Look for Pest Warnings Before Holiday Adorning

The National Pest Management Association offers tips to keep homes pest-free this holiday season

FAIRFAX, VA (December 3, 2015) – Holiday decorating can enhance a home’s aesthetics, warming it up with festive lights and greenery, but could jovial decorations be inviting in more than just the holiday spirit? To evade these unwelcomed houseguests such as rodents, spiders, moths and more, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages homeowners to examine holiday décor for signs of pests before decking the halls.

“It’s best to practice caution when unpacking decorations which were likely stored in ideal pest habitats, such as basements and attics,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Carefully inspect live greenery including trees and wreathes, and give them a good shake outdoors before bringing them in. Looking for telltale signs, like gnaw marks, droppings, and spider egg sacs can also help you avoid bringing infested items inside.”

In an effort to make holiday arrangements stress-free, NPMA offers these tips to keep pests from dulling the shine of this year’s décor: 

  • Shake off trees and garlands. Carefully inspect them for pests or eggs that can hide in branches before bringing them indoors.
  • If copying a DIY natural decoration from Pinterest or other craft site, inspect all foliage outside the home before beginning projects.
  • Store firewood on raised structures located at least 20 feet away from the home. Inspect firewood for pests and brush it off before bringing it indoors.
  • After pulling decorations from storage, unpack them outdoors to check for pests like mice. Look inside boxes for droppings or gnaw marks. Examine string lights to ensure wiring is fully intact.
  • When storing décor after the holidays, use durable, sealed containers that pests can't chew through instead of cardboard boxes or plastic bags.

These guidelines will make holiday decorating a seamless process year to year. If you suspect an infestation, a qualified pest professional can evaluate the problem and recommend an action plan.

For more information on pest prevention during the holidays, or to find a licensed pest professional, visit 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. For more information, visit PestWorld.org.