Rats in the Grass: Avoiding Rodents in Your Yard

a little mouse peeking out from the grass

Rodents can be a severe nuisance and a health hazard for you and your family. They can damage your property, contaminate your food, and carry diseases. If there are rodents in your yard, it’s important to act immediately before they take the opportunity to enter your home.

Signs of Rodents in Your Yard

Before you seek treatment for rats or mice in the yard, you have to determine if they’ve nested on your property to begin with. So how can you tell if your yard has rodents? Here are some of the main signs to look out for:

  • Rodent droppings.
  • Holes and tunnels in the ground where rats or mice can hide and nest. 
  • Gnaw marks on fences, furniture, plants, or structures.
  • Footprints and tail marks in the soil or snow. You may see them along walls, fences, or pathways.
  • Squeaking, scratching, or scurrying noises at night. You may hear them in your attic, walls, or basement.

Types of Rodents in Your Yard

There are a variety of different rodents that may find their way inside your property and home. Luck for us, only two varieties in Iowa are known for invading from the yard. This would be the house mouse and the Norway rat. Let’s talk more about both species below:

  • House mouse: The house mouse is a small rodent with gray-brown fur and a pointed snout. It can go as big as three inches long and 0.8 ounces heavy. House mice feed on seeds, grains, fruits, and insects, and can enter your house through gaps as small as a dime.
  • Norway rat: The Norway rat is a large rodent that has brown-black fur and a blunt snout. It can get as big as 10 inches long and as heavy as 18 ounces. A Norway rat can enter your house through gaps as large as a quarter, where it’ll look for garbage, meat, grains, and fruits to feed on.

How to Prevent Rodents From Moving Into Your House

It’s never too early to take the right steps towards keeping rodents away from your yard. And by taking proactive action, you can save yourself the bill and hassle of a pest control treatment. To keep rats and mice off your property, you can:

  • Seal any gaps or holes around your house that rodents can use to enter. 
  • Keep your trash cans tightly closed and away from the perimeter of your house. 
  • Dispose of garbage regularly and do not leave food scraps outside.
  • Trim back any bushes or shrubs that touch the side of your house. 
  • Store firewood above the ground and at least 20 feet away from your home. 
  • Remove any clutter or debris from your yard that rodents can use as a shelter or nesting material.

Get Professional Help for Rodent Removal

If you already have rats or mice in your yard, you want to seek professional extermination services while the problem is still manageable. A licensed pest control company can inspect your property, identify the type and source of rodents, and apply the best treatment methods.

Springer Professional Home Services is one of the best pest control companies that offer rodent removal in Central Iowa. They have been serving the area since 1989 and have the experience and expertise to handle any rodent problem. So if you find yourself playing landlord to a crowd of furry, beady-eyed tenants, contact us today and find your peace of mind.

What Should I Do if I Have a Mouse in My House?

Mouse in Iowa home - Springer Professional Home Services

You’ve heard the scurry of tiny paws across the floor, you’ve noticed a few gnawed-on cords—it’s time to face the facts. You have a mouse in your house. There’s no need to panic, but you do need to take action. Mice have one of the quickest reproduction rates and can cause quite a bit of destruction to your property. Letting the problem go on without taking the steps to get rid of the infestation is downright dangerous, especially considering the health threats posed by rodents. At Springer Professional Home Services, we are committed to providing our communities with the knowledge and resources they need on how to deal with infestations in their home. Read on to learn everything you need to know about getting rid of mice in your Iowa house!

Inspect Your Property For Mice

Before you do anything else, you’ll want to check the area where the mice are congregating. If there’s an obvious point of entry, you’ll need to address it promptly. Delaying action could lead to damage or danger in your home. Inspect the areas where a mouse has been spotted, and check for and repair any damage. This includes:

  • Removing or repairing electrical cords
  • Cleaning up any food or crumbs
  • Removing mouse droppings and sanitizing affected areas

Once you’ve handled the immediate issue, you can begin to formulate your strategy. Focus on problem areas, and don’t ignore signs of a larger infestation.

