All homes managed by Jackson Mountain Homes, Inc. are sprayed monthly by a professional pest control company, Raymond's Pest Control. Gatlinburg is located adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which encompasses over 500,000 acres of forest that is pesticide free. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is designated as an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. Insects and other pests such as wasps, yellow jackets, small animals and sometimes bears will stray into our area from time to time. No matter how much we spray, it is impossible to guarantee that homes will be pest free at all times. In the event of a major infestation, the office will have maintenance or pest control attempt to solve the problem in a timely manner. Your patience and understanding will be greatly appreciated.
Asian Lady Beetles, by the thousands, sometimes infest homes, concentrating on the sunny side of a house usually facing south. These Lady Beetles, that resemble large lady bugs, take refuge during cold weather in any warm crack or crevice of a home around doors, windows, between logs and/or any other place that they can gain access to warmth. When spring arrives or a warm sunny winter day they emerge only to find that they went the wrong way and found themselves trapped inside the house. While they are cute in small numbers, when their numbers grow they become a smelly and unpleasant pest. Sprays and foggers offer little relief for these invaders because the sprays are only effective when applied directly to them as they do not feed inside the home. The most effective method of dealing with them is to vacuum them from surfaces and remove them to the trash in a plastic bag. While JMH, Inc. has no control over Lady Beetles, we will do what we can to minimize their impact in your vacation home. Please keep in mind that a house can be spotlessly cleaned on a cold day and sit that way for weeks as long as it is cold. All it takes for the Lady Beetles to appear in great numbers is to have the sun come out for a few hours. These bugs are commandos. They hide until the right moment and then come out in full force. For more information click on the link above.
Cluster Flies / Attic Flies
Cluster flies have a tendency to seek the warmth of a home in late fall and early winter. Once inside a home they tend to gather around windows and are often found on window sills and the floor below. Because they enter the home through any small opening or while the doors are open they are difficult to eradicate with pesticides. The best method for dealing with them is to vacuum or sweep them up and dispose in a sealed plastic bag. Please have patience as these pests do not bite humans or feed on human food. They simply are looking for a warm place to hide.
Wood Roaches / Cockroaches
All of the homes on the JMH rental program are sprayed every month so it is very unlikely that you will encounter a cockroach; however, wood roaches live exclusively outside in the forest where it is impossible to spray. They are attracted to lights and may enter homes when doors/windows are open. Once inside they can be seen day or night but 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.
Millipedes are nuisance pests that typically are present after rainy weather in late summer and early fall. They do not bite humans, damage belongings, and they are not poisonous. Millipedes are very difficult to control because they live in the forest under the leaves and come out during cool rainy weather to seek shelter in the warmth of homes. They are best controlled by vacuuming and sweeping. Should you have a problem with Millipedes during your stay we will send someone out as soon as possible to help remove them.
If you mention scorpions to Tennesseans you will most likely get a "huhhh" response. Even though scorpions are rarely seen in Tennessee, they do live in the forests under vegetation. While Tennessee scorpions look like other scorpions, they are generally small, 1" or less, and their sting is similar to that of a honey bee. Rest easy, scorpions are creatures of the night and you are very unlikely to encounter one. If you do see a scorpion, consider yourself lucky to see one of these fascinating creatures. If you are stung, the severity of the reaction is dependent upon the sensitivity of that individual’s body to the venom.
What Do I Do if I See a Bear (Courtesy NPS)
Bears are wild and their behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred, inflicting serious injuries and death. Treat bear encounters with extreme caution and follow these guidelines:
If you see a bear remain watchful. Do not approach it. If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.)—you’re too close. Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don’t run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Try to increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same.
If a bear persistently follows or approaches you, without vocalizing, or paw swatting, try changing your direction. If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground. If the bear gets closer, talk loudly or shout at it. Act aggressively and try to intimidate the bear. Act together as a group if you have companions. Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground). Throw non-food objects such as rocks at the bear. Use a deterrent such as a stout stick. Don’t run and don't turn away from the bear. Don't leave food for the bear; this encourages further problems.
Most injuries from black bear attacks are minor and result from a bear attempting to get at people's food. If the bear's behavior indicates that it is after your food and you're physically attacked, separate yourself from the food and slowly back away.
If the bear shows no interest in your food and you're physically attacked, fight back aggressively with any available object--the bear may consider you as prey! Help protect others, report all bear incidents to a park ranger immediately. Above all, keep your distance from bears!