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Transitioning Seasons (and Pests)

Transitioning Seasons (and Pests)

By Erin Richardson, President of All-American Pest Control

Are you ready for fall? Personally, I love autumn in Middle Tennessee—as temperature and humidity levels drop, leaves transform into their bright fall hues and family-friendly activities and festivals abound!

However, our summers tend to linger into the early fall months. In fact, it’s been predicted that we won’t start seeing a noticeable weather change until the week of October 10. That means summer pests like mosquitoes can stick around for several more weeks while fall pests like ticks become especially active before winter arrives.

Learn the threats of both pests and how you can protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks during these transition months.


Mosquito populations are at their peak when heat, humidity and rain are most prevalent, and we’re expected to see more rain than normal throughout September and October. This means conditions are favorable for a bumper crop of piercing-biting pests this fall. At All-American Pest Control, we recommend our customers continue treatment for mosquitoes and ticks from April through November to tackle these pests before they enter diapause—the dormancy period many pests enter to bridge the unforgiving winter months.

Adult mosquitoes thrive in or around dense and shady foliage like long-hanging leafy branches, ornamental plants, bushes and tall grasses found around homes. They primarily breed in sources of stagnant water—one cup of rainwater is sufficient. Breeding sites commonly found near a home include children’s playground equipment, gutters, outdoor toys, wading pools, planter pot bases, bird baths, damaged downspout extenders and garden ponds. Emptying all sources of standing water after it rains, trimming back overgrown foliage and cleaning rain gutters and downspouts regularly are all steps you can take to keep your home safe from these bothersome pests.

It’s especially important to protect yourself from mosquitoes as they can easily transmit diseases. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennesseans are most at risk for contracting West Nile Virus from mosquitoes between August and November. West Nile Virus can present miserable and long-term effects for humans, such as high fever, muscle weakness, disorientation and more.


Nearly everyone can attest to being bitten by a mosquito, tick or flea. Vectors are mosquitoes, ticks and fleas that spread pathogens. A person who gets bitten by a vector and gets sick has a vector-borne disease.

In Nashville and the surrounding area, the American dog tick, Brown dog tick and Lonestar tick are responsible for most tick-borne illnesses contracted by humans. The prevalence of ticks infected with the viral pathogens associated with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (and other spotted fevers rickettsiosis, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis) is relatively moderate across the state of Tennessee.

Is it Coronavirus or something else?

In Middle Tennessee and across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated nearly every aspect of public health during the past two years, making the timely diagnoses of tick-borne infections—among other viruses—a growing concern.

The initial symptoms of many diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes share similarities with viruses like the flu and Coronavirus. Coupled with the increased prevalence of virtual telemedicine visits, potentially fatal illnesses transmitted by ticks risk the potential of either not being diagnosed at all or not being diagnosed in a timely fashion.

After being bitten by an infected tick, the initial symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSP) can look and feel a lot like COVID-19. While few people will develop all symptoms and the number and combination of symptoms varies greatly from person to person, if not properly diagnosed, it can quickly turn fatal.

Early RMSF Symptoms (Days 1-4)

  • High fever
  • Headache, potentially severe
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling and/or rash

Note: The rash associated with RMSP does not always appear right away and approximately 10% of RMSF patients never develop a rash.

Just because the seasons are changing does not mean you should stop your fight against mosquitoes and ticks! Stay aware of the health risks they can cause and continue your protection against these mainstay pests.

The benefits of acting and staying aware of what mosquitoes and ticks can do to damage your property and health will make your outdoor space more enjoyable and give you peace of mind. If you would like to learn more about effective mosquito and tick misting pest control, please visit

Erin Richardson is the first female president, CEO, and owner of a third-generation business—All-American Pest Control. Since buying the business in 2012, Erin has implemented a 4-day work week and a variety of strategic bets that fueled the company’s growth and reputation. A member of the Tennessee Pest Control Association and National Pest Management Association, she is active in her industry at state and national levels and has grown her family business to PCT Magazine’s Top 100 List—the top 100 largest pest control companies in the nation—and has appeared on the Inc. 5000 list in 2019, 2020 and 2021.