Bug Bite Identification Guide

Bug bite identification in Des Moines Iowa - Springer Professional Home Services

In the spring and summertime here in Iowa, insects are out in full force. While this is simply a fact of life, no one wants to deal with being bitten by bugs this time of year—or ever! Even in the fall and winter, there are several biting bugs to stay aware of. At Springer Professional Home Services, we know how distressing it can be to discover you’ve been bitten by an insect. Our pest control experts are here to help you learn what insects are likely to bite or sting, as well as what you can do to prevent them.

Bugs That Bite in Iowa

Whether they bite or sting, there are a number of pests and bugs that are likely culprits behind the red, itchy bumps on your skin. The most common ones we deal with here in Iowa include:

  1. Bed bugs. Bed bugs are quite elusive and good at hiding, so infestations may go undetected until the population is extensive. They primarily feed on blood when their host is asleep, so you may not catch them dining on you. You may, however, awake with their bite marks, which appear in lines on your skin and can be very itchy.
  2. Fleas & ticks. Parasitic insect infestations usually originate from an infested animal, then find their way to human victims. On occasion, people traveling through an infested area (for example, a wooded area with lone star ticks) will be attacked by these pests, as well. Pets are common carriers of these pests.
  3. Mosquitoes. Nationwide, mosquitoes are very active in the spring and summer. Sometimes, we may not notice their itchy bites immediately and assume whatever bit us is inside the building with us. In the case of these pests, by the time you notice they’ve fed on you, they have left the scene of the crime.
  4. Bees & wasps. These stinging insects are active in the spring and summertime in Iowa. While they’d rather keep to themselves, bees and wasps alike will sting when provoked. Wasps in particular are aggressive when defending their nests, and can sting you multiple times.
  5. “No see ums” (biting midge flies). Anyone who has been to marshy areas has probably been attacked by these insects. About the size of a freckle, biting midges are most active at dusk and dawn. Repellants may give some relief from these annoying blood feeders.
  6. Mites. Mites like dust mites are incredibly small and can best be seen under strong magnification. Most cases of mites biting people in their homes can be traced back to rodents or birds nesting in the home, as these animals are their preferred hosts. Unfortunately, when their regular food source isn’t present anymore, the mites will feed on people.
  7. Spiders. Despite the fear associated with spiders, most species do not bite. However, there are two spiders that will bite in defense: black widows and brown recluse spiders. A bite from either of these more aggressive spiders can be very dangerous.

Common Symptoms of Bug Bites

In general, the symptoms of bug bites or stings are very similar. Most commonly, symptoms will include red bumps at the site of the bite, itchiness, swelling, rashes, heat surrounding the bite, and other mild symptoms. When dealing with bug bites, it’s important to treat them carefully and also be on the lookout for more serious symptoms. Symptoms that may signal you are having a worse reaction—or even an allergic reaction—to the bites include substantial swelling in the eyes or throat, trouble breathing, and dizziness. Experiencing any of these symptoms requires an immediate trip to the doctor.

How to Prevent Bug Bites

If you are dealing with bug bites and cannot decipher where they are coming from, you could have a pest problem indoors. The best thing to do is to contact your local pest control experts. At Springer Professional Home Services, our experts will thoroughly inspect your property to determine any pest problems. From there, we’ll implement a pest control plan to keep the pests away for good. Contact us today to get started!

When Do Pests Come Out Throughout the Year?

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

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

Spring Pests

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

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

Summer Pests

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

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

Fall Pests

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

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

Winter Pests

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

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

Year-Round Pest Control

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