Caring for your lawn takes a lot of time and maintenance. From mowing and mulching to trimming and edging, something always needs to be done. One of the last things homeowners think about is the pests that slowly but surely enter lawns.

Mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas are some of the most common lawn pests that can be found on your property, and they pose some of the biggest threats to you, your family, and your domestic animals.

Lawn Pests & The Diseases They Can Cause

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are common threats that pack a big punch in the disease department. One bite from any of them can transmit a number of diseases to both humans and animals.

Fleas on a dog's skin can cause other issues like diseases in West Des Moines.


During early fall, fleas are the most active in the Des Moines region of Iowa. Flea infestations in your yard are just a stone's throw away from being a flea infestation in your home. The most common diseases transmitted directly from fleas to people include:

  • Tularemia
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Murine Typhus
  • Allergies (from flea saliva)


The American Dog tick, Lone Star tick, and Deer tick (Blacklegged tick) are the most common species of ticks found in IA. They are most active between April and September and prefer areas that are heavily woody, bushy, or contain tall grassy areas.

Ticks are carriers of a large list of diseases. If you ever find a tick on your skin or notice a tick bite, make sure to identify the tick and monitor for signs and symptoms of a medical emergency. Tick bites can usually be identified by their bullseye appearance on your skin.

The most common diseases transmitted from ticks include Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.


In the areas of Des Moines, West Des Moines, and Ankeny, mosquitoes plague the area from May-October. You may notice a rise in population due to damp or humid conditions, including excessive rainfall and flooding.

Mosquitoes carry hundreds of diseases and can transmit them to their prey in a single bite. Additionally, humans may have allergic reactions to bites that cause the area to get extremely itchy, red, and swollen. Some diseases transferred from mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile, and more.

Do Lawn Pests Affect My Domestic Animals?

A dog in Des Moines scratches a bite area.

Ticks and fleas can make your pets sick and can lead to home infestations. Allowing your dogs or cats to roam in a flea or tick-infested area can be a recipe for disaster. Both carry diseases that be transferred directly to your pets from a single bite.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can be transmitted to your pet from deer ticks. If your pet is showing some or all of the following symptoms, it is time to contact your vet:

  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swollen or painful joints
  • Lameness/limping
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen lymph nodes

In serious cases of Lyme disease in animals, your pet may even develop kidney disease.

Tick Paralysis

Dogs and cats can experience muscle weakness, loss of coordination, and respiratory failure when muscles become paralyzed from tick paralysis. This occurs when a female tick attaches near your pet's spinal cord. Checking your pet after they come indoors is crucial to making sure you spot ticks before a serious health issue occurs.

Cat Fleas

Cat fleas are the most common flea that plagues the American home. The bites can cause itchy, red bumps that lead to excessive scratching. Fleas can also cause anemia and flea allergy dermatitis. Getting rid of a flea infestation can take months and be an excruciatingly long process for both your pet and you.

Pest Control, Prevention, and Your Property

Aside from hiring a company such as A+ Lawn & Landscape for routine pest control services, there are many ways you can help control and prevent insect infestation on your property.

  1. Eliminate standing water in birdbaths, planters, and children's play areas to keep mosquitoes at bay.
  2. Keep your landscaping tidy. Trim tall grass, brush, and weeds on a regular basis to avoid easy hiding spots for ticks and fleas.
  3. Grow flowers and plants that are natural bug repellents. Some of the most common bug-repellent plants include lavender, chrysanthemum, marigold, and lemongrass.
  4. Light citronella candles to repel mosquitoes from your lawn naturally.
  5. Store firewood away from your home to deter ticks.
  6. Keep your grass regularly trimmed and short. This eliminates hiding spots for pests.

Invest in routine pest control from a company you can rely on!

At A+ Lawn & Landscape, we offer a comprehensive program that involves four separate treatments throughout the season. We help you create a barrier around your Des Moines, Ankeny, and West Des Moines property that deters pests from making your home their home.

If DIY methods are not enough, contact us today at (515) 289-2020 to get a quote for a pest control program to protect your family and pets.