One thing that is sure to put a damper on your holiday spirit is unwanted pests! The holiday season provides ample opportunity for household pests to make their way into your home. Spiders, rodents, ants, ticks, and other overwintering pests will commonly invade in search of food, water, and shelter.
Holiday pests will use Christmas trees, wreaths, firewood, decorations, storage boxes, luggage, and more to hitch a ride into your home. Some pests will hide in the branches and crevices of Christmas trees, wreaths, garland, and firewood. They can even lay eggs which will then hatch after you bring them inside. Mice and other pests will take refuge inside your storage boxes that hold decorations. You may find live pests, dead pests, or droppings inside these containers. You may also find that they have chewed or damaged wires inside the box.
Increased travel at the holidays increases the risk of bed bugs. These pests hitch a ride on unsuspecting travelers’ luggage, coats, purses, and more. The kitchen is often the central gathering place for holiday cooking and meals. It can also be a big source of food for unwanted pests. Crumbs, spills, leftovers, and dirty dishes all provide an easy food source for holiday pests.
Don’t let pests ruin your holiday plans. Keep them away with these 5 holiday pest control tips.
Inspect Trees and Other Live Decorations
Pests can come indoors on live trees, wreaths, garland, and firewood. Carefully inspect these items outside before bringing them inside. Make sure to check for live pests, nests, and eggs. Shake them out carefully to disturb any slumbering pests and to knock off any hidden pests.
Check Storage Boxes
Pests will hide out in boxes used to store decorations and other holiday items. Unpack these items outside and inspect them all carefully for signs or pests including dead bugs, live bugs, droppings, gnaw marks, and other damage. Carefully check strings of lights and other wires for signs of chewing.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
Holiday meals are centered around the kitchen. Clean up the kitchen after cooking. Wash dishes or load the dishwasher and don’t leave dirty dishes out overnight. Sweep up any crumbs from the floor and clean up spills immediately. Make sure to empty the trashcan frequently, especially before bedtime.
Use Caution When Traveling
Bed bugs are common at the holidays because of the increase in travel. Whether you are going away or you have guests coming in, inspect the bedding carefully for bed bugs. Signs of bed bugs include live bugs, reddish brown spots on bed linens, and shed skins. These can be found on beds, mattresses, box springs, linens, curtains, furniture, and even baseboards. Check luggage before bringing it into the house. Wash clothes in hot water and dry on hot heat as soon as you return home.
Prepare For Next Season
At the end of the holidays, taking down decorations and storing them for next year becomes a priority. Store your holiday decor in plastic storage bins with sealing lids rather than cardboard boxes or bags. Don’t pile discarded trees, garlands, or cut firewood near your home as these can attract termites and rodents.
The holiday season is a time of great joy, family, and friendship. Don’t let holiday pests ruin your year. If you have a problem with any type of critter in your home, contact your local pest control company for a free inspection and comprehensive treatment plan.