Pest Free Holidays Are Happy Holidays
General Pest Control
You’ve dressed the tree, hung the stockings, and forced your poor cat into a holiday sweater and completed the look with a matching Santa hat. You’ve singlehandedly transformed your home into a picture-perfect scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Congratulations, Mrs. Claus, nothing can separate you from the “ooohs” and “ahhs” that you anxiously await from your soon-to-arrive guests. Scratch that. There is something—potentially lurking to destroy your best laid plans for holiday happiness. It walks on 4, 6, or 8 legs (maybe more!) and it’s not your cousin Ive’s kids.
Start by asking yourself where your artificial tree has been stored for the past eleven months? Or that freshly cut tree? How about your prized decorations? If you can confidently agree that your Christmas goods have been stowed in tightly sealed containers and placed in a secure, dry location, you are among the few. If not, you may have invited some unwanted pests into your home for the holidays. American Pest is here to provide some preventative guidance so that your holiday plans aren’t led astray.
Thoroughly inspect your Christmas tree, whether or not it’s live or artificial. Rodents, carpenter ants, and other unwanted pests make their homes in live trees. Spiders, crickets, paper wasps, and other nuisance pests can make a happy home in artificial trees stowed in garages, unvisited storage rooms, and attics. Inspect your tree for signs of insect and rodent activity prior to set-up to prevent pests like mice from overtaking your home this winter.
Homemade decorations crafted from natural pine, dried fruits, dried flowers or furs, should also follow these guidelines. Inspect your decorations before you hang them for evidence of rodent gnaw marks, pantry pests, or foraging ants. After the holidays, make certain that you store these items in airtight containers; those same pests would love to munch on these winter snacks during the New Year.
Storing colorful sheets of tissue or wrapping paper correctly is also essential to preventing rodents and paper-loving pests like silverfish from crashing your holiday (and post-holiday) as well. Mice love nesting material; holiday wrappers, tissues, and stockings are just a few of the attractive materials that mice will return for again and again if not stored properly. Again, make sure these are packed away in air tight tubs or plastic containers to overwinter—you wouldn’t want holes in your Christmas paper next year!
Inspect firewood before bringing it into the home. Spiders, pill bugs, carpenter ants, and cave crickets make their homes in firewood. American Pest also recommends stacking firewood a minimum of 10 feet from the home or other structure(s) in an effort to prevent termites and wood-destroying insects. Also remember not to store wood inside your home – bring inside only what you intend to burn each evening. Failure to do so may result in surprise insect pests like carpenter ants, beetles and wood wasps that, once inside, “wake up” from their cold, winter slumbering.
Prevention is Key
What may seem like an additional holiday hassle can mean all the difference in creating a pest-free haven for your friends and family to enjoy, this season and the next. Inspect and store everything properly. Following this advice will prevent your tree from harboring insects, your in-laws from finding mice nibbles in their tissue paper, and your firewood from bringing carpenter ants into your home.
May your holidays be pest-free, merry and bright!
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