Protect Your Firewood from Termites and More

Termites found in Central Iowa - Springer Professional Home Services

As winter approaches, we all look forward to the traditions of the cold holiday season. Warming up around a fire is a comfort that everyone enjoys in the winter, but did you know that your wood-storing habits could be inviting dangerous pests into your home? Without taking the right steps to store your firewood in a safe manner, you could end up with a home teeming with insects in a time where that should be the least of your worries. If you are looking for ways to protect your home from pests in Central Iowa, the technicians at Springer Professional Home Services are here to help you!

What Pests Do Woodpiles Attract?

Certain critters like to hang out in woodpiles and not cause any trouble. Earwigs, moths, certain species of spiders, boxelder bugs, and more pests will not do more than cause a slight disturbance in your routines. However, there are some insects that you have to watch out for, including:

No one wants stinging insects like bees or wasps inside their home, but when it comes to woodpile pests, they aren’t the only ones to look out for. Wood-boring insects like carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, and termites can damage the structures of your home, with termites capable of causing thousands of dollars in damage all on their own.

How to Keep Pests Out of Your Firewood

Avoiding a pest infestation caused by woodpile mishaps means taking great care in storing and transporting your logs. Here are Springer Professional Home Services’ top tips to keep pests out of your firewood and out of your home:

  1. Keep firewood covered and elevated: Termites and carpenter ants live underground, so woodpiles that touch the earth give them easy access to food and nesting sites. You can use a tarp and a firewood rack or any other similar means to elevate and cover your woodpile.
  2. Store your woodpile away from your home: If you keep your woodpile leaning against the outer structure of your home, wood-boring pests can find easy access points to internal structures that they will then tear through.
  3. Burn older wood first and quickly: Take older wood inside to burn, as it is more likely to be pest-ridden. If you place it in the fire right away, there is little chance of any pests spreading.

Pest Control for Iowa Winters

If you think that pests are getting into your home through your woodpile or otherwise, let your local pest control company know. The experts at Springer Professional Home Services have been keeping Central Iowa families safe from pest infestations for [year] years now, and have seen it all in the process. Contact us today with any questions and receive a free quote!

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!

Pest Control Services: DIY vs Professional

Mouse traps are a common DIY pest control method in Des Moines IA. Learn more from Springer Professional Home Services.

Everyone has tried their hand at DIY pest control at one point or another. Perhaps you sprayed a vinegar solution on ants, placed rat traps, or bought a spray for roaches. Even if these solutions worked for a short amount of time, they rarely work when you’re dealing with a large-scale pest problem. Unfortunately, at-home remedies for pests are unreliable, timely, and can even be more expensive than you think. For quick, effective, and guaranteed results, it’s always best to use a professional exterminator such as Springer Professional Home Services. Read on for info on the pros and cons of DIY vs. professional pest control here in Des Moines IA!

DIY Pest Control Effectiveness

If you have just a few pests in your home or business, DIY or store-bought products will likely do the trick. However, if the pest problem persists or gets worse, these same methods will likely not do you any good. Doing your own pest control comes with a number of risks. First of all, do-it-yourself methods simply won’t work to control more dangerous pests such as termites, bed bugs, rodents, carpenter ants, and more. These pests are tricky to get rid of without the help of a professional.

In addition, a lot of store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for your family if applied incorrectly. These products also rarely come with a guarantee or warranty on their effectiveness. Bottom line, you can’t rely on DIY pest control in the long term.

Why Hire a Professional Exterminator?

A professional pest control company might seem like something you don’t need…until you deal with your first major infestation! Some of the benefits of professional pest control are: 

  1. An experienced exterminator has the knowledge and experience to tackle any current infestation you have. In addition, they have an understanding of the behaviors and habits of pests, making it easier for them to control any problems quickly and efficiently.
  2. With a focus on IPM practices, they can also work to prevent future problems. As often as possible, a professional will use environmentally-responsible products that are always applied safely and effectively with little invasion or disruption to your daily life.
  3. If you choose to invest in regular pest control services, your exterminator will work with you to develop a customized pest control plan suited to the unique needs of your home in your region!

When to Call an Exterminator

DIY pest control might sound like a good idea at the time, but it rarely delivers the results you need. To protect your property from pests all year long, a professional exterminator can make sure you never have to resort to DIY pest control methods again. For more information, contact the team at Springer today!

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!

FAQ About Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants in Iowa - Springer Professional Home Services

Carpenter ants are unlike your typical house ant in a number of ways. This species is known to be bigger, and definitely more dangerous. But why? True to their name, carpenter ants are infamous for damaging the wood. In fact, carpenter ants are oftentimes confused for termites, especially when they swarm. Due to the dangers, they pose to your home, it’s crucial to learn how to recognize the signs of carpenter ants, as well as how to keep them out of your home entirely. Keep reading to learn more about this dangerous ant species with the experts at Springer.

Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous?

In spite of their size, carpenter ants are not out to attack you or your family. That being said, they do have rather large jaws that they use to chew through wood. Those same jaws can be used to bite any potential threats to the ant, including you, your family, or your pets. Carpenter ant bites aren’t common and are essentially harmless. The pain caused by a carpenter ant bite is similar to that of a bee sting. While it’s important to protect yourself and your family from carpenter ants, your home is at greater risk of harm from their presence.

Can Carpenter Ants Damage My Home?

Yes, carpenter ants are known for their potentially damaging habits. Carpenter ants chew away at the wood in and around your home. This includes but is not limited to trees, sheds, siding, and furniture as well as the structure of your home (support beams, roofing, etc.). Carpenter ants do not work as quickly as termites, but if you believe you may have an infestation, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. The longer the problem goes unaddressed, the more damage your home is likely to suffer.

Signs You Have Carpenter Ants

Ants are fairly common throughout the United States, so don’t be alarmed if you spot one or two throughout the spring and summer. You could potentially have a carpenter ant problem if you struggle with them in your home during the fall and winter months. Winged ants should also be considered a red flag as these are a sign of swarmer carpenter ants. Winged carpenter ants often resemble termites, so if you are unsure of what pest you are facing, it’s best to call a professional pest control company.

How Can I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?

You can address your carpenter ant problem with baits, traps, and pesticides; however, these treatments will not attack the root of the issue. Always contact a local pest control professional for help getting rid of carpenter ants. In addition to treating your property, you can learn how to prevent these ants in the first place:

  • Eliminate any contact between your home and soil or mulch.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery around your home.
  • Seal cracks in your siding, foundation, and roofing.
  • Store firewood in an elevated area away from your home.
  • Properly dispose of yard waste.

Help With Carpenter Ants in Iowa

If you’re struggling with a carpenter ant infestation, contact Springer for residential pest control services. Springer has been a leading pest control agency in the Des Moines area for decades. Our trained technicians will be able to evaluate your situation and provide treatment to rid you of those ants forever!