Winter is not the friendliest time of the year for pests outdoors, which is why they often seek shelter indoors. Winter often sees an increase in pest infestations of all kinds as these creatures try to find food and a safe haven from the cold. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do while setting up for the holidays to prevent them from making an appearance.
Pay Attention to Greenery
Pests love to hitchhike indoors on items that you bring in from outside, so do a thorough inspection of your natural decorations to avoid this problem. For instance, when you move a live evergreen tree into your home, remember to check its branches and needles for signs of pests. An uninspected tree can bring in any number of pests, from ants to spiders to even praying mantises, and these pests may have laid eggs in the tree, too. This also goes for natural holly decorations and mistletoe. It’s generally smart to give these kinds of decorations a good shaking outside to dislodge any pests before bringing it in. Also, if you burn firewood this winter, remember to check it for pests before bringing it indoors, as a chunk of wood waiting to be put in the fire can easily become a target, and from there, pests can easily move to other parts of the home.
Many pests are attracted to messes made in homes, particularly leftover food and mold. That’s why it’s so important to keep your home clean during this season. Some cleaning tips we suggest include:
- Keep countertops scrubbed to eliminate leftover crumbs and food smells that might attract ants, rodents and cockroaches
- Keep sinks, toilets and showers clean to avoid attracting bugs
- Clean and seal gaps in walls, doors and baseboards to prevent pests from entering or exiting your walls.
- Regularly wash sheets and linens to avoid dust mites and fend off bed bugs.
With any luck, keeping your home clean will go a long way toward making sure pests don’t bother you during the holiday season.
Keep Food Well-Stored
Remember when you finish a meal to properly seal leftovers in plastic or glass containers so pests won’t be attracted to them, then refrigerate them or store them in a pantry. However, it’s a good idea to monitor the contents of your pantry, too, as it may be a prime target for pests. Stored product pests like worms, moths, cockroaches and rodents can often get through paper or cardboard containers to access food, so remember to keep such ingredients and leftovers high off the ground. It’s also important to routinely check expiration dates and throw away food that isn’t good anymore, as spoiled food is far more likely to attract pests.
Unbox and Store Decorations Properly
Pests like beetles, cockroaches and rodents frequently make their homes in storage containers, as they are often dark, warm and infrequently disturbed. This can be a problem when opening those containers, though, as a pest may escape into other parts of the home when given the chance. Unbox your decorations and holiday supplies carefully to avoid this, and when you’re done, carefully pack the decorations up again and try to make sure the boxes are as well-sealed as possible.
We’re Here to Help
You don’t want to have to worry about a pest infestation during the holiday season, so if you have questions or think you might have a developed pest problem, contact us for a free inspection! We’d be happy to give you peace of mind as you prepare to enjoy time with family.