Tips to keep homes pest-free this holiday season
Holiday decorating can enhance a home’s aesthetics, warming it up with festive lights and greenery, but could jovial decorations be inviting in more than just the holiday spirit? To evade these unwelcomed houseguests such as rodents, spiders, moths and more, we recommend homeowners to examine holiday décor for signs of pests before decking the halls.
To avoid bringing pest infested décor inside the home, carefully inspect live greenery including trees and wreathes, and give them a good shake outdoors before bringing them in. Be sure to look for telltale signs, like gnaw marks, droppings, and spider egg sacs. When the season comes to an end, it’s important to properly store any decorations intended for reusing in sealed containers, impenetrable by pests, for next year’s festivities.
Consider following these tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a non-profit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and danger of pests. A few prevention tricks can help keep pests from dulling the shine of this year’s décor:
- Shake off trees and garlands. Carefully inspect them for pests or eggs that can hide in branches before bringing them indoors.
- If copying a DIY natural decoration from Pinterest or other craft site, inspect all foliage outside the home before beginning projects.
- Store firewood on raised structures located at least 20 feet away from the home. Inspect firewood for pests and brush it off before bringing it indoors.
- After pulling decorations from storage, unpack them outdoors to check for pests like mice. Look inside boxes for droppings or gnaw marks. Examine string lights to ensure wiring is fully intact.
- When storing décor after the holidays, use durable, sealed containers that pests can’t chew through instead of cardboard boxes or plastic bags.
These guidelines will make holiday decorating a seamless process year to year. If you suspect an infestation, a qualified pest professional can evaluate the problem and recommend an action plan.