Pests are opportunists, plain and simple. They’ll take advantage of any opportunity to enter your home in search of food, water, and warmer harborage – and the holiday season is not exempt.
And while pests including spiders, ants, and mice won’t come down the chimney with care (well, a raccoon might), they can make their way indoors on Christmas trees, wreaths, firewood, and storage containers for your decorations.
Pests can hide deep in the branches of trees and in crevices of wood. In some cases, insects may even lay eggs in trees or garlands, and when brought indoors, those eggs can hatch, creating an unwanted pest infestation in the home.
The Clark Man recommends that homeowners inspect holiday decorations and firewood carefully before bringing them indoors. Look for insects, nests, or eggs, and give your tree or other green decorations a good shake outdoors to dislodge any hidden pest “elves” that may be hiding inside.
Pests also can gain access to your home in boxes of decorations that typically are stored in basements, attics, garages, and crawlspaces – all favorite hiding spots for pests. Mice and other pests can crawl into boxes during the off-season in search of harborage, and you might find live or dead pests and their droppings inside when you open them up. In some cases, you may find that your favorite Santa centerpiece has been used as a mouse house, and has been chewed or destroyed by pests.
To avoid an unpleasant encounter with pests, the Clark Man recommends that you unpack your holiday decorations outside and inspect all items for signs of pests, droppings, gnaw marks, or other damage before bringing them indoors. Also, inspect strings of lights carefully to ensure that the wiring has not been chewed on by hungry mice – a leading cause of electrical fires in homes.
The best way to prevent pests from making a unwanted guest appearance during next year’s holidays is to store your decorations in hard plastic bins with tightly sealed lids, instead of cardboard boxes or bags that can be chewed through easily.
Also, do not pile discarded live trees or cut firewood near your home, as this can attract mice, termites, and other pests. The Clark Man also recommends that you store firewood off the ground, and at least 20 feet from your house on concrete blocks or poles.
If you think you have a problem with pests this holiday season, contact Clark Pest Control at 800/WE-NEED-YOU or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will come out, make a proper identification, and provide a treatment recommendation.
Until next time, I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.