Mouse-Proof Your Home

After you’ve taken care of problem areas, it’s time to mouse-proof your home. While it may take some time to eliminate the rodents that have already made it inside, there’s no reason to allow any more of their furry friends in your house. Start outside by inspecting the exterior of your home. Seal any cracks in the siding or foundation, and repair loose or damaged trim.

Once you’ve addressed external entry points, move inside and seal any holes with steel wool and caulk. Never underestimate a rodent’s ability to fit through an entry point, no matter how small. When it comes to mouse-proofing your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Setting Mouse Traps

Once you’ve eliminated the chances of future unwelcome house guests, it’s time to address your current mouse situation. There are various methods of extermination, but the primary option is the tried and true mouse trap. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • When available, choose a spring-loaded trap over a sticky trap. Mice are alive and can urinate when stuck in a sticky trap, and their bodily fluids can transmit diseases.
  • You may need to try several different kinds of bait on your spring-loaded traps in order to find something that’s appealing to the mice in your home.
  • Position spring-loaded traps perpendicular to the wall in areas with high mouse traffic, like behind a piece of furniture.

Get Professional Mice Control

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can’t eliminate the entire mouse population in your home. When damage continues and time drags on, it may be time to call in a professional rodent exterminator. Pest control experts will work with you to not only rid your home of vermin for good, but also to prevent future rodents from infesting your home. Some of the best rodent exclusion tips a professional will provide you with include:

  • Keeping all food in sealed containers.
  • Closing doors and windows when not in use.
  • Repairing holes in siding, foundation, and screens.
  • Using mousetraps in gateway areas like the garage.
  • Scheduling regular pest control services.

If you’re fighting a losing battle against mice and other rodents, Springer Professional Home Services is here to help. Our experts can assess the situation, treat the problem, and protect your home from future infestation. Contact us today to get started!

Winter Pests 101: Common Pests Invading Your Home

Winter pests will try to enter homes in Des Moines Iowa - Springer Professional Home Services

Just like you and your family will be heading indoors to stay away from the cold, so will a few unwanted friends. As winter approaches here in Iowa, you’ll want to protect your home from potential invaders. Rodents and wildlife are common winter pests. Needless to say, no one wants to deal with either. The team at Springer Professional Home Services is here to share all you need to know about the critters to keep an eye out for in the winter—and how to prevent them from getting into your home.

Winter Pests in Des Moines

1. Mice

They may seem cute and cuddly, but one surprise scurry across your foot and your mind will be forever changed about this common winter pest. Mice aren’t just an annoying nuisance. They can be quite damaging to your home and health. Mice typically nest in tiny, dark spaces like attics or crawl spaces. They can chew through drywall, wood, and wires and can cause some pretty serious damage if undetected. Worst of all, mice carry a number of harmful diseases that can spread to your family and pets.

2. Cockroaches

Nothing ruins a cozy evening by the fire like seeing a big cockroach scurrying across the hearth. Cockroaches do best in warm, damp areas, so while running your furnace and humidifier is great for you, it’s not so great for your pest situation. This is especially true as temperatures drop outside. Roaches will do their best to come inside to find a more inviting environment.

3. Spiders

Most spiders try to construct their nests in undisturbed areas like attics, closets, and basements. These options become even more appealing as the weather conditions outside become frigid, windy, and damp. While most spiders are not poisonous, some, like the brown recluse, have venomous bites that are dangerous to humans. As winter approaches and spiders move indoors, you may find that your paths are crossing more often than you’d like.

4. Bed Bugs

You know the saying, “Sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t just mom’s cute way of saying goodnight. As the holidays approach and you travel to see friends and family, the risk of a bed bug outbreak increases. Bed bugs can enter your home on bedding, luggage, and even clothing. As you make your travel plans, verify that your hotels have not had a recent bed bug infestation. Bed bugs can be particularly difficult to eradicate in the winter when beds don extra blankets, quilts, and comforters for warmth.

