Eight Bugs in Tennessee all Residents Should Know About

black and white insect on a green leaf

black and white insect on a green leaf

Tennessee has a pleasant year-round temperature. It’s the perfect place for vacation or raising a family. But beneath the beauty lies an insectoid horror: bugs. Well, pretty much like any other place.

But yes, Tennessee is home to various bugs that can cause residents problems if they’re unaware and don’t take precautions.

So, if you spot one tiny ant peacefully carrying her crumb across the kitchen floor, don’t be fooled: it could signify a much bigger problem. Whether or not you’re dealing with an infestation, take action to nip the problem in the bud. 

We’ve created a handy guide to help you identify and take on the most common bugs in Tennessee.

1. Bed Bugs

The bane of a peaceful night’s sleep, bed bugs can be found almost everywhere. These tiny pests feed on human blood and leave itchy bites. These bites look like small, red welts and can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Bed bugs are typically found in beds, couches, carpets, and other furniture. They can even be found in public places like hotels and movie theaters.

What’s unfortunate in the case of bed bugs is that they have developed immunity to most insecticides.

So, if you notice signs of bed bug activity – like small spots on the mattress or sheets – contact a professional extermination service like EcoForceBedBugServicesTennessee as soon as possible. Professional services use powerful tools to detect and remove bed bugs from your home.

2. Spiders

Tennessee has its share of spiders, some of which can be dangerous. The brown recluse spider has the illest repute. It can be identified by its dark violin-shaped marking and its nocturnal habits. It prefers to come out at night and hide in dark corners.

Fortunately, these spiders are not aggressive, but their bite can lead to necrosis and even potential organ failure.

The black widow spider is another dangerous species. It can be identified by its shiny black color and red hourglass marking on the abdomen. Their bite contains a neurotoxin, leading to muscle spasms and respiratory problems. But they only bite humans in self-defense.

To prevent spider infestations, keep your home clean and clutter-free. Vacuum regularly and use insecticide sprays to get rid of them.

3. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can be a nuisance in Tennessee, especially in the East, during the summer months. They love to hang around standing water and can even live indoors if conditions allow it.

Culex mosquitoes are the most common. They can spread the West Nile virus.

The Asian tiger mosquito is another menace and can be identified by its black-and-white stripes. This species is known to spread the Chikungunya virus, which causes fever, rash, and joint pain.

To prevent yourself from becoming a mosquito buffet:

  • Avoid spending time outdoors during dusk and dawn
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing
  • Use a repellent when outdoors

4. Ticks

Ticks are arachnids, meaning they’re related to spiders and mites. These tiny parasites are found in wooded and grassy areas. But they are highly invasive and can even find their way indoors.

Ticks are known to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. The symptoms range from mild fevers and rashes to fatigue, joint pain, and cognitive problems.

The lone star tick can also make you allergic to red meat.

Seek medical attention if you notice a tick bite, which usually appears as a red ring.

To prevent ticks from attaching, you must also treat your cloth and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin or DEET. If you’re camping or hiking outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants.

5. Deer Flies

The fly hovering around your head could be a deer fly. These biting insects are attracted to carbon dioxide and light, so they’re likely to buzz around you.

June and July are considered the peak months for deer flies in Tennessee. Their black and yellow stripes can identify them, and they’re known to bite humans on exposed skin.

Female deer flies are the biggest threat. They require human blood to lay eggs in the soil, so they’re more aggressive than males.

Deer fly bites can cause pain, redness, and swelling. The bite area may also blister or develop a halo-like rash. The only bright side is that deer flies don’t carry any diseases.

Eucalyptus and peppermint oil can be used to repel deer flies.

6. Sweat Bees

Tiny green or black bees drawn to perspiration and saliva, sweat bees are a common sight in Tennessee during summer. Some also have a grey or yellow hue.

Sweat bees are mostly harmless and don’t sting unless provoked. But if you’re allergic to bee stings, it can be painful and dangerous.

Sweat bees are attracted to salty sweat, so keep yourself dry and wear light colors outside.

You must also remove old branches and logs from your garden, which is the perfect habitat for sweat bees.

7. Fire Ants

These ants are typically red and black but can also be brown or yellow. Fire ants may not look dangerous, but they bite humans and animals with the help of their pincers.

Fire ant bites can cause an itchy, burning sensation. In some cases, they can even lead to anaphylactic shock. It means that your throat and airways can swell, making breathing hard.

To get rid of fire ants, use boric acid or pyrethrin products. You can also use beneficial nematodes to eliminate them from your property.

8. Wasps

We only have one word for wasps — “ouch!” Wasps are easily identified by their yellow and black stripes. They can sting multiple times if provoked, so it’s best to keep a safe distance.

The most common types of wasps in Tennessee are paper wasps, yellow jackets, and mud daubers. All three of these pests have painful stings and can be dangerous to those with allergies.

Keep sugary foods out of reach and store trash securely to prevent wasps. You can also keep wasp traps handy to catch them quickly.

If all else fails, call a professional exterminator for help.


Tennessee has its share of bugs and insects. While some are harmless, others can cause severe health issues. What has helped people in the past is regular fumigation, using insecticides, and other external treatments.

You must also take preventive measures such as wearing long-sleeved clothing and removing organic matter from your garden.

It is always essential to stay informed as it can help you prevent any serious issues in the future. A little knowledge goes a long way!