Of all the different types of pests, the termite could be the most destructive. Each year in the United States, this tiny insect causes about $5 billion in damage. When termites infest your home or place of business, they spend every hour of every day wreaking havoc.

The best way to defend your home or business against these destructive creatures is to know as much as you can about them.

Here are the answers to 4 frequently asked questions about termites and termite control for Iowa residents.

1. What Kind of Termites Live In Iowa?
You might be surprised to know there are 2,800 species of termites. Not every species of termite causes structural damage, however. The species of termites that do cause damage usually live in warmer climates. This means they are more common in the South. However, there is one kind of termite that survives in states with cooler climates, including Iowa.

This termite is the Eastern subterranean termite. Unfortunately, this species of termite is considered highly destructive. This is especially the case when structures are made from Douglas fir and other softwood timbers.

2. How Do I Know If I Have a Termite Infestation?
Eastern subterranean termites enter the home through cracks in concrete flooring. These termites also get in through tiny gaps in tile flooring. Termites can even get in through expansion joints and plumbing.

Eastern subterranean termites are very secretive. These termites usually hide underneath the soil, beneath the wood’s surface, or inside their mud tunnels, which is how they travel. The fact these termites are good at hiding coupled with their tiny size makes them hard to spot.

If you find damaged wood in your floors and walls, there is a good chance these termites have invaded your home or business. Other signs of a termite infestation include:


      • You find mud tubes on exposed surfaces, such as concrete foundations

      • You notice swarms of insects around lighting fixtures and windows

      • You find discarded termite wings along windowsills or in spider webs

    If you stumble upon a termite nest, it’s important not to disturb it. This will only cause the termites to abandon that particular area and find another part of your home or business to destroy.

    3. How Can I Get Rid of Termites?
    Termites are very difficult to get rid of. One reason is because of how rapidly they reproduce. A queen Eastern subterranean termite produces more than 2,000 eggs a day. She can live for more than 25 years. Eastern subterranean termites need high levels of humidity in order to survive. They also thrive in temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees F.

    For these reasons, one of the best ways to get rid of termites is to maintain low humidity levels and a cooler indoor temperature. You will also want to avoid wood-to-ground contact. This includes keeping woodpiles off of the ground. Try to replace damaged wood right away and be sure to repair cracks in the foundation as soon as possible.

    By getting rid of entry points, there will be less of a chance of termites getting inside your home or place of business, so you can avoid the problem altogether. A professional termite inspection can help you identify dangers.

    4. Who Should I Call for Termite Control?
    Sometimes, no matter what precautions you take or how hard you try, you cannot prevent termites from invading your home or business. If you notice any signs of a termite infestation, you should call a professional pest control exterminator.

    If you live in Des Moines, IA, or the Des Moines metro area and need help with termite control, contact Diam Pest Control. We have been offering both residential and commercial pest control services for over 50 years.