The holiday season has arrived, bringing parties and other indoor gatherings that can attract pests. While some bugs come indoors just to get warm, others are attracted to food, wood and Christmas trees. The following five tips from Casner Exterminating will help to keep a home pest free for the holidays.
Shake Out the Tree
Many people enjoy the charm and fresh smell of a natural Christmas tree. What they do not expect is the different species of bugs, namely spiders, that may be living on it. Since Christmas trees are cut, tied and taken directly to lots for sale, anything that is living in the wood or branches will automatically be introduced to the home when the tree is set up. The best way to avoid this issue:
• Shake the tree thoroughly and inspect the branches with a flashlight before bringing it indoors.
• Purchase the tree as close to the holiday as possible. This will provide a fresher, more enjoyable tree that will be in the home for a shorter time and less likely to spread bugs.
Buy Only Local Firewood
There are numerous species of insects that live in wood, especially firewood that has been gathered from different locations and transported across state lines. Many bugs often remain dormant for 30 days or longer, making it impossible to know if they have made their way into a home. To avoid this:
• Buy local firewood and use it as quickly as possible to prevent eggs from hatching and unleashing an insect invasion.
• Store firewood outdoors in a location away from the house.
Avoid Using Food as Ornaments
While the idea of an old-fashioned Christmas tree with popcorn strings, candy canes and baked goods may seem like fun, it can attract insects and rodents that will then move into the kitchen and dining areas. To stop this from happening, do the following:
• Use only non-food ornaments in the Christmas tree.
• Keep tables, counters and floors free of crumbs and other food debris. Remove the kitchen trash frequently to eliminate odors that may attract insects and rodents.
Inspect Baking Ingredients
One area of the home where pest invasion may go unnoticed is the pantry. During the holidays, there is a great deal of baking, which means more flour and sugar are being stored. When making delicious holiday treats, it is best to:
• Inspect each package of sugar and flour to ensure there are no tears or chewed areas. If there is damage found, the products should be discarded outside the home.
• Clean all work areas of dough and crumbs to discourage rodents, ants and other pests from coming into the kitchen.
Use Plastic Storage Tubs
Nothing is more startling than discovering a nest of cockroaches inside of holiday storage boxes. Since ornaments and other decorations are often stored in garages and attics for most of the year, they are attractive homes for bugs and rodents. To keep pests from setting up shop, do the following:
• Use plastic storage tubs with lids that snap down tightly. The tubs cannot be chewed and the lids will stop curious rodents from building nests.
• Inspect the decorations a few times per year to ensure they are free of bugs.
Using the tips above will help keep bugs, rodents and other pests from ruining holiday celebrations.
Casner Exterminating Inc. is a locally owned and operated business providing professional pest control and termite exterminating services to Salinas, Monterey and Santa Cruz for over 30 years. We pride ourselves at being the finest when it comes to pest control customer service and eliminating problem pests, rodents, wildlife and termites.