place. Here’s how:

  • Termites eat the cellulose in wood, so it is recommended to remove all wood debris from around and under your house. This includes the firewood. It is best to move it 10′ from your house and off the ground.
  • Termites need water, and we recommend that all gutters and downspouts are in working order and directing water away from the house. Make sure you don’t have water puddling under your home. Keep it dry.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are sealed properly to keep rain and moisture out. Wet and rotting wood is a favorite of termites.

What to Do About Termites in Middle Tennessee

In our region, termites are just a fact of life. Although termites damage homes, they don’t cause irreparable destruction overnight. The best way to prevent termites and to keep your property protected is to work with a professional termite control company. At The Bug Man, we will perform regular inspections and implement prevention measures to keep termites away for good.

Contact us today to get started!

Preventing Flying Termites in Your Home

Flying termites in Central TN - The Bug Man

Spring is welcomed by most of us here in Tennessee. Unfortunately, spring is also the time when insects of all types become more active after the winter. Worst of all, springtime is when termites begin to swarm. Flying termites, often confused for carpenter ants, will reproduce and swarm to form new colonies in new areas. This makes it imperative to be on the lookout for termite activity in the coming months.

At The Bug Man, we know how distressing a termite problem is for any property owner. Our experts are here to share everything you need to know to prevent flying termites in your home.

What Are Flying Termites?

Flying termites are the reproductive caste of termites and are also known as “swarmers” or “alates”. These termites leave their colonies in the spring and swarm until they find a new area, reproduce, and start a new colony. Flying termites can indicate an infestation around your home, so you should know how to identify them. Swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8 inches long including the wings. They have translucent or slightly milky or smoky wings. These wings may overlap and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body.

Swarmers invade structures during spring, particularly around basement windows, doorways, porches, and anywhere wood comes into contact with soil. A termite infestation can cause severe damage to your home before you realize it. This is why preventative measures should be taken in order to keep them from showing up in the first place.

5 Tips to Keep Termite Swarmers Away

Every spring here in Tennessee, it’s important to be on the lookout for termites. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help prevent flying termites:

  • Routinely clean your yard of any rotting wood, trees, etc. Ensure your porch or deck is maintained.
  • Keep all mulch away from the foundation of your home.
  • Store all firewood above ground and away from the perimeter of your property.
  • Repair issues with your plumbing to avoid any leaks or moisture that could attract termites.
  • Work with a professional termite control expert to implement treatments that repel termites.

Preventing Flying Termites in Central TN

If you notice signs of termite swarmers or think you already have an active infestation, it’s time to contact your local termite control experts at The Bug Man. With regular inspections and preventative treatments, you can rest assured knowing swarmers won’t invade your property this spring.

Contact us today to get started!

How Flies Can Invade a Clean House

Flies infesting Central TN home - The Bug Man

Although flies are typically seen as a pest problem during the summer, they can also be a nuisance at other times of the year. Bottom line: nobody enjoys dealing with flies indoors. Their presence can be frustrating and make you wonder how they got indoors in the first place. To avoid having to deal with flies in your Tennessee property, the key is to know what’s drawing them indoors.

The experts at The Bug Man are here to help—read on to learn all you need to know about keeping flies from invading your home. 

Why Do Flies Come Inside?

We’re all used to seeing flies outdoors, but it can be a real pain to find them invading your own home. Flies get inside for a number of reasons, usually in pursuit of trash, rotting food, or moisture. A common house fly is attracted to decaying organic matter like feces and rotting meat. Drain flies, on the other hand, are attracted to moisture and will lay their eggs inside of drains. Additional conditions that might attract flies in your home include uncovered trash cans, pet feces, animal carcasses in your walls, rotting fruit, spilled sugary drinks, and more. Once flies get indoors, they can reproduce quickly, making it important to learn how to prevent them.