How to Prevent Winter Pest Problems

While there’s no way to guarantee that you won’t battle some of these pests every now and again, there are ways to significantly reduce your risk. Here’s how you can prevent and deter various winter pests:

Preventing Pests Outside

  • Seal cracks in your siding, foundation, and roof.
  • Properly trim shrubbery and remove excess greenery from landscaping
  • Store firewood away from your home.
  • Remove and dispose of any rotting wood, including old sheds, furniture, and dead trees.
  • Keep trash and recycling bins clean and covered.

Preventing Pests Inside

  • Maintain a weekly cleaning regimen that includes sweeping, dusting, and monitoring for signs of pests.
  • Keep kitchen floors and counters free from crumbs and spills.
  • Remove excess water from basement and attic areas, and limit humidifier use to personal areas of the home.
  • Store out-of-season clothes and shoes in plastic bags or containers.
  • Examine “hot spots” for pests regularly and treat them when necessary.

Annual Pest Control Services

If you’re struggling with winter pests, contact Springer Professional Home Services. An expert on Des Moines area pests, the professional residential pest control experts at Springer can aid in your efforts to rid your home of unwanted guests. Contact us today to learn how we can keep you pest-free* this winter and all year long.

Rodents Turn Rampant During the Coronavirus

Rodents are entering Des Moines IA homes during the pandemic - Springer Professional Home Services

Every year, Des Moines residents deal with an influx of rodent problems in the fall. This year, the infestations are worse than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is mostly due in part to the restaurant closures—the lack of food sources for rats and mice has caused them to be more aggressive in competing for food sources. And now with the weather changing, they will be drawn inside your own home not only to escape dropping temperatures outside but to look for food. This Rodent Awareness Week, the team at Springer Professional Home Services is here to help clear the air about rodents during the pandemic and to provide tips on preventing them. Keep reading to learn more.

What to Know About Rodents During the Coronavirus

Rat and mouse sightings may be at an all-time high right now, but thankfully there’s no reason to worry about them spreading COVID-19. The main concern with rats and mice currently is that they are getting more aggressive in nature, can carry other diseases, and could cause damage to your property.

The shelter in place shutdowns caused an uptick in residential rodent sightings as rats and mice became bolder in their hunt for resources. This has since caused an uptick in infestations and rodent-spread issues. While they won’t transmit COVID-19 to you or your family, rodents still can spread other diseases including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and many more. An infestation can also result in structural damage to your property, making it all the more important to prevent them.

Prevent Rodents With These 5 Tips

To avoid an infestation, it’s important to know how to make your property less appealing to rodents in the first place. Here are our top tips:

  1. Securely store your food. Place all food in tight-fitting containers with lids.
  2. Seal holes around pipes. Use caulk or wire wool to cover up gaps and openings near pipes and other openings.
  3. Cover vents. Install mesh screens on your vents. Also, consider installing screens on doors and windows.
  4. Use tight lids on trash cans. Rodents love to rummage in the garbage! If possible, keep your trash cans sealed and stored.
  5. Protect eaves. Fix any damaged roofing and use wire mesh to seal gaps in your eaves.

Are Rodents More Dangerous During the Pandemic?

While rodent infestations are on the rise, they remain as dangerous as ever. The last thing you want is their germs and destruction inside your property. If you need assistance safeguarding your home, the experts at Springer can help. Contact our rodent exterminators today for help!

Are Rodents Spreading Coronavirus?

Rodents do not spread COVID-19 in Des Moines IA - Springer Professional Home Services

Many people have questioned the nature of COVID-19, including how it is spread. One of the common questions we’re seeing is, “are rodents spreading coronavirus?”. Thankfully, the answer is no. While rodents have been linked to other coronaviruses and other rat-borne diseases, COVID-19 is not one of them as of now. The team at Springer Professional Home Services is staying up to date with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continues to focus on providing our local communities with safe living. We know this is still a developing situation, and more information is coming out about both the nature of the virus as well as how it is spread. For now, we will explore the link between rodents and the diseases they carry.

Rats, Mice, and Coronavirus

As of 2020, rats have not been linked to directly transmitting COVID-19, even though they can carry other coronaviruses. The three most recently discovered human coronaviruses (including the virus causing the current pandemic, SARS-CoV-2) have all caused epidemics with large numbers of serious infections and deaths. All three viruses have also been genetically traced to a bat origin, not rats!

Rats that have been recorded to carry other coronaviruses have not transmitted them to humans.

Rodent Activity During Pandemics

Even though rats and mice are not transmitting SARS-CoV-2, you still should be wary of infestations. A rodent problem can cause a plethora of issues. Unfortunately, they’re very common right now. Two reasons why it’s important to implement rodent prevention and control during the pandemic are:

  1. Because of the nature of the lockdowns and restaurant closures, there have been a number of reported cases of rats and mice becoming more bold and rampant in the absence of food sources. This has led to more infestations and rodent-related problems.
  2. Some rats and mice can spread other diseases, including hantavirus, salmonellosis, and plague. They also can indirectly transmit diseases from ticks, mosquitoes, lice, and fleas. Some of these include Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, and others.

Year-Round Rodent Prevention

In general, it’s important to always be wary of rodents in your home. Not only can they spread germs and bacteria, they also can cause structural damage on your property. So although rats are not transmitted COVID-19, it’s as important as ever to implement rodent prevention. The team at Springer has the experience needed to keep customers rodent-free all year long. Contact our rodent exterminators today!

Rodents: The Disease & Damage They Cause

Rats chew through wires in Des Moines IA homes. THe mice exterminators at Springer Professional Home Services can prevent them!

Rodent infestations are feared for the damage they inflict and dangers they bring. These pests are much worse than simply a nuisance. Rats and mice have been tied back to a number of dangerous diseases, making it important to seek help from a rodent exterminator if you notice the signs of them in your home. These diseases are most commonly spread through their droppings, but can also be transmitted indirectly through fleas and mice. Read on to learn expert info on the dangers of rodents from the mice exterminators at Springer Professional Home Services.

Common Diseases Spread by Rats & Mice

The thing people fear most about rodents are the diseases they carry. These can be transmitted directly through human contact with droppings or bites, or indirectly through infested fleas and ticks. Although these diseases may be rare in Iowa, it’s still important to be aware of them: 

  1. Hantavirus. Most often found in the urine and feces of deer mice, hantavirus can cause symptoms from fever and chills to aches in pains.
  2. Salmonella. Rats and mice are infamous for contaminating food. The most common bacteria they spread is of course salmonella, known as food poisoning.
  3. Lyme Disease. This disease is transmitted by ticks, which are often carried by rats and mice. This disease is dangerous and can have long-term effects on health.
  4. Plague. Historically, the bubonic plague was caused by infected fleas that were carried by rats and mice. Even though this was centuries ago, the same disease can still be spread today.

Property Damage Caused by Rodents

Rats and mice are one of the worst pest infestations because of the mess they can create inside your home or business. Nests can be made out of any material rats and mice get their paws on, meaning they’ll shred through a number of things in your property at will. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about rats is their tendency to chew. With incisors that never stop growing, rats never stop chewing! This can lead to damaged electrical wires, which can in turn cause a fire hazard. Bottom line: rodents create a hazardous environment inside your home, which is why it’s important to team up with a professional rodent exterminator

Effective Rodent Extermination in Des Moines

If you have a rodent infestation inside your home or business, you’re almost certainly going to need the help of a mice exterminator to get rid of them. The rodent control team at Springer Professional Home Services have the years of experience needed to implement the best rat and mice removal tactics. Our goal is to keep you, your family, and your property safe from the dangers of rodents all year long.

