How to Get Rid of Winged Termites

Winged termites in Des Moines IA - Springer Professional Home Services

Have you been seeing termites with wings flying around your home? As spring approaches here in Iowa, termites will begin to swarm again to look for new homes and food sources. Causing a staggering $5 billion in damages in the United States alone every year, termites are the most destructive pests in the country. Finding termite swarmers on your property is almost always bad news. So how can you get rid of them? Read on to learn from the termite control team at Springer Professional Home Services!

Do I Have Flying Termites in My Home?

You might hear termites with wings referred to as swarmers, alates, or reproductives depending on who you talk to. Termite swarmers are geared to spread to suitable locations and grow their colonies elsewhere. It’s easy to confuse them for ants if you haven’t seen before, so we’ve laid out the main differences between flying ants vs termites:

  • Termites have a lighter coloration than most flying ants
  • Ants have pinched waists and slender bodies, while termites’ bodies are broad and rounded
  • Termites have equal-sized wings, but ants have larger forewings than their hindwings

There are two reasons for finding termite swarmers on your property: either the swarmers are checking out your property for a potential settling site, or you have an existing termite infestation that’s large enough to force them to spread. The former is concerning, the latter is serious.

Get Rid of Flying Termites in Iowa

If you have been seeing flying termites around your house, you can take these precautions to keep them from finding a way inside:

  1. Keep your firewood off of the ground and far away from your home
  2. Move mulch away from the siding and foundation of your home
  3. Find and fix any leaky pipes that could cause water damage in wood
  4. Make sure that your drainage systems are diverting water away from your home

These steps will prevent new swarmers from finding your property suitable to infest. However, you should check around your home for termite damage to see if your swarmers are new or not. if the swarmers that you have come from an active infestation, you could have some serious damage on your hands.

Springer Professional Home Services Handles Termite Removal

If you find termite damage inside your home or are nervous about the presence of winged termites, reach out to your local termite exterminators for an inspection. The termite removal team at Springer Professional Home Services has seen termite infestations of all sizes around Iowa and are equipped to both remove them from your home and defend your property from them going forward. Get in contact today for a free quote!

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!

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 Iowa, 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!

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

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!

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!

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!

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.