During your stay you may find an occasional "uninvited guest" in the form of one of Mother Nature"s small creatures. While we treat the property regularly, we hope that you will appreciate the fact that being in the heart of a national forest does create certain challenges in this area.
We appreciate your understanding and hope you enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and all "God"s creatures great and small!!!"
Bugs you may encounter during your stay:
Several years ago, the National Park Service released several million ladybugs into the park to fight a tree-killing insect that is destroying thousands of park trees. The ladybug actually eats the food source of the bug causing the destruction.
The Gatlinburg area is home to a large population of these lucky ladybugs. They do not come into our cabin on purpose but occasionally they do visit. Once inside they cannot locate an exit. Unfortunately there is no safe formula for getting rid of them other than to vacuum them up. Since these bugs were introduced to fight a problem in the national park, the Park Service will not allow us to spray specifically for Ladybugs.
The Ladybug is a small harmless reddish or yellowish bug with small black spots. Some say they are good luck bugs. They do not harm humans, food or pose a health threat. We will continue to remove these critters upon checkout, but if they appear during your stay please be patient with them.
These insects, sometimes called "attic flies", also find there way into the cabins from time to time. They usually appear in late fall or early winter and again on warm, sunny days in early spring, sometimes in large numbers. They buzz around the home and gather in large numbers at windows. The cluster fly is a little larger than the common housefly and moves sluggishly.
The best prevention of Cluster Flies is to vacuum them up once they have settled in the higher windows and upper rooms of the cabin. The flies are not your common house fly and do not buzz around food and humans, they are looking for a place to stay warm for the winter and usually pass away shortly after entering the cabin.
Now is the time when homeowners will notice medium-sized cockroaches wandering about the house in the middle of the day. These are usually wood cockroaches, also known as wood roaches.
Wood roaches are similar in appearance to the household cockroaches, but they live exclusively outdoors. They live in rotted logs, tree stumps, hollow trees and under the loose bark of dead trees and firewood. They are especially noticed at this time when the males are active and attracted to lights.
Once indoors, wood roaches wander during the daytime rather than at night like the household roaches. They die within a few days of their accidental invasion into the house because of insufficient moisture. Wood roaches do not reproduce or establish indoors, and their presence is only an annoyance. They do not harm the house structure, furnishings or occupants.
Wood roaches can usually be identified by the presence of white stripes on the edges of the thorax and front portion of the wings. This characteristic is more readily apparent in the slender, straw brown-colored males than in the dark brown females and nymphs. The wings of the males extend slightly beyond the tip of the abdomen. The females wings cover only half of the abdomen, and nymphs are wingless.
The sprays and dusts used with success against household cockroach species are of very limited benefit against wood roaches. Exclusion techniques that prevent wood roach entry should be considered. Doors and windows should be tight-fitting and cracks, gaps and other possible entry points should be sealed. Outdoor insecticide barrier treatments of diazinon, Dursban, malathion or Sevin around windows and doors and along the foundation or firewood pile are a last resort that may reduce the number of wood roaches that get indoors.
If you ask a Tennessean about a scorpion sighting, the answers usually ranges from just a frown to "I think you’re in the wrong state."
"The mere mention of the word scorpion" is enough to invoke fear and bring to mind scenes of a dry, hot climate encompassed by mounds of sand and rock with little crab-like creatures running around at night with stingers ready to strike.
Most Tennesseans never imagined that one of nature’s best-kept secrets is lurking just under a stone or scurrying amid the forest litter.
Two species of scorpions reside in Tennessee, the Plain Eastern Stripeless Scorpion (Vaejovis carolinianus) and the Striped Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus).
The Plain Eastern Stripeless Scorpion is the only known native to our state. The other species, the Striped Scorpion, was accidentally introduced to Tennessee.
Contrary to popular belief scorpions are not insects. Instead, they are closely related to spiders and belong to the same class, Arachnida. At some point in the past, a common ancestry is shared. They also have similar traits. Scorpions are distinguished by a compact head called a "cephalothorax," a broad segmented abdomen and a tail-like structure called a "telson." The tail tip is enlarged and contains a venomous stinger used for self-defense or to subdue overactive prey. Scorpions can control the amount of venom injected. Venom is injected by thrusting the tail forward over the head and into the prey. The venom of scorpions found in Tennessee is similar to that of a honey bee sting.Ï These scorpions are not like the scorpions found in the western United States. The severity of the reaction is dependent upon the sensitivity of that individual’s body to the venom.
Scorpions are nocturnal hunters feeding at night and hiding during the day. They are most active at temperatures greater than 77 degrees and become sluggish in cold weather.
Scorpions are cold blooded, which means they are the same temperature as their surrounding environment. They can also survive long periods of time without food. During the summer months, scorpions usually feed about once a week depending on food availability. They eat crickets, cockroaches, ants, beetles, mealworms, spiders, and butterflies, just to name a few things. These critters are usually found in the bathrooms, near the tubs and sinks. They enter the cabins looking for water and usually traveling up the outside of the water pipes.
