Across Tennessee, residents are fighting back against insects and animal invaders. Pest problems can get out of hand quickly, and one ant in the kitchen can quickly escalate to a colony of ants. While there are many different types of pests in Tennessee homes, we were curious about the biggest problem.
Below, we’ll analyze the data on Tennessee pests to identify the top 10 worst pests in the state. Find out which creepy crawlers made the list and learn what you can do about them.
Which Pests Are Most Common in Tennessee?
It isn’t always clear what the worst pests are in a region. Pest populations are only one part of the story because the problems begin when pests start entering your home.
By using Google Trends, we can get useful insights into which pests are on people’s minds. The aggregate data on Google searches in Tennessee reveals that the worst pests in the state are ticks, followed by stinging insects such as bees and wasps.
|Rank||Pest||Google Search Volume as a Percentage of the Top 10|
Pest Problems in Tennessee
With a large volume of Google searches about ticks, we can conclude that it’s one of the worst pests in Tennessee and one of the most pervasive. The top concern was residents seeking to identify tick bites. That was followed by searches for instructions on how to remove a tick. Concern about ticks is especially strong in Knoxville, and Lyme disease has been on the rise in eastern Tennessee.
Last year was especially bad for ticks and other insects in Tennessee. Winters have been milder than usual, causing less die-back and larger populations. There has also been more rain and moisture, creating habitats where insects can thrive.
The second-worst pests in Tennessee are stinging insects including bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets. These pests were especially concerning last year because of the news about murder hornets. Sightings of large hornets in the Nashville area prompted several homeowners to contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Although the large hornets were terrifying to see, the experts confirmed the sightings were for European hornets and not the Asian hornets that were nicknamed “murder hornets.”
Ants rank as the third-worst pest in Tennessee. Not only are residents looking up how to get rid of ants, but they’re also looking up types of ants, including fire ants and carpenter ants. The spread of fire ants has caused most of southern Tennessee to be infested with the species.
What About Termites in Tennessee?
Even though termites didn’t rank as one of the worst pests that Tennessee, homes in the state have a high risk of termite damage. In fact, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga all ranked in the top 50 cities for termites.
Termites can’t live without water, and homes are more likely to have termite damage if they have waterlogged soil, drainage problems, or wet basements or crawl spaces. Some pest control experts say that for homes with water problems, it’s not a matter of if it will get termites, but when.
Each year, termites cause between $1 billion and $7 billion in property damage. Frequently, they live undetected in a home for years, tunneling through structural support beams. By the time infestations are discovered, the damage can be significant.
What Structural Solutions Can Help You Reduce Pests?
Managing pest problems starts with extermination and pest control. However, that’s only the first step. A more permanent solution to pest problems is to deal with the structural issues that are attracting pests or allowing them into your home. Here are three ways the structure of your home can help you be better equipped to fight pests in Tennessee.
1. Seal the gaps and cracks where pests can enter. Repair any gaps or foundation cracks that are allowing pests to get inside. Pay close attention to cracks along the base of your home where burrowing pests can enter.
2. Make your property less inviting to pests. Damp soil or wet basements can make an ideal environment for many water-loving pests. Addressing water issues with basement waterproofing or crawl space vapor barriers not only improves your living spaces, but it also helps protect your home from pests. These solutions will make your home less attractive to pests, as well as more difficult for them to get inside in the first place.
3. Use materials designed for termite prevention. The materials you use when making home repairs can also give you a layer of protection against pests. For example, our rigid insulation panels are treated to resist termites, while soft rolls of insulation can absorb moisture and attract pests.
Sign up for a free inspection from AFS to learn how basement waterproofing and foundation repair can help protect your home from pests.