11 Pests of 2016 That Are Sure to Be a Nuisance in 2017
February 16, 2017
2016 was a whirlwind of a year when it came to pesky critters, and we expect 2017 to follow suite. From bed bugs to spiders, all the way to raccoons, our team of technicians have seen it all in the Des Moines metro. With that being said, we want to help our fellow homeowners get prepared for the new year and all of the pests that we think will be wreaking havoc once again. Let's dive on in!
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #1 | Mosquitoes
A pest that we have seen on a significant rise over the last few years (with 2016 being one of the worst to date) are mosquitoes. Mosquitoes tend to be attracted to stagnant water such as puddles, ponds, buckets and birdbaths, as well as gardens with an abundance of flowers.
How to Prevent Mosquitoes
There is little you can do as a homeowner to keep mosquitoes to a minimum. There are various short-term area sprays or repellents, but they are minimally effective. The most effective solution is to have a pest professional come out and spray professional-grade repellent.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #2 | Bed Bugs
2016 felt like the year of the bed bug. Our team of technicians treated an abundance of Des Moines metro homes this past year for bed bugs, and we believe 2017 will be similar. Bed bugs are tricky critters because they tend to go unnoticed until it is too late and you have an infestation on your hands. The most common places that homeowners find bed bugs are in cracks and crevices of the homes structure as well as in mattress seams, furniture, electrical outlets, etc.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Bed bug infestations tend to originate after being brought in from travel (hotels, airplanes, etc.), consignment furniture, gyms and more. Therefore, when buying anything second-hand, inspect the item thoroughly before bringing it home. As for travel, avoid setting your suitcase on the ground on the plane or in your hotel room.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #3 | Ants
Each year comes and goes and we always find that the same pest is an issue: ants. There are very few other critters that can become as big of a problem at such a rapid rate like ants can. Most active throughout the warmer months, ants can turn into an infestation before homeowners even notice they are a problem. The most common ants in Iowa are carpenter ants, odorous house ants, pavement ants, larger yellow ants and thief ants.
How to Prevent Ants
You could have the most sanitary and clean home and you could still develop an ant infestation. The most effective way to keep these pests at bay is to have an ongoing service plan
with a pest professional. Additional tactics can include sealing all cracks and crevices around the exterior and interior of your home.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #4 | Spiders
Spiders are a pest that we expect to see each year and 2016 was one for the books. Spiders are most common throughout the warmer months and become quite a nuisance when left untreated. The most common Iowa spiders are:
- Wolf spiders
- Cobweb spiders
- Yellow sac spiders
- Fishing spiders
- House spiders
- Brown recluse
- Orb weaver
- Cellar spiders
- Funnel spiders
How to Prevent Spiders
Familiar entry points for spiders are openings around the interior or exterior of a home, as well as poorly screened windows and doors. In these instances, spiders are looking for prey and accidently make their way inside. To limit the potential of them getting inside, in the spring, thoroughly check your home for any openings or cracks and seal them.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #5 | Hornets
2016 was a busy year for Bald-faced hornets. Bald-faced hornets, in particular, begin to become active in early spring when the queen begins to lay her eggs. For homeowners, this can become a very dangerous situation if the nest is close to or on the home. The bald-faced hornet is extremely aggressive and will become territorial if the nest is disturbed.
How to Prevent Hornets
There are various tactics that homeowners can try to be proactive against this pest. Techniques include removing any hanging bird feeders, covering or removing potential food sources such as trashcans or compost piles and checking for any broken siding or panels that could become a nesting space.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #6 | Bats
No matter the year, we believe that bats will always be a nuisance pest for homeowners. Throughout the spring and summer months, bats are more commonly found in homes or buildings due to the warmer weather. It is also during this time that female bats are looking for nesting spots to give birth. During the winter months, most bats hibernate and become less of an issue for homeowners.
How to Prevent Bats
The easiest way to keep bats out of your home is by eliminating entry points. Bats are attracted to attics and other crawlspaces that are dark and quiet. Therefore, during the spring months it is important to secure any cracks or potential openings on your home's exterior.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #7 | Cockroaches
A pest that makes the majority of people cringe just thinking about are cockroaches, and we had quite a few issues with them this past year. There are various species of cockroaches, but the most common in Iowa are German cockroaches, oriental cockroaches and American cockroaches. Cockroaches typically seek out a moist and dark space which is why they are typically found in kitchens or bathrooms and are most active at night.
How to Prevent Cockroaches
The most common way for cockroaches to make their way into a structure is through boxes, bags or containers of some sort. With that being said, to avoid a cockroach infestation, always check any bags, containers, furniture, etc. that you are transporting inside your home.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #8 | Opossums
Similar to bed bugs, we received a large amount of calls for opossums in 2016. From issues with these critters crawling in through pet doors to making their nest below homeowners back porches, opossums are sneaky critters who are going to be around in full force this year. Opossum's dens are commonly found in hollow trees, rock piles and, at times, accidentally in our homes.
How to Prevent Opossums
The most effective way to keep opossums out of your home is to eliminate points of entry, as well as food sources. To start, ensure that all cracks or openings around your home are closed or sealed. Next, keep your trash bin, pet food, etc. in the garage or a closed area and with an airtight lid.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #9 | Termites
Termites are aggressive critters that can wreak serious havoc on a home when not taken care of quickly. Throughout last year we saw some intense termite infestations within Des Moines homes and expect 2017 to bring similar issues. These pests feed on cellulose-based materials, such as plants and wood. Once inside a home, termites are known to be attracted to materials such as drywall, paper, plastic and other potentially problematic materials that can lead to expensive damage.
How to Prevent Termites
To keep termites out of your home, check any wood you would use in your fireplace prior to bringing it in. Additionally, ensure any wood on your home is not in contact with soil. And last but not least, put screens on any outside vents and eliminate stumps and debris from around your home.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #10 | Raccoons
A pest that we are sure the majority of homeowners have experienced at least once in their life are raccoons. Raccoons are sneaky pests that are known for coming out at night to scavenge for food. These animals are most commonly found nesting in trees or logs near streams or lakes, though they have been known to make their nests within chimneys, beneath porches or within attics.
How to Prevent Raccoons
The best way to keep raccoons at bay is to remove their food source. Raccoons are attracted to trash and pet food in particular, so if you keep your pet's food outside, make sure that it is within a closed container and you keep your trash can inside a closed space.
Des Moines Nuisance Pest #11 | Rats
A surprising pest we received quite a few calls for in 2016 was rats. Just like mice, rats are sneaky creatures and can cause a lot of problems if gone unnoticed for an extensive period of time. There are two types of rats that are prominent within the Des Moines metro and those are roof rats and Norway rats. Both of these rats are most active during dusk or at night and have a well-developed sense of smell.
How to Prevent Rats
Similar to the other pests we have discussed previously, the best way to keep rats out of your home is to ensure all entry points such as siding, windows and doors are sealed. Additionally, eliminate any food source that you may have available, such as dog food or open containers of any kind.
Struggling with Pests? Preferred Pest Can Help!
We all know that pest issues can get out of control in what feels like the blink of an eye. The good news is our team of pest professionals are here to help. As the leading Des Moines pest control service, we can take care of your pest control needs quickly and efficiently.
For assistance, schedule an appointment with us online or give us a call at (515) 276-7277 today!
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