Five tips to protect your holiday decorations from pests

Nov 30, 2017, 11:40 AM by Fred Speer

Thanksgiving is done and the holiday season in full swing, so it’s time to deck the halls of your home with festive decorations. Nothing makes a home merrier than lights and greenery, but could those jovial decorations be inviting in more than just friends and family to stop by for a cup of holiday cheer?

Pests prefer to hide in out-of-the-way locations where they are less likely to be disturbed, and can tend to their sometimes destructive ways. These locations include attics, closets, crawlspaces, storage sheds, and garages – all places where people store holiday decorations for the other 11 months of the year.

Boxes of fabric decorations, artificial trees, and wreaths make ideal harborage locations for rodents, spiders, moths, and other unwanted pests because they provide shelter and are easily accessible, unless they are stored in tightly sealed boxes. To evade those unwelcome houseguests, the Clark Man encourages you to examine your holiday decor for signs of pests by carefully inspecting the boxes you’ve stored them in before taking them out of storage. Look for signs of pest infestation, including rodent droppings and gnaw marks or spider egg sacs, and if you spot something that looks suspicious, take the box outside for further inspection before unpacking the decorations.

If you are bringing in live greenery, including trees, wreaths, and holiday plants, give them a good shake outdoors before taking them indoors. You don’t want a mouse or spider pulling a Trojan horse trick on you and sneaking inside your home.

To make your family’s holiday arrangements stress-free, the Clark Man offers these tips to keep pests from dulling the shine of this year’s decor:

  1. Shake off trees and garlands. Carefully inspect them for pests or eggs that can hide in branches before bringing them indoors.
  2. If you’re putting together a natural decoration you found on Pinterest or another source for holiday decorations, inspect all foliage outside the home before you begin your project.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 that the wiring is fully intact.
  5. When storing decor after the holidays, use durable, sealed containers that pests can't chew through, rather than cardboard boxes or plastic bags.

And 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, I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.