termites on wood

What You Need To Know About Knoxville Pests

Dead End Exterminating wants to help you protect your property from Tennessee’s toughest pests. With the help of our pest guide, you can learn about the pests living in the Knoxville area, why they are on your property, and how to keep them out of your homes and businesses. Dead End Exterminating is a locally owned and operated company that offers effective home pest control and commercial pest management solutions. Our experienced professionals get to the root of your pest problems and stop pests from returning in the future!

Pests that live and invade Tennessee homes and businesses include termites, spiders, stinging insects, ants, bed bugs, and rodents.


ants drinking in a kitchen

Ants are a common pest problem, not just in Knoxville but across the country. Many species of ants have learned that people equal food, water, and shelter. Ants are social insects and have good communication skills; through pheromones, ants effectively let the colony members know where there is food or danger. A single ant colony may have thousands of members, and there has to be structure to support this large number of ants. Ants divide their colony into three different groups — workers, males, and queens. As you can imagine, the worker ants are the most numerous and tasked with most of the colony work. Leaving the nest each day, ants and their good sense of smell are always on the lookout for food sources.

Most ants that make themselves comfortable in Knoxville yards and homes are nuisance ants. While these ants may not pose great dangers to people or property, they are still unwanted pests. Nuisance ants tend to invade properties in large numbers, host multiple nesting sites, and are frustrating to prevent and eliminate. After entering our homes, they contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria they carry on their bodies. Some ants in Tennessee pose even more of a risk. Dangerous ants damage the structure of homes, bite, sting, or spread serious diseases. While ants are easy to identify, knowing the specific species that have made their way to your property is important so a professional can perform the appropriate treatment. Partnering with Dead End Exterminating is the best way to identify and rid your property of ants! 

When it comes to ants and other household invading pests, the simple fact is no matter the species; they do not belong in our homes. To help you avoid these sometimes dangerous, destructive, and always annoying pests, we have put together a list of prevention tips. 

  • Fix leaky outdoor or indoor faucets, fixtures, and pipes.

  • Use dehumidifiers and make sure basements and crawl spaces are well-ventilated. 

  • Remove structural wood from your home that has been damaged by water, replacing it with sound wood.

  • Make sure that outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting or locking lids on them.

  • Inspect your home’s foundation and exterior walls and seal any openings you discover, and repair damaged weatherstripping around windows and doors.

Bed Bugs

bed bug on a mattress

Bed bugs feed on blood from people and animals, including our dogs and cats. People are a bed bug’s preferred food source, and the main reason they are so common in our homes and businesses, and more specifically, in our beds! These oval-shaped insects are wingless and cannot jump, so their chief transportation mode is hitchhiking using people and our belongings as their personal highway system.

Bed bugs live wherever there are people. Public places where many people come and go daily are most prone to experiencing problems with bed bugs. After coming into contact with bed bugs, we accidentally introduce them into new locations, often our own houses. Inside our homes, bed bugs will hide their reddish-brown bodies in dark, tight spaces during the day and emerge at night to feed on us while we are sleeping. Some of a bed bug’s favorite hiding spots are the seams of mattresses and box springs, upholstered furniture, wall hangings, closets, electrical outlets, and the cracks of floors and behind baseboards. Bed bugs also love to hide within areas of clutter, including piles of dirty laundry. 

To help you prevent bed bugs from taking over your Knoxville home, our professionals have put together a list of prevention tips. 

  • Keep coats, bags, and other belongings up off the floor of public places.

  • Always inspect secondhand furniture, electronics, mattresses, or clothing for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your room. 

  • Place protective covers on mattresses and box springs located in your home.

  • Regularly wash and dry bedding, inspect the bedding and mattresses for bed bugs or their signs ( drops of blood, dark streaks of excrement, shed skins) during the process.

  • Routinely vacuum your floors to pick up stray bed bugs. 

  • Don’t leave piles of dirty laundry on the floor for long periods.


little house mouse in a kitchen cabinet

Rodents are small mammals, and some species like mice and rats have developed a close relationship with people. Rats and mice have learned that they can acquire food, water, and shelter from people and our homes and businesses. Small house mice, large, clumsy Norway rats, and agile roof rats are three types of rodents that regularly find their way into our Tennessee homes and businesses. If these or other rodents have moved into your home, they will leave behind signs of their presence — droppings in kitchen drawers, chew marks on furniture, and nests in your basement or attic. 

Having any rodent species in your home, big or small, is never good as they cause many problems. But before we talk about the issues they cause inside our homes, let’s talk about how they got inside in the first place. 

A few of the many common entry points for rodents include cracks in the foundation, damaged trim around vents, and spaces around wires and cables entering your home. They will also come down chimneys and in through openings they find along the roofline. Once inside, they are nothing but trouble. Rodents contaminate food, litter surfaces with trails of their urine and feces, and gnaw on wires, cables, pipes, and more. It is not uncommon for a rodent infestation to cause short circuits, fires, and water damage.

Like with any other pest, rodents don’t belong in our homes. To help you avoid these dangerous, destructive, and frustrating pests, we have put together a list of prevention tips. 

  • Place lids on trash cans and compost bins to prevent food odors from attracting mice to your property.

  • Regularly harvest fruits and vegetables from gardens and trees.

