Holiday Season Dos and Don’ts for Proper Pest Prevention

The National Pest Management Association shares ways to avoid pest infestations during the holiday season

FAIRFAX, VA (November 30, 2021) – It’s the happiest time of the year which means many Americans are in full prep for the holidays. Whether they’re ordering gifts online, shipping presents to loved ones across the country or jetting off for an in-person celebration, there are things they should know about how to avoid unwanted holiday surprise guests. To ensure your holidays remain joyous and pest-free, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is sharing their dos and don’ts for proper pest prevention this season.

“Most people don’t associate the holidays with pests, but they can very quickly ruin your celebrations if you are not prepared,” said Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Resources often become scarce for pests during the winter months, so they will turn to items like seasonal baked goods and cardboard boxes for food and shelter.”

NPMA’s dos and don’ts for a pest-free holiday season can help ensure your celebrations remain safe and enjoyable.

  • Do: Thoroughly inspect packages for signs of gnaw marks or droppings as these are signs of a potential rodent infestation.
  • Don’t: Bring packages inside your home before openings them outdoors and removing anything suspicious such as pests or eggs.
  • Do: Break down all boxes, infested or not, and dispose of them in a timely manner.
  • Don’t: Leave gift packaging and wrapping paper around for long periods of time as piles of cardboard are attractive harborage sites for pests.
  • Do: If you’re gifting food products, ensure it is stored in sealed, airtight containers.
  • Don’t: Ship any food or perishable items that are past their expiration date or if the packaging is properly sealed. This can attract pests that become more desperate for food during the cooler months.
  • Do: If you’re traveling this holiday season, inspect hotel or rental bedding and furniture for signs of a bed bug infestation and alert management of any concerns.
  • Don’t: Bring your personal belongings into the room prior to inspecting for pests or ignore any signs of an infestation.
  • Do: Contact a licensed pest professional to properly inspect and treat if you suspect a pest infestation in your home.
  • Don’t: Use DIY remedies to treat pest problem on your own this can often make the problem worse.

For more information about pest prevention, visit


About the National Pest Management Association
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit or follow @PestWorld on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube.