Christmas Pests

    

Common household pests such as spiders, cockroaches and rodents search for safe nesting places throughout the year and your Christmas decoration boxes may have fallen victim to their target list. It makes perfect sense – Christmas decoration boxes are rarely touched throughout the year and they may even contain some edible delights from the previous year.

With that in mind, here are a few tips when unpacking your Christmas decorations and then packing them away.

Christmas Ornaments and Decorations

Take the time to inspect your ornaments and Christmas decorations for any signs of pest activity including spider webs, droppings or gnaw marks. Dispose any damaged ornaments and take extra care to check for live insects – especially spiders. When packing up, avoid storing decorations in cardboard boxes as pests love paper-based products to gnaw through and make nests. Ensure that any homemade decorations that may contain food ingredients be disposed of when storing Christmas ornaments for years to come and use durable plastic storage containers.

Christmas Tree

If you’ve chosen an artificial Christmas tree this year, give it a good shake outside and inspect it for spider webs and crawling insects. Pests often remain on the tree throughout winter and may become active after being exposed to warmer temperatures within your home. After Christmas, use a tree bag for storing the artificial tree rather than a cardboard box.

If you have opted for a freshly cut tree, thoroughly inspect the leaves, needles, branches and trunk for pests and insects. Wipe down the tree with a cloth to help remove any eggs or stubborn insects.

Vacuum the tree display area, and schedule a general pest treatment to address pests that have made your home theirs over the holiday period.

Christmas Linen

Prior to putting napkins and tablecloths back into storage, remove all crumbs and food remains. It’s best to wash fabric items and ensure that pests are not enticed with any food sources. If possible, seal linen in a bag to prevent damage from textile pests such as moths and carpet beetles.

New Year Resolution

Christmas is a time where unintentionally we invite pests into our homes. Once all the Christmas decorations and goodies are packed away, schedule a general pest treatment for a complete service of your home. Don’t forget to book your annual termite inspection at the same time!

A True Story

Since it was decided that Christmas lunch with family will be at our house this year, this added to more things I needed to do! My hope was to be prepared and plan ahead!  So I made a list, first was the tree!

To feel the Christmas spirit early!   For most of the year it sits in the shed in its original six year old box with the edges not sealed and a split on the side with dust, lawn clippings from the mower stored next to it and no life in its deconstructed form.

One thing that was lively was a red back spider that slowly came out of the box.  At that point I abandoned the mission and made the call to get my service done that was overdue!

Pronto, the pest control service was carried out a few days later and happy to say I was on my merrily way that afternoon getting the branches out clicking them to the trunk, hoping the lights are all still working.  Yes, getting another year out of them, they worked again this year!!  My smile was growing each time I took out an ornament that had a memory to it like my daughter’s first Christmas ball and our family Hawaiian trip frame.  A tradition in our house is to play the movie Home Alone in the background whilst we put up the tree.

Christmas brings family, friends and tradition together, what’s yours?  Now that’s one thing checked, let’s see what’s next on my list…

Kathryn Birett

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