(NewsUSA) – After the last of the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers have been eaten, and pumpkin décor is put away for the season, many families bring out their Christmas decorations and holiday baking supplies. While the advent of the season is joyful, it’s important to take pest-prevention precautions to avoid turning visions of sugarplums into pest-infestation nightmares.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) cautions seasonally spirited decorators to check greenery and Christmas trees for signs of pests before bringing them indoors. NPMA’s vice president of public affairs, Missy Henriksen, suggests that many indoor spider infestations start when they are brought inside via Christmas trees and holiday greens. “As spider populations tend to hide in fresh trees that have recently been cut down, consumers should carefully cull their trees for webs or the presence of spiders before bringing them into the house.”
Consumers are also advised to inspect holiday decorations that have been stored in non-pest proof containers in attics, garages, sheds and basements — all popular refuge spots for pests. Henriksen warns, “Rodents can easily end up in improperly stored tree trimming supplies and then unknowingly brought into living and family rooms.”
The easiest way to prevent this most unwanted decoration is to inspect cardboard boxes and paper or plastic bags that held holiday items in the off-season for rodent gnaw marks and visible droppings. This check is best performed in the garage or other area outside of the house to prevent any live rodents from getting loose inside the house.
Pantry pests, such as earwigs, Indian meal moths and silverfish, are another seasonal pest problem that surface during the holiday season and often seem to appear from out of nowhere. These pests are attracted to ingredients commonly used in baking, including flour, spices, candies and chocolate. Holiday bakers who use these items sparingly throughout the year may find some unappetizing surprises inside previously opened packages or in storage containers. To deter these pests, it’s important to wipe up crumbs or spills from countertops, store food in airtight containers, purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage and consider adding bay leaves to containers of dry goods as their scent repels many pantry pests.
To make sure you and your family can enjoy the delights of the season, visit www.pestworld.org for additional tips on keeping pests out of your home during this holiday time.