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#LifeHack Your Christmas

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It’s almost here! December is, quite possibly, the BUSIEST time of the year. People celebrate all sorts of holidays, and travel has an exponential increase as people attempt to see loved ones both far and near.

But despite the joyous festivities, pests can put a MAJOR damper on the holidays. After all, no one wants their home infested when Aunt Gertrude visits!

We’ve compiled a quick list of lifehacks to keep pests out of your home during the holidays (sorry, results not guaranteed against pesky relatives).

 

1) SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE

Nothing beats the experience of bringing home a live tree to act as the centerpiece in your home during Christmastime. Unfortunately, though, evergreen trees can be prime havens for creepy-crawlies to be brought in. Always make sure to shake out your brand new tree before bringing it into your home: not only will it knock out all of the loose/dead pine needles still attached to the interior, BUT ALSO it can shake out any BEETLES that are hitching a ride, too!

 

2) BREAK OUT THE TUPPERWARE

The Holiday Season is prime time for all of us to forsake whatever diet we’ve been adhering to (or intending to adhere to) and consume large amounts of comfort food. While January 1st may be time for the “New Year, New Me” attitude to kick into high gear, December is a “Last Hurrah” before strapping down and focusing. All that great food, however, can lead to a LOT of leftovers… and leftover food (when not stored properly) can lead to a pest infestation. And we’re not just talking about a housefly or two, we mean a FULL SCALE RODENT ASSAULT could be coming your way! Be sure to store everything in airtight containers and the fridge (or freezer) when it’s not being consumed. That will keep your food fresher for a longer amount of time AND keep any unwelcome visitors from nibbling away at the good eats you prepped.

 

3) BECOME YOUR OWN PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR

With the holidays being PEAK travel season, more and more people will rely on hotels/motels/B&Bs/etc to get them through the night. Unfortunately these stays MAY result in bringing home the dreaded BED BUG. Worse than the itchiest ugly sweater, bed bugs can make your life MISERABLE, and can be tracked home in your clothing or luggage, should you be unlucky enough to stay in an infested room.