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!

When Mice and Rats Come Knocking

Mice found in Central TN - The Bug Man

When winter rolls around, sometimes all we want to do is sit by a cozy fire and relax. It turns out that many wild animals in Central TN feel the same. All sorts of pests try to find their way into our homes, but some of the most worrisome of these are rodents. Rats and mice are the worst offenders of breaking into our homes and building nests, causing damage (and even fire hazards), spreading filth, and possibly contaminating our homes with disease. To learn what to do to prevent a rodent infestation this year, read on for advice from The Bug Man’s technicians!

Mice and Rats in the Wall Want 3 Things

Rodents, like all other wild animals, have to take precautions to prepare themselves for a long, cold winter. They need to maintain themselves through finding a consistent hideout that creates ample resource accessibility. These are the three things that rodents need to get through the winter:

  1. Warmth: Our insulated homes provide a warm place for rats and mice to hide when temperatures drop below sustainable levels.
  2. Shelter: Rodents, especially mice, have lots of natural predators roaming around Central TN. They build nests inside our homes to have a safe place to hide out.
  3. Food: Although they can go for a while without food, rats and mice will never pass up a carb-heavy snack or some leftovers from our trash.

How to Keep Rats and Mice Outside

Some of us are familiar with the sound of rodents scurrying around in our walls, but many of us have trouble even locating their nests, let alone getting rid of them entirely. The best way to prevent a rodent infestation is to set preventative measures in place to keep them out of your home in the first place. Here are our top tips:

  • Seal off any potential access points. Rats only need about ½” of space to crawl through; mice, just ¼”! Seal any cracks in your foundation, walls, and roofing, and install screens on doors, windows, vents, and chimneys.
  • Prevent food access. This can be done by cleaning dishes promptly, quickly wiping up spills, using sealable trash bags, and taking your garbage out as often as possible.
  • Maintain your yard. Keep mulch away from the foundation of your home, clean up any yard waste piles, and keep your grass cut short to prevent outdoor hiding places.

Professional Rodent Exclusion with The Bug Man

If you’re already dealing with rodent issues or are looking to take a militant stand against rats and mice this winter, reach out to your local pest control company. We train our technicians to keep rodents out through a multi-step process of holistic inspections, multiple options for extermination and removal, including baits, traps, and relocation, and preventative maintenance to keep rodents out all year long. Contact our rodent removal team today for a free quote!

Keep Pests Out Over the Holidays

A cockroach indoors in Central TN - The Bug Man

A pest infestation is one of the last things you want to deal with during the holiday season. The family is gathering, meals are being prepared, gifts are being exchanged, and all of a sudden you have cockroaches scurrying along your baseboards or a mouse running out from under the tree. Many common practices of the holiday season make it easy for all sorts of pests to spread between homes and multiply easily. Looking to learn how to keep pests away in Central TN this holiday season? Read on for advice from The Bug Man’s technicians!

Why Do Pests Spread During the Holiday Season?

Pests are given new opportunities to spread during the holidays that we wouldn’t normally think about. These are the main ways that holiday season pest infestations start:

  • With everyone shopping online, pests have all sorts of opportunities to find temporary shelter in packaging and permanent homes where they end up.
  • Holiday plants like garlands, wreaths, and trees can all host tons of tiny pests inside them when they’re put out on display.
  • Decorations that are left in storage for the vast majority of the year can accumulate large pest populations. When brought out for the holidays, pests living in storage can spread across your home.

3 Ways to Prevent Holiday Season Pests On Your Own

Among all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important not to let your guard down against pests. Here are our technicians’ top three tips to help you keep pests outbreaks from amassing in your home during the holidays:

  1. Inspect your firewood for pests before bringing it inside. Keeping your firewood outside and off of the ground is a great way to avoid pest problems indoors.
  2. Before putting up a tree, wreath, garlands, or other greenery, shake them out outside to see if there are any pests living within them.
  3. Check the boxes you store your decorations in for evidence of pest problems. This could be scratches, bite marks, droppings, and more.

Holiday Season Pest Protection in Central TN

There’s no time to be stressed out about a pest infestation during the holidays. There is shopping to do, plans to make, and so much more on your plate. Leave the worrying to your local pest control company! When you work with The Bug Man’s technicians, you can expect a full property inspection, necessary extermination work, preventative maintenance, and complete, detailed reports of their work and findings. For a free quote on holiday season pest control, reach out to our team today!

Exposing the Brown Recluse

A brown recluse in Central TN - The Bug Man

Brown recluse spiders have an air of mystery about them that starts with their name and extends to their habits, characteristics, and reputation. You may have never seen one in Central TN, or even seen one and thought nothing of it, but an unfortunate few of us have been bitten by brown recluses. This is certainly an experience that you won’t forget!

To learn more about brown recluse spiders, their bites, and what you can do if you find one in your home, read on for advice from The Bug Man’s team!

What Do Brown Recluse Spiders Look Like?

It can be easy to mistake any brown house spider in your home for a brown recluse if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Here are some features that will help you tell apart brown recluse spiders from other spider species in Central TN:

  • They have monochromatic bodies ranging from light to dark brown
  • They are around ½” in length with long legs and a particularly bulbous abdomen
  • They have a unique, violin-shaped marking on their back

When brown recluse spiders work their way inside, they will look for crawl spaces, storage areas, or other dark, cluttered, and unoccupied places to take shelter.

Are Brown Recluse Spiders Dangerous?

Black widows and brown recluses are often grouped together as deadly spiders that won’t hesitate to bite. In truth, the brown recluse is a timid creature that will only bite when under serious duress. The venom of the brown recluse is less powerful than that of the black widow, but when a brown recluse bites, it does not hold back. The amount of venom that they inject can cause open, ulcerating sores in humans, and the scars they leave can last for years.

If you are experiencing lots of pain or an open sore after a brown recluse bite, consult a medical professional immediately.

Spiders in Eastern & Central Virginia

If you believe that you’ve found a brown recluse in your home in Central TN, leave it alone. It’s best to have a professional spider control expert remove any venomous spiders for you. The Bug Man’s technicians are trained to safely and quickly control spider populations and teach customers the best ways to prevent spider infestations going forward. To learn more about our services and receive a free quote, contact our team today!

Fall Means Mice and Rats Chewing Wires

Some rats found in Central TN - The Bug Man

When we think of pest problems here in Central TN, the most destructive one that comes to mind is a termite infestation. However, during the fall and winter when termites aren’t often swarming, arguably the most important destructive pests to worry about are rodents. Rats and mice are notorious for chewing through all sorts of things in our homes, including our electrical wiring.

If you’ve noticed torn or tarnished cables in your home, you are probably dealing with a rodent infestation of some sort. Read on to learn more about rodent problems and what you can do to stop them with The Bug Man!

Why Do Mice and Rats Chew Wires?

Rodents are known to be sneaky pests. They can live in your home for months without you ever discovering them. During the fall, rats and mice look to find places in our homes to hide out from the impending winter. If you hear scurrying noises in your walls, attic, or crawl spaces, check around for signs of bite marks on your home’s structural pieces or torn electrical wires.

Every rodent species has a pair of upper and lower teeth that never stop growing, called incisors. These teeth have to be constantly ground together or shaved away by chewing on whatever they can find. When rats and mice nest in our homes, they solve this problem by chewing up our wooden structures and electrical wiring. Noticing torn-up cable insulation is usually a sign of a rodent infestation.

Why Are Rats Dangerous?

When rats or mice get to the wiring in your car or house, they chew through the layer of protective coating that keeps the copper or aluminum safely encased. When it becomes exposed, it can cause sparks that pose a serious risk of fires, especially when surrounded by a house’s wooden structures.

It’s crucial to take precautions against rodents in the fall to ensure that you don’t have any unwanted guests in the winter. You can take these steps to keep your property protected:

  1. Seal any gaps or holes in your foundation, roof, or walls
  2. Store your food promptly after eating and seal your trash cans tightly
  3. Set your baits or traps outside to keep rodents from entering your home in the first place
  4. Call your local pest control company for an inspection

How to Remove Rodents in Central TN

One of the main problems with rodents is that they could be in your walls right now without you even noticing. If you’re worried that you might have rats in the house or mice in your attic, call up The Bug Man for an inspection. Our rodent specialists are trained to discover pest activity in even the most hidden and secluded corners of your home. To find out more about our services and receive a free estimate, contact our team today!

The Chill of Fall Brings Rodents Inside

Rodents that made it inside in Central TN - The Bug Man

As the Tennessee heat recedes back into fall, all sorts of pests try to inhabit our homes for some warmth and security. The most feared of these invaders are rodents. Because maintaining a high internal body temperature is integral to their survival, rodents are insistent upon chewing through whatever they can to create shelters and find food in our homes. Due to the dangers that rodents are associated with, it’s important to know how to prevent them from making their homes in your house. Learn all about rodents in Central TN with The Bug Man!

Why Rodents Invade Our Homes

Rats, mice, voles, and other rodents invade our homes looking for food, shelter, and warmth. As small mammals, keeping a high, consistent body temperature is of the utmost importance.

When rodents decide to nest inside your home, they can cause many kinds of damage and health risks, including:

  1. Damage to your insulation, walls, and wires
  2. Fire hazards by chewing through electrical wiring
  3. Contamination of any food left out for them to access
  4. Risk of disease via their droppings and urine

How to Keep Rodents Out in Central TN

Keeping rodents out of your home is a two-part process—you have to ensure both that there are no ways for them to get in and nothing excessive that could be attracting them. Rodents aren’t picky, either—they’re only looking for a warm place to stay and something to eat, so it can be quite difficult to keep them out. Here are some approaches you should take, though:

  • Seal off cracks near windows, doors, and the foundation with a silicone-based caulk
  • Keep your food stored away properly whenever you aren’t cooking or eating
  • Purchase garbage cans with clamps to prevent rodents from finding food outside

Maintaining general cleanliness and orderliness on your property is the basic principle to keeping vermin out, as well as many other kinds of pests.

Rodent Control with The Bug Man

Sometimes, the source of a rodent infestation can be impossible to find or even hiding in plain sight. Rodents are able to squeeze their bodies through much tighter spaces than you would imagine, so you can’t leave any part of your home unchecked. Your local pest control company will be able to identify any vulnerabilities that could lead to a rodent outbreak in your home. With The Bug Man, you can be sure that you’re working with the most experienced rodent control experts in Central TN. For a free quote, contact us today!

5 Signs of Gophers or Moles Living in Your Lawn

A mole found in Central TN - The Bug Man

No one wants to wake up one day to find their lawn or garden filled with mounds of dirt—this is a sure sign of a mole or gopher problem. Both of these small mammals are expert tunnelers and can be quite difficult to get rid of without concentrated strategies. It can be hard to identify which one you’re dealing with and take the appropriate pest control measures because they spend so much time underground. For help determining if you have a gopher or mole problem in Central TN, read up on the The Bug Man technicians’ top tips!

Telling Apart Moles and Gophers

When you do spot one of these vermin at the surface, you call tell whether its a mole or gopher by these features:

  • Moles are usually between 4 to 7 inches in length, while gophers are larger, ranging anywhere between 5 and 14 inches in length.
  • Moles’ hands and noses are pink in color and larger than gophers’.
  • Gophers are highly territorial, so they won’t often be found in pairs or groups, like moles.

