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The holiday season is upon us once again and families across the country are getting in the spirit by stringing festive lights, wrapping presents and decorating their homes. No matter what holiday you celebrate, preparations can provide opportunities for pests like spiders, ants, mice and other creepy crawlies to inadvertently be brought into your home.
One of the most common ways that pests are introduced into homes during the holidays is fresh Christmas trees/greens and firewood. Pests can hide deep in the branches of trees and in crevices of wood or may even lay eggs in trees or garland. When brought indoors, the eggs will hatch creating a major pest infestation in the home.
To prevent bringing pests into your home on live trees and other greenery, take a few minutes to carefully inspect such items before bringing indoors. Look for insects, nests or eggs, and shake off greenery outdoors to rouse any hidden tenants. If possible let sit for a day or two in a garage area or other segregated indoor space before bringing into the main living area.
Another way that pests can access our homes this time of year is through boxes of decorations, which are often stored in basements, attics, garages and crawlspaces - all favorite hiding spots for pests. Mice and other pests find their way into the boxes during the off-season. When it's time to decorate, unpack holiday items outside and inspect all items carefully for signs of pests, droppings, gnaw marks or other damage before bringing them indoors.
Perhaps the most important step you can take to prevent pests during the holidays comes at the end of each season, when it's time to take down the tree and pack up the decorations. It's a good idea to store holiday décor in hard, plastic bins with tightly sealed lids instead of cardboard boxes or bags that give pests easy access to hiding areas. Do not pile discarded live trees or cut firewood near your home, as this can attract carpenter ants, mice, termites and other pests.
During this busy time of the year, it's easy to overlook signs of pests in the rush to check another item off of the holiday "to-do" list, but by taking some simple steps you can greatly reduce your chances of battling pests in your home this season. Remember, if you see signs of pests or suspect an infestation this holiday season, contact us to inspect your home and treat the problem promptly so that you can get back to enjoying the festivities in a pest-free home.