Iowa’s Top Household Pests: What Every Homeowner Needs to Know

As an Iowa homeowner, dealing with household pests can be a frustrating and inconvenient experience. From ants marching across your kitchen counters to spiders lurking in dark corners, pests can quickly disrupt your peace of mind. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of Iowa’s most common household pests, their behaviors, signs of infestation, and simple prevention techniques to keep them at bay.


Ants are among the most common household pests in Iowa, with species like pavement ants, odorous house ants, and carpenter ants causing headaches for homeowners. Signs of an ant infestation may include seeing trails of ants marching indoors, finding small piles of sawdust (indicating carpenter ant activity), or noticing a musty odor from odorous house ants. To prevent ant infestations, keep your kitchen clean, store food in sealed containers, and seal cracks and crevices where ants can enter your home.


Spiders are another prevalent pest in Iowa homes, with species like the common house spider and cellar spider making appearances year-round. While most spiders are harmless, their presence can be unsettling for many homeowners. Signs of a spider infestation include seeing webs in corners, around windows, and in basements or crawl spaces. To deter spiders, keep your home clutter-free, vacuum regularly, and seal entry points to prevent them from entering your home.


Mice and rats are common pests in Iowa, especially as temperatures drop in the fall and winter months. Signs of a rodent infestation may include finding droppings, gnaw marks on food packaging or wiring, and hearing scratching or scurrying noises in walls or ceilings. To prevent rodents from entering your home, seal gaps and cracks in your home’s exterior, store food in airtight containers, and keep your home clean and clutter-free.


During the summer months, mosquitoes can become a nuisance in Iowa, especially in areas with standing water. Signs of mosquito activity include seeing swarms of mosquitoes outdoors, getting bitten frequently, and finding mosquito larvae in stagnant water sources. To reduce mosquito breeding sites, empty containers that collect water, clean out gutters, and use mosquito repellents or citronella candles when spending time outdoors.

Bed Bugs:

While less common than other pests, bed bugs can still be a problem for Iowa homeowners, especially in multi-unit housing or areas with high turnover rates like hotels and dormitories. Signs of a bed bug infestation may include waking up with itchy, red bites, finding blood spots on bedding or furniture, and noticing a sweet, musty odor. To prevent bed bug infestations, inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home, avoid placing luggage on beds or upholstered furniture when traveling, and regularly vacuum and launder bedding.

By familiarizing yourself with Iowa’s top household pests and taking proactive measures to prevent infestations, you can protect your home and family from the nuisance and potential health risks associated with pests. Remember to stay vigilant, address any signs of pest activity promptly, and consider seeking professional pest control services if needed. With a proactive approach to pest management, you can enjoy a pest-free living environment year-round.

Keeping Your Iowa Home Pest-Free: Tips for Every Season

As an Iowa homeowner, you take pride in maintaining a clean and comfortable living environment. However, pesky intruders like ants, spiders, and rodents can quickly disrupt your peace of mind. Fortunately, with a few simple strategies and preventative measures, you can keep your home pest-free throughout the year. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips to protect your Iowa home from common pests in every season.

Spring: As temperatures rise and nature awakens, pests become more active, seeking food and shelter in your home. To ward off springtime invaders:

  1. Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for cracks, gaps, and openings where pests can enter, especially around doors, windows, and utility pipes. Seal any gaps with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent pests from infiltrating your home.
  2. Declutter: Spring cleaning not only freshens up your home but also eliminates hiding places for pests. Clear clutter from basements, attics, and storage areas to reduce hiding spots for pests like spiders and rodents.
  3. Outdoor Maintenance: Trim bushes and trees away from your home to prevent pests from using them as bridges. Keep your lawn well-maintained and free of debris to discourage pests from nesting near your home.

Summer: With the arrival of summer, pests like mosquitoes, ants, and flies become more prevalent. To enjoy a pest-free summer:

  1. Eliminate Standing Water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so empty bird baths, flower pots, and gutters regularly to prevent water accumulation. Ensure proper drainage around your home to avoid puddles.
  2. Store Food Properly: Keep food stored in airtight containers to deter ants and other pantry pests. Clean up spills promptly and avoid leaving pet food out overnight, as it can attract pests.
  3. Maintain Your Yard: Mow your lawn regularly and trim shrubs to reduce harborage areas for pests. Consider using mosquito repellents or citronella candles when spending time outdoors to minimize bites.

Fall: As temperatures cool down, pests like mice and spiders may seek shelter indoors. To prepare for fall invaders:

  1. Seal Exterior Gaps: Inspect your home for gaps and cracks, paying close attention to areas where utility lines enter your home. Use sealants or hardware cloth to block potential entry points for pests.
  2. Install Door Sweeps: Install door sweeps on exterior doors to prevent pests from squeezing in underneath. Ensure that windows and screens are in good repair to keep pests out.
  3. Clean Up Yard Debris: Rake up leaves and remove yard debris to eliminate hiding spots for pests near your home. Store firewood away from the house and elevate it off the ground to discourage pests like termites and rodents.

Winter: While pests may be less active during winter, they can still pose a threat to your home. To keep pests at bay during the colder months:

  1. Seal Cracks and Crevices: Check for gaps around windows, doors, and foundation walls, and seal them with caulking or weatherstripping. Inspect attic and basement vents for gaps and repair as needed.
  2. Store Firewood Properly: Keep firewood stored at least 20 feet away from your home and elevated off the ground to prevent pests like termites and rodents from nesting inside.
  3. Keep Indoor Spaces Clean: Regularly vacuum and sweep floors, paying attention to areas where crumbs and spills accumulate. Store food in tightly sealed containers and promptly dispose of garbage to avoid attracting pests.

Conclusion: By implementing these simple yet effective pest control tips, you can protect your Iowa home from unwanted intruders year-round. Remember to stay vigilant and address any signs of pest activity promptly to prevent infestations. With a proactive approach to pest management, you can enjoy a pest-free living environment and peace of mind for you and your family.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control Solutions: Environmentally Friendly Options for All

In recent years, the focus on sustainability and environmental protection has significantly influenced various aspects of daily living, including pest control methods. Traditional pest control often involves chemicals that can harm the environment, beneficial insects, pets, and even humans. This has led to a growing interest in eco-friendly pest control solutions. These methods not only effectively manage pests but also minimize environmental impact, making them an ideal choice for conscientious homeowners.

Understanding Eco-Friendly Pest Control

Eco-friendly pest control refers to methods and products that are safe for the environment and non-toxic to non-target species. These practices aim to reduce pollution and safeguard ecosystems while still effectively controlling pest populations.

1. Biological Pest Control

This involves using natural predators or parasites to control pest populations. For example, introducing ladybugs in a garden can help control aphid populations without resorting to chemical pesticides. This method is particularly effective in agricultural settings and can be implemented in home gardens as well.

2. Organic and Natural Pesticides

Organic pesticides, derived from natural sources, are less harmful than synthetic chemicals. Neem oil, diatomaceous earth, and essential oils like peppermint and citronella are popular choices. These substances are biodegradable and typically target specific pests, reducing the risk to non-target species.

3. Mechanical and Physical Pest Control

This includes methods like traps, barriers, and manual removal. Physical barriers, such as nets for fruit trees or row covers for vegetable gardens, can prevent pests from reaching the plants. Traps, like pheromone traps for moths or sticky traps for flying insects, are effective for monitoring and controlling pest populations.

4. Cultural Control

Altering the environment to make it less attractive to pests is a key aspect of eco-friendly pest control. This includes practices like crop rotation, proper waste management, and maintaining garden hygiene to disrupt the breeding cycles of pests. Encouraging a diverse ecosystem in your garden also helps control pests naturally.

5. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

IPM is a holistic approach that combines various eco-friendly methods based on the specific pest and environment. It focuses on long-term prevention and uses pesticides as a last resort. Monitoring, identification, and understanding the pest’s lifecycle are crucial components of IPM.

6. DIY Solutions

Homemade remedies can be effective for minor pest problems. For example, a mixture of soap and water can deter many soft-bodied insects. Similarly, garlic or chili sprays can act as natural repellents.

Benefits of Eco-Friendly Pest Control

  • Environmental Preservation: Reduces pollution and protects non-target species like bees and butterflies.
  • Health and Safety: Lower risk of exposure to toxic chemicals for humans and pets.
  • Sustainable Practices: Aligns with a sustainable lifestyle and promotes biodiversity.

Challenges and Considerations

While eco-friendly pest control is beneficial, it requires more knowledge and effort than traditional methods. Understanding the specific needs of your environment and the behavior of pests is crucial. Additionally, patience is key, as natural methods may take longer to show results.

Eco-friendly pest control is a viable and responsible choice for those looking to manage pests while protecting the environment. By embracing a combination of biological, organic, mechanical, cultural, and integrated approaches, individuals can effectively control pests in a sustainable manner. As the world moves towards greener practices, eco-friendly pest control stands out as a harmonious solution for both our homes and the planet.

How to Prepare for the Next Mosquito Season

If the itchy, red welts aren’t enough motivation to protect your home against mosquitos, then maybe this will: Mosquitos are known as one of the deadliest creatures on the planet in that they are primary disease carriers, including terrible mosquito-born illnesses like dengue and malaria. Protect you, your family, and your loved ones from mosquitos by preparing early to eradicate these little critters with a small bite but big effect.  

Eliminate Standing Water

Standing water breeds mosquitoes—literally. Unless you want swarms of mosquitoes during your family barbeque, you will want to eliminate any standing water around your home. This may include birdbaths and yard décor, broken gutters, flower pots, swimming pools, or potholes in the driveway, as well as pools of water around your yard.

If you are experiencing frequent flooding in your yard, it may be due to an easily-saturated subsoil. For example, clay and peat are types of subsoil that tends to absorb water and then expand, leading to increased pressure and flooding. In order to eliminate this problem, try soil correction. Soils like granite, asphalt, or conbit tend to drain easier, reducing excess moisture and puddles where mosquitos like to hang.    

Stock Up on Repellants

Personal repellants can be helpful protectants against mosquitos but, for better results, make sure you don’t forget to treat your whole yard with repellents as well. One great option is Thermacell. Thermacell works by releasing allethrin and can repel mosquitos in a 15-foot radius. If you want something a bit more concentrated, there are plenty of EPA-registered chemical sprays that you can use in your yard. However, if you aren’t as comfortable with harsh chemicals, you can always try mosquito repellent candles or lanterns.   

Get Air Moving

Air currents are great ways to disperse swarms of mosquitoes and keep them from ruining your outdoor gathering. A great way to create air currents are ceiling fans. Not only are outdoor ceiling fans helpful in keeping everyone cool during the warm months, but they can control your blood-sucking pest population by scattering the little critters. After all, the wind current requires that mosquitos spend greater amounts of energy flying against the current, depleting their ability to literally get under your skin.

As you prepare for the next mosquito season, don’t forget to eradicate excess water, apply mosquito repellants in your yard, and get your patio air circulating. Doing so will ensure that these little bugs won’t ruin your time outside with family and friends, as well as protect you from harmful mosquito-borne diseases.

If you are worried about mosquitoes or other pests, let us help you!

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