How to Keep Flies Outside

Flies are more common in the summer, but they can be drawn inside your property in the winter as well. This makes it important to learn how to keep flies out all year round. By preventing these pests in the first place, you will not have to deal with them later. Take the following steps to prevent flies in your home:

  1. In the fall as the temperature begins to change, it is imperative to seal off your home to keep flies out. Do this by caulking cracks on the property. Sealing windows and doors is especially important, as some species such as cluster flies tend to enter homes under baseboards and window frames.
  2. In order to prevent nuisance flies like gnats and fruit flies, it’s best to eliminate their food and shelter sources. You should always throw away rotting food from your pantry or fridge. Take your garbage outside regularly and use tight-fitting lids on your cans. Lastly, focus on sealing cracks and crevices around windows and doors near your kitchen.

Need Help Getting Rid of Flies?

If you have a fly infestation on your property, you should hire a local fly control expert. At The Bug Man, we work hard to eliminate the conditions that lead to fly infestations in your home.

To learn more, contact us today!

Do Bees Die in the Winter?

Winter bee activity in Central TN - The Bug Man

Everyone associates the buzzing of bees with spring or summer. Bees and all other types of stinging insects are at their peak during these times of the year, often during the fall. So what happens during the winter? It’s hard to imagine that any insect can survive Central Tennessee’s cold temperatures. The truth is that certain types of bees can survive the winter months depending on how low the temperature drops. Here’s what you need to know about winter bees from the experts at The Bug Man.

Winter Bee Activity

Some species of bees seem to disappear in the late summer or early fall after their activity peaks. If the temperature drops below 50°F, bees are less likely to be as active as they are in the summer. The three most common bees in our region each react differently to winter temperatures:

  1. Honey bees: For honey bees to survive the winter, they must have a robust population with a secure hive and a large store of honey. Male honey bees die off, leaving the female bees to crowd tightly together in their hive with the queen in the middle. The female worker bees will vibrate and shiver around the queen bee, keeping alive until warmer days return.
  2. Bumblebees: All bumblebees in a colony except the queen will die if temperatures become too cold. The queen bees will hibernate, or overwinter, by digging small holes in the dirt.
  3. Carpenter bees: These wood-destroying bees can remain dormant through the winter in their nests. During the winter months, young carpenter bees that hatched in the summer will hibernate in their nests. During the summer, older bees will die after larvae are laid.

Preventing Bees in Central Tennessee

During the winter, you don’t have to worry about a full-blown infestation, but it’s a great time to start getting ready for the coming months. Follow these steps before bees become active in the spring:

  • To prevent pests from entering your home, seal cracks and crevices around the exterior of the property.
  • Plant your gardens far away from your property, or stick to grasses and non-flowering shrubs.
  • Mow your lawn regularly and avoid letting areas become overgrown.
  • Install tight-fitting screens on your windows and doors.
  • Fill in holes in the yard left by animals to get rid of nesting sites for bees and other wasps.
  • Invest in tight-fitting lids for outdoor trash and recycling cans.

Need Help With Bee Control?

Any time of year, you should contact your local bee control experts if you have bee problems. You can count on us to identify areas around your property that could harbor nests or overwintering stinging insects. As spring and summer approach, we can also help you prepare for pests.

Contact us today to get started!

When Indian Meal Moths Attack

When Indianmeal Moths Attack

Indian meal moths are one of the most common pantry pests in the region and one of the more unfortunate pests to discover. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to bake some delicious deserts only to find out that Indian meal moths or their larvae are crawling around in your ingredients. They hide in items that we pick up from the grocery store and pop out at just the right time to leave us discouraged and disgusted. So, what can you do when Indian meal moths claim your pantry in Murfreesboro TN? Read on for advice from The Bug Man’s technicians!

Do I Have Indian Meal Moths?

There are many kinds of moths around Central TN, but Indian meal moths are a particular moth species known and named for infesting dry goods, like cornmeal. These are a few ways you can identify the moths in your home as Indian meal moths:

  • Indian meal moths will often be found in your kitchen, and even more often in your pantry, which is dark and full of food for them to eat and hide in.
  • They have distinct reddish-brown markings arranged in layered patterns across their wings.
  • You will usually find them around or inside boxes that you’ve picked up from the grocery store that were already damged. Look for rips and tears on food items in your pantry.
  • Their larvae look like tiny, cream-colored worms with dark heads.