5 Signs of Moles or Gophers in Central TN

If you’re concerned that you have a mole or gopher problem developing in your yard, here are five signs to look for that indicate mole or gopher activity:

  1. Overnight, mounds of dirt will pop up in your yard where either have been tunneling.
  2. Mole tunneling will damage plant roots and cause damage to plants that is discernible from the surface of the lawn.
  3. Mole tunneling will also bring rocks up to the surface of your lawn, which, if you aren’t careful, can damage your lawnmower.
  4. Gopher tunnels open up to three inch wide holes and reach up to six feet underneath your yard.
  5. Gophers will eat plants at the surface or pull them through the surface of your yard.

Moles and gophers can both be a serious nuisance in your yard, so it is important to be able to tell the signs of each of them.

Professional Help with Moles and Gophers in Central TN

When you notice mole or gopher activity on your property, there’s not a second to waste to save your yard from further damage. Be sure to contact your local pest control company as soon as you find signs of gophers or moles. At The Bug Man, our lawn pest control specialists are trained with the top strategies and pest control products in the industry and work hard to ensure that our customers’ yards are vermin-free. Contact us today for a free quote!

Bug Basics: Why Do More Mosquitoes Appear After it Rains?

Mosquitoes after a rainy day in Central TN - The Bug Man

It’s a well-known fact that the mosquito population in your backyard increases after it rains. After all, the rain provides them with fresh water and more places to lay their eggs. But why? Mosquitoes need standing water like puddles or ponds for laying their eggs. Even a small amount of runoff from a storm can provide enough moisture to support mosquitoes if there are any containers out in your garden that hold some water on its surface.

Next time you anticipate a storm here in Central TN, it’s important to know how to stop the mosquitoes from taking over your backyard afterward. The experts at The Bug Man are here to help you learn how!

Mosquito Breeding Grounds in Central TN

Mosquitoes will make use of the tiniest amount of still, stagnant water to lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes seek out areas that have shallow stagnant water but they also make use of deep puddles too. The female mosquito is able to produce 100–300 eggs in a cycle, which she lays together with up to 10 others per raft on top of the water’s surface where they float like small specks. After a rainstorm, you can expect mosquitoes to find a plethora of mosquito breeding grounds right in your backyard. Some of the most common areas where mosquitoes breed include:

  • Ponds, marches, and bogs
  • Puddles
  • Pools or spas
  • Birdbaths or fountains
  • Garden planters
  • Children’s playsets
  • Stacks of tires
  • Buckets
  • Gutters
  • Clogged drains

Tips to Prevent Mosquitoes After it Rains

After it rains during mosquito season—which is throughout the spring and summer here in Tennessee—it’s important to inspect your yard and eliminate potential breeding sites. Walk around your backyard to locate anything that is holding standing water post-rain. Tip over the water to keep mosquitoes from laying their eggs in it. To prevent mosquitoes throughout the entire mosquito season, it’s smart to place covers over anything that is meant to hold water. This includes putting covers on pools, spas, birdbaths, and more. By knowing the areas in your yard that are more susceptible to mosquito activity, you can effectively keep mosquitoes away from those areas during a rainy week.

Dealing With Mosquitoes After a Storm?

If you have excess mosquitoes in your yard after rain, it may be time to get a professional mosquito treatment. Trying to get rid of mosquitoes on your own once they’ve established themselves can be difficult. At The Bug Man, our mosquito exterminators work hard to locate and eliminate all mosquito breeding grounds around your property. Professionally applied repellents also work to create a barrier around your home, keeping mosquitoes away. To learn more about how we can help you avoid mosquitoes during the rainy season, contact us today!

3 Ways to Safely Kill Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito larvae in Murfreesboro TN - The Bug Man

Ever wonder why mosquitoes always seem to be around ponds, marshes, and wherever else water is found nearby? The answer is that mosquitoes require a source of stagnant water to breed and lay their eggs. Once eggs are in the water, they can hatch into larvae and eventually develop into adult mosquitoes. The key to preventing this from occurring then is to, of course, kill the mosquito larvae before they develop! A mosquito population constantly grows and develops, which is why it’s crucial to put a stop to the life cycle.

