Whether you’re hosting family or traveling for the holidays, securing your home against pests should be a priority. Bugs want to escape the cold just like we do, and they’ll make their way inside your home if you’re not ready. Here are some tips for a bug-free holiday.
Check Your Decorations
When you pull your holiday décor out of storage, examine the storage containers for signs that pests may have been hiding in them. Look for droppings, scratches, and gnaw marks. If you notice anything, clean the décor with disinfectant. Check Christmas trees, garlands, and wreaths for signs of bugs before placing them in your home or on your front door. Be extra thorough if you’ve picked out a natural Christmas tree. Look for ants, spiders, webs, ticks, nests, and insect eggs. Shake off greenery before bringing it inside and repeat the search periodically throughout the holiday season.
Block Entry Points
Sealing off entry points is the best way to prevent pests from entering your home. Check for gaps and cracks around doors and windows, and in the home’s foundation. Caulk and add weatherstripping if necessary. Gaps and cracks aren’t the only way bugs find their way into your house. They can also hitch a ride on firewood. Try to bring your firewood indoors right before burning, and don’t store wood inside for longer than two days.
Minimize Food Sources
Home cooked meals are an integral part of holiday gatherings. You can keep bugs from trying to make their way inside to get a serving by storing leftovers in sealed containers and quickly cleaning up spills.
If you’re planning to travel for the holidays, be aware that bed bugs love to stowaway in suitcases. To prevent this, store luggage on luggage racks and try to keep bags closed when not in use.
Putting Away your Décor
To make things easier on yourself next year, take care when it’s time to put away your decorations. Store holiday décor in hard plastic bins with tight lids and place them 18 inches off of floors and away from walls. For more information on how to properly store your belongings, see our Pest-Proof Storage Guide.