Protecting your home from pests during the holidays

by Fred Speer | 12/26/2019

Who doesn’t look forward to decorating their home for the holidays? Putting up festive lights, greenery, and decorations makes your home feel celebratory and gets everyone in the holiday spirit.

There is, however, a group of Scrooges that want to spoil all the holiday fun: pests.

Clark, your neighborly pest control, termite, and lawn care expert, wants to make everyone aware that pests – including rodents, spiders, moths, and cockroaches – don’t take a vacation over the holidays. Vigilance is needed to prevent them from making an unwelcome appearance in your home.

Storing decorations

Holiday decorations can be an easy target for pests, because they are often stored in attics, closets, crawlspaces, storage sheds, and garages for the other 11 months of the year. Remember that pests like out-of-the-way locations where they are unlikely to be disturbed.

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

Clark recommends that you carefully inspect boxes and storage containers before taking them out to deck the halls. What are the signs of a possible pest infestation? They can include:

  • Rodent droppings or gnaw marks on cardboard boxes
  • Spider egg sacs
  • 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.

Bringing pests into your home

If your holiday decorating calls for using live greenery – including trees, wreaths, and holiday plants – make sure to give them a good shake outside before you bring them in. You don’t want a mouse, spider, or other pest hitching a ride into your residence to make it their home for the holidays.

Clark’s tips for pest-free holidays

  • 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 Chip and Joanna Gaines and replicating a DIY natural decoration from Pinterest or another craft site, inspect all foliage, flowers, etc. in the garage or on the patio before starting the projects and bringing it inside.
  • Store firewood for the traditional holiday fire on a raised platform that’s located at least 20 feet away from your house. Be sure to carefully inspect it for pests and brush it off before bringing it indoors.
  • Examine light strings to ensure wiring is fully intact, because rodents love to chew on wiring.
  • When storing decorations after the holidays, invest in durable, sealed containers – readily available from local big box stores – that pests can’t chew through. 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 send an email to clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

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

 

Happy Holidays from Clark Pest Control!