How to Avoid Shipping Pests Directly to Your Home

The National Pest Management Association warns that those special deliveries could be bringing more than just gifts

FAIRFAX, VA (December 2, 2020) – In the wake of online holiday shopping deals, many Americans can expect a flood of packages at their doorstep throughout the weeks ahead. What many don’t expect, however, is that those packages could be harboring pests, giving them direct access to your home. To avoid the holiday surprise of a pest infestation this season, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is recommending homeowners take steps to properly inspect packages before bringing them indoors.

“Like humans, pests look for cozy places to hide away from cold temperatures, and one of their favorite places happens to be in shipping boxes,” said Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “For pests like cockroaches and rodents, cardboard boxes and other paper products serve as great sources of food and shelter. Pests can make their way into your packages while they’re being sorted at distribution facilities or even for the short amount of time they’re left sitting on your doorstep, making inspection crucial before unpacking.”

Homeowners can avoid any run-ins with pests hidden in packages this holiday season by following these steps:

  • Inspect packages for signs of gnaw marks or droppings as these are signs of a potential rodent infestation.
  • Open packages outdoors and check for pests and eggs, making sure to remove anything suspicious before bringing inside.
  • If pests have infiltrated your package, remove purchased items and dispose of the box in a sealed trash bin.
  • Break down all boxes, infested or not, and dispose of them quickly as piles of cardboard are attractive harborage sites for pests.
  • If you suspect an infestation in the home, contact a licensed pest control professional immediately before it gets out of hand.

For more information about winter pests or to find a licensed pest control professional in your area, 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.