8 Tips For Rodent Prevention This Holiday Season

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house
All the creatures were stirring, led by a mouse;
The pest-filled stockings were hung by the chimney to air,
In hopes that Terminix soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of cockroaches danced in their heads”

Christmas isn’t the same when you’re welcoming more guests than your in-laws. But unlike your in-laws, by employing these rodent prevention tricks, you can make sure your holiday season is pest-free.

We’ll help you deck the halls with pest-free holly, so your home is warm and festive for your family for the holidays, but cold and frigid for unwanted pest guests.

If You’re Bringing In A Tree, Check It Twice.

Santa double checks his naughty and nice list every year, and you should do the same with your Christmas tree.

The easiest way for insects and their eggs to breach your home is taking a ride on your Christmas tree, straight into your living room.

Rouse and remove the hidden bugs that could be cocooning their eggs in the boughs of the tree, giving your tree a good shake and once-over before bringing it into the house. Spiders, moths, and mites are the likeliest unwanted Christmas ornaments you’ll find littering your tree, so look out for webs, cocoons, and egg sacs especially.

When the holidays have ended and it’s time to dispose of your tree, make sure to clean up any remains thoroughly with a vacuum to remove pine needles, insect eggs or anything else that might’ve been left behind by the tree.

Storing Your Artificial Tree

If you opt for an artificial tree over a live one, the way you choose to store it matters in order to ensure proper rodent prevention. Instead of keeping it in its original cardboard box, switch to a tree bag to stop rodents from chewing through the box and destroying the tree.

RELATED: Wondering How To Get Rid Of Mice? Here’s 10 Top Tips

Clean Your Ornaments Before Packing Away

Even if you think you’ve gotten rid of all possible pests or eggs before bringing your tree in, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to packing away your cherished Christmas ornaments. As you take your ornaments off the tree, inspect them for any possible pest activity such as spider webs, mouse droppings, or chew marks. Even if you don’t see any pest remains, it’s a good idea to give your ornaments a quick wipe down with a damp cloth or duster. Not only will these ensure any remains have been cleaned up, it’ll also leave your ornaments dust-free for next year.

Clean Up Thoroughly After Hosting

Everyone knows to wash the cutlery and dishes after dinner, but it’s also very important to wash any linens such as tablecloths or napkins before returning them to their drawers for proper rodent prevention. Spills, crumbs, or other food leftovers are exactly what rodents and insects go looking for. Don’t help out these pests by leaving a smelly trail for them to follow, right into your drawers.

Inspect Your Firewood

Sitting in front of a roaring, crackling fire with a cup of hot chocolate is an ideal Christmas setting.

But that firewood can bring more into your home than warmth and comfort, namely, household pests that are notorious tunnelers. Ants, termites, wood-boring beetles, and carpenter ants regularly refuge in stacks of firewood, especially if it’s somewhat damp, or piled onto the ground.

To keep your firewood pest-free:

  • Examine and clean any firewood you’re bringing into the house
  • Shake the logs, to remove any clingy insects on the bark
  • Bring inside just enough firewood, which should be used immediately
  • Stack firewood on elevated surfaces and away from your house; dry wood is less inviting to tunneling pests

Open Decoration Boxes Outdoors

Insects appreciate the confines of dark, undisturbed locations to do whatever it is insects do in solitude.

So, there’s arguably no better place for insects to colonize than those decoration boxes that go virtually untouched for 11 months a year.

The chances of a pest infestation only intensify when the holiday boxes are stored in a humid, quiet setting, like your basement, crawlspace, or attic. It’s not uncommon to find mice, rodents, and other household pests in your box of ornaments.

To ensure you’re not opening a can of worms, or a box of bugs, take the decoration boxes outside, and inspect them for live pests, dead pests, droppings, bite marks, and any other pest damage. Wipe everything down, and you’re ready to deck the halls of your home with Christmas cheer!

How To Store Your Christmas Decorations In The Off-Season

While opening your decoration boxes outside is always a good idea to ensure any pests that managed to sneak in stay out of your home, you can do more to ensure pest-free decorations in the off-season.

Mice and rats can sneak into the boxes, destroying your decorations and leaving their waste behind to contaminate your holiday cheer. In order to aid in rodent prevention, choose your storage bins wisely. Cardboard boxes or paper bags are no match for rodents trying to dig their way in. Instead, opt for plastic storage bins with tight fitting lids to keep these pests out. As a bonus, these bins will prevent moisture from seeping in, preventing water damage or mold from ruining your decorations.

Check On Your Stored Items Periodically

It’s always a good idea to peek in on your stored items a few times a year. Not just to check for any proof of pests, but also to ensure there’s been no water damage or leaks. Keeping your space tightly secured by repairing any cracks in your foundation, floors or walls will help to keep both pests and water out, keeping your decorations and other memories safely stored.

RELATED: Why Your Need Pest Control In The Winter

RELATED: How To Get Rid Of Rodents In The Attic This Winter

Our advice should reduce the likelihood of a pest infestation during the holiday season, keeping your family safe and worry-free.

If you notice any pest activity or waste left behind in your attic, basement, crawlspace or garage, we can help. Don’t hesitate to call Terminix Canada to handle your pest problems in a humane and responsible way.

But if your pest infestation is already in your home for the holidays, contact the professional exterminators at Terminix Canada today. We’re experts at ruining pests’ holidays!