The holidays are by no means a stress-free time. Even this year when most people’s holiday plans are pared down to the bare minimum, there is still meticulous planning and coordinating that must happen. No one wants to add more stress during and after the holidays, especially the stress of dealing with a pest infestation. Fortunately, below are some tips to guide your holiday decision-making that can help to prevent an infestation before it happens.

Watch the Greenery

Part of the beauty of the holidays are the sights and smells that come along with them. All the natural decorations like the big, beautiful Christmas tree and all the wreaths and garland really help to set the mood. And the smells they fill the house with is absolutely enchanting! Unfortunately, they are also a prime avenue for pests to make their way into your home. Before bringing all that greenery into your home, give it a good shake to dislodge any insects that may be lurking in them. Also, double check for any spider webs, insect nests, or egg sacs that are a telltale sign of infestation.

Holiday Decorations

No matter where you store your decorations, one thing you must absolutely be mindful of when unboxing them is that those boxes are an ideal hiding spot for insects and other pests. When going through the old decorations, unbox them outside and use caution when digging through them. We recommend that you wear gloves before reaching into any boxes, and always check for any chew marks on the outside of the package first. These marks are a good indicator of what you may find inside. Once you have pulled everything out of the boxes, check it all over for any damage that could have been done by insects or rodents. At the end of the holiday season when you are reboxing everything, we recommend using sealed storage containers rather than cardboard boxes to prevent any future infestation.

Firewood

One thing we always recommend no matter the time of year is that if you have a fireplace, be very mindful of where you store your firewood. Firewood piles are one of the biggest attractors of pests both big and small. Your best bet is to store the firewood on a raised surface that it at least 20 feet from the side of your home. The raised platform will minimize the risk of infestation in the wood pile, and the distance from the house will keep them from making their way into your home. Just remember to inspect your firewood before bringing it into your home.

Food Storage

One thing is for certain, the holidays involve a lot of food, which inevitably leads to a lot of leftovers. To make sure that your leftovers do not attract any unwanted guests into your home, make sure to store them in a clean, tightly sealed container and out of reach of most pests in the refrigerator or on shelves or in cabinets that are lifted off the ground. Do your best to tend to spills and splatters as soon as possible, and make sure to discard any food scraps in a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid.