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Wet and mild winter favorable for pests

12:27 AM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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Russell's Pest Control expects a busy season this spring.

A wet and mild winter could lead to more pests this spring in East Tennessee.

In January, Knoxville received more than 12 inches of precipitation. February and March added another four inches.

According to the National Weather Service in Morristown, so far this year Knoxville precipitation levels are more than seven inches above average.

"We anticipate this could be a pretty special year," said Mark Nadolski, owner of Russell's Pest Control in Knoxville.

Termites prefer to eat softer wood, and the wet winter has helped keep wood moist.

Conditions have also been favorable for termites to reproduce.

Although some months in Knoxville had below average temperatures, since December we only hit the teens once.

"The ground hasn't frozen very deep and the termites like to stay within the first couple inches of the soil. That's where they're searching for the food source," Nadolski said.

Russell's Pest Control received one call for termites this week.

They expect many more calls when temperatures climb.

"Once we get two or three nights in a row where the temperature doesn't fall below 50 degrees, that's usually when the big swarms start," Nadolski said.

University of Tennessee Extension Agent Neal Denton agreed that termites will probably be bad this year.

He said East Tennessee will likely see more of all household insects.

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