Christmas is a time of warmth and celebration and this is true for both your family and the pests in your home. With a freshly cut pine tree in the living room, sugary foods on the table, and colourful decorations hung everywhere, there are plenty of ways pests can infiltrate your Christmas and ruin the holidays for you. However, there are many ways you can protect your home from pest infestation over the festive period.
Mites Attracted to Warm Temperatures
Mites are one of the most common household pests found in your home over the Christmas season. Generally attracted to your home by the warm temperatures, mites will remain there throughout the festive season. However, it will be a relief to know that mites are not a threat to humans or animals.
Spiders on the Christmas Tree
Nobody likes finding spiders in their homes – especially on Christmas Day! However, although spiders are harmless to humans and pets, spiders love to nest in the Christmas tree over the festive season, like many other Christmas tree pests, spinning their webs, and infesting your home.
Although spiders will generally hide amongst the branches of your Christmas tree, they might venture around your home to find places to lay their eggs. So, it is best to have them removed.
How to Remove Pests from Your Christmas Tree
Examine the tree: take the time to look around the branches to check whether anything is moving within the foliage. It is possible that you’ll find insect eggs, insects, or perhaps even leftover bird nests. If you discover any of these things in your Christmas tree, the first thing you should do is prune the branches back.
Give Your Tree Time to Sit: Once you’ve bought your Christmas tree and taken it home, leave it to stand for a few days in the garage. This will allow time to take its toll and for any bugs on the tree to die on their own because of the lack of food.
Shake the Tree: After the tree has been left to stand for a while, give the tree a thorough shake to remove any bug corpses. If you shake the Christmas tree enough, any dead bugs should fall right out.
Clean Up: Even if the bugs are dead, it is never a good idea to just leave the bugs lying on the floor of your garage, so it’s best to sweep them up.
Spray the Tree: Once you’ve let the tree sit and removed any dead insects, before putting the tree into your home you should also spray it with neem oil. This product targets any insect growth and keeps your Christmas tree bug-free for your celebrations.
Pests and Christmas Tree Decorations
Many of us only take festive decorations out of the loft at Christmas time that are loosely packed in old cardboard boxes and stored that way all year. Old cardboard boxes are ideal for pests to shred and create warm nests out of.
So, often when removing boxes from the loft, you’ll begin to notice holes and gnaw marks in the corners. These are most commonly caused by rodents that carry diseases such as salmonella and leptospirosis through their urine. So, if it looks like your Christmas decoration boxes have made a meal out of your boxes, proceed with caution because they could be home to rodents or diseases.
Top tip: store your Christmas decorations in airtight plastic containers. This storage solution will deter even the most motivated of pests, keeping those festive baubles and decorations safe and clean.
Rodents Chewing the Fairy Lights
Rodents love chewing on wires, so it is extremely common to discover rats and mice have covered your fairy lights in teeth marks. So, if you’ve been having issues with rodents in your home over the past 12 months, you should take extra caution as chewed wires can cause fires so it is important you proceed with caution.
Pests are Attracted to Leftover Food
For many of us, Christmas is a time when there is an abundance of food in the home. Whether it’s pigs in blankets, cheese and crackers, or boxes of chocolates, leftover food is a huge attraction to the common pests in your home. So, while it may be tempting to leave out your remaining Christmas dinner, it is a dream come true for pests who will scramble to the areas.
What’s more, irregular bin pick-ups over the Christmas season can cause leftover food to be hanging around your bins for over a week. This can attract a myriad of unwanted Christmas guests to your home. To avoid this problem, clear away any leftovers into airtight containers after eating and store your rubbish bins further away from the house to deter pests from entering your home. As with any pest problem, prevention is always better than cure.
Ants Swarming Your Gingerbread House
Sweet treats are one of the most common Christmas gifts you’ll receive over the Christmas period and they always make some fantastic festive displays. However, leaving sweat trees on display around your home can be extremely attractive to pests such as ants, which can swarm and be especially difficult to get rid of.
So, to prevent ants swarming the sweat treats around your home, keep them covered in air tight containers so they are not accessible. This will help keep ant control in your home, even in the busy season of Christmas.
Fruit Flies Spotting the Christmas Pudding
During the Christmas season, your home is warmer than normal and as the temperature outside drops, fruit flies are attracted indoors. Not only do fruit flies often end up in your home at Christmas, they don’t just swarm, but they are also attracted to those Christmas favourites, such as fruitcake.
Fruit flies are attracted to warmth and anything sugary. So, the best way you can deter fruit flies from causing havoc to your Christmas is to wash up any sweet dishes and keep counters clear of icing sugar, leftover desert, and chocolate wrappers.
Moths Eating Your Stockings
Santa can only fill your stocking if it doesn’t have holes in it that have been created by months. Moths are attracted to old, musty-smelling clothing items and Christmas stocking that have been stored in the attic for a full year are their prime targets.
Moths are attracted to dark corners and they love nothing more than burrowing in Christmas stockings. However, to avoid this problem it is best to thoroughly wash and dry your Christmas stockings before you hang them up. A quick wash really will make all of the difference.
Have a Very Merry and Pest-Free Christmas
Christmas is right around the corner now and while the holiday celebrations, the excess of food, and the weird and wonderful presents are inevitable, pest invasions is optional. Don’t let pests ruin your Christmas this year, our pest control service can help your home become a pest-free zone so that you can enjoy the celebrating without the worry.