Don’t let insects and rodents crash your holiday festivities this year. Use these simple steps to prevent pests in your holiday décor.
Easy steps for a pest free tree:
- While holiday tree growers treat the trees to keep them pest free, it is still not unusual for a tree to contain everything from aphids to spider mites. Since these trees have been stored outdoors in colder temps, often the insects have gone into a dormant state. Then when they enter your warm home they think it’s spring, wake up and become active. Before bringing your tree, garland or firewood indoors visually inspect for insects, egg masses, cocoons and even bird’s nests. Then vigorously shake the tree and garland. This helps dislodge most insects and makes it easier to see any egg masses or cocoons.
- Next use your vacuum’s narrow attachment and gently run it over the branches. This should remove any remaining insects as well as loose needles and other dead plant material. Remember to immediately empty the vacuum bag or canister in the outdoor trash in order to keep your home bug free.
- If you still see bugs, don’t spray the tree or garland with an over-the-counter pesticide. These sprays are usually flammable and could be dangerous to your health. Instead mix mineral soap or mineral-based oil with water and spray down the branches. Let the tree dry overnight before decorating.
Tips for pest free stored decor:
- Usually stored in the attic, basement or garage, boxes of decorations can easily become infested. When possible, unpack outside first, checking for signs like gnaw marks or rodent droppings. Many pests love cardboard so ditch the cardboard boxes and invest in some heavy duty plastic storage containers. If any signs of pests are found wipe down each ornament carefully before using. Soft material decorations may need to be discarded. And remember, if you use anything edible on your holiday decorations always throw them away at the end of the season.
- Then finally, don’t let your quarterly pest control TREATMENTS lapse. The weather may be getting colder but it is important to keep your home’s preventative control service active year round.
Scout’s Pest Control would like to wish everyone in the Upstate a very happy and safe holiday season. And please remember us in the upcoming New Year for all your pest control needs.