Infestations can go unnoticed for weeks. Most critters are very good at hiding, and some, like termites and carpenter ants, can do serious damage before you’re even aware of them. Keep reading to learn about three of the most common home invaders in Oak Ridge and around Tennessee.


If you see just one roach in your house, there’s probably an entire colony. Cockroaches multiply rapidly and live with several generations of their relatives. They’re extremely social insects.

They also secrete chemicals that alert other roaches to homey conditions with good hiding places and plenty of food. If that’s your house or place of business, company’s coming.

German cockroaches, which are common around here, are especially prolific breeders because they reach maturity in only three months. Since females produce up to 300 offspring, a roach population can climb into the thousands in no time.

Having roaches isn’t just a nuisance or an embarrassment. Their decomposing bodies produce a potent allergen that triggers asthma.


Since fleas feed on blood, they torment pets, wild animals, livestock, and humans. They sense a host in the area by its movement, body heat, and exhaled carbon dioxide, and they jump astonishing distances to latch on and start feeding.

Animals are most appetizing to fleas, but if you put your pet outside, they’ll take what they can get. Your ankles may be covered in itchy red bumps before you spot the tiny creatures.

An infestation usually starts in the yard. Humid, shady areas attract fleas. Sheltered spots that are close to an animal pen or doghouse are prime real estate.

Let’s say that your dog is a host. It will bring in the 50 or so eggs that each attached female lays every day and unwittingly drop them on its bedding or your floor. Depending on how many fleas your dog has, doing the math can be frightening.

The best prevention against fleas is having your pets treated regularly. However, a rodent problem also invites fleas and other pests.


Rats and mice flatten themselves to get in through the smallest of openings. Once inside your home or business, they travel behind walls and through heating, ventilation and air-conditioning ducts.

Did you know that rats’ incisors would never stop growing if they didn’t gnaw? That’s why they incessantly file their teeth on plastic, wood, electrical wiring, and even brick.

Rats and mice nest in dark, quiet areas with little foot traffic. If you suspect a problem but don’t see any droppings, look for grease marks along your baseboards. You can also check the grass and vegetation in your yard. Since rats use established pathways, the flattened grass is a red flag. You may find droppings behind thick shrubbery.

Like rats, squirrels gnaw. They can do significant damage to your property and possessions. Raccoons often carry rabies, and they’re aggressive when their young are threatened. Rats transmit a number of serious diseases.

Since 1985, Dayton’s Pest Control has been protecting families, pets and business owners throughout Tennessee. Our courteous team members are extensively trained in the most up-to-date technologies. They can pinpoint problem areas that most homeowners overlook. Call Dayton’s today for any kind of infestation.