Tips for Preventing Indianmeal Moths

Unfortunately, it can be hard to prevent an infestation of Indian meal moths before it gets out of hand. If you can stop an infestation before it even starts, you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and money. Here are some tips for keeping Indian meal moths out of your home:

  1. Look for damage before purchasing boxed or canned food items.
  2. Avoid leaving unsealed food out.
  3. Store your food in airtight containers and stow it away after eating.
  4. Keep your pantry closed as often as you can.
  5. Fix any broken screens on your windows and doors.
  6. Seal off any gaps or cracks in your exterior walls and foundation.

Expert Pantry Pest Control

If you’ve tried everything and are still finding Indian meal moths in your dry food products, it’s time to bring in the help of a professional pest control company. The Bug Man’s technicians are trained to identify all types of pantry pests living around Murfreesboro TN and remove them from both spots that you’ve found and spots where you wouldn’t think to look. For a free quote or to learn more about our Indian meal moth removal services, contact us today!

Can Ticks Survive through the Winter?

A tick on a dog in Murfreesboro TN - The Bug Man

Many of us see winter as the season where pests try to get inside our homes. While this may be true, it doesn’t exempt us from dealing with pests outdoors, too! Some of the sneakiest offenders in the winter in Central TN are ticks. While many other kinds of bugs scramble for indoor protection or die off in the harsh cold, ticks make do with what they have and are able to survive at relatively impressive rates. If you’re looking to learn more about ticks’ survivability in the winter and the ways we can avoid them, read on for expert advice from The Bug Man!

When Are Ticks In Season in Central TN?

People usually associate ticks with the summer. Walking your dogs through tall grass is often advised against during the warmer months for the number of ticks that could be lurking around, waiting for a host to pass by. There is definitely truth to this—ticks thrive in warm and humid climates, preferring to live in places averaging upwards of 85% humidity.

So, if heat and humidity are the keys to their survival, do ticks die in the winter? Although the conditions are unpreferable, ticks are fully capable of surviving during the colder seasons. Here’s how they do it:

  • If they can find a suitable host, they will latch onto them for as long as they can, feeding off of them and hiding in their fur when resting.
  • If they cannot find a host, they will look for piles of leaf litter to provide a temporary shelter
  • Some ticks will burrow underground for a more stable layer of protection and insulation

How to Steer Clear of Winter Ticks

You’re much less likely to run into ticks when the temperatures drop below 45 degrees and the ground is covered in water, ice, or snow. However, winter tick problems can still arise if you don’t keep your guard up against them. Here are a few ways you can defend your family against ticks in Central TN:

  1. Check your pets when they come back inside. If a tick latches onto your dog, they will stay there until discovered. Conduct a tick check after letting your dogs outside or taking them on a walk.
  2. Don’t let yard waste build up. Since ticks hide in leaf piles and other organic matter during the winter, you want to make sure your yard is cleared of any potential hiding places.
  3. Hire your local tick exterminators. Tick barrier treatments can make your yard uninhabitable for all of the many tick species living in our region.

Tick Control this Winter

Perhaps the greatest danger associated with ticks is the transmission of Lyme disease, which is carried by some deer ticks living in Central TN. To protect your family from dangerous ticks this winter, talk to your local pest control company. The Bug Man’s tick control team has been protecting the Murfreesboro area from parasitic pests for 20 years and can develop a custom plan for your property, commercial or residential. For a free quote, reach out today!

