When the holiday season approaches, the first thing on most people’s minds is not necessarily home pest control. But maybe it should be! Pest control during the winter months is just as important as in the summer, and spring.
Avoid Bringing Pests Inside
Christmas trees, wreaths, holly, firewood, or anything else you bring in from the outdoors has the potential to carry pests inside with it. Carefully inspect items and shake off any greenery outdoors, before you bring them into your home. Ants, ticks, spiders, or other pests may be inadvertently using your holiday decorations as a form of transportation. Even if they don’t have adult pests on them, tree branches and garland may be carrying eggs which can then hatch once they are inside.
Limit Decorations with Food
Although stringing popcorn on a thread might have been the way your grandma livened up her Christmas tree, food-based decorations are generally not the best idea when related to pest control. School children often use edible craft supplies (such as clay or white glue) or food (remember that macaroni picture frame?) to make decorations. Although they may be adorable, they’re also a magnet for pests—especially when they go into storage for the rest of the year. If you do choose to decorate with food, for instance making a gingerbread house, keep it in the kitchen and store it in the same way that you would any other type of food to keep the pests away.
Baking for the Holidays
Pantry inspections are recommended at this time of year since pests tend to wander inside looking for warmth and sources of food. Discard any food or packaging that shows evidence of infestation such as items that have been chewed on or the presence of droppings. Any dry goods with packaging that has fallen open should automatically be thrown out. For pest-free baking, store all of your dry goods in airtight plastic containers which will keep bugs, rodents and other pests away.
Gathering Family and Friends
Often a gathering of people can bring with it a bit of a mess. While it’s tempting to leave clean-up until the next day, this may act as an invitation for rodents, roaches, ants, or other pests to follow up your party with a feast of their own. Take out the trash right away, and store it outside in plastic bins that seal to keep pests away.
Making use of disposable cups, plates, and platters can be a way to minimize the invitation for pests. Some people might think this to be less environmentally responsible, but pests can also take their toll on the environment so it’s important to be realistic about what you can manage in relationship to cleaning up after a party.
Holiday Decoration Storage
Holiday decorations are often filled with memories and many of them are irreplaceable. To store then, use hard plastic bins with tightly sealed lids. Don’t use any cardboard boxes or plastic garbage bags that can be chewed through, get droppings on it, or otherwise easily infested. Beware that decorations that contain glue, glitter, clay, or other children’s handmade projects may be especially susceptible as the scents are attractive to pests.
Even though you may not be outside tending to flowers or hosting barbeques, taking care of your property during the winter is still a very important part of pest control. Watch for standing water that might have gathered during winter rains or storms. Check for collected leaves or other foliage that could provide nesting spots for pests just outside your home. Store firewood in a clean, covered area and shake it off before bringing into the house.
Being home for the holidays can be great fun, as long as you pay attention to your home pest control prevention and maintenance. For Houston Pest Control needs, contact Cypress Creek for an inspection or a year-round pest control plan.