The holiday season is already here – families across the country are getting into the spirit by decorating their homes, carving pumpkins and will soon be stringing holiday lights and wrapping presents. Although this is all fun and games, there are some unwanted guests that also want to join in on the fun and spoil your celebrations. These unwanted guests are pests, such as spiders, ants, cockroaches and even rodents! Although there are many holiday items that attract pests, there are ways you can avoid them. The Bug Man has provided some tips on how to keep your home pest-free this holiday season!
While carved pumpkins are the holiday symbol for October, they can be a breeding ground for pests. Whenever you are carving out the pumpkin, make sure you’re cleaning out all of its guts. (This also reduces the amount of mold growth.) The pulp inside the pumpkin is the most delicious part—both to rodents and bugs alike. Put simply: The less pulp, the fewer bugs there will be.
Additionally, make sure you dispose of the pumpkin early. Leaving your pumpkin out for too long leaves room for the ultimate critter feast with the possibility of an invitation into your home.
Another way that pests can enter our homes during the holiday season is through the boxes of decorations, which are often stored in attics, garages and basements. Your decorations give food, shelter, and warmth to many of these pests and they are often left undisturbed for many months.
When homeowners unpack their holiday decorations, many may find live or dead pests inside. When it’s time to decorate for the holidays, unpack holiday items outside and inspect everything carefully for signs of pests, droppings or any other damage before bringing them inside your home.
Pro Tip: The use of cardboard boxes to store decorations is a big mistake. Many critters feed on starches like cardboard. This is an open home invitation to pests! At The Man, we suggest using heavy plastic containers that seal. Make sure you are not overpacking, which will lead to the containers not being able to shut properly.
Christmas Trees & Wreaths
Christmas trees and wreaths are also one of the most common ways in which pests enter into homes. Spiders, termites and ants are usually found in the crevices of wood or deep in the branches of trees. Some bugs may even lay eggs.
To avoid bringing insects into your home, make sure you properly inspect the trees before bringing them in the home. Deny critters this free entry by shaking the tree or wreath before bringing it indoors. A good shake will knock off the bugs clinging to branches.
After the holidays are over, it might be tempting to put your tree in the backyard. However, you should not do this. If your tree contains invasive species, you are introducing them to the neighborhood. In many areas in Louisiana, Christmas trees are collected from the curbside during the first two weeks in January. Many communities now recycle Christmas trees and use them for mulch, hiking trails, soil erosion barriers, bird feeders and much more!
During this busy time of the year, it’s easy to overlook signs of pests in the thrill of the holiday season. If you or a loved one sees signs of pests or suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect your home so you can enjoy the festivities in a pest-free home! For a customized solution for your household, contact The Bug Man or give us a call or text at (225) 923-2847.