  • Maintain your yard. Areas with overgrown grass, brush piles, and dense vegetation attract rodents and provide them with plenty of places to live.

  • Eliminate water sources by keeping gutters clear of debris, filling in low lying areas, and repairing leaky pipes. 

  • Seal openings in your foundation, exterior walls, and roof.


common house spider in a knoxville home

Spiders are a common, year-round pest problem. They are a predatory creatures that feed on insects and find their way into our Tennessee yards and homes while following their prey. Spiders are arachnids and are closely related to scorpions, ticks, and mites. Unlike insects with three body parts, six legs, antennae, and sometimes wings, spiders are wingless, lack antennae, have only two body parts, and have eight legs. Spiders also have silk-spinning organs, many eyes, and the fangs they use to inject their venom into prey. 

Spiders like to hang out in areas wherever there are plenty of insects for them to hunt. Unfortunately, our yards are often the ticket to a spider’s success. Things found in most of our yards ( trash cans, gardens, landscaping, standing water, and outdoor light fixtures) attract spiders and their insect prey. While spiders are outdoor pests, they are also a frequent sight in our homes, garages, and sheds after following their prey indoors. Once inside, spiders tend to stay there until forced to leave or food becomes scarce. 

A problem with spiders is, more often than not, they are the result of a widespread pest problem. To assist you in making your home and yards less attractive to spiders and the insects they are hunting, we have put together a list of helpful prevention tips:

  • Eliminate water sources by repairing leaking pipes and keeping gutters clear of debris.

  • Keep insects and spiders from moving into your home by regularly inspecting its exterior and making any necessary repairs. Rooflines, chimneys, foundations, and windows and doors are common entry points. 

  • Cut back overgrown shrubbery, grass, and landscaping plants from the exterior of your home.

  • Replace white outdoor light bulbs with yellow or LED lights that are less attractive to the insects that spiders hunt. 

Stinging Insects

a hornet on a window sill

Stinging insects are an essential part of our ecosystem, yet when they decide to nest or forage for food on our properties, their threats outweigh their benefits. Wasps, yellow jackets, mud daubers, bees, and hornets live throughout Tennessee and regularly invade our yards. Like people, these pests are most active outside in the spring, summer, and fall. As we spend time in our yards gardening, playing, and entertaining, stinging insects are busily gathering food to bring back to their nest. The more time we spend together, the greater the chance that you, your kids, or pets will receive a painful reminder of their presence. 

Almost any property in Knoxville could become a home or foraging site for stinging insects. They will build a nest anywhere that provides them with shelter near food and water sources. Some species like yellow jackets and hornets like to create ground nests, while others like wasps, mud daubers, and bees like to nest above the ground. Their variety of nesting spots and ability to conceal their nests make it easy for people and stinging insects to collide with each other accidentally. Some of the most common areas of a yard to discover a nest include under shrubbery or woodpiles, on tree branches, under grills or deck posts, behind shutters or shingles, under roof eaves, or in doorways. 

Remove stinging insect nests from your yard with the help of the professionals at Dead End Exterminating. Our professional services combined with the following prevention tips will help stop stinging insects from taking over your family’s outdoor spaces.

  • Remove things from your property that could act as a nesting site like woodpiles, construction debris, and brush piles.

  • Cut tree branches away from your home’s exterior.

  • Limit the amount of flowering vegetation you have planted near your home’s entrances and exits.

  • Regularly inspect things like playhouses, sheds, grills, and play structures for stinging insect nests.

  • Fill in ground holes in your yard where stinging insects could place a nest.

  • Caulk gaps and cracks in your home’s exterior walls and roofline that may allow stinging insects to move inside.


termites on rotten wood

Termites are a type of wood-destroying pest and, unfortunately, are a common pest problem throughout Tennessee. The subterranean termite is the most widespread species of termite to invade our yards and structures in our area. Subterranean termites have high moisture needs and are problematic on any property that offers them moisture and food sources (wood). Subterranean termites require contact with the damp soil and nest underground together in large colonies. These insects are social and divide their colonies into three different groups (reproductives, soldiers, and workers), in which each group is tasked with a specific job. 

The most important thing you need to know about termites is that they are highly attracted to areas of moisture. Subterranean termites like to build their underground nests in damp soil. The workers leave the nest each day and move through the ground, searching for food sources to gather and bring back to the nest. As they move through the soil, it is common for termites to find a way into our homes. The most common entry points for termites are through things making direct contact with the soil like deck posts, wood shingles, and wooden door frames, as well as through cracks in the foundation. Things like leaky pipes, poorly ventilated crawl spaces, and clogged gutters often provide termites with the moisture and water-damaged wood they want. While any home could become a food source for termites, those near wooded areas are most susceptible to a termite infestation. 

Keeping termites at bay is important to the structural integrity of our homes and bank accounts. The damage they cause can be quite costly to repair! To assist you in preventing destructive termites from invading your Knoxville home, we have put together a list of helpful prevention tips:

  • Ensure wood on your home is not making direct contact with the soil and seal cracks in your foundation.

  • Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and make sure basements and crawl spaces are well-ventilated. 

  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean, ensuring they are diverting rainwater from your home and water isn’t seeping into your roof.

  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors to stop rainwater from seeping into your walls. 

  • If any wood inside your house becomes damaged by water, immediately replace it. 


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