Buggin’ Out: How to Identify Different Types of Pests Like a Pro

memphis pest id

Everyone has a pest problem from time to time. The pest control market is worth over 20 billion dollars and is only expected to grow, meaning that pests are incredibly common (even if they’re a bit embarrassing).

It’s important to be able to know what you’re dealing with when you have an issue, even if you plan on Googling “pest control near me” the second you hear a scratch in your walls.

There are so many types of pests that show up in average households and it’s helpful to know the warning signs of the most common ones (and what attracts them).

Do you know signs of roaches when you see them? What about termites, or bed bugs? 

If you want to be a bit more prepared for a potential pest problem in your house, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for some helpful information on some of the most common household pests that you might run into.

1. Bed Bugs

Everyone dreads bed bugs and we all know how hard they are to remove from our living spaces. They’re easy to accidentally drag around from location to location and they can be the bane of anyone’s otherwise peaceful home existence.

They’re not only located in seedy motels though. Bed bugs can show up anywhere, even in your own home. 

Signs of Bed Bugs

If you have bed bugs, you’ll probably know pretty quickly. They make themselves apparent. 

Bed bugs have a musty smell to them, but that won’t be your first sign unless you’re very tolerant to their bites. 

Bed bugs want to bite you. Their bites range from itchy to painful and leave welts and marks on your skin or the skin of your children. You might find spots of blood on your bed linens and pillows.

You might also find rust-colored marks on the edges of your mattress that are leftover from the bugs. You can find eggs or egg casings. 

Bed bugs are incredibly difficult to get rid of alone, so if you notice them, it’s best to call a professional as soon as possible to avoid spread. You may need to get rid of your mattress entirely, but the sooner you seek help, the more likely you’ll be able to keep your bed.

2. Ants

Ant infestations are common and annoying. Some people have ants every year as the weather shifts. 

Ants come in plenty of different varieties, but most of the ones that will be found in the home have the same agenda: get food and bring it back to the nest. 

If you’re seeing ants, you’re probably also providing them with food.

Signs of Ants

This is fairly obvious. Ants don’t really make themselves hidden, but they can fool you. 

If you see one ant, it’s in your best interest to take a quick look around and see if you can spot more.

Ants are incredibly social and can follow trails to track each other. If an ant has locked on to a food supply, it’s likely that it has friends coming to join. There might even be an entryway to your home somewhere near a door or window.

Ant traps can be helpful for temporarily solving your ant problem, but you really need to be careful to lock away all of your accessible foods, especially sweets. 

Ants can be found filling cereal boxes that are poorly sealed, infesting sugar bowls, and even ruining bags of flour. If you want to prevent ants, you need to reassess your food storage. 

3. Wasps

Wasps can be frightening, but we don’t want to mistake them for their more helpful cousin, bees. If you have a hive in or near your home, you’re likely concerned for your safety, or the safety of family and pets. How can you tell that you’ve got wasps and not bees? 

Signs of Wasps

Unless you’re getting up close and personal with your local bugs, you might not be able to identify the difference between a bee and a wasp on sight. It’s also important to mention that it’s okay to remove hives of both, though bee hive removal should ideally be done humanely to protect bee populations.

Wasps come in several different varieties, but when compared to bees, there are a few obvious differences. Wasps and bees can be similar in coloring (often both sporting black and yellow coats) but are otherwise different. 

Wasps have narrow waists, making the connection between their abdomen and thorax look fragile. They also don’t have the tell-tale fluff of bees (though not all bees are fluffy, they do have some “hair”). 

Wasps, most notably, are aggressive. Bees are docile.

Bees can sting once before perishing, while wasps have no such limit. This makes wasps bold. Bees require more cause to strike. 

Wasps are dangerous, and you shouldn’t try to handle them on your own. If you have a wasp nest too close to your home, seek pest control to help. 

4. Termites

Termites can be miserable for homeowners. They’re enough to bring down a home with relative ease. If you don’t catch them on time, they can be catastrophic, essentially eating their way through your building. 

How can you catch them?

How do you know when you have a termite problem and not any other kind of bug? 

Signs of Termites

Termites are distant cousins of the ants and have a similar social pheromone system to help them track each other and form colonies. This can be a big problem when it comes to how they interact with your home. 1 termite becomes 50 in no time.

They’re great at remaining hidden until it’s too late (or until you can see their structures blooming from your walls or ceilings). 

Look for bubbling laminated flooring or mysterious cracks in the walls. Look for cracks or openings in the foundation of your home, or even little piles of dirt or mud. These could be the openings that termites are using. 

If you can knock on a wall and it sounds hollow, you might have termites. It’s imperative that you call a professional immediately so you don’t risk further damage. 

5. Rodents

Rodents might seem like a broad category, but only a few are going to make homes inside your house. Knowing that you’ve got a rodent issue is only the first part of the battle, but they can be frightening!

Signs of Rodents

If you have rats, you probably already know. They’re large rodents, and domesticated rats typically have poor temperaments, leading them to bite. 

When compared to mice, rats are larger and more rough in appearance with their fur being coarse rather than soft. 

Mice can be more tricky. They’re smaller and less noticeable, sometimes only spotted by household pets.

If you have a cat or dog, a great way to notice mice (or rats for that matter) is paying close attention to their behavior. They notice intruders. 

Scratching in the walls or left-behind droppings are also clear indicators of mice or rats. 

Both of these common rodents can be harmful to your household as well as carry diseases. It’s best to get them removed as quickly as possible. 

6. Roaches

The roach is the poster child for pests everywhere. When you see a roach as an emblem, you know it that it stands for all of the creepy-crawlies that can live inside a home or property.

While these bugs aren’t as harmful as some of the other creatures on the list, they’re definitely a nuisance and should be handled as such. 

Signs of Roaches

Roaches have some similarities to ants. They want to come around when there’s leftover food left out in accessible places.

Unlike ants, they’re pill-shaped and relatively large. They have long antennae and resemble beetles from a distance. Unfortunately, they can do some harm.

The problem with roaches is that they have a very broad definition of “food” and will eat things that we’d otherwise consider garbage. Even if you keep a relatively tidy house, a roach might find something that it wants to eat, and it will invite its friends. 

Roaches are nocturnal, making them hard to spot during the day. That said, they leave some signs that can be helpful. 

They shed their skins frequently as they go through their growth stages. These skins can be found in areas where they’re doing their feeding. They look like fully-formed roaches, but translucent. 

They also leave egg capsules behind, similar to bed bugs. 

Getting rid of roaches requires that you tidy your space, but it also might require professional help. You don’t have to do it alone. 

Have You Spotted Any of These Types of Pests?

It can be stressful to notice the types of pests inside your home, and getting rid of them can feel like a massive undertaking. You don’t have to let these critters take over your home though, there’s a way out. 

If you find yourself bothered by bugs or run down by rodents, reach out for help. Proper pest control can be the easiest solution to taking your home back from those tiny invaders. 

For more information, or to get pest control help today, contact us! We want to help.  

What Pest ID Services Can Tell You About A Pest

pest identification in memphis tn

There are many creatures that can be considered pests when they enter, reside in or infest your home. When these things occur, your first desire as a homeowner is to remove the pest from your property, and we are here to help make that happen for you and your family. A survey found that 84% of homeowners experienced a household pest problem in the year prior to it, so you certainly aren’t alone.

However, correct identification of the pest but occur before removal or extermination can begin. Identifying household pests is easy in some cases, but in others, it can be challenging. For example, some ants look very similar to an untrained eye, but the strategies for removing different species may be quite different. 

Identifying Common Household Pests

Correct identification of the pest is paramount. Pest control specialists need to determine what type of pest is causing an issue first so a coordinating plan can be made for removal or extermination. The behaviors, lifestyle, and habitat of each type of pest is specific to that pest, and strategies used by pest control specialists vary greatly dependent on the specific creature that is causing your issue.

Although it is possible to identify some pests on your own using internet searches or nature guidebooks, it’s important, helpful, and often necessary to call a professional for definite identification. Our pest control specialists can quickly determine the perpetrator of damage on your home, often without even seeing the actual insect or animal, and can begin to formulate a plan of attack. Further, our staff can differentiate between different types of crawling insects, stinging insects, and flying insects quickly and accurately.

The sooner your pest is positively identified, the sooner action can begin to take place on removing it from your home. The fastest way to positively identify a pest is by calling a professional.

However, if you are simply curious about the bugs crawling around in your home or the critters banging around in your attic or basement, read on to learn more about pest identification of specific pests.


In most cases, you can likely identify pest mammals on your own – especially if you encounter one face to face. Rats, mice, squirrels, and raccoons can wreak havoc in your home if they get into your walls, storage areas, or crawlspaces. Often you won’t even see them, but you will hear them, and you will find their droppings or see other evidence of their chewing or stealing.

These animals are known as nuisance wildlife when they enter your home and you will need professional assistance to get them out. Although rabies is very rare in the United States today, it is still a possibility, so your best bet for removal of nuisance wildlife is to call a pest control specialist.


Ants are one of the most common household pests. There are about 12,000 different species of ants worldwide and around 1,000 of those are present in the North America. However, there are only a few types that are commonly found in homes in the United States.

Some of the most common ants found inside homes in Tennessee are carpenter ants, fire ants and little black ants, but there are others, too. All ants are similar, but they may eat different things and build their homes in different ways. Although they look different, it is often difficult to identify a specific type with an untrained eye, but using an online bug identifier may help.

No matter how many ants you step on or spray in your home, if you have an ant infestation, you will need to call a professional. Ant colonies can host thousands of ants, and the nest will have to be removed from within your walls for full eradication. This is not something you can do on your own; if you want to successfully remove a colony of ants from your home permanently, please call us today.

Bees, Wasps and Hornets

Nobody likes to be stung, and for some, an insect sting can even be life-threatening. Bees, hornets or wasps in your home or on your property can be dangerous, especially if you have pets or children.

There are a wide variety of insects in this category, and most of them will sting you if provoked. Some of them, like bumble bees, honey bees and carpenter bees, can nest in your walls. Others, such as yellow jackets and ground-nesting hornets, can nest in hidden holes in the ground on your property.

Many of these insects look very similar to one another, but a pest control specialist will quickly be able to identify what’s bugging you and will quickly develop an effective course of action.

Whether your bees, wasps or hornets are living inside or outside, it is imperative that you get them removed immediately by a professional. It’s not a good idea to try to remove or destroy a stinging insect nest independently. Methods vary based on species, so a pest control specialist will best know how to handle the situation for you once they determine what kind of stinging insect you are experiencing.


Termites are small insects that live in large colonies and that survive by eating the cellulose found in dead plant material, like wood or leaves. They are of no direct danger to humans but they can do a great deal of damage on a home when they move in. It is estimated that termites cause more than five billion dollars of property damage in the United States every year.

Often, a homeowner isn’t even aware of termites’ presence until they can see visible damage – such as a hole in a wall or even a support beam collapsing – and by then the infestation is immense. Clearly, this can cause structural danger and damage that may be difficult if not impossible to repair.

There are signs that can help you to identify a termite infestation in your home. One common indicator is the construction of thin, mud tunnels running up your walls indoors or outdoors. Termites build these tunnels to help them get from place to place without exposure to light or danger. Also, sagging floors and hollow sounding walls are also signs of these insects and their destruction.

In order to rid a house of termites, the main nest and colony must be found and destroyed, and this can be difficult. Also, juvenile termites have wings and can swarm and fly elsewhere to start their own colonies. When it comes to termites, its best to call a professional before an infestation gets out of control.

Bed Bugs

Bedbugs are easy to identify. Although they are small, they have a very distinct round, flat shape and they can be spotted easily against a white background like a sheet or a mattress cover. Further, bed bugs can often be discovered and identified based on the rash-like bites they leave on human skin.

No one wants to deal with bed bugs; in fact, your skin may crawl a bit just thinking about them. High heat, like a clothes dryer, usually works to kill them off, but you need to be sure that you get every single one in your home. It’s best to call a bed bug control specialist for a complete application of heat and other pest control strategies throughout your home to ensure complete extermination.


There are mosquitoes in most parts of the USA, but they are especially prevalent in the southern states including Tennessee. In the summertime, it’s difficult to enjoy the outdoors without being bothered by these blood-sucking pests. They buzz in our ears, make us itch, and worst of all, they can carry and spread blood-borne diseases that can get us sick.

Mosquitoes can usually be identified with little difficulty as everyone has experienced a mosquito bite in their lifetime. There are many pest control strategies that can be applied to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard. One of our pest control specialists can certainly help you with this, and you can go back to enjoying your property all summer long.


A few spiders in your home can be beneficial because they eat other bugs, but if you start to see many in a short period of time things may start to get creepy fast. Many people fear spiders and do not want them in their house at all. And, there are two venomous spiders in Tennessee to be aware of: the brown recluse and the black widow, both of which do enjoy hiding in people’s homes.

If you have more spiders than you would like in your house, it’s likely that a spider laid eggs and new spiders were born. Because spiders can live up to two years and will lay eggs of their own several times during their lifespan, you will definitely want to get ahead of this problem with the help of a professional.

Spiders are sometimes easy to identify, but many species look similar. To determine what type of spiders you have in your home, a pest control professional will be able to give you the most accurate identification.


No one wants roaches in their home, but sometimes it just happens. Although many people equate roaches with filth, your house can be very clean and you still may have roaches. They can get into your home in a number of accidental, unintentional ways, such as by hiding in the bottom of a cardboard box from the store, or by jumping into your bag or suitcase when you are traveling somewhere.

Once roaches enter your home, they lay eggs and reproduce – fast and frequently.

Most people know a cockroach when they see one; if you see roaches crawling around in broad daylight, then you already have a growing roach problem. You must move fast to get it taken care of, or it will just get worse. Call us for roach control and we’ll provide an assessment and swift action to remedy the problem so you can return to feeling comfortable in your own home.

