Putting pests on the naughty list this holiday season

Dec 7, 2018, 13:12 PM by Fred Speer

Holiday decorating can enhance your home’s aesthetics, warming it up with festive lights and greenery. But could jovial decorations be inviting in more than the holiday spirit?

Clark, your neighborly pest control expert, is here to help California and northern Nevada homeowners evade unwelcome pest visitors – rodents, spiders, moths, and other pests – on your “naughty” list this holiday season.

Pests like to find out-of-the-way locations where it’s likely they won’t be disturbed. These include attics, closets, crawlspaces, storage sheds and garages – all places where homeowners often store their holiday decorations the other 11 months of the year.

Boxes of fabric decorations, artificial trees and wreaths, and outdoor decorations make ideal locations for pest harborages, as they provide shelter and are easily accessible to pests unless they are stored in tightly sealed boxes.

Clark recommends that you inspect boxes and storage containers carefully before taking them out to start decking the halls. What should you look for?

Signs of a possible pest infestation can include rodent droppings and gnaw marks, spider egg sacs, or dead insect carcasses. If you spot something that looks suspicious, take the box outside for further inspection before you unpack the decorations inside your home.

If you’re decorating with live greenery – including trees, wreaths, and holiday plants – in your home, give them a good shake outdoors before bringing them in. You don’t want a mouse or spider sneaking in to make your home their home for the holidays and beyond.

To make your holiday decorating pest free, Clark offers the following tips to keep pests on your naughty list this holiday season and all year around:

  • After pulling decorations from storage, unpack them outdoors to check for possible signs of pest activity or damage.
  • Shake off trees, wreaths, and garlands. Carefully inspect them for pests or eggs that can hide in branches before bringing them indoors.
  • If you are channeling your inner Martha Stewart and replicating a DIY natural decoration from Pinterest or some other craft site, inspect all foliage, flowers, etc., in the garage or on the patio before starting your project and bringing it inside.
  • Store firewood for the traditional holiday fire on a raised platform located at least 20 feet away from your house. Be sure to carefully inspect wood for pests and brush it off before bringing it indoors.
  • Examine light strings to ensure that wiring is fully intact, because rodents love to chew on wires.
  • When storing decorations after the holidays, invest in durable, sealed containers – readily available from local big box stores – that pests can't sink their teeth into. Avoid using cardboard boxes or plastic bags that gnawing pests, like mice, can easily chew through.

Remember, if your home as a problem with pests during the holidays or any time during the year, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.


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