5 Important Pests in 2020

Mosquitoes are one of the pests to look out for in your Des Moines IA home this upcoming year - Springer Professional Home Services

Hindsight may be 20/20, but when it comes to pests, Springer Home Professional Services is looking ahead to help homeowners proactively defend their homes against pest infestation.

At Springer Home Professional Services, we have utilized our field experiences, company data and examined trends, to determine the following six pest issues. Along with these predictions, we are offering homeowners preventative tips to help you keep your home pest-free* in 2020.


Mouse populations have exploded over the past several years. Blame warming winters for allowing more mice to survive and breed. As warmer temperatures are already being experienced this winter, mice will continue to surge. That’s bad news for homeowners because mice invade homes year-round looking for food and safe places to nest.

Homeowner Tips: Rodent-proof your home by sealing small cracks and crevices with a silicone-based caulk. Exterior gaps of ¼-inch or larger can be filled with copper mesh, hardware cloth or metal flashing. Since mice can squeeze through small openings, gaps under door frames, garage doors, windows, or pipes and cables that access your home are prime entry spots for mice.

Stinging Pests

Shifting climates can have a ripple effect throughout the pest world, and with warmer weather, experts are seeing more yellow jackets and hornet nests. Even in freezing temperatures, female yellow jackets and hornets can successfully overwinter in homes and structures. As soon as temperatures are warm enough in the spring, stinging insects will emerge from their hiding places, ready to start populations earlier in the year.

Homeowner Tips: As yellow jackets and hornets overwinter near homes and structures, they may be out and about at the first sign of warm weather. Keep your eyes open for stinging pests, utilizing a professional pest control service as soon as you spot activity.


With the popularity of outdoor activities like hiking and camping on the rise, warming winters, and the geographic range of many ticks continue to expand, humans and their pets can expect to come into contact with ticks more frequently. Ticks of special concern include the American dog tick, the deer tick or black-legged tick, and the Lone Star tick. In 2018, there were nearly 50,000 cases of human tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever reported. Pets can also contract some of these diseases.

Homeowner Tips: When spending time outdoors, wear long-sleeve shirts, pants and socks and an EPA-approved insect repellent. To avoid ticks, walk in the center of trails and avoid walking through tall bushes or other vegetation. During and after outdoor activity, check for ticks on yourself and any family members, including your pets.


If the mosquito season seemed awful this year, it wasn’t your imagination. Experts believe that the pattern could repeat in 2020. If we have a warm, wet winter and spring, the conditions will be ideal for mosquito populations to explode in some areas in late spring and early summer. Areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest are predicted to have above-average rainfall, while most of the U.S. is predicted to be warmer than average this winter.

Homeowner Tips: The risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) can increase with rising populations. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property, dispose of standing water and always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when spending time outside.


Termites are the most destructive pests in North America, causing $6 billion in property damage each year. According to experts, the two main weather factors that affect termite populations are temperature and rainfall. With warmer and wetter weather predicted for spring, the termite swarming season will be ramping up soon.

Homeowner Tips: To deter termites, eliminate earth to wood contact and avoid moisture accumulation near your home or structures’ foundation. Because termites can cause such extensive damage, raising homeowner awareness around the need for proactive protection for their homes is critical to prevent costly repairs.

The experts at Springer Home Professional Services agree that a proactive approach is the first step any homeowner can take to prevent pest issues. With these 2020 pest predictions in mind, take time to evaluate your current pest control plan and ensure that you have the protection you need to protect yourself and your family from pests in 2020.

Setting the Best Mousetrap in 5 Steps

Mousetrap in Des Moines IA home - Springer Professional Home Services provides tips on properly setting a mousetrap

If you see a mouse in your property, it’s important to act quickly! Rodent problems can spread quickly, especially with how quickly mice reproduce. Mice can be a pain to deal with—they’re messy, can chew through wires, and leave foul smelling odors wherever they go! One of the most common ways to control an infestation is with a mousetrap. In order for them to work properly, it’s important to educate yourself on how to set the best mousetrap. Read on to learn top tips from the experts at Springer Professional Home Services!

Which Mousetrap Should You Use?

Electronic, glue, and catch-and-release mousetraps are some of the most common types. All of these have varying degrees of success as well as a number of advantages and disadvantages. The most common—and likely the most popular—trap is the spring-loaded mousetrap. These have been used for decades to get rid of mice, and it’s smart to know how to properly set one! There are several tips to keep in mind when setting a mousetrap in order for them to work in your favor!

Top Tips for Setting a Successful Mousetrap

Many people make the mistake of setting a mousetrap improperly. The following list provides tips on setting the best mousetrap:

  1. Wear gloves. Mice can smell humans and will avoid traps if they catch onto your scent!
  2. Use the best bait and the correct amount. Not all mice like cheese. Only use a small amount of bait to encourage the mice to reach into the stand and trigger the mechanism.
  3. Start with an unloaded but baited trap. It may seem counterintuitive, but start with unloaded traps (baited but not activated)! This will lure mice into a false sense of security.
  4. Use more than one trap. Always set multiple traps two to three feet apart each. You will have a better chance at catching as many mice as possible at once.
  5. Set out mousetraps strategically. Always set mousetraps along walls and behind furniture, or wherever you suspect activity.
  6. Check the mousetraps regularly. Success won’t happen overnight, but don’t give up! Always check to make sure the traps are loaded correctly with bait, as some mice will grab bait without setting off the trap.

Need Help Setting the Best Mousetrap?

Mousetraps are certainly a popular and accessible way to get rid of rodents, but they don’t always work. Especially when you’re dealing with a serious infestation, it’s sometimes best to enlist the help of a professional rodent control company. At Springer Professional Home Services, our experts know how to get rid of mice quickly and safely. For more info on setting the best mousetrap or to learn about our extermination, give us a call!

Preventing Rats & Mice in the Winter

Winter window in central Iowa - Springer Professional Home Services provides rodent control checklist to prevent infestations.

Iowa is known for having extremely cold winters. Some may assume that during these freezing winters, pest problems aren’t likely. Unfortunately, that’s not the case! In fact, rodent infestations are quite common this time of year. According to The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), upwards of 21 million homes in the U.S. are invaded by rodents each winter! Rats and mice come indoors to escape dropping temperatures outdoors. To prevent an infestation this time of year, it’s essential to know how to safeguard your home by preventing rats and mice.

Are Rodents Hibernating in the Winter?

Many animals, including certain types of larger rodents, hibernate for the winter. Rats and mice, however, do not hibernate. They are active throughout the entire year. To survive the cold winters, they will infest homes in search of warmth and shelter. Worst of all, mice are infamous for squeezing their way inside through holes as small as the size of a dime!

Once inside, they can be extremely destructive and even dangerous! Rats and mice are capable of spreading bacteria and pathogens, which is why it’s so important to prevent them in the first place.

Rodent control checlist for your Des Moines or Cedar Rapids IA home this winter - Springer Professional Home Services

Preventing Rats & Mice Checklist

To prevent a rodent infestation, it’s recommended to regularly check your home. By locating and fixing areas that have damage, you can lessen the chance of a rat or mice invasion. The eight locations to check include:

  1. Roof
  2. Vents
  3. Screens
  4. Vegetation
  5. Gutters
  6. Outside
  7. Garage
  8. Foundation

Winter Rodent Control

By regularly inspecting your property for vulnerabilities, you can help protect yourself from an infestation! If you need assistance checking your home for rodents, the exterminators at Springer Professional Home Services are here to help. We understand how frustrating rodent problems are, which is why we work to prevent them from occurring in the first place. To learn more about how we can keep you rodent-free, call us today!