What Pests Do Leaky Pipes Attract?

A leaky pipe attracting pests in Des Moines IA -

Problems with our plumbing fixtures can turn into problems with pests in a heartbeat. When water leaks from your pipes into your cabinets or walls, it can dampen the wood and cause pools of standing water, leading to an inviting environment for all sorts of pests that live in Des Moines IA. Failing to check up on your plumbing fixtures can lead to pest infestations that expand much quicker than you would expect. To avoid pest outbreaks caused by leaks in your home, read on for the Springer Professional Home Services technicians’ best advice.

Pests that Like Leaky Pipes

Leaky pipes in Des Moines can attract a whole host of pests, but these three are the most important to watch out for:

  1. Ants: If you experience a leak in one of your plumbing fixtures during the summer, it will be hard to avoid ants discovering it. When the heat of summer starts to dehydrate them, ants look for a cool, damp place to live.
  2. Cockroaches: Although cockroaches are some of the most hard-nosed pests in [city], they have to have consistent access to a water source in order to thrive. Paired with the hospitable hiding place that a dark cupboard or crawl space provides, roaches will find refuge wherever there is a leak in your home.
  3. Termites: Termites will add on to the preexisting wood rot that they find, boring through our homes’ wooden structures adjacent to their newfound water sources. If you find water damage from a leak in your home, keep a close watch for termite activity.

How to Avoid Pest Infestations around Leaky Pipes

When you find a leaky pipe inside your house, you have to address it right away. Here’s how to avoid leakage-based pest problems:

  • Seal the cracks that you’ve identified with a silicone-based caulk. This is the most effective strategy for DIY leak sealing.
  • Try to keep any areas seeing leakage as well-ventilated as you can. This will keep moisture from continuing to build up.
  • Talk to your local pest control company. After an initial inspection, they will be able to help you put pest prevention products in place.

Preventing Pest Issues in Des Moines IA

When your leaky pipes lead to loads of pests, you can trust your local pest control company to get rid of them for you. No matter what kind of pests are present, our technicians at Springer Professional Home Services are able to assess your outbreak, identify the root cause, and determine the best steps to take moving forward. To learn more about our services or for a free estimate on pest control, contact us today!

When Do Pests Come Out Throughout the Year?

Stink bug found in Des Moines IA - Springer Professional Home Services

Pest problems are popping up all throughout the year here in the Des Moines area. Each season comes with its own new visitors, and most of them require different preventative measures to keep away. Having served our community for over 30 years, our pest control experts at Springer Professional Home Services have seen it all. We put together a guide to which pests you can expect in which season, and what you can do to keep them out of your home.

Spring Pests

With the blooming flowers and longer days comes a huge swell in pest populations. Spring is a common time for insects to breed and proliferate as conditions become more suitable for all kinds of life. These three pests in particular make their marks in the spring:

  • Ants: All kinds of ants start to come out once the temperatures rise again. They’re after food and moisture, so make sure that your food is put away and sealed properly, and your house is dry and properly ventilated.
  • Bees: They are crucial contributors to their local ecosystems, but bees get a bad reputation due to their painful stings. If you have bees buzzing about in your flower beds, try to leave them alone, and they probably won’t see you as a threat.
  • Termites: Although termites are active all year round, they swarm in the spring, meaning that they will be looking for new sources of food and shelter. If you’re noticing tiny winged termites around your home, consider calling your local termite exterminator to check for an infestation.

Summer Pests

Everyone likes to spend more time outside in the summer, but no one likes returning from a day outdoors with a bunch of bites or stings. Here are some pricking pests that you’ll need to watch out for come summertime:

  • Mosquitoes: Wherever you find standing water in the summer, you’ll probably find mosquitoes. They hide out in wooded areas and lay their eggs on still water, so if you’re going to be around either, bring an EPA-approved insect repellent.
  • Wasps: In the summer, wasps start to construct their nests, so they are particularly territorial. They sting to defend their nest, so if you find one around your house, contact a wasp removal specialist to have it removed safely.
  • Ticks: About 95% of Lyme disease cases are contracted during the summer months. If you’re going to be walking through tall grass, check your skin after for any ticks. Be sure to examine your dogs after walks, too.

Fall Pests

As the summer warmth fades away, all kinds of bugs are hardwired to look for a place to hide for the winter. For many Iowa homeowners, this means your attics, vents, walls, and cluttered corners. You’ll probably start to see these critters during the fall season:

  • Boxelder bugs: Like many others around this time, boxelder bugs are just looking for a warmer place to hang out. They don’t sting or carry disease, but they can be an unwelcome presence in larger numbers.
  • Stink bugs: Known for their wretched odor, stinkbugs are a widely disliked insect. Keeping a tidy house and yard eliminates areas that they might find shelter, and doubles as a preventative method for many other kinds of insects.
  • Spiders: Unlike the majority of other pests, spiders’ mating season is in the fall. They are attracted to uninterrupted, dusty corners, where they can find shelter and other insect populations to feed on.

Winter Pests

Even as most wildlife seems to come to a halt, pests are still on the move during the winter. Some of the more resilient creatures in the Des Moines area take on the more harsh conditions with ease. Here are three pests that you might deal with during the coldest months of the year: 

  • Mice: When it’s too cold to thrive outside, mice and other rodents seek shelter in our houses. They might find room in your garage, attic, crawl spaces, or walls for a new home. Listen for crawling and rustling sounds in your walls – it’s usually a sign of mice.
  • Cockroaches: Notorious for their adaptability, cockroaches will set up shop anywhere that they can find food. Keep your house clean and food packed away, because a cockroach infestation could mean that your family is vulnerable to diseases that they carry.
  • Bed bugs: Holiday travel is often associated with the spread of bed bugs. They latch onto our clothes or suitcases and happily take refuge in our homes. If you find bed bugs in your room, contact an exterminator right away.

Year-Round Pest Control

At any point in the year that you’re experiencing a pest outbreak, you can rely on your local pest control experts at Spring Professional Home Services. We train our technicians to deal with a wide range of infestations that Iowa homeowners experience every year. If you’re ready to put a stop to pests, reach out today for a free quote!

What Should I Do About Odorous House Ants in My Home?

Odorous house ant invades a home in Iowa - Springer

Their name alone is enough to know that you don’t want them around, but what should you do when you find one (or probably more) of these critters living in your home? How can you prevent an infestation, and why on earth do they stink? We have all the answers and a team of experts ready to help you rid your home of these putrid pests.

What Are Odorous House Ants?

Just as its name suggests, an odorous house ant is a common subspecies of ant known for its stench. Outside of their characteristic smell, odorous house ants can be distinguished from other common ant variants by their particularly small bodies, which are usually between 1/8” and 3/16” in length, and their fast-moving pace. They also live in very large colonies and tend to move their nests often. They prefer sweet, naturally occurring foods like honeydew and sap, but their diets are fairly diverse, and they will not pass up food that they can find inside your home.

Preventing an Odorous House Ant Infestation

As it goes for many pests, keeping them off of your property starts with tidiness. Here are 3 ways to prevent odorous house ants from getting into your home and reduce the chance of outbreak:

  1. Be sure to trim all bushes, trees, and shrubbery so that they aren’t touching your house. Overgrown plants provide the perfect path of entry to any cracks or crevices your home has.
  2. Keep all food, including your pet’s food, covered tightly. Don’t leave crumbs on the floor, and be sure to wipe up spills quickly.
  3. Refrain from storing food (sealed or not) in your garage. Any food will attract ants and pests of all kinds. If ants have infiltrated your garage, the interior of your home will be their next stop.

Are Odorous House Ants Dangerous?

Odorous house ants do not sting or bite. While having an odorous house ant infestation is certainly a nuisance, it isn’t necessarily harmful to you or your family. Odorous house ants are attracted to food sources and typically confine their damage to your pantry.

Many have noticed that crushing an odorous house ant yields a scent reminiscent of blue cheese or rotten coconut, but this shouldn’t worry you about the possibility of any harmful emission. Scientists have concluded that some antimicrobial substance must be part of their make-up, and that substance is what causes the foul omission when the ant is squashed. The science behind their smell is more thoroughly explained in this article.

How To Get Rid of Odorous House Ants

Because they cohabitate in such large numbers, once you have an infestation, it is nearly impossible to rid them on your own. However, there are some tactics you can use to stifle the outbreak you’ve found in your home:

  • Bait has been found to be a productive way to eliminate ants within your home. The bait should be placed where you have seen the ants. Worker ants may take the bait back to the nest and spread the insecticide, killing the queen and the rest of the colony. You might need to try several different kinds of bait before the workers take it.
  • Indoor insecticide sprays can be a temporary fix, but they merely address the symptom, not the actual problem. Spraying worker ants in your home will just leave the existing scent trail for other worker ants to follow right back into your home.
  • Using an outdoor insecticide around the perimeter of your home can help you prevent an ant infestation. To ensure the best results, the insecticide may need to be reapplied occasionally.

If your ant problem is becoming overwhelming, it may be time to call a professional. Our ant extermination specialists here at Springer Professional Home Services will be able to find the nest, properly shield your property, and eliminate the ant problem in your home. Reach out to us today for a free quote!

How to Use Caulk For Pest Prevention

Caulk can be used to keep pests out of your Des Moines Iowa home - Springer Professional Home Services

Ants, beetles, spiders, and other small insects can get inside your property through the tiniest openings you’d imagine. Some of the most popular access points for these pests are your windows and doors, which can easily develop small cracks and crevices over time. One of the best ways you can prevent pests in your property is to seal all those gaps and holes that would otherwise let pests in. The best way to do that is with caulk, an easily attainable and cost-effective item found at many local stores here in Iowa. With pest season upon us, now is the perfect time to implement pest prevention techniques. Springer Professional Home Services is here with their top tips to use caulk for pest prevention.

Tips to Use Caulk For Pest Prevention

Learning how to use caulk for pest prevention is a simple DIY pest control technique you should have under your belt. Here’s what to do:

  1. Thoroughly inspect your property. Look at your window and door frames both indoors and out, as well as your baseboards, crown molding, and more. If you have major issues with your door or window frames, you may consider using weather stripping or replacing them entirely.
  2. Choose the correct caulk. When you get to your store, you’ll notice several types of caulk. In general, silicone caulk is the most commonly used caulk for this purpose as it is resistant to moisture. It’s also a low-cost option. If necessary, purchase a caulking gun as well.
  3. Thoroughly clean the area. Before you apply any caulk, make sure to clean any areas you will be applying caulk to. This includes removing any old caulking, old paint, dirt, and anything else that could jeopardize the adhesion of the new caulk.
  4. Apply the caulk. When applying caulk, begin in one corner of the crack or gap and tilt the applicator at a 45-degree angle. Steadily apply the caulk in a smooth, slow line while applying steady pressure.
  5. Let the caulk dry. If needed, smooth any bumps or fill any gaps with a small spoon. Remove any excess caulking. For best results, let the caulk dry for at least 24 hours.

Pest Prevention Tips in Iowa

In addition to using caulk for pest prevention, there are many things you can do to keep pests out. Keep your property clean indoors and out, fix leaky pipes, keep food sealed in airtight containers, and work with your local exterminators to help keep pests away. To learn more about caulking practices or to enlist our help, contact Springer today!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Springer Professional Home Services in Des Moines IA

Entomologists from Springer’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban, and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Seasonal Guide to Pest Infestations

Rodents are a common seasonal pest in Des Moines IA - Springer Professional Home Services

Everyone knows that pests are common in the spring and summer months, but what about in the fall and winter? Infestations actually can spike in the colder parts of the year as pests look to take shelter inside your property. To better prepare yourself for a possible infestation, it’s important to know which pests are common during certain parts of the year. Here in Iowa, we experience pest problems all year long. With information from the NPMA, the team at Springer Professional Home Services is here to share all you need to know about pest seasonality in Des Moines.

Fall and Winter Pest Problems

Our winter months are forecasted to get heavy snowfall this year. According to the NPMA, “Above-average snowfall in the northern part of this region may drive rodents indoors in search of shelter. The mild summer and winter forecast could increase cluster fly activity indoors.” Other pest problems to expect in the fall and winter months ahead include cockroaches and spiders. Because pests will want to shelter indoors to escape our cold temperatures, it’s important to protect your home from them entering.

Winter pests in the North Central United States map
 
Rodents
 
Flies

Spring Pests in Iowa

Pest activity springs back into action once winter comes to an end. Blooming flowers, warming temperatures, and heavy rainfall encourages pests of all kinds to resume activity and reproduce. Here’s the ones to keep an eye out for:

  • Termites. Every spring, termites leave their nests to mate and start new colonies. This is called “swarming”.
  • Ants. Certain ant species will forage for food in the warmer months. Rainy weather also drives ants out of their colonies and into homes for shelter.
  • Bed Bugs. While these are a year-round problem, increased traveling in the springtime always leads to an increase in bed bug activity.

