Keep Your Holiday Festivities Pest Free

Visions of sugarplums may be dancing in their heads, but these preventative measures will keep hungry pests away this holiday season.

1. Put a lid on it. The caroling may continue through the night, but don't leave holiday snacks uncovered for more than a couple of hours. Storing your favorite cookies, snack mix or chips in a sealed container insures freshness and prevents pests from sneaking a bite or two.

2. Kick it to the curb. The trash receptacles fill up fast during the holidays, and it's easy to simply throw a bag or two into the garage while you're entertaining. However, those food smells can attract bugs and wildlife into your garage and, ultimately, your home. Place trash carts away from the house in case rodents drop in for the holidays. Keeping carts near the home increases the odds of one or two entering the home.

3. Clean up your act. It can be difficult to remove every food particle dropped when you encourage guests to mix, mingle and munch on holiday favorites throughout the house. Serve holiday dinner at the dining room table and display snacks in a spot with chairs so guests will sit and snack in one area.

4. Don't invite trouble. Bugs and other pests often get a free ride into your home courtesy of potted plants, firewood and shoes. Create a place for shoes and coats in your foyer so dirt, leaves and bugs aren't strewn throughout the home. Keep firewood several feet away from the side of your home. Brush the wood off with a broom before bringing it indoors. Also, check any natural holiday trees or garland you purchase to avoid unwanted holiday guests.

5. Wrap the gifts and the pipes. Wrapping your outdoor faucet and any exposed pipes insures that your water lines won't freeze, but be sure to also caulk any gaps or cracks around those pipes as well. Pests look for small entryways to escape the cold temperatures during winter. Peek in the attic and repair any holes where squirrels could enter. Repairing weatherstripping on doors and windows can also prevent mice, bugs and spiders from entering your home for the holidays.

Finally, call a professional pest control company for a free quote. Controlling pests starts with an ongoing maintenance plan. Reputable pest control companies will provide a property inspection and make recommendations to keep unwanted holiday pests away.

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