Termites on the Rise in Des Moines Iowa

Termites Are On the Rise in Des Moines

August 8, 2014

In order for termites to survive, they need food, shelter and most importantly, water. With the above average amount of rainfall that Iowa has received this year, colonies are getting larger and growing in number. Here at Preferred Pest Control, we have seen termite treatment business increase from last year by 40 percent in the first six months of 2014. In previous years with lower rainfall totals the number of termite calls declined. Read on to learn why termites need water, tips to keep water from puddling around your home, and how Preferred Pest Control can help you get rid of termites for good.

Why Do Termites Need Water?

All termites, except the Drywood termite species, need access to water at all times. In fact, moisture and water-soaked wood is the number one attraction for termites. This is because termites need water to build mud tunnels, or shelter tubes, which provide transportation up walls and into your home. These tubes give termites' soft bodies protection from predators, direct sun and dehydration, and it also connects their underground colonies to a cellulose source, or food source. According to termite.com, the underground colony must have high moisture and humidity levels from 99 to 100 percent.

Some areas of your home that are exposed to more water are more at risk for termite damage. For instance, if rainwater collects in a low ground area by your house or runoff from the garden hose leaks into your foundation, the walls and wood become unusually damp and become more attractive to termites. Other high risk areas are around air conditioning units and firewood piles left uncovered during a rainstorm. Because we have seen high levels of rain in Iowa, moisture is plentiful and termites are able to thrive very easily. According to the National Weather Service, the average rainfall for the month of June is 4.47 inches. This year June rainfall totals has been recorded at 7.49 inches.

Fixing Water Drainage Issues

Plants, lawns and gardens need water to thrive just as much as termites. However, soggy lawns that have issues draining water can become a problem. In order to decrease the risk of termites seeing your yard as a potential home for their colony, it is imperative to get rid of standing water. Here are three ways to achieve better yard drainage:

  1. Install a French Drain: Water should drain away from buildings, not towards them. If you live at the bottom of a hill or a base of a slope you might have to hire professional help to drain water runoff elsewhere. By hiring a water professional such as Midwest Basement Systems and having a drain installed to redirect surface and ground water to the street you'll avoid standing water that attracts termites, as well as protect your basement and foundation from water damage.
  2. Aerate Your Lawn: By removing plugs of soil throughout your lawn you can improve your lawn's natural water uptake and reduce puddling. Aeration is recommended for all lawns every two years and there are many different lawn care professionals you can hire in Des Moines.
  3. Landscape Your Home With Plants: If you have major standing water issues, planting shrubs and trees that soak up water will not solve your issue. However, some plants are water tolerant and can absorb many gallons of water daily. Plants that are tolerant of wet areas include Winterberry Holly bushes, Pussy Willow shrubs and Marigolds or Hydrangeas if you wish to opt for a bright, blooming plant.

On the plus side, not only does solving lawn draining issues help prevent termite infestation, but it can help your landscape thrive and prevent other pests such as mosquitos from harboring in your yard.

Get Rid of Termites Entirely

It's one thing to kill a bug on your own, but another to get rid of a termite infestation for good. Let the experts at Preferred Pest Control treat your house with our 100% effective termite solution. Call us today at (515) 415-5550to schedule an appointment and be on your way to a pest free home!