Pests and Nuisances

There is nothing quite like being in nature’s splendor: hearing the sweet song of chirping birds and maybe seeing a cute black bear or two in the mountains. But don’t be surprised if you also come across some of nature’s less desirable critters and pests during your trip to the Smokies. Welcome to the mountains, where man, beasts, and critters live among one another. Read on to learn about Mighty Vacay’s pest control policies and some common pests in the area.

Pest Control Policies

At Mighty Vacay, we proactively prevent pests by following 3 pest control best practices:

  • We treat our cabins every month for pest prevention.
  • Our cabins are cleaned immediately after each stay in order to remove all food residue and scents as soon as possible.
  • We close off all cracks, holes, and potential entryways for pests to come into the cabins.

In addition, Mighty Vacay encourages guests to follow these pest control practices:

  • Keep all windows and doors shut to keep pests out.
  • Clean the kitchen and dining areas by washing dishes, throwing away trash, wiping down counters and tables, and storing all food in sealed containers.

Asian Lady Beetles

Asian lady beetles are one of the most common pests found in the Smokies. Commonly mistaken for ladybugs, Asian lady beetles are actually quite different!

  • Asian lady beetles are slightly larger in size than ladybugs.
  • They come in different colors from yellow to dark red.
  • They have two white spots on the backs of their heads.
  • Asian lady beetles give off a smelly fluid that can stain surfaces when crushed. Pee-yew!

But what makes them most different from ladybugs is their penchant for taking refuge in warm cabins during the fall as the weather turns cold. In October and November, you may find large numbers of these beetles outdoors on the sunny side of buildings or inside near brightly lit windows. Although they are a nuisance, they are not dangerous or harmful to you at all.

If you see Asian lady beetles in our cabins, please know that it does not mean our homes are dirty or haven’t been cleaned. Even after a thorough cleaning, a large number of beetles can still show up! The best way to prevent them from entering is to make sure that all doors and windows are kept closed. In other words, DO NOT LEAVE DOORS WIDE OPEN for clever Asian lady beetles to enter! And if they do get into the cabin, all you have to do is vacuum or sweep them up and dispose of them in a sealed bag.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are another common pest found in the Smokies and are similar to Asian lady beetles in many ways:

  • Stinks bugs like to congregate in cabins to stay warm during the fall.
  • They like to hang out on the southside of the home around sunny windows, doors, and other entry points.
  • Stink bugs can emit a very bad odor and stain surfaces when they are disturbed or crushed.
  • They are not dangerous or harmful to you.

Again, the best thing to do is prevent them from coming inside in the first place. Remember to keep all doors and windows shut! And if you do see stink bugs inside, please notify Mighty Vacay so that we may help out.

Cockroaches, Mice, and Ants (Oh my!)

We are all familiar with cockroaches, mice, and ants. These are the most common pests found everywhere, from the urban city to the great outdoors. No matter where you go, these pests can infest homes under certain conditions: unclean spaces that have openly available food sources and scents.

Although we clean our cabins thoroughly after each stay, guests can encourage these pests to show up if they do not keep the place clean of food. To avoid these unwanted critters, be sure to clean all dishes and pans after every meal, wipe off kitchen counters and dining tables after cooking and eating, and keep all food sealed in containers or Ziploc bags or in the fridge.

Scorpions

There are two species of scorpions common to the local area: the Plain Eastern Stripeless Scorpion and the Striped Scorpion. The venom of scorpions in Tennessee is similar to that of a honey bee sting. It’s rare that one may slip inside, but if one should, they are usually found in bathrooms, near the tubs and sinks, because they have traveled up the water pipes looking for water. Please know that there is not a lot we can do to prevent or control scorpions other than routinely treating them.

Squirrels

We have a lot of squirrels in the Great Smoky Mountains! Believe it or not, it wasn’t always like that. In fact, squirrels were introduced to many city parks in cities like Gatlinburg to help brighten up the landscape and entertain the locals. And it worked. Squirrel feeding became a favorite pastime for kids.

Today, you can find many frisky squirrels running around trees at the national park or in our backyard. Sometimes you can hear them scurry across our roofs or decks. But on rare occasions, squirrels may sneak into cabins to keep warm during the winter. If you hear any little feet scurrying overhead in the attic, please contact Mighty Vacay as soon as possible so that we can help them find their way back outside.

Mighty Vacay