Invasive Species

Invasive Insect Species In Tennessee Part 1

Have You Heard About These Invasive Species?

With its unique climate, rich open land and buzzing metropolises, Tennessee is a prime habitat for many different types of insects and pests. By knowing what’s buzzing in your backyard, you’ll be better able to determine treatment next steps, and help curb issues before they become full-scale infestations.

Common insects to watch for…


These aggressive bees—sometimes called “killer bees”—tend towards warmer, more tropical and subtropical environments. For them, a wet/dry climate is better than one with hot and cold seasons, which makes Tennessee ideal. You’ll often find these bees nesting in tree hollows, rotted wood and logs or rock piles. Be wary of these insects—they will defend their nests from as far as 50’ away, and have been the cause of death for animals and, even, people.


While originally native to China and Korea, the Asian Longhorned Beetle made its way to the U.S. via wood and wood packaging materials. Now here for more than 30 years, these beetles have been found in 14 states, including Tennessee. Though not a threat to humans, Asian Longhorned Beetles can take down even large trees over three- to five-year periods. It may not sound like a major threat but, in their native China, 40% of the country’s poplar plants have been damaged—more than 2 million plants total.


Like other stink bugs, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has a shield-shaped body and, when bothered or disturbed, lets off a very strong, very foul odor to ward off attackers. Though they tend to live in plants—preferably ornamental plants, fruit and shade trees and garden crops—it’s not uncommon to see these stink bugs fly or fall from leaves, plants or branches when bothered or threatened.

To identify these insects, look for the tell-tale white band on its antennae.


Though only first discovered in 1989, the Cactus Moth has already made its way from its native Florida Keys to the southeastern states and Tennessee. Female moths can lay up to 140 eggs at a time, which stack like a chain or stick.


Egyptian Cotton Worms are major problems for crops and local ecosystems. Just 15-20 mm on average with grey-brown and white wings, these African natives are common throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe. Now, they’ve made their way to the U.S. where they’ve been known to devastate crops such as cotton, tomatoes, corn and other vegetables. Much of the damage is done by unrelenting larvae feeding.


Male Emerald Ash Borer Beetles are metallic green and, typically, about ½-inch long. Because these beetles tend to consume ash foliage, they pose little threat to crops, plants or trees. The only major issue is that, sometimes, the beetle larvae can feed on the inner bark of ash trees, which can inhibit the tree’s ability to move water and nutrients throughout.

Since being discovered in 2002, these insects have been responsible for killing eight to 10 million trees in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana alone.

Don’t put your home or family at risk. Get in touch with Foundation Pest Control to discuss your termite treatment options. We’ll help you find the most economical and effective solution for your situation.

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