Keep Your Holidays Pest-Free This Year
Hughes Exterminators Offers Tips to Prevent Pests from Spoiling the Season’s Good Cheer
The holiday season is a time to celebrate, be thankful and spread good cheer to all. Unfortunately, holiday baking, parties and decorations can be a great reason for pests to celebrate as well. Nothing will spoil the holiday festivities more quickly than an invasion of mice, ants, cockroaches, and Indian meal moths which are all common intruders this time of year.
“Homeowners are often engaging in activities this time of year such as baking, parties and decorating that can provide an entryway or welcoming environment for pests,” said Hughes pest expert, Mike Malone. “A few simple steps can go a long way to ensure pests don’t ruin the festivities.”
A flurry of baking in the kitchen is a sure sign the holidays are here. Cookies, cakes and candies are delicious treats for the holidays, but are also very attractive to pests. Many types of ants are attracted to sweets and pantry pests such as Indian meal moths and merchant grain beetles can be found lurking in flour, cake mixes, dried fruits and corn meal. “We always recommend that homeowners thoroughly clean and conduct a complete inventory of their pantry this time of year, closely inspecting dry goods, such as flour, corn meal and sugar for pests,” said Malone.
Decorating is a great time for family fun, but it is important to take precautions when bringing live trees, wreaths and other greenery inside the home. Pests like spiders and ants may have taken up residence in the trees or wreaths and you will unwittingly bring them into the home as well. Additionally, decorations coming out of storage in your attic or basement may be harboring rodents and other wildlife.
Finally, holiday gatherings are filled with a lot good food and good times, but can also provide a feast for uninvited guests like mice, cockroaches and ants looking for food and shelter this time of year. And while a roaring fire is certainly welcoming for guests, that stack of firewood is also the perfect nesting spot for many pests including spiders, cockroaches, termites and rodents and provides easy transportation into the home.
Hughes Exterminators recommends the following tips to help keep homes pest-free this holiday season. You can also view these tips on our pest-free holiday infographic.
- Clean up spills immediately and store holiday goodies in airtight containers.
- Before baking, inspect all food, especially dry goods for potential infestations and check expiration dates.
- When grocery shopping, inspect goods carefully and only purchase sealed packages that show no signs of damage.
- If a pantry-infestation is suspected, discard all contaminated foods and any other open dry goods in outdoor trash bins and clean the infested area thoroughly with a vacuum and soap and water.
- Inspect and shake Christmas trees, wreaths and other live greenery thoroughly before bringing into the house.
- Store all holiday decorations in plastic, airtight containers and when retrieving from the attic or basement, inspect them outdoors before bringing inside.
- Store firewood off the ground and at least 20 feet away from the home and inspect each piece before bringing into the home.
- Seal all holes and cracks along the foundation and any openings around exterior doors and windows and place screens over vents and chimneys to prevent rodents and insects from finding their way inside.
- Vacuum and sweep often around the home.
- In the event mice are detected, a pest professional should be contacted immediately.