Scorpion sightings are very likely to increase with more and more natural habitat being consumed by development. If you should be lucky enough to encounter one, remember that they are very beneficial in controlling the insect population. Natural predators include birds, frogs, centipedes, spiders, lizards and snakes. Scorpions are very discreet creatures of the night and would prefer to stay hidden. Consider yourself very fortunate should you happen to see one of these fascinating creatures of the night.
Wasps may appear during warm spurts in the winter, spring and late fall. Please be aware that when we experience unseasonably warm weather wasps begin to awaken from their winter slumber thinking it is spring time. During the late fall the wasps lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices of the cabins to keep them warm during the winter months and when the temperature rises the wasps awaken thinking it is spring time and leave their winter homes and mistakenly wander inside the cabins. Sometimes just a few and other times their maybe a lot of them. While we do all we can to prevent this, you may notice an infestation during these times of year.
Please contact us and we will have the pest control company come and spray immediately. If you are allergic to wasp and bee stings please be prepared with the appropriate medications.
Carpenter bees get their common name from their habit of boring into wood to make galleries for the rearing of young. These are worldwide in distribution with 7 species occurring in the United States. They don"t have a hive as honey bees, but are solitary bees. The female Carpenter bee can get into small areas, boring holes.
They are perfectly round, about 3/8 " in diameter. The female carpenter bee will bore a channel or main corridor in the wood from 6 " to as long as 4 feet to lay their eggs in "galleries". She will deposit an egg, bring in a mass of pollen for the newly hatched larvae to feed on, and then seal it all off to ensure its development before she repeats the process for the next egg. Although, they are a wood boring insect, they are not considered a true structural pest. They do not spread throughout the entire structure, but prefer unpainted or finished wood.
CARPENTER BEE IDENTIFICATION
Adult body length is about 1/2 to1 inch (12.5 to 25 mm). They are robust, resembling bumble bees, but larger, with the top surface of abdomen mostly bare and shiny. The male has a yellow face. The female"s is black. They can resemble bumble bees, but the upper surface of their abdomen is bare and shiny black, while bumble bees have a hairy abdomen with at least some yellow markings. Bumble bees don"t nest in the wood, but rather on the ground.
SIGNS OF CARPENTER BEE INFESTATIONS
You will see round holes and a coarse sawdust-like substance called frass underneath the holes. The holes are perfectly round and are about 3/8 inch in diameter. You may find old holes near the newer ones. Old nests can be used year after year by the carpenter bee. Their holes are usually located on the underside of any wood surface including siding, soffits, overhangs, decks, fence posts, fascia boards and window frames.
During the spring, the males seek out the females, hovering around females that found some unfinished wood, such as under eaves, railings, etc. The males are territorial and will confront you if you enter their territory, but they are incapable of stinging. Females have a stinger, but are very docile. Females will nest in a all types of wood, but prefer weathered and unpainted wood.
Male carpenter bees tend to be territorial and can buzz around you if you approach closely, sometimes hovering a short distance in front of your face or buzzing around your head. Since males have no stinger, these actions are just for show and intimidation.
As a household pest, millipedes are more of an annoyance or nuisance, rather than an indoor-breeding pest that causes destruction. Millipedes normally are found outdoors where they feed on damp and decaying wood, organic material, and will also feed on tender roots and green leaves that have fallen to the ground. This occasional invader has two pairs of legs per body segment (as compared to the centipede, which has one pair per segment,) except for the first three segments which have one pair of legs per segment.
Millipedes are not poisonous, but many species have repugnatorial glands capable of producing mild acids which may produce allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals. Millipedes do not bite humans nor damage structures, household possessions or foods. There are at least 1,000 species of millipedes in the United States, a few of which are capable of squirting their unpleasant fluids over a distance of several inches, *these are not the millipedes in our area. Persons handling millipedes will notice a lingering odor on their hands and the fluid can be dangerous to the eyes.
At certain times of the year (usually late summer and autumn) due to excessive rainfall or even drought, a few or hundreds or more leave the soil and crawl into houses, basements, first-floor rooms, up foundation walls, into living rooms, up side walls and drop from the ceilings. Heavy continuous rainfall in newly developed wooded areas with virgin soil (decaying organic matter habitats) are often troublesome sites.
Generally, millipedes over winter in the soil near the foundations of homes, green houses or other structures. Homes are invaded (sometimes in huge numbers) either after heavy rainfall (spring through fall), sometimes hundreds or thousands (shovelfuls) of millipedes are found in garages, first floor rooms and basements. For some unknown reason, millipedes at times become restless and leave the soil to crawl into houses. This is most common with homes that have ground-level patio doors, basements or other areas that are easily accessible. Total control of millipedes during migration periods is difficult.
Large numbers of these structure-invading pests are easily controlled by vacuuming and discarding the collected material.