How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

What bed bugs look like in Central TN - The Bug Man

No one wants to wake up with bed bug bites—the immediate realization that you have been bitten is only worsened by the understanding that they’re probably all over your bed. One of the unfortunate misconceptions surrounding bed bugs, though, is that they only want to live in your bed. When bed bugs find their way into your home, they can infest all kinds of furniture and find many other suitable hiding places. If you don’t take care of them quickly and exhaustively, they can stay in your house for months on end. To learn the best ways to get rid of bed bugs in Central TN, read on for informed advice from The Bug Man’s bed bug experts!

Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

There are multiple signs to look for if you’re worried about a bed bug infestation in your home. Here are the top three:

  • Bite marks: People usually only discover their bed bug infestation after they’ve been bitten. Bed bug bites will appear in zig-zag patterns of small, red bumps along skin that you leave exposed at night.
  • Filth: Wherever bed bugs go, they leave behind reddish-brown blood smears, spots of excrement, and tiny, white eggshells of newly-hatched bed bugs.
  • Living bed bugs: Bed bugs are hard to spot; they are very small and good at hiding. Look around your mattress, box spring, furniture, and baseboards for the best chances of catching them.

Get Rid of Bed Bugs Quickly

The most reliable way to get rid of bed bugs is to overheat them. If there are active bed bugs living in your bedding, transport it carefully to the washer and dryer for high-heat cycles. This will eliminate all living bed bugs within, as well as their eggs. Afterward, check around any gaps that you feel you might have missed active bed bugs in—this extends to molding, baseboards, door jambs, and power outlets. You can also scrub and vacuum furniture and carpeting that you can’t wash in a washing machine.

Bed Bug Pest Control in Central TN

Sometimes, bed bug infestations reach critical levels at which point DIY bed bug control no longer works. If your bed bug problem has spiraled out of control, reach out to your local pest control company. The Bug Man’s technicians are trained in multiple types of professional bed bug control, from focused spot treatments to property-wide heat treatments. We will send out our bed bug experts to inspect your home and assess your infestation to find the best way to get rid of bed bugs quickly, and for good. For a free quote, contact our team today!

Protect Your Firewood from Home Invading Pests

A subterranean termite found in Central TN - The Bug Man

As we head into winter, many of us look forward to getting cozy in front of a warm fireplace. Unfortunately, if you want to stay prepared to keep warm in the winter, you also have to stay prepared against inevitable pest problems that will develop without proper precautions. We have helped many people around Central TN get rid of pest problems in their house, in the process discovering that their firewood is the source of the problem. The Bug Man is here to teach you how to avoid pest problems caused by poor firewood management—read on to learn!

What Pests Infest Firewood?

Having insects in your firewood isn’t always a big deal. Boxelder bugs, earwigs, moths, some spiders, and more pests will do no more than become an annoyance when they decide to look for shelter in our woodpiles. However, there are a few insects that we have to be on the lookout for, those being:

These insects pose varying degrees of danger to your home. Of course, bees and wasps always come with the threat of stings, and even anaphylaxis in some. However, the first three pests listed can all cause damage to wooden structures, with termites being able to cause thousands of dollars in damage.

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Woodpile

In order to avoid a termite infestation or an outbreak of many other kinds of pests, there are a few precautions you must take. Here are The Bug Man’s best pieces of advice for woodpile pest prevention:

  1. Store firewood away from your house: The further away from your home you stash your firewood, the lesser the chance of a pest infestation. Many people lean their woodpiles against the outside of their home, only to find out that that has caused a pest infestation.
  2. Keep firewood covered and off of the ground: Since insects like termites and carpenter ants live in the soil, keeping your woodpile on the ground leaves destructive pests easy access to your home. Drape a tarp over your pile and keep it elevated however possible.
  3. Choose older wood first and burn it quickly: Older wood is more likely to be hosting pests, but if you take your wood straight to the fire, you shouldn’t have insects making their way out.

Need Pest Control Help this Winter?

If you suspect that your woodpile is causing pests to invade your home, talk to your local pest control program about your issues. The Bug Man’s team is trained to carry out exhaustive property inspections, leaving no stone (or log) unturned in the pursuit of pests. Don’t let pests take over your home this winter—contact us for a free quote today!