With Christmas just a few short weeks. There is definitely a buzz of excitement in the air, but nothing can put a damper on your holiday celebrations faster than an invasion of uninvited guests. No, we are not talking about Aunt Betty and her 30 cats, we are talking about pests!
Inspect your decorations before you hang them up; after sorting through the chaotic mess in the attic and finding all of your holiday decorations, to avoid bringing pests in to your living area, consider unpacking them outdoors. Shake out all of your decorations and carefully inspect them before bringing them back in to the house. Pay close attention to the folds of fabric items, such as tree skirts or holiday wall hangings and the same rule applies for your Christmas tree or wreath. Before you bring a real or artificial tree into your living space, make sure you inspect it and shake it diligently to release pests such as spiders or mice who may be making a home in your perfect holiday tree.
Keep your kitchen clean; the sweet smell of sugar cookies baking in the oven can draw relatives from miles away to your kitchen, unfortunately it can also attract ants, cockroaches and pantry pests as well. When baking this holiday season, make sure to properly clean up, including wiping up any crumbs or spills, emptying the trash regularly and not allowing baking dishes to accumulate in the sink.
Make sure your holiday travels do not include bed bugs; if you are not celebrating the holidays at home, be on the lookout for bed bugs. When you arrive at your hotel, make sure you thoroughly inspect the room before bringing your luggage or your family in. The most common places to find bed bugs include:
- On or around mattresses and box springs
- On bed frames and nightstands
- Upholstered furniture
- Behind electrical outlets, light switches and wall hangings
After your search concludes and you suspect a bed bug problem, contact hotel management and request a new room well away from your current one or consider leaving the hotel altogether. Also, just to be safe, upon returning home, wash all of your clothing in the hottest water allowed by the fabric and inspect your suitcases for bed bugs that may have traveled home with you.