Summertime Pest Infestations

The summer months in Iowa bring about a lot of pest activity. Summer temperatures cause many types of pest colonies to mature and grow in size. Stay on the lookout for the following pests:

  • Mosquitoes. These parasitic insects lay more eggs in the summer and tend to be our biggest pest problem this time of year.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps, bees, and hornets are at full force in the summertime. They can build nests near residential areas.
  • Flies. Summer is the peak breeding season for flies. They are infamous for being a nuisance at outdoor summer events.

Seasonal Pest Problems in Des Moines

The nature of our climate year-round leads  It’s important to know which pests to keep your eye out for in order to prevent a seasonal pest problem. At Springer, our residential and commercial exterminators can work with you to ensure you are protected from pests all year long. Call us today!

Preventing Summer Ant Infestations

Preventing summertime ant infestations in Des Moines IA with tips from Springer Professional Home Services

Here in Des Moines, ants are a problem for residents all year long. However, they seem to be especially troublesome in the summertime as they enter homes in search of food and shelter. As the number one nuisance pest in the United States, it’s very important to learn about preventing summer ant infestations. Once they get inside your property, they can spread easily. It’s very hard to get rid of an ant problem, making it all the more crucial to do what you can to keep them outdoors in the first place.

Summer Ants in Central Iowa

Although these ants are active at various points throughout the year, they are especially active in the summer months. With more than 700 species of ants nationwide, it can be easy to misidentify the type of ant you’re dealing with. Thankfully, there are only a few you are likely to encounter in our area, including carpenter ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants. In any case, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company when you need help identifying ants.

6 Steps to Preventing Summer Ant Infestations

A single ant colony in your property during the summer can turn into multiple colonies in little time. To avoid the frustration altogether, there are several things you can do to make your home less hospitable to ants:

  1. Keep a clean home. Sweep your floors regularly to get rid of crumbs. Ants are attracted to sugary food sources and a few crumbs will keep them coming back for more.
  2. Store food properly. Avoid leaving food out uncovered. Keep food in airtight containers or store them safely in cupboards and fridges.
  3. Seal entry points. Ants can crawl through the tiniest of cracks. Inspect your property and use caulk to seal any gaps, holes, or potential entry ways.
  4. Avoid excess moisture. Areas with standing water or leaks will attract ants quickly. Attend to broken pipes and clean up spills quickly.
  5. Trim back trees and vegetation. Plants close to your home can encourage ants to come in. Make sure tree branches, shrubs, and bushes are trimmed away from the perimeter!
  6. Pick up your pet’s food. Crumbs and spills from your cat or dog’s food and water bowls can be a huge attractant for ants. Always clean up and store bowls between mealtimes.

Ant Prevention in Des Moines

No one has time to deal with ant problems. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to prevent them! If you need help preventing summer ant infestations, Springer Professional Home Services is here for you. Our team has the experience needed to control ants and make sure you never have to deal with them again!

Ant Prevention Tips & Tricks

Pick up pet food to avoid ants in your Des Moines IA - Springer Professional Home Services

No homeowner wants to deal with ants at any time of the year. Unfortunately, warming temperatures in the spring bring ants out in full force! Especially after a wetter winter here in the Des Moines area, worker ants are starting to leave their nests in search of food and water. The bad news is that they can easily find these things in your home! Now is the time to ant-proof your home to avoid the onslaught of ants in the coming months. The team at Springer Professional Home Services is here with their best ant prevention tips and tricks to help you keep ants out for good. Keep reading to learn more!

Top Ant Prevention Tips

Once you have them, it can seem like a never-ending battle to keep ants out. This is why ant prevention is so important! Some of the ways you can effectively keep ants out are as follows. 

  1. Inspect the foundation of your home and seal any cracks or crevices using a silicone-based caulk.
  2. Keep any pet food bowls clean and always clean up after messes and spills. Pick pet bowls up off the floor after meal times.
  3. Make sure downspouts and gutters are all functioning properly so that water is flowing away from the foundation.
  4. Regularly check under sinks for excess moisture problems and repair leaky pipes promptly.
  5. Trim trees and shrubbery in your yard to be at least 6 inches away from the home.
  6. Wipe down any counter tops and sweep floors regularly to clean up spills and remove crumbs.
  7. Store food (including pet food) in airtight containers and refrigerate ripe fruit.
  8. Dispose of garbage on a regular basis and use trash cans with a tight-fitting lid.