We’re Here to Help

No matter what creature you have in your home that you wish to evict or eradicate, we are here to help you. If you cannot even identify your specific trespasser independently, but know that you have something else living in your house, one of our pest control specialists can quickly identify it for you. Once it’s identified, we can take care of it for you, and also help you to strategize to ensure that they will never return.

Please contact us today. We’re here to help.

Pest Identification: Fleas

get rid of flea infestation in memphis

Nobody likes discovering fleas in their home. While they are often brought inside by the family pet, fleas enjoy feasting on any warm-blooded body and leave little red bites to prove they were there. If you’ve experienced a flea infestation in your home, learn more about these pests, including what you can do to get rid of them and how to keep them from coming back.

What Are Fleas?

Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of cats, dogs, and even humans. They appear as a dark reddish-brown color and grow up to 1/12 to 1/6” long with six legs and tiny antennae.

During their short life of about 100 days, females produce an astounding 400-500 offspring. Fleas move from place to place on animals and rodents and are capable of jumping up to 13” high (roughly 200 times their own height!). While fleas mostly stay with their hosts, they can also be found on shoes, blankets, or pant legs which enables them to transfer to new environments.

Are Fleas Harmful to Humans or Property?

Fleas feed on the blood of a host to survive. If a flea enters a home on a mouse and the mouse is eventually trapped and removed, they would focus on the other people and pets who live inside.

You may recognize flea bites as small painful itchy marks on your skin. Flea bites can become dangerous if they transmit the rare bubonic plague or bacterial diseases through contact with infected rats. A flea’s saliva can even cause an allergic reaction in some pets and humans. Fleas can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets. For the health and safety of you and your pets, it’s important to follow proper flea management for pets in your home.

How Do I Prevent Fleas?

To keep fleas from taking residence inside and laying eggs, clean and vacuum your home regularly. Prevention also includes good yard care. Keep your lawn mowed and avoid rodent infestations on your property. You can help prevent your pets from getting fleas by keeping dogs on a leash outside and grooming your pets often. Use flea treatments on pets as recommended to keep them safe and free of fleas.

How Can I Get Rid of Fleas?

If you’re experiencing a flea infestation in your home and preventive measure aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to call the experts. Professional pest control experts can help by finding the source of fleas and keeping their eggs from hatching or spreading in your home. This may include eliminating rodents and other pests bringing fleas into your home and creating an ongoing treatment plan to keep pests out.

At Inman-Murphy Termite and Pest Control, our technicians are trained and experienced at eradicating fleas from home so you and your pets are safe. Call us at 901-388-0852 or request a free estimate online to manage a flea infestation in your home.

Top 10 Invasive Species in Tennessee

africanized honey bee invasive species in tennessee

Invasive species are animals, insects, plants, or diseases that rapidly take over and have the potential to harm existing ecosystems, human economy, and even human health. These species are usually, but not always, non-native to the area. They disrupt by dominating a region’s wilderness area or habitat.

Tennessee is home to several invasive pests threatening the local habitat. The following are the top ten invasive insect species to watch out for.

Southern Pine Beetle

The southern pine beetle is native to the United States but becomes destructive and widespread in forests when populations peak. They are attracted to stressed trees and can kill individual or large-scale trees. They cause structural damage from beetle behavior and by introducing the blue stain fungus.

Gypsy Moth

The gypsy moth is native to Asia, Europe, and North Africa and was first introduced to the U.S. in 1869. These moths became established in the northeast and are spreading toward Tennessee at a rate of seven miles per year. Gypsy moths are major defoliators of several hardwood species which poses a significant threat to Tennessee forests. Treatment and trapping programs have been in place since the 1970s to prevent them from becoming established in Tennessee.

Walnut Twig Beetle

The walnut twig beetle is native to the western United States and was found in Tennessee in 2010. These beetles tunnel through the bark and carry the thousand cankers disease. Once trees decline, they typically die within 2-3 years.

Emerald Ash Borer Beetle

Adult beetles are metallic green and about ½” long. This invasive species is from Asia and was first found in southeastern Michigan 15-20 years ago. It has since spread to 15 states, including Tennessee in 2010, and parts of Canada. The adult beetles eat ash foliage which causes little damage, but the larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees. Once a tree is infested, they typically die within three years.

Africanized Honey Bee

Africanized honey bees, often referred to as killer bees, are aggressive and accustomed to wet and dry seasons in tropical or subtropical habitats. You’ll find their nests in hollow trees, rotten logs, and wood or rock piles. They defend their nests up to 50 feet away by stinging and chasing intruders up to a mile. They’ve killed pets, livestock, and even people when they are unable to get away.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug emits a bad odor when disturbed. Adult bugs are about ½” and have a mottled appearance. A range of crops and fruit are at risk with an infestation as the adults and nymphs feed on leaves causing damage. In the fall, adult stink bugs enter homes and outbuildings searching for shelter to overwinter. Many enter homes through small openings around windows.

