Tips for a Pest-Free HolidayMissy Henriksen
Friday, December 7, 2012
How to decorate for the season without worrying about
The holiday season is upon us once again and
families across the country are getting in the spirit by stringing
festive lights, wrapping presents and decorating their homes. While
such holiday preparations may seem innocuous, they can provide
opportunities for pests like spiders, ticks, ants and mice to be
inadvertently brought indoors.
One of the most common ways that pests are introduced into homes
during the holidays is via Christmas
trees, wreaths and firewood. Ants, spiders, ticks and other
pests can hide deep in the branches of trees and in crevices of
wood. In some cases, insects may even lay eggs in trees or garland.
When brought indoors, the eggs will hatch creating a major pest
infestation in the home.
To prevent bringing pests into you home on live trees and other
greenery, take a few minutes to carefully inspect such items before
bringing indoors. Look for insects, nests or eggs, and shake off
greenery outdoors to rouse any hidden tenants.
Another way that pests can access our homes this time of year is
through boxes of decorations, which are often stored in basements,
attics, garages and crawlspaces - all favorite hiding spots for
pests. Mice and other pests find their way into the boxes of during
the off-season. When homeowners unpack their decorations, they may
find live or dead pests and droppings inside. Unfortunately, in
some cases, they may also find that holiday decorations have been
chewed or destroyed by pests.
When it's time to decorate, unpack holiday items outside and
inspect all items carefully for signs of pests, droppings, gnaw
marks or other damage before bringing them indoors. Pay special
attention to strings of lights to ensure that wiring has not been
frayed by pests.
Perhaps the most important step you can take to prevent pests
during the holidays comes at the end of each season, when it's time
to take down the tree and pack up the decorations. Store holiday
décor in hard, plastic bins with tightly sealed lids instead of
cardboard boxes or bags that can easily be chewed through. Do not
pile discarded live trees or cut firewood near your home, as this
can attract mice, termites and other pests.
During this busy time of the year, it's easy to overlook signs
of pests in the rush to check another item off of the holiday
"to-do" list, but by taking some simple steps you can greatly
reduce your chances of battling pests in your home this season.
Remember, if you see signs of pests or suspect an infestation this
holiday season, contact a licensed pest
professional to inspect your home and treat the problem
promptly so that you can get back to enjoying the festivities in a