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Bugs in Nashville: Which Ones Are Harmful and Which Are Not
Bugs in Nashville: Which Ones Are Harmful and Which Are Not
Pest Control
August 20, 2022

What Bugs Are Harmful?

Whether you’re hanging out in your backyard at dusk or hiking through the woods on a weekend with the kids, you probably have concerns in the back of your mind about bug bites and what they may carry. Sure, there are many potential illnesses you could get from bug bites, such as Lyme disease and the Zika virus, but most bugs in Tennessee are simply annoying and don’t pose a big threat to your health.

Here’s what you should know about bugs and bites in the Nashville area. Your trusted Brentwood exterminator can also provide more information regarding your specific concerns.


Of the many species of spidersin Tennessee, only two are poisonous to humans: the black widow and the brown recluse.

The brown recluse has a fiddle-shaped mark on its head and will only bite you when it is trapped or feels pressure. A bite from the brown recluse will leave a small white blister and then a lesion under the skin.

The black widow has bright red markings on its abdomen and will only bite if something comes in direct contact with its web. Black widow bites feature two puncture marks on the skin, accompanied by a searing pain spreading throughout the body.

If you don’t experience severe symptom beyond these, most spider bites will heal on their own without medical attention.


Ticks are found all over Tennessee, and their bites are quite common. But unless you develop a fever, chills, rash, aches and pains, or vomiting, you should be OK. Only blacklegged ticks transmit Lyme disease, but they are more common in the northeastern U.S. The Rocky Mountain spotted fever is more prevalent in the southern United States, with immediate symptoms like fever, headache, muscle pain, abdominal pain, and vomiting. When caught early enough, you can treat the symptoms with antibiotics.


Prevalent in Tennessee, bites from mosquitoes are itchy and annoying but don’t really make you sick. While you may be alarmed about the Zika virus, the truth is that of the 1,400 cases in the U.S., most were infected when traveling abroad.

Other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile, are reported in Tennessee in very small incidences, none of which were fatal. That being said, wear long sleeves and pants, and spray bug repellant when outside just to be safe.

Kissing Bugs

The triatomine bug, known more commonly as the “kissing bug,” is common in Tennessee and Georgia. It carries the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that spreads an inflammatory infection called Chagas, resulting in heart and digestive problems.

However, the likelihood of getting this disease from a kissing bug in this country is very low, according to the CDC.

Even with all the insects in Nashville, you shouldn’t let your fear of these bugs keep you from enjoying your backyard barbecues. Take the proper precautions and have fun!

Contact PureGuard Pest Control

If you suspect an infestation of any of the above bugs in your house or yard, call us at 615-502-2855. Our Nashville pest control technicians can come out to provide an inspection and free quote on treatment.

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