Cicada Phenomenon in Iowa

Cicadas in Iowa with Springer Professional Home Services in Des Moines, Iowa

Springer Professional Home Services is excited to showcase a rare natural event set to captivate Iowa and its adjacent areas this year. We are about to witness an extraordinary display of nature, where the ticks and buzzing of cicadas create a beautiful melody and bridge the gap between history and the present. This event is not just visually and audibly appealing; it’s an opportunity to delve into the intricate processes of nature. Embark with us on a journey to understand the lifecycle and influence of cicadas, and discover how to live in harmony with these fascinating insects.

How Rare Is This Natural Phenomenon?

2024 is marked by an exceptional natural occurrence in Iowa and its surrounding territories: the simultaneous emergence of two cicada broods, an event that hasn’t occurred since 1803 and isn’t anticipated to happen again until 2245. This year’s event is extraordinary, as it involves the emergence of two different broods at the same time, from mid-May to late June, providing a rare spectacle and learning opportunity.

Cicada Basics

Cicadas live most of their lives underground, only emerging to mate and complete their life cycle. With life cycles of either 17 or 13 years, their emergence is a synchronized event that dominates the summer soundscape with their unique calls, signaling a time of heightened natural activity.

The Significance of Understanding Cicadas

Cicadas are not harmful to humans, but their large numbers can endanger the health of young plants, their preferred food. By comprehending their ecological impact, we can take steps to shield our greenery, reducing the need for broad-scale pest management.

Is Cicada Extermination Needed? 

Springer Professional Home Services advises against widespread cicada elimination efforts. Employing simple protective strategies, like draping netting over young plants, can effectively prevent damage during this significant natural occurrence.

Be Aware of Potential Cicada Urine Propulsion

A lesser-known yet intriguing behavior of cicadas is their powerful urine expulsion. Due to their high consumption of xylem from trees and plants, cicadas have developed an efficient way to release this fluid rapidly, which might surprise people with unexpected sprinkles from above in the cicada season.

Embracing Cicadas into the Future

The emergence of cicadas is a profound reminder of the intricate and meticulous nature of ecological cycles, emphasizing the importance of establishing a symbiotic relationship with the natural world.

Should you have any questions or need advice on preparing for the cicada season or handling other pest issues, contact Springer Professional Home Services.

Late Summer Pests in Des Moines

Ants on a wood wall in Des Moines, IA

From epic festivals and events to outdoor adventures, summer is a joyful time in Des Moines. Summer offers an abundance of sunny days for your family and friends to enjoy. However, the late summer can bring along a surge in various pests that can disrupt outdoor activities and invade your homes. These unwelcome summer pests appreciate the warm weather and are more likely to invade your property during this season.

Common Types of Late Summer Pests:

There are many types of pests in the Des Moines area. The more common types of summer pests, along with information about their late summer behaviors, include: 


During the later months of summer, ant reproduction takes center stage, along with the formation of new colonies. These extensive colonies have the capability to lead to infestations in both your homes and businesses. The small size of these summer pests grants them easy access to structures, thereby posing a threat of structural damage to homes and the potential transmission of bacteria.

Bees, Wasps, and Hornets 

Encounters with bees, wasps, bees, and hornets tend to become more frequent in the later stages of summer. These summer pests can become more aggressive during the summer due to their food sources becoming more scarce.  

Fleas, Ticks, and Mites

Late summer is a time of heightened activity among fleas, ticks, and mites. These small summer pests are capable of transmitting a range of diseases through their bites. The resulting illnesses can cause symptoms that span from slight discomfort to serious afflictions, impacting both humans and pets alike.


As summer enters its later months, it’s common for cockroach infestations to intensify. The warm weather during this period creates an optimal environment for their breeding and mobility. Cockroaches have the ability to contaminate food and different surfaces within households. They are widely known as spreaders of bacteria. This could lead to health risks such as foodborne illnesses, gastrointestinal problems, and allergic reactions.


Warm temperatures during the late summer provide an ideal environment for spiders. Spiders will actively search for shelter in the summer heat, often seeking refuge inside homes and businesses. The warm climate also draws in the very insects that serve as their prey. The existence of spiders can be an indicator of a potential underlying pest problem that is luring them in.


Though termite swarming can happen year-round, it’s most common in the spring and summer. The late summer months provide the warm weather and high humidity that termites prefer to create their colonies. If a termite colony is near your home, their tunnels will lead to its foundations, walls, framing, and floors. If not treated immediately, this can eventually lead to the destruction of your home. 


Mosquitos thrive in the late summer. The summer temperature speeds up their reproduction patterns, allowing them to lay more eggs. The warmer weather also means Iowans are spending more time outside, which increases the risk of mosquito bites. These summer pests spread germs through their bites. Viruses such as West Nile and parasites such as malaria can be dangerous for both people and their pets. 

Take Preemptive Action   

Don’t wait for summer pests to invade your home. Take proactive steps to protect your property from summer pest invasions. Contact the skilled professionals at Springer Professional Home Services for expert assistance and year-round pest management solutions.

Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Some People More Than Others?

Mosquito on skin

Mosquito bites can be quite bothersome, especially during summer picnics. However, have you ever wondered why some people seem to be more prone to mosquito bites than others? It turns out that mosquitoes do have their preferences when it comes to blood types and skin bacteria. Yuck! Let’s explore the factors that make certain individuals more attractive to these pesky bloodsuckers and what you can do to protect yourself from their itchy bites.

What Makes You Attractive to Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes swarm to specific individuals for various reasons, such as

  • Carbon Dioxide: Mosquitoes have a knack for detecting the carbon dioxide you exhale. The more you produce, the tastier you become. 
  • Body Heat: Mosquitoes have a unique ability to detect their targets by sensing body heat and infrared radiation. If you happen to radiate more body heat, you may become a prime destination for these persistent pests.
  • Blood Type: It seems mosquitoes have a refined palate, as studies hint they may prefer certain blood types. People with type O are like an all-you-can-eat buffet for these insatiable insects.
  • Skin Bacteria: Your skin is a bustling metropolis of bacteria, each producing its unique fragrance. Some odors can either attract or repel mosquitoes. You might dodge their unwelcome advances if your skin boasts the right mix of Staphylococcus bacteria.
  • Sweat and Lactic Acid: Mosquitoes have a knack for sniffing out the scent of sweat and lactic acid. Sweating releases these chemicals, drawing mosquitoes in like moths to a flame. 
  • Genetics: Hidden within your genes lies the secret of mosquito allure. Some lucky individuals possess a genetic trait that repels or beckons these buzzing pests. It is like having a secret language that determines your insect appeal.

Reliable Mosquito Control

There are several ways to reduce your chances of getting mosquito bites, including:

  • Apply insect repellent. Follow instructions and reapply.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants. Treat clothes with permethrin to repel insects.
  • Stay indoors or amp up protection.
  • Eliminate stagnant water sources like buckets, birdbaths, and flower pots. Cover or clean regularly.
  • Keep mosquitoes out with screens on doors and windows, or use nets over beds. 
  • The best way to prevent mosquitoes is with professional mosquito extermination services.

How to Treat Mosquito Bites

Here are some tips for treating the bite and relieving the itch:

  • Wash the bite area with water and soap.
  • Apply an ice pack for several minutes to reduce swelling and itching.
  • Apply baking soda and water or an over-the-counter anti-itch cream to the bite area.
  • Avoid scratching the bite, as it can cause infection or scarring.
  • See a doctor if you have signs of an allergic reaction or a mosquito-borne disease.

Contact Springer Today

Mosquito bites are equally annoying and dangerous. That is why you need Springer’s Professional Mosquito Control Services. Springer is a trusted pest control company serving Des Moines, IA, and surrounding areas since 1989. They have the experience and expertise to eliminate mosquitoes from your property using safe and effective methods.

Springer will inspect your property for signs of mosquito activity and apply treatments targeting mosquitoes at every stage of their life cycle. They will also provide tips on how to prevent future mosquito infestations and keep your property mosquito-free.

Do not let mosquitoes ruin your summer. Contact Springer Professional Home Services today for a free estimate and schedule your mosquito control service.

TAP: Pest Control Insulation

A tube that is blowing insulation into an open, unfinished attic.

You may be asking yourself, “What is TAP insulation, and why should I pay for another service to my home?”. That is a fair question! Home maintenance is something many of us dread with how it can mess with our schedules and our wallets. TAP Insulation is a way to combine several forms of home maintenance in one easy solution. In other words, TAP insulation works on three different fronts to ensure your home is warm, quiet, and pest-free* year-round. 

What Is TAP® Insulation?

