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.
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.
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.
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.
As the holidays near, the time you spend in your kitchen increases. However, while you stock up on your holiday baking essentials, you could be providing stored product pests, or “pantry pests”, with their own holiday feast. Here are a few tips to keep your kitchen free of these unwelcome guests:
- Pantry pests, like Indian Meal Moths, are attracted to items such as flour, oats, spices, and dry cereal. When completing your holiday shopping for these types of items, be sure to inspect packages and confirm that they are sealed properly. Once you have opened these items, look to store them in plastic or glass containers with secure lids, cutting off access for pantry pests.
- Rodents can cause major issues for the health of you and your family. They can spread bacteria and viruses and, if their droppings build up within your cabinets, it can cause the air you breathe to become contaminated. To avoid a rodent infestation, keep your cabinets, pantries, and counters clean and free of crumbs and dispose of expired foods.
- Check any existing open items in your pantry for signs of pantry pests before adding new items to avoid spreading an infestation.
No one invited these pests to your holiday party in the first place, so taking these precautions can help you enjoy the holiday baking and time with your loved ones. If you think you are having an issue with stored product pests, call your local licensed pest control company to schedule an inspection so you can get back to the sweet smells of the holidays.
The holiday season is upon us with decorations, food, and traveling to see family and friends. While most of us are focused on our holiday preparations, we often lose focus on another important aspect of this time of year – pest prevention. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean pests aren’t a problem. The holidays provide many opportunities for spiders, ticks, ants, mice, bed bugs, and other pests to make their way indoors and take over your home.
One of the most common ways pests can get into your home during the holidays is on live Christmas trees, wreaths, and firewood. Ants, spiders, ticks, and other pests can hide deep in the branches of trees and in the crevices of wood. They can even lay their eggs in trees or garland which can hatch once you put them out in your home, potentially causing a major infestation.
Pests can also access your home in those boxes of decorations you drag out from the attic, basement, garage, or crawlspace. Mice and other pests love to get into those cardboard boxes during the off season. You may be in for a surprise when you open your decorations by finding a live pest, droppings, or even damage to your lights and ornaments. It is especially important to check the wiring of your lights to make sure pests haven’t chewed through them.
The holidays are also one of the busiest travel times of the year. Most of us will either travel to visit loved ones or have loved ones travel to visit us. While we’re usually excited to see everyone, we’re not so excited to deal with bed bugs which often hitch rides on the luggage of these travelers. We often see a spike in bed bug cases during the holiday season.
So what can you do to pest proof your home and make sure you don’t get any unwanted guests for the holidays?
- Carefully inspect all items before bringing them into your home including trees wreaths, garland, and other decorations. Make sure to check for insects, eggs, and nests and shake them to rouse any pests that might be hidden deep within.
- Unpack your decorations outside instead of in your living room. Inspect them thoroughly for any signs of pests, droppings, gnaw marks, or any other damage before bringing them inside.
- Store your holiday decorations in plastic containers with lids that seal tightly instead of cardboard containers or bags.
- Don’t put discarded trees or cut firewood near your home. Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet away from your home and elevate it if possible.
- Thoroughly check your luggage before you enter the place you are staying and ask your guests to do the same before they enter your home.
- Put your clothing in the dryer, if possible, for at least 20 minutes.
- Keep your bags closed when not in use and store them off the floor.
- If you suspect you have a pest problem this holiday season, contact a pest control professional who can provide you with an evaluation and treatment plan.