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AVOID PESTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

December 5, 2016

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Now that December is here, many of us are preparing for the holiday season and getting ready to open their homes to family and friends.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can bring about some unexpected visitors if you aren’t careful. Online shopping and the smell of fresh evergreen can put you in the Christmas spirit, but what should you look out for when opening that package or selecting that tree?

 

Christmas Trees

a tree wrapped at a tree farm

A fresh cut Christmas tree can be home to insects, spiders or mites. The cold temp eratures outside kills most pests, but when you bring your tree inside overwintering insects can wake up due to the heat in your home.

Before picking out your tree, check for signs of pest infestations. Look for nests, webs, empty casings and other signs that might point to a bug infestation. Also shake the tree to dislodge any insects or spiders before securing to your vehicle for transport and before bringing it into your home.

Do not use pesticides on your tree. Not only are they extremely flammable, but it is much healthier to vacuum up dead insects off the floor than to put your loved ones at risk.

 

Cardboard Packages brown cardboard box with a shipping label containing pests

Packages sent from warm, moist climates could possibly contain some unwanted visitors. The cardboard acts like insulation for insects, such as bedbugs, cockroaches or spiders that might be looking to hitch a ride to your home. Bed bugs, for example, can survive up to a month without food and cockroaches will resort to eating anything, even the glue inside the boxes.

It is best to inspect boxes outside or in your garage. If you can’t, keep the package contained until you open it and remove all garbage as soon as possible. If you’re wondering what you should look for, check for infested cardboard that contains insect eggs or larvae that resemble seeds.  

If you find any signs of infestation, dispose of the cardboard immediately by sealing it in sturdy garbage bag outside your home. Depending on the contents of the package you may be able to wash with warm or hot soapy water.

 

Christmas Decorationsgreen christmas tree, green yellow and red christmas lights, and presents

Pests can find their way into your home through Christmas decorations that have been stored in attics, garages and basements. Mice find their way into your decorations during the off-season, so it’s important to inspect the boxes before bringing them indoors or upstairs.

You can prevent pests from invading and destroying your decorations by storing your decorations in plastic containers with hard, sealable lids. They will not be able to chew threw the plastic.

We hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for the holiday season!

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