Pest-Proofing Your Home for the Holidays

Hero image for a blog post titled "Pest-Proofing Your Home for the Holidays" | A home decorated for the holidays with a lit Christmas tree

Everyone wants a pristine home for the holidays for entertaining and family fun. Don’t let pests spoil your holiday cheer! Here are some preventative measures that Portland-area homeowners can take to make your holiday season stay pest-free.

Step 1: Take care when unpacking your holiday decorations 

When you think of holiday decorations, your mind may not wander to pest prevention. Unfortunately, pests like to hide in attics, basements, crawl spaces, and garages – popular places where you may store holiday decorations. To make sure pests don’t hitch a ride inside your living spaces, inspect your decorations outside for signs of pests, droppings, gnaw marks, and other damage before bringing them inside. 

Step 2: Inspect all greenery before bringing it inside 

Spiders, moths, mites, and other common pests are attracted to live greenery like trees, wreaths, and fresh garlands. These decorations can provide shelter to these pests and their eggs during the winter. Before bringing such items inside for decorating, give them a shake outside and thoroughly inspect the branches. Make sure you dispose of anything that appears to be hosting nests or groups of eggs.

Step 3: Store firewood properly

Most of us like a cozy fire in the winter, whether we roast chestnuts on it or not! Just keep in mind that common pests such as ants, spiders, and termites like to hang out in wood piles during the wintertime. Store firewood piles on a raised surface away from your home (at least 6 feet away). 

Step 4: Inspect food packaging

Holiday cooking and baking are some of the best – and definitely the tastiest – parts of this time of year! Just make sure you inspect food and packaging for signs of rodents including holes and tears plus dried goods for signs of pantry pests. Remember, you can prevent pantry pests year-round by keeping items in sealed, preferably clear, air-tight containers.  Toss out contaminated food products at the first sign of pest activity. 

Step 5: Don’t let the bed bugs bite

Bed bugs are a problem year-round, but there is an increased fear of bed bugs around the holiday season because of traveling, family, friends, and even students returning home from college. Remember that bed bugs are commonly picked up on luggage, in hotels, and on various forms of public transportation. Inspect luggage for bed bugs before bringing them into your home, wash clothes in warm water, and be vigilant.  

Step 6: Store Your Decorations Properly For Next Year

For future savings in time and effort, take a proactive approach to prevent pest infestations this year by investing in sturdy plastic containers with secure, airtight lids. These will help safeguard your decorations and protect your cherished items from insect and rodent damage.

Need a holiday helper? Call a pest control company near you! 

Don’t let the sight of a rodent or spider make you say “Bah Humbug!” This holiday season, know that the pest control professionals at Interstate Pest Management are here to help. We offer pest control and rodent removal services in the Pacific Northwest and have locations in Kelso, WA, Olympia, WA, Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA that serve the surrounding communities.