KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Summer is the season of gross bugs and annoying pests and East Tennessee is certainly not the exception. From ants, to mosquitoes, to spiders, to stinkbugs, you can find a little bit of everything here and it is not fun.
Experts say not addressing problems with invasive insects could have consequences on your health, your property, and the environment. That is why Robert Lane, a senior service center manager with Arrow Exterminators, said summer is a really busy season for exterminators in the area.
"All the rain we had early on in the spring and the warm temperatures we are having now, it just creates a prime environment for all of these East Tennessee insects to rear their ugly little heads," he added.
Lane said many people try to either fix the problem themselves or just give it time to see if it will go away on its own. But it is not that easy.
"Nine times out of ten it is not going to just go away," he mentioned. "Because your typical homeowner is not going to be able to figure out what in my environment has invited these insects and what they need to survive and prosper."
So Lane confessed many people just end up throwing in the towel and calling the experts.
But here on 10News we are here to help you save money, so before you call the exterminators and pull out your wallet, here are some simple things you can look out for to prevent bugs from coming inside your home.
1. Clean out your gutters. Debris in your gutter can create a natural habitat for all sorts of ants that can damage your home. Having clogged gutters can cause water to back up, which could create moist areas where insects are going to live, breed, prosper, and continue to grow their colonies. Lane recommends doing this regularly, but especially once winter is over.
2. Make sure your potted plants are well-drained before bringing them inside. Lane said you should double-check that, when it rains or when you water them, the water is running through the soil and out the bottom and not building up inside the pot. He explained built-up water creates a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.
3. Eliminate any spider webs. Lane mentioned that a large spider population around your home means the chances are you might have a large insect population around your home because spiders feed on the insects.
4. Fill up any holes around your home. Holes that lead into your home can be the perfect entry for all sorts of insects.
5. Clean out your trash cans. Trash bags can leak liquid debris, which can then pile up at the bottom of your trash can. Lane recommends rinsing trash cans out once or twice a month after they are empty because that can also be a food source for many insects.