There’s so much to think about during the holidays! While you’re thinking about parties and gifts and baked goods, you would also be wise to think about keeping away unwelcome guests. No, this doesn’t mean the in-laws! Making sure that insects, rodents and other critters aren’t invading your home during the winter months is an important part of having a happy holiday season.
Ways Pests Sneak into Your Home
If you’ve pest-proofed your home with caulk and window screens, you’re on the right track. But your home may still be at risk of pest infestations during the holidays. Pests can find all kinds of ways to creep into your home and keep you from enjoying your time with family and friends!
Whether you are the one traveling or you are hosting people in your home, bed bugs are the last critters you want to share your holidays with! Even though bed bugs are not particularly active when it is cold out, they can still infest by hitching a ride on clothes, soft-sided luggage, backpacks, and bedding. If you’re staying in a hotel, perform a quick check before putting your belongings away. Check in mattress crevices, curtain rails, bed frames or anywhere else they might be able to hide. If you suspect you have them in your home, your best tool is the vacuum—as well as the phone to make a call to your local pest control professional.
If you’re keeping up the tradition of a fresh evergreen tree in your home this Christmas, be sure to check your tree before buying it. Look for evidence of spiders, ticks, aphids, beetles and their eggs that may be hiding inside. Once you’ve transported your tree home, give it a good shake outside before bringing it in to help get rid of ants or other critters that may be living in your tree. Wreaths, garland, other live greenery should be treated in the same way. Vacuum regularly around the tree and greenery to pick up any hibernating pests or eggs.
A cozy fire with crackling logs is a great way to stay warm in the winter. That is, unless your firewood is infested by pests! Anytime you bring firewood indoors, you’re also risking bringing bugs in too. Bark beetles are particularly keen on infesting firewood, especially if it is still damp or if it is stored on the ground. Carpenter ants and termites also like firewood, as do millipedes, centipedes, and more. Be safe by storing your firewood away from the house and make sure it is critter-free before bringing it inside.
Decorations from Storage
Most people keep their holiday decorations stored in an attic or garage throughout most of the year. But while they’re put away and forgotten, those lovely festive baubles can be attracting a myriad of pests. Moths, silverfish, mites, cockroaches and many more other types of pests may infest those decorations if you don’t store them properly. This is particularly true of handmade décor that is made out of food. Store you holiday trimmings in plastic containers with tightly sealed lids and avoid cardboard boxes at all cost.
Parties, gift-wrap and all of the holiday festivities can yield a significant share of trash. Food waste can draw in flies and rodents and should be disposed of carefully in sealed plastic bins to avoid flies, gnats and other insects. Even used gift wrap, cardboard boxes and other soft materials may be perfect fodder for nest-building material for rodents.
It’s probably not much of a family gathering if someone hasn’t spilled something and made a mess. Whether just small crumbs from a party or the dregs of a baking frenzy in the corners of the countertops, ants and cockroaches are particularly adept at using your forgotten crumbs as a holiday feast of their own. Be vigilant about wiping down countertops, the insides of cabinets, and side tables where sticky cup rings might be. Sweep, mop and vacuum on a regular basis to be sure that you’re not leaving a trail for pesky critters to find their way in.
Having a happy, pest-free season is easy with proper holiday pest control practices. For help with Houston Pest Control, contact Cypress Creek to meet all of your professional pest control needs during the holidays and throughout the New Year.