TAP stands for Thermal/Acoustical/Pest Control insulation:

  • Thermal: TAP Insulation uses cellulose fibers made from ground up newspaper. These paper fibers create small air pockets, much like a winter puff jacket, to increase the thermal efficiency in your attic. Given heat rises, the air pockets help to trap the rising heat, keeping your house warm in the colder months. TAP insulation’s density also captures air from escaping during the summer, which keeps the cold AC air in!
  • Acoustical: As a wide-open hard surface, your ceiling can do a lot to amplify and spread loud noises. The soft plush texture of TAP insulation can help muffle this noise with ease. The same features that help TAP insulation retain heat will be the ones keeping your home from sounding like a concert hall.
  • Pest Control: TAP insulation’s paper fibers are mixed with a fine Borate mixture, which is a natural insecticide. As insects attempt to infiltrate your home they’ll be covered in borate. When the insects clean themselves, the borate makes its way into their digestive tract, killing them. This makes it a remarkable pest control insulation as pests will be doomed before they make it into your home and settle in.    

TAP Insulation Benefits

Insulation is important to any home, but TAP goes above and beyond in terms of protection and comfort. This special insulation offers a number of additional advantages:

  • Safe and Non-Toxic: This insulation is generally made from natural materials that are non-toxic, making it safer for homes with children, pets, or people with sensitivities.
  • Improved Energy Efficiency: TAP insulation protects against thermal loss, which can significantly reduce your heating and cooling.
  • Eco-Friendly Pest Prevention: Treated insulation is environmentally friendly and does not contribute to pollution of the water, air, or soil, like normal pest prevention methods may.
  • Long-Lasting Protection: Unlike chemical pesticides, which need to be applied frequently, TAP insulation can provide long-lasting protection from your home from new and existing pests.

Why Go with Pest Control Insulation?

Many forms of insulation are available on the market today, many of which have been treated with pesticides. You may be asking why you should go with TAP insulation. However, it’s important to note that pesticide-treated insulations aren’t designed to keep pests out. Rather, the pesticides simply protect the insulation itself. This leads to invading pests simply going around or ignoring the insulation and heading straight into your home. 

In contrast, TAP insulation is designed to keep pests out long-term. Bugs only need to come into contact with the insulation for it to be effective. With the insulation actually providing a barrier from inside of the house there’s no need for repeat visits from a pest control company to treat the perimeter of the house.

When you’re curious about the further benefits of TAP Insulation and want a free quote, contact the pest control experts at Springer Professional Home Services today! Our trained technicians are ready to provide you with this long-lasting solution.

Preventing Pests in Houseplants

An orchid leaf with an infestation of scale insects.

Houseplants are a great way to liven up any living space. They not only improve the aesthetics of the room but also have several health benefits, including purifying the air and reducing stress. However, houseplants can also attract bugs and pests, which can be detrimental to their health and also cause an infestation in your home. The good news is that, like most bugs, there are steps you can take to deal with them before they become an infestation. Consistently inspect your houseplants for evidence of pest activity. Preventing pests in houseplants starts with early detection.

Common Houseplant Pests

  1. Spider Mites: Tiny pests that are difficult to see but cause significant damage to your plants. Spider mites suck sap from leaves and stem, taking valuable nutrients away from your plant. Look for yellowing or stippling of leaves, webbing on plants, and the presence of speck-like insects.
  2. Mealybugs: Soft-bodied insects that look like white cotton balls. Found on the underside of leaves and on stems. These bugs also feed on plant sap and can stunt your plant’s growth.
  3. Scale Insects: Scales are often found on the stems and leaves of plants. They can be identified by their hard, waxy coverings. They suck plant sap and lead to yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and plant death if left untreated.
  4. Fungus Gnats: These tiny bugs are often found in the soil and can be identified with their black bodies and long, thin wings. They do not directly harm plants but can cause root damage if the population becomes too large.

Pest Prevention Tips

  1. Keep Plants Clean:  Clean off dust and debris that accumulates on leaves, this provides a breeding ground for insects if left. Wipe the leaves of houseplants with a damp cloth regularly. Clean leaves also help the plant photosynthesize more effectively and stay healthy.
  2. Inspect New Plants: When you buy new plants, inspect them thoroughly before bringing them inside. Look for any signs of pest infestation, such as holes in the leaves, sticky residue, or webs. If you notice these signs, do not buy the plant. If you cannot examine the plant before buying it, quarantine the new plant for a few days before placing it among your other plants.
  3. Water Correctly: Overwatering can lead to development of fungus gnats. Only water the top inch of soil when it is dry to the touch or invest in self-watering globes which will water the plant from the bottom. Avoid letting the soil remain waterlogged. Ensure there is enough drainage to allow excess water to drain.
  4. Use Natural Insecticides: If you do find pests in your houseplants, there are several natural insecticides that can get rid of them. Neem oil, for instance, is effective and save for use on most plants. You can use a mixture of water and dish soap to spray on the leaves of the plants. This will suffocate the insects and prevent them from laying eggs.
  5. Use Sticky Traps: Sticky traps are a great way to catch flying insects like fungus gnats. These traps have a sticky substance that the insect cannot escape from after landing on them. You can place these traps near your houseplants.

Professional Pest Control

If you have tried to get rid of a pest infestation to no avail, it may be time to call the professionals. Our team at Springer Professional Home Services is equipped with the products and experience to help. Since 1989, we’ve provided trusted extermination services to homes and businesses throughout Central Iowa. Call us today for a free quote!

Pests in a Fluctuating Climate

a graphic depicting climate change and extreme weather, though showing a tree in nature between lush nature and a stormy desert.

As time goes on, we’re gradually experiencing a shift in the weather throughout the year. Average annual temperatures are rising, and winters are not as cold in many locales. It may feel pleasant, but when the weather is warmer, pests of all kinds are able to thrive. There has also been a notable increase in extreme weather patterns, from tornadoes and droughts to floods and hurricanes.  Warmer winters and extreme weather can both make pest behavior different from what we’re used to. Read on to learn what’s changing and what you can do about it.

How Pests Have Adapted

For a long time, we were able to predict the behavior of most pests in relation to the weather. When it’s warmer, insects and animal pests would roam with the usual desire to feed and breed. Then, once winter comes, these pests would either hibernate, overwinter or simply die off. But things change when the weather doesn’t get that cold for long enough. Here are some consequences of insects living through warmer winters:

  • A higher survival rate
  • The production of additional generations
  • Resistance to pesticides 
  • A greater impact on crops and people

An increase in temperature during the winter months has resulted in the spread of the disease-carrying Asian Tiger Mosquito across Europe and the United States. It’s also dramatically increased the population of deer ticks (whose bites can spread Lyme disease), as well as fleas. To put it simply, the numbers of many types of insects and the portion of the year when they’re active have changed over the past few decades. And severe weather is also becoming more common.  

How Severe Weather Affects Insects

A recent study has shown that extreme weather events have increased significantly over the last few decades. You likely remember the powerful derecho that hit Iowa a few years ago, as well as the drought that we’ve been going through. These and other severe weather events don’t just affect humans. They affect insects as well.

Cold Weather 

As the weather dips below a certain temperature, insects generally tend to try and escape by migrating inside or burrowing underground to hibernate until spring. You’ll find that often the chill renders some bugs sluggish, and others completely unable to fly until the climate warms again.

Hot Weather 

Insects breed more in the heat, and as their metabolic rate increases they also have to eat more to compensate, which is why they’re more likely to attack gardens and other exposed food sources. 

Dry Weather

When the climate outside is particularly dry you’ll find insects like the grasshopper and the spider mite thriving, reproducing at near-record rates. Other insects may struggle without water to breed in or drink and may enter your home looking for moisture in the process.

Wet Weather 

Wet weather is a major benefit for mosquitoes, cockroaches, stink bugs, and termites – all insects that live for moisture. But in times of excessive rain, these bugs and more may try and get into your home in hopes of shelter. Stormy weather can also flood the nests of ants and other burrowing insects, which could also drive them into your property.

Springer Professional Home Services For Year-Round Pest Control

Keeping your home pest-free* is not something you do once and then are done with for good. It requires constant vigilance, as well as the initiative to seek treatment as soon as possible. At Springer Professional Home Services, we know that can be a lot for a busy homeowner to deal with. That’s why we offer our PestFree365+ program as a way to provide year-round extermination and pest management. 

With this plan, your home is will be from 36 of the most common pests in Iowa. This means regular inspections, as well as tips and recommendations to help you stay pest free. When adapting to a change in the seasons and the weather, you shouldn’t have to worry about bugs or animal pests in your home. And with Springer Professional Home Services, you won’t have to. Contact us today to get started!