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A Few Pest Precautions Can Help Ensure Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Seasonal pests usually are associated with stored foods, but the holidays can bring them out as well. Whether Christmas goes up in your house the day after Thanksgiving or well into December, be on the lookout for those seasonal pests that like to hide in your holiday storage boxes. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t inadvertently bring pests into your home when you bring out the Christmas decorations. For all you who prefer live trees, live wreaths or seasonal plants, be sure to shake out your tree/wreath/plant before bringing it into the house. Make sure you're not bringing in pests in addition to the holiday spirit. Check the limbs and leaves for insects, nests or eggs. Most of us will never encounter a problem, but better safe than sorry. When you venture into the storage room, attic or basement to retrieve the boxes full of decorations, unpack those boxes outside and inspect them for signs of pests. It's possible that mice built nests in them since last Christmas. Look for droppings and gnaw marks. And it's a good idea to store the decorations in plastic bins that can be tightly sealed and through which pests like mice can't chew. It's time to start baking for the holidays. But first, remember to check for stored product pests like moths and grain beetles that can infest products such as flour and dried fruit. Store those ingredients in sturdy plastic or ceramic containers with lids that can be secured. And of course, with cold weather coming on, inspect the outside of your home for any potential entry points for pests. Seal cracks, look for gaps around pipes and make sure there aren’t any spots under the house where water has collected. These precautions can help ensure a smooth and happy holiday season.

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