Holiday Infestivities: Christmas Bugs

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Christmas time is the time of year for family, friends, and bugs? Not if we can help it!

While we don’t usually think of insects as one of the holiday guests, there are several opportunities for pests to become a bother during the festivities.Pest control people get a number of calls related to holiday pests. But as a homeowner, you can fight back. Here is a little preview of what to watch for when you’re preparing for the holidays.

Oh, Christmas tree!

That beautiful living Christmas tree you cut yourself can be chock full of unwanted bugs, up to 25,000 give or take. Many are microscopic and harmless. Larger insects include a variety of species such as aphids, mites, moths, spiders, and beetles.

Ho ho oh, no!

How can you minimize these unwanted guests? Don’t bring your living Christmas tree immediately in the house after you cut it. Let it sit in your garage for a couple of days. Spread out a tarp beneath it and give it a good shaking. Be ready to vacuum up whoever drops out. Look over the tree carefully for any egg sacs or signs of infestation. Some of these insects won’t bother you, but they may infest your houseplants.

For those who want assurances that they aren’t bringing critters in, a dusting of diatomaceous earth will do the job. Shake it out thoroughly before you bring it inside. Remember to protect yourself from inhaling or ingesting the diatomaceous earth, as well.

After you bring the tree into the house, vacuum beneath it every day; this will not only keep the area pest free but will also keep dropping needles to a minimum. Nothing wakes up sleeping bugs like a warm, toasty house.

Decorations

Some homeowners store their decorations in their attic or garage or shed. These are perfect hiding places for hibernating spiders, scorpions, cockroaches, and even rodents. In the process of removing the decorations you want from storage, take a moment to examine the boxes for signs they may have been gnawed.

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The secret is to be alert when you unpack. Don’t put your hand into a box without looking. Shake out things like garland, the tree skirts, and anything else which has soft folds or tiny nooks. You’ll want to watch for brown recluse, black widows, and scorpions.

Influx

Your home will have an influx of boxes and bags as the result of shopping for gifts and meals. Try not to leave boxes on the ground outside before bringing them into the house. Look them over when you pick them up. Freeze things like flour and pasta if you’ve had an issue with weevils. A few days in the freezer will kill weevils and their eggs.

After the holidays, if you’ve been storing your decorations in boxes, consider investing in some heavy duty totes with tight lids. Handle decorative outdoor lights in the same way.

Or, as always, you can call us, and we will be happy to take care of your pest control needs, either one a one-time basis or year-round.

If you want organic-based and are pet and kid friendly pest control, call Iron Mantis at 480-779-8696.