Tips for a Pest-Free Holiday Season

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • December 20, 2018

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…

We’re all quite familiar with how the classic Christmas poem goes. While it’s a sweet story to tell your little ones before bed on December 24th, we feel you should know there may very well be creatures stirring in your house during the holiday season.

‘Ho ho ho’–hold on there! Before you go all jingle bells on us, hear us out! We have a few tips to help you and your loved ones have a merry and bright, pest-free holiday season this year.

Take our advice and leave these pests off your holiday guest list

Because just like your in-laws, these pests somehow always end up overstaying their welcome. See the most common holiday season pests below.

Mice, Rats, And Other Small Rodents

It’s usually about this time of year when mice, rats, and other rodents say, “baby it’s cold outside”… and then make their way into your home.

Mice, rats and other similarly sized rodents can sneak their way into the tiniest of openings and begin to wreak havoc on your home.

During the holidays it’s important to remember that these types of rodents will gnaw on absolutely anything they can get their tiny paws on–wrapped gifts under the trees, stockings hung by the fireplace with care, and the wires of the lights that took you hours to untangle.

But that’s not all, mice and rats aren’t just a holiday annoyance, they could potentially make your family ill–something we know you try to avoid at all costs during the holiday season.

Roaches

If Santa had a naughty pest list, the roach would most certainly top it!

The cockroach is another common house pest you’ll want to watch out for this holiday season. Much like mice, rats, and other rodents, roaches are also looking for somewhere to get “snug as a bug” during the winter months. Heat and treats are all these pests need–two things your home has plenty of in December.

Christmas Tree Bugs

Aphids– Can be found on the lower boughs of a Christmas tree–look closely, they’re pretty small. Aphids are common in evergreen, pine, balsam fir, spruce, fraser fir, and white fir tree types. Whatever you do, don’t squash them on your furniture as they will leave a purple or red stain.

Spiders and Mites- Look for tiny red and brown dots on your tree’s needles. They are commonly found on Douglas-fir, white pine, Fraser fir, and spruce trees. Know that mites can cause premature needle drop and make small red stains on ornaments or the carpet below.

Pine Needle Scale- Looks like white specs on the needles or branches and then tiny red bugs once it’s hatched. Typical on Scotch pines, Norway spruce, and Douglas-fir.

Praying Mantises- Look for a light tan, walnut-sized egg mass which can contain up to 400 eggs! The eggs will begin to hatch after several weeks of being indoors. They can be found on any type of tree.

Bark Beetles- Cylindrical, hard-bodied red, brown or black bugs about the size of a grain of rice. Bark beetles are typically found on Monterey pines, ponderosa, Coulter pines, Jeffrey pine, white fir,  and junipers.

Have you spotted a different type of pest in your home this holiday season? Find it in our Pest Encyclopedia!

All is calm, all is bright…and all is pest-free this holiday season when you follow these tips!

1. Inspect Any And All Packages

Pests are actually quite frequently transported from the outdoors, in by us! The holidays are no exception. If anything, it’s more likely to happen with the increased number of packages brought into our homes during these months.

Inspect packages for pests before bringing them indoors. Keep in mind, a sneaky pest could be hiding in your cardboard boxes, paper packaging, or plastic bins. Look in the corners and the glued sides of boxes and be sure to shake out any paper or plastic used to pack your shipped goods.

Give the gift of holiday spirit this year, not an in-home pest problem.

2. Be Extra Careful Bringing Home A Fresh Cut Christmas Tree

Nothing says Christmas quite like a fresh cut Christmas tree in your home. From the aesthetic to the aroma, a fresh cut Christmas tree can bring so much beauty into your home at this time of year–but it can also bring you pests.

One statistic shows there could be upwards of 25,000 bugs living in one Christmas tree. The type of pest will depend on the type of tree and your location (see Christmas tree bugs above)

While none of which are a huge threat your home or family’s health, and will most likely die quickly from starvation or desiccation once they get inside, there are precautions you can take to rid your tree of pests before you bring it indoors.

  • Examine the undersides of branches and the trunk. Prune any branches you find with egg cases or nests.
  • Leave the Christmas tree in your garage for a day or two.
  • Shake the tree out really well.
  • Consider pre-treating your fresh cut tree with a non-flammable product. (aerosols are usually flammable)

3. Store Sweets And Treats Properly

We know the tradition of leaving the big man and his reindeer goodies on Christmas eve. We’re not suggesting you don’t (hey, there’s a lot of good boys and girls in the Carolinas, Santa works up a big appetite) but we are suggesting you maybe put them in an airtight, sealed container!

Properly seal and store all of the sweets and treats that frequent your home during the holiday season. By doing so, you will eliminate one of the top reasons for in-home pest problems during the winter months–the food source.

4. ‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly, And Hire A Pest Control Company

One of the best ways to guarantee a pest free home this holiday season is to hire a pest control service company who can offer your home year-round pest protection.

At Killingsworth Environmental, we aren’t just your average bug exterminators. Since 1993, Killingsworth has met the greater Charlotte area pest control needs. We can confidently say that our customers are nestled all snug in their beds and visions of sugar plums (not pests) dance in their heads every night as they know their Killingsworth pest control service is working hard for them.

Give your home the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season–a Killingsworth pest control year-round protection service. Be sure to read about what sets our pest control service apart from the rest! Happy Holidays!

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