The experts at The Bug Man are here to help you learn more about safely killing mosquito larvae—read on to learn more!

Where is Mosquito Larvae in My Yard?

After a female mosquito bites someone, she is able to lay her eggs in water. It is from there that mosquito eggs will hatch and develop into larvae. The larvae can be found in a number of areas in your yard. Some of the most common mosquito breeding sites include:

  • Ponds
  • Birdbaths
  • Pools and spas
  • Gutters and puddles
  • Garden planters 
  • Childrens’ playsets
  • Tarps
  • Buckets

Natural Ways to Kill Mosquito Larvae

The key to getting rid of mosquitoes is getting rid of their breeding grounds. This makes it important to cover any source of standing water in your yard, or to regularly tip out water that pools up. There are also a few all-natural ways you can discourage mosquito larvae from developing properly. Some of the things you can add to water to kill mosquito larvae include:

  1. Dish soap or shampoo: Liquid soap is known to effectively kill mosquito larvae. Just a millimeter of dish soap in a gallon of standing water will kill off the larvae.
  2. Oil: Olive oil and vegetable oil will get rid of mosquito eggs and larvae almost immediately. However, you should not put any oils in a pond where fish live or a birdbath.
  3. Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar works to get rid of mosquito larvae in small amounts of water. Add enough apple cider vinegar so that it makes up about 15% of the total liquid.

Mosquito Prevention Services

If you’ve tried to get rid of mosquito larvae to no avail, it may be time to enlist your local mosquito control experts for help. At The Bug Man, our specialists will pinpoint and target all mosquito breeding grounds around your home. We will work hard to prevent mosquitoes before they hatch. Contact us today to get started!

Reasons Why Bug Bombs Aren’t Effective

A house using insecticide fogging in Central TN - The Bug Man

Some people prefer to take pest problems on themselves. This can absolutely work in cases of minor infestations! However, if you do try to handle a pest outbreak on your own, you have to be sure that you’re aware of the dangers associated with DIY pest control.

One of the commercial options for at-home pest control is buying “bug bombs.” Not only are these fogging products ineffective, they can actually be very dangerous, putting you, your family, and your pets’ health at risk. Read on for The Bug Man’’s advice on why bug bombs are not the solution you need.

What Are Bug Bombs?

For those who don’t know, bug bombs are airborne insecticide products that are designed to kill active insects in areas that they are set off in. Otherwise known as fogging, setting off bug bombs has worked for some people before, but there are many issues with the technique as a whole. Take, for instance, these flaws in their effectiveness:

  1. Bug bombs can only handle active bugs that they reach. There is no residual effect after the insecticide is cleared from the air.
  2. The fog will not reach deep into cracks and crevices, where pests like to hide. When a bug bomb is set off, pests retreat into holes in the walls, cracks in the siding, mattresses and furniture.
  3. Fogging products are not specialized to take care of certain kinds of insects. They are made to target pests in general, which can make them ineffective against certain kinds of bugs.

Are Bug Bombs Safe?

On top of their inconsistencies in effectiveness, bug bombs can put your family and your property in danger. We have heard many reports of extensive amounts of property damage being caused as a result of bug bomb mishaps, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth. Bug bombs make use of aerosols, which are flammable and can lead to small explosions.

Much more commonly, though, bug bombs can cause serious health risks. Improper use or overexposure can both lead to respiratory issues, vomiting, nausea, and rashes. In extreme cases of misuse, hospitalization may be necessary.

Reliable Pest Control in Central TN

In general, it is always best to leave your pest control needs to experts who have experience dealing with pests in a specified and controlled manner. Professional pest control technicians are trained to use particular products and techniques based on their findings through diligent inspection. Each treatment conducted with The Bug Man is unique and tailored to our customer’s individual needs. To find out more about our services or for a free quote on pest control, contact us today!