Leek Moth

The leek moth is a serious pest that causes damage to leeks and onions. Female moths lay their eggs on the lower leaf surface near the base of the plant. In the spring, their eggs hatch within 4-6 days or 8-11 days in the fall. Larvae feed on the plants leaving pinholes in leaves and making the leeks unfit for sale. Leek moth damage makes onions age too quickly leaving damaged bulbs rejected for selling.

Pink Hibiscus Mealybug

This is a serious pest causing damage to many plants including hibiscus, grapevines, cotton, and peanuts. They originated in southeast Asia, northern Australia, and Africa, but were discovered in Florida in 2002 and continued to spread. Adult mealybugs are about 3 mm long, are pink in color, and covered with a waxy secretion. Eggs can be found in bark crevices, under bark, in the soil, tree boles, inside fruit clusters, and more. Nymphs disperse by the wind and by walking far distances to find preferred host plants. Mealybugs can stunt plant growth or kill the plant altogether.

Small Hive Beetle

The small hive beetle was first found in Florida in 1998. They have been detected in west and middle Tennessee and continue to spread. They can be very destructive to honey bee colonies by causing damage to honeycomb. Beetle larvae tunnel through honeycomb feeding, defecating, and causing fermentation and discoloration of the honey. If a beetle infestation grows, honey bees may abandon their hives.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian longhorned beetle is native to China and Korea, but infestations have been found around the U.S. This beetle slowly kills trees over 3-5 years. They invade locally by containers, pallets, infested firewood, and more.

At Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control, we eliminate unwanted pests and infestations from homes and businesses. If you’re experiencing pest issues in Tennessee, contact us today.


How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

how to get rid of carpet beetles

Discovering adult carpet beetles and crawling larvae in your home is never a good sign. While carpet beetles can be common in homes, they are persistent pests whose feeding habits can damage your property if not remedied early. Learn more about the nature of carpet beetles and how to get rid of them.

What Are Carpet Beetles?

There are two main groups of carpet beetles:

  1. Black Carpet Beetles: Adult beetles are black and oblong-shaped ranging in size from 1/8” to 3/16” in length.
  2. Varied, Common, and Furniture Carpet Beetles: All three varieties are relatively the same size with an oval shape and a variety of wing color patterns.

Carpet beetles go through a full metamorphosis including egg, larvae (crawling stage), pupae (cocoon), and adult (beetle). Larvae are easy to spot by their striped tan and white color with hairy bodies. The larvae stage is the most harmful because they spend their time feasting on carpets, fabrics, and other food sources.

Both adults and larvae prefer to feed in dark, quiet areas. This often allows an infestation to go unnoticed resulting in the need for professional extermination.

Are Carpet Beetles Harmful to Humans or Property?

The only real harm carpet beetles inflict on humans is a case of the heebie-jeebies…

However, they can wreak havoc on your property.

Carpet beetles may infest carpets, blankets, upholstered furniture, comforters, pillows, coats, and other clothing. They cause damage to your property by feeding on carpeting, clothing, silk, leather, fur, wool, and animal hides as food sources. Other food sources include pet food, animal carcasses (such as dead mice or squirrels in walls), dead insects, animal nests, and pollen. Beetles feed in dark, secluded places such as basements, closets, drawers, storage boxes, attics, and in between walls.

How Do I Prevent Carpet Beetles?

While adult carpet beetles can live indoors or outdoors, female beetles come inside to lay their eggs. Sealing cracks in windows, doors, siding, and the foundation are important to keep beetles and other pests from entering your home.

Another preventive measure to keep adult beetles from entering the home is hanging sticky flypaper strips near windows to catch them. If you experience repeated infestations, sticky pheromone-type traps on windowsills and in closets can help stop beetles before they lay their eggs.

How Can I Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Infestations of carpet beetles don’t take long to become a big problem. Use these steps to get rid of beetles in your home:

  • Identify the source. Find where carpet beetles are hiding by searching for shed skins and fecal pellets. You may also look for holes in fabrics in closets, drawers, attics, basements, and storage boxes.
  • Vacuum them up. The first step to getting rid of them is immediately vacuuming them up. Make sure to get their babies too.
  • Wash fabrics in hot, soapy water. Carpet beetles are resilient. To get rid of eggs, larvae, and beetles, clean fabrics in hot soapy water and hire a steam cleaner if an infestation is in your carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Use a dusting of boric acid. Boric acid kills almost any insect. The only downside is boric acid may bleach fabrics and could be harmful to children or pets. Use caution before coating your fabrics with a dusting of boric acid and keep it away from areas where children or pets are present.
  • Get help with professional pest control. Unfortunately, DIY pest control methods don’t always fix the problem. If you have a serious infestation on your hands, you may need to call the experts to safely and effectively handle a beetle infestation for you.