Ant Control Tips to Avoid

In general, all-natural and store-bought products will only get you so far when it comes to getting rid of ants. While some may work to prevent infestations, they certainly won’t work to control a full-blown infestation. Store-bought products are often a short-term solution, which is why it’s so important to always use a professional ant exterminator. A pest control company can get to the root of your ant problem and make sure you do not have to deal with ant problems in the future.

How to Treat for Ants

If you have ants, it’s simply best to use a professional ant exterminator. At-home ant control methods are not reliable, and are rarely a long-lasting solution. At Springer, we know how frustrating ants are. We will work with you to keep ants out of your home–for good!

Look Out For These Spring Pests!

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Des Moines IA home. Learn more from Springer Professional Home Services!

If you live or work in the Des Moines area, you know that pest problems can be a year-round reality. Most of us welcome the spring season with open arms, but with warmer weather comes the resurgence of pests! With pest season only just starting, now is the time to protect your property against pests. Thankfully, most of us already have spring cleaning plans in place, making it easy to implement pest prevention at the same time! Read on for expert tips from the exterminators here at Springer Professional Home Services.

Springtime Pest Infestations

Although some of the below pests are active all year long, spring is the beginning of their most active season. The pests to be on the lookout for this time of year include:

  • Ants. Warming temperatures encourage ants to start invading once more.
  • Termites. It’s officially swarming season! Termite infestations tend to start around spring.
  • Rodents. Although they’re active year-round, rats and mice are a problem in the spring.
  • Stinging insects. Wasps and hornets are gearing up to build nests this time of year.
  • Stink bugs. After overwintering, people report a resurgence in stink bugs.

How Can You Prevent Spring Pests?

With spring here, now is the time to learn how to prevent pests in your property! One of the best ways to do so is to thoroughly clean your property. Our top tips for protecting your property include the following areas to focus on. Clean your windows and doors, and make sure there are no cracks or crevices. Deep-clean your carpets by vacuuming, shampooing, or steam-cleaning them. Thoroughly sanitize your kitchen with a focus on your floors and beneath your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids are a goldmine for bugs and other pests!

Outside, clean up debris from your yard, gutters, and overhangs. Make sure to trim back tree limbs and shrubs away from the foundation of your home to keep outdoor pests outdoors.

Preventing Pests in the Spring and All Year Long

Pest season is officially underway, making it important to stay aware of the ways you can prevent pests. Your best bet is always to team up with a professional pest control expert such as Springer. Our exterminators can work with you to customize a pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home and property.

Termites vs. Flying Ants

Carpenter ants are frequently confused with termites in Des Moines IA - Learn how to tell them apart with expert info from Springer Professional Home Services!

Spring is right around the corner, meaning it’s nearly swarming season. Flying ants, also known as carpenter ants, are one of the biggest threats this time of year. They are second, though, to the dangers of termites! Both of these wood-destroying insects may be damaging, but termites are more of a threat to property owners throughout Des Moines. They are also often confused for each other, as they look quite similar as swarmers. It’s important to learn how to tell them apart. For more info on termites vs. flying ants, keep reading for expert tips from the termite exterminators at Springer Professional Home Services!

What do Termites vs. Flying Ants Look Like?

It can be easy to confuse these two wood-destroying insects, but there are a couple of key differences to make note of:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers are black in color or occasionally red. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers!
  2. Termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

Winged ant vs. termite in Des Moines IA - Springer Professional Home Services

Wood-Destroying Insect Behavior

Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids. Galleries excavated by carpenter ants appear to have been sanded down. For the most part, carpenter ant damage does not amount to the potential damage of a termite infestation.

On the other hand, termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, porches, or any other area of the property in contact with soil. Grown colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. Because their colonies can grow to such massive numbers, termites are considered much more dangerous than carpenter ants.

How to Get Rid of Termites & Carpenter Ants

If you’ve discovered the signs of termites or flying ants, it’s time to call a termite exterminator. The team at Springer knows how distressing these insects can be, and work to keep you, your family, and your home protected from them all year long. For more information on how we can keep you free of termites and carpenter ants, give our team a call!