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Have a Holly Jolly (And Pest-Free) Holiday
The National Pest Management Association shares tips for avoiding holiday pest infestations
The holiday season is filled with decorating, baking and celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately, many pests, including rodents, pantry pests, spiders and mites, have been known to try to join in the holiday fun. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) urges consumers to take precautions against pests that may invade their homes via decorations, firewood and baking ingredients.
“Everyone enjoys the festive spirit of the holidays. Unfortunately, as we bring beautiful parts of nature indoors to decorate and warm our homes, we could be rolling out the red carpet for pests, as well,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Ants, spiders and more can easily be brought in on firewood, Christmas trees and other greenery. Mice can be smuggled in through boxes of decorations and baking ingredients can harbor pantry pests. By taking a few preventative steps, homeowners can keep their homes safe and healthy for their families this holiday season.”
To keep pests from spoiling your family’s holiday fun, the NPMA offers the following tips:
- Inspect live, fresh cut evergreen trees, wreathes and garlands for spiders, insect nests or eggs before purchasing. Shake greenery outdoors to remove any pests before bringing them inside.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home on a raised structure, such as concrete blocks or poles.
- Unpack decorations outdoors so pests aren’t released into the home.
- Check expiration dates on ingredients before use and only purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage.
- Store freshly baked sweets and opened ingredients in airtight containers.
- Add a bay leaf to canisters and packages of dry goods like flour and rice - the pungent scent repels many pantry pests.
- Repack decorations in durable, sealed containers that pests can’t chew through.
- If an infestation occurs, partner with your local, licensed pest professional.
For more information on common household pests, prevention tips and to locate a qualified pest professional, visit www.pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.