Are carpet beetles ruining your carpet and fabrics? If you’re experiencing an infestation, get rid of beetles fast and efficiently with professional pest control from Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control. Contact us today for a free estimate or to schedule an appointment.

Pest ID: What are Clover Mites and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

what are clover mites and how to get rid of them

While their name resembles that of luck, there’s nothing lucky about finding clover mites in your home. These tiny insects can quickly become a big nuisance when discovered indoors. Learn more about what makes these little insects tick and how to avoid them.

What Are Clover Mites?

Clover mites are oval-shaped, dark reddish-brown pests smaller than a pinhead. They have eight tiny legs with two front legs longer than the other six legs. Their long legs are often confused as the mite’s antennae.

Clover mites prefer cooler weather leading to a peak in activity during the spring and fall months. As temperatures drop, you’ll find them sucking plant juices from clover, well-fertilized lawns, and a variety other plant species. Clover mites are also common on patios or rooftops where they feast on molds or mildew.

Before the summer months arrive, they lay their eggs and fall into a dormant state between May and September. Any eggs laid in the fall will overwinter and hatch in the spring. They often position their eggs in cracks or crevices on the exterior of a home or between walls. This can become a huge hassle for homeowners when they hatch.

Are Clover Mites Harmful to Humans or Property?

Clover mites are not dangerous to humans and do not feed on your blood like other mite species. They aren’t a significant threat to home structures, but can quickly become a nuisance when they invade a home.

When smashed, adult clover mites leave behind a red stain due to the mite’s body pigments (not their blood). Stains are common on wallpaper, curtains, rugs, or other light colored furniture. If you find clover mites in your home, vacuum them up to avoid squishing them and staining your belongings.

How Do I Prevent Clover Mites?

Clover mites are not a long-term infestation, but infestation problems can occur during their active months in the spring and fall. Use these tips to prevent clover mites from entering your home.

  • Clover mites are attracted to well-fertilized lawns. While you want your lawn to look great, ease up in the spring and fall, or when clover mites are present, to avoid an infestation.
  • Seal holes, cracks, and gaps around windows, doors, siding, and the foundation. Clover mites can get into the tiniest cracks, especially on the south and southwestern side of buildings.
  • Repair window screens with holes or loose fittings.
  • Check for openings in the attic. Clover mites can climb siding and enter through openings above.
  • Trim thick shrubs, grass, and weeds away from your home in the spring and fall. Overgrown vegetation creates a perfect environment for a clover mite infestation and may offer easier entry into the home.

How Can I Get Rid of Clover Mites?

If you spot reddish-colored clover mites crawling near windowsills and siding on the sunny side of your home, you may have an infestation. While clover mites are seasonal, an infestation could prove difficult to remove.

It’s recommended to contact your local pest control experts to perform an inspection and prepare a plan for clover mite control. They can recommend safe, effective solutions to reduce or eliminate your clover mite problem.

If you’re experiencing a clover mite problem in your home, call the experts at Inman-Murphy Termite and Pest Control for a professional inspection. We’ll offer a thorough analysis of the pest issue and offer safe and effective solutions to get the job done right. Request a free estimate today.


Pest Identification: What is a Silverfish Bug?

what are silverfish

Have you ever woken up to a silverfish in your bathroom sink? Or have you ever moved something and a silverfish darted across your floor? Though small, silverfish are fast and creepy enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies.

But what exactly are silverfish and can they cause harm? Learn more about this interesting insect and what to do if you see them in your home.

What Are Silverfish?

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that get their name from a silvery light grey coloring and fish-like appearance when they move. These insects are nocturnal and prefer hiding in dark places. They typically grow between 0.5-1.0 inch long with a lifespan of two to eight years.

Silverfish have two long antennae on their head and three long bristles in on their rear. They move quickly in a wiggling motion on flat surfaces resembling a fish. These insects can survive in almost any environment but prefer dark areas with high moisture and humidity.

Are Silverfish Harmful to Humans or Property?


While the presence of a silverfish can be alarming, there is no evidence that they are poisonous or carry harmful diseases. However, silverfish can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Throughout adulthood, silverfish shed their skin (i.e. molting) and leave behind scales. The dust created by the dropped scales could cause an allergic reaction.


Silverfish prefer a diet of carbohydrates and sugar. They will munch on books, wallpaper, clothing, insulation, newspaper, cereal boxes, and even eat human hair they find on the ground. While finding holes in recyclable materials may not seem like a big deal, finding holes in clothing or family photo albums is not something anyone wants to discover.

How Do I Prevent Silverfish?

Silverfish are common insects found in homes. But unfortunately, they can be difficult to get rid of due to their rapid speed and nocturnal habits.

Luckily, there are precautions you can take to avoid unknowingly inviting them into your home:

  • Vacuum floors regularly to remove fallen food crumbs.
  • Limit their food sources by storing cereals and grains in plastic containers.
  • Use a dehumidifier in basements or damp areas.
  • Open vents in crawl spaces to reduce moisture accumulation.
  • Keep your gutters clean and water flowing away from your home.
  • Search for cracks in the foundation that are small enough for insects to enter and seal them up.
  • Seal or caulk around doors, windows, and trim to eliminate further entry points.

How Can I Get Rid of Silverfish?

While taking proper precautions is a great start, silverfish are difficult to get rid of when you have an infestation. Due to their nocturnal nature and ability to move and reproduce quickly, an infestation could go unnoticed for long periods of time.

Silverfish infestations require professional pest control methods and treatments to get rid of the problem. While DIY remedies may offer brief relief, they prove ineffective over time and do not kill the source: their eggs. At the first sign of silverfish, call your local pest control experts to find the source of the problem and establish a treatment plan.

Are you experiencing trouble with silverfish in your Tennessee home? Contact Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control for a free estimate today.

Understanding the Difference Between Insects and a Pests

Do you have a pest infestation problem? Or are do you have beneficial insects around your home? And more importantly, how can you tell the difference?

While there is some relationship between pests and insects, not all insects are pests. Some insects are beneficial to our ecosystem and to humans whereas pests are not.

What Are Pests?

In the dictionary, a pest is defined as a destructive insect or animal that attacks crops, food, livestock, etc. Pests are direct competitors with humans and are considered pests when they cause harm to humans beyond the economic threshold level (i.e. the level to which a pest population can be tolerated without economic loss).

Pests can include ticks, mites, insects, birds, mammals, and even plants. Invertebrate pests include transmitters of disease (flies, mosquitoes, and thrips), parasites (bed bugs and lice), and damage causing pests (termites).

Agents used to kill pests are referred to as pesticides. Other alternative methods such as cultural practices, biological pest control, traps, repellent, and others can also help correct a pest problem.

What Are Insects?

Did you know insects have been around longer than humans? Insects constantly interact with humans either as a pest or as a beneficial organism. Our ecosystem wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for certain insects and the role they play in our world. Insects are crucial for pollination and environmental sustainability.

So, how can you tell if what you see is an insect? The insect body can be divided into three parts: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. They typically have a pair of antennae, two pairs of wings (except for ants or flies which have one pair of wings), and three pairs of segmented legs.

Living in a World with Pests and Insects

When you see certain insects in your garden, this is a good thing! Or if you catch an occasional insect in your home, rather than squishing them or flushing them down the toilet, let them go free outside. They add value to the ecosystem and your yard or garden.

While an occasional insect may not be a problem in the home, an infestation of a pest or insect is not something anyone wants to live with. Safe and effective pest control methods by professionals can be used in the home to eliminate infestations. Traditional pesticides can be unsafe for use around children or pets. Eco-friendly pest control solutions that are safe for the whole family should be used by experienced pest control professionals. These professionals are knowledgeable about pests and can eliminate them safely and efficiently from the home.

Are you experiencing a pest infestation in your home or on your property? Call the professionals at Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control for help. We’ll send a trained technician to your home to assess the problem and offer recommendations for treatment. Our eco-friendly solutions offer the results you want while keeping you and your family safe. Call us today at (901) 388-0852 or request a free estimate online.


How to Prevent, Control, and Eliminate Stink Bugs in Your Home

how to prevent eliminate stink bugs in memphis

Fall has officially arrived when the leaves change, the mornings are crisp and cool, and the seasonal smells of pie and cinnamon fill the air. The downside of this season is when the weather cools and stink bugs arrive. These pests can be an unwelcome addition and an odorous nuisance in the home.

Stink bugs frequently enter homes when the weather gets colder in search of a warm place to stay through the winter. When they find their way inside in the fall, stink bugs tend to head toward the attic. You may find them settling in a pile of clothes or stack of newspapers.

What Are Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs are formally known as the brown marmorated stink bug. Its name comes from the brown marbling pattern on its back. Stink bugs can be identified by their striped pattern along the abdomen and smooth shoulders. They have a five-sided, shield-shaped body about ¾” long.

Stink bugs can secrete a foul-smelling substance when they are frightened, disturbed, or squished. Use caution when vacuuming them in a household vacuum cleaner because their strong odor could remain.

Do Stink Bugs Cause Damage?

While they don’t pose a risk to health or property, stink bugs are a serious pest for agriculture. They feed on plants, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and ornamentals. They may also dine on weeds and tree leaves. Stink bugs have become a big agriculture problem in mid-Atlantic states causing damage to apples and other crops. They can also be a real headache for home gardeners.

How Can You Prevent Stink Bugs in Your Home?

Prevention is key to keeping stink bugs from coming indoors. Once they get inside, it’s challenging to get rid of them.

Stink Bug Prevention Tips

  1. Seal cracks and entry points around siding, pipes, and chimneys. Use a quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
  2. Replace or repair screens on doors or windows.
  3. Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum and turn off outdoor lights when not in use to avoid attracting them.
  4. Remove any access to food by storing food in airtight containers, disposing of garbage, and cleaning up spills.
  5. Use a dehumidifier to ventilate the attic, basement, garage, and crawl spaces.
  6. Trim branches and shrubs and store firewood at least 20 feet from the house and five inches off the ground.
  7. Avoid the urge to squish them. They release a foul-smelling odor from pores on the sides of their bodies.

How Do You Eliminate Stink Bugs for Good?

To keep stink bugs from causing an infestation in the home, professional pest control services are recommended to find and eliminate stink bugs in the attic, basement, or throughout the home. If DIY prevention services fail and an infestation is imminent, call for professional help to fix the problem before it gets worse.

If you’re having stink bug issues in your home, call the experts at Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control. Contact us today for a free pest control estimate.

10 Beneficial Insects You Don’t Want to Get Rid Of

Some insects can be beneficial to your Tennessee yard

Not every insect is bad. In fact, our world and ecosystem wouldn’t be the same if insects didn’t exist.

Many insects offer inherent value to our ecosystem through pollination and even pest control. Before you grab the swatter, don’t forget these ten beneficial insects serve a good purpose in your yards and gardens.


Ladybugs are commonly known by their red shell and black spots. They are helpful at fighting harmful agriculture pests such as aphids and other plant parasites. When you see a ladybug in your garden, let them be. They’re an insect you want to have around.

Damsel Bugs

Damsel bugs are soft-bodied, elongated, winged terrestrial predators. They are yellow to tan in color and have large eyes and thin legs. These bugs are also helpful in agriculture because they prey on many types of crop pests. You’ll often find damsel bugs in fields of legumes or alfalfa, but they may be found in other crops or non-cultivated areas too.


While we don’t like spiders in our homes and we certainly want to get rid of poisonous spiders, spiders are needed in flower and vegetable gardens to avoid pest outbreaks. When your garden is populated with various insects, you’ll likely find spiders present. If you need to encourage their presence to keep pests away, you can attract spiders by planting perennial plants or straw mulches. 


Lacewings look just as their name suggests. They have large, lace-like wings and are often found feeding on flower nectar. These beautiful insects should be welcomed to your flower garden because they feed on moth eggs, aphids, mites, and caterpillars.

Hover Flies

Hover flies are often confused for wasps or bees and have a similar appearance to lacewings. They feed on aphids and like to live in tight, hard to reach places. Their larvae appear in early spring and are beneficial in helping produce larger and more beautiful strawberries and raspberries.

Honey Bees

The honey bee is a valuable insect for pollination and the production of honey. Honey bees have faced a dramatic and unexplained decline which has become worrisome. A decline in honey bees could threaten food production and increase the costs of honey.


While a wasp sting is painful and can lead to swelling, wasps of all varieties are helpful to gardens. Wasps are efficient at garden pest control by attacking eggs of unwanted pests. But, they can certainly be a nuisance and a danger to some people. If you have an allergy to wasp stings, you most certainly need have the wasps and their nests removed.

Ground Beetle

Though not a pleasant sight in your garden, the ground beetle is an insect you want there. These large, long-legged bugs feed on insects that are harmful to vegetables. If you plant tomatoes, potatoes, or cabbage, don’t forget to add a few logs, rocks, or perennial ground covers to attract the ground beetle.

Praying Mantis

Praying mantis are not only interesting looking insects with long front legs joined together when at rest, they also hunt pests around the clock. They move through vegetation searching for crickets, flies, grasshoppers, moths, and caterpillars. They have a boundless appetite for insects making them a valuable form of pest control in gardens.

Dragon Fly

Like several other insects mentioned here, dragon flies also feed on aphids and other pests in gardens. Dragon flies are especially helpful in keeping the mosquito population under control. When you see a dragon fly, enjoy their beauty and let them continue their work keeping pests at bay.

Next time you see one of these ten insects in your yard or garden, don’t be afraid. They each do an important job for the ecosystem. For other pests, such as termites, ants, or mosquitos, call the experts at Inman-Murphy for professional residential pest control.