Holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of year; don’t let pests intrude on your holiday celebrations.

There are multiple holiday traditions that result in the attraction of unwanted pests. The unfortunate part is that many people overlook pest problems this time of year because they are busy with everything else, they don’t realize there is an infestation – they assume it is an isolated incident.  

Holiday food is responsible for attracting pests such as cockroaches, ants, mice, rats, spiders and beetles. The greasy meat, savory side dishes, and sweet desserts, you make for the holidays are bound to leave behind a bit of a mess. All the crumbs that fall while you’re cooking provide food for a hungry colony of pests. Without proper cleaning, your home will become a five-star restaurant for pests. The following are tips to minimize pest attraction:

  1. Clean your counters every night
  2. Properly seal all stored food/ingredients
  3. Vacuum and sweep regularly

Christmas trees, holiday wreaths, and plants are also pest attractants during the holiday season. Christmas plants are the biggest culprit of attracting pests. Since most Christmas plants originate outdoors (Christmas trees, ornamental wreaths, and poinsettias) it is easy for them to contain insects such as aphids, ants, spiders, and more. Once these decorations are moved into your home, the insects come with them – they are a present no one wants to receive for the holiday. Some ways to prevent these insects from invading your home are:

  1. Set the decorations outside temporarily
  2. Shake everything before bringing it into your home
  3. Inspect the decorations thoroughly

Stored decorations are another cause of holiday pests. Occasionally, the pests (such as mice) are already in the attic, however you only find them when removing your holiday decorations. Regardless of when these pests arrived, you want them gone. When moving your holiday decorations to or from their off-season storage area be sure to:

  1. Inspect the outside of the boxes
  2. Remove items carefully
  3. Wash anything you think has been contaminated
  4. Clean your attic or crawl space (professional inspections/cleanings are recommended)
  5. Check/replace traps

We can offer as many tips as we know to minimize holiday pests, but the best advice we can give you is: if you see a pest, don’t assume it’s an isolated incident – call a professional to inspect before the infestation gets out of hand. May Exterminating wants you to have a happy, healthy, Grinch-free holiday season. Call us at 910-455-5888 for all of your pest needs.