3 Holiday Pest Control Tips

3 Holiday Pest Control Tips

The holiday season is a time to enjoy family, eat delicious food, and not worry about pests! Unfortunately, overwintering pests such as spiders, rodents, ants, ticks, and more are looking indoors for food, water, and shelter. During the holiday season, Christmas trees, wreaths, firewood, decorations, and storage boxes provide the ideal opportunity for these pests to hitchhike inside.

Check out our top 3 pest prevention tips for holiday pest control.

Check Your Decorations

Attics, basements, and garages provide perfect storage spaces for our holiday decorations. These areas in your home are dark and secluded, making them the perfect place for pests to invade.  Stored decorations provide an undisturbed hiding place for pests such as mice, rats, spiders, and more. These creatures will often crawl into the storage boxes you put away last season, contaminating and destroying your decorations.

To ensure that you do not bring these pests into your main living space, inspect and unpack these items outside first. After the holiday season has ended, pack your decorations like foliage, potpourri, and Indian corn in air-tight containers to help prevent pests for next year.

Check Your Firewood

With colder weather here, many homeowners start utilizing their fireplace, bringing in more firewood from outside. However, it’s crucial to inspect firewood before bringing it inside the home. Pests like spiders, termites, and ants are often found on firewood. Consider placing the firewood outside 20 feet from your home and on a raised platform.

Check Your Christmas Tree & Wreaths

If your family celebrates Christmas, you might opt to buy a real Christmas tree and wreath. While both can showcase the authentic look of Christmas, they also tend to carry pests such as spiders, moths, mites, and even squirrels!

To prevent these unwanted pests from hitchhiking indoors, inspect both items outside and then shake them. Also, check these items for any droppings, gnaw marks, or other damage before bringing them inside.

If you suspect that you have a holiday pest problem, consider reaching out to your local pest control company. These professionals will be able to inspect your home, provide the best pest control plan, and recommend prevention techniques for your home.

Prevent Bed Bugs this Holiday Season

Prevent Bed Bugs this Holiday Season

With the long-awaited holiday season approaching, many of us plan to travel and visit friends and family. Unfortunately, bed bugs are notorious for hitchhiking their way into hotel rooms, rented houses, family houses, and college dorms. Check out our top tips for preventing bed bugs before you travel this holiday season.

Inspecting Your Room

Before bringing your luggage into the room you are staying in, check thoroughly for signs of bed bugs. It’s more common for hotels to have issues with bed bugs, so it’s important to check each room. Inspect all furniture such as sofa cushions, chairs, and around mattresses corners. One sign of a bed bug infestation is seeing small, dark-colored stains on bedding and the skin shells they’ve shed.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation, ask to be moved or consider another place to stay.

Unpacking Luggage

Bed bugs are small and nocturnal, often allowing them to go unnoticed. Even after inspecting your room without finding any signs of bed bugs, continue to be cautious when unpacking your clothes. It’s recommended that you use the luggage racks instead of placing bags and suitcases on furniture or tables.

Returning Home

Once you have returned home, don’t bring the luggage and bags you traveled with inside. Instead, unpack your items outside the home and thoroughly inspect them. After inspecting your items, wash all your clothes immediately, making sure to run them through a high-heat dryer cycle, as bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures.

After you have unpacked and washed your clothes, store your suitcases in your garage or storage closet. To be extra cautious, you can also seal your luggage in large, plastic storage bags before bringing them inside.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, it’s best to contact a professional bed bug control company to assess the situation. A trained professional can help determine the best plan of action, treatment, and prevention plan for your home.

5 Holiday Pest Control Tips

5 Holiday Pest Control Tips

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.

 

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Have a Pest-Free Holiday!

Have a Pest-Free Holiday!

December is here, officially kicking off the holiday season! Celebrating the holidays with loved ones is important to many families across the country. While we gear up for family get togethers and putting up our favorite decorations, it’s important to remember that even those beloved decorations can allow pests to enter your home!

Holiday Decorations

Many of us store our decorations in attics, basements, and garages. These places are cold and dark, and if there’s a leak, provide water sources, making them ideal habitats for pests! Your stored decorations also provide an undisturbed hiding place for mice, rodents, spiders, and more, who crawl into the storage boxes you put away last holiday season!

To make sure you don’t bring them into your living space, carefully inspect and unpack these items outside first. Keep decorations like foliage, potpourri, and Indian corn in air-tight containers during off-seasons to help prevent pests for next year.

Christmas Tree

If celebrating Christmas, many homeowners buy a real Christmas tree and wreath each year. Unfortunately, pests like spiders, mites, moths, and even squirrels will hitchhike on these decorations and into your home!

Before bringing any of these items in, ensure that you’re inspecting for overwintering pests outside by shaking them. You can also check for any droppings, gnaw marks, or other damage from these creatures before bringing them into your home.  

Firewood

With the holidays comes colder weather. Some of us are lucky enough to have a fireplace to keep warm and cozy throughout the winter season. It’s important to be cautious when bringing firewood indoors. Pests like spiders, termites, and ants will hide out on the firewood and hitch a ride indoors. Make sure you inspect the wood before bringing it inside and keep it stored at least 20 feet from your home on a raised platform.

If you suspect you have a holiday pest problem, consider reaching out to your local pest control company who can provide you with an evaluation and prevention plan.

Holiday Pantry Pests

Holiday Pantry Pests

It’s finally the holiday season when we can celebrate with our favorite dishes and desserts! While we might find ourselves stocking up on ingredients for our upcoming dinners, you could be providing certain “pantry pests” their holiday meals! Here are two common pantry pests to look out for this holiday season.

Indian Meal Moth

The Indian meal moth is famously known for feeding on pantry items. These pests have a two-toned wing pattern with tan or copper colors throughout their oval-shaped body. They have six legs and a 1/2” to 5/8” wingspan. These insects are highly attracted to light and anywhere they can find food stored. They prefer to feed on dried fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, candies, chocolate, pet food, and powdered milk.

Merchant Grain Beetles

The merchant grain beetle has a dark brown body, six legs, and six saw-like teeth on each side of their bodies. Their narrow oval body shape allows them to crawl inside of packaging to eat, live, and reproduce. While their name suggests that they feed on grains, they actually prefer to feed on cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies, and chocolate! Once these insects infest food packages, they immediately contaminate them.

Prevention:

  • Buy dried food in quantities that can be eaten or used within 2 to 4 months
  • Use up all your older food products before buying new ones
  • Store foods in tightly closed containers, preferably those made of glass, metal, or heavy plastic
  • Keep food storage areas clean by cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately
  • Thoroughly clean cracks and corners of cupboards and doors with a vacuum cleaner
  • Inspect all food packages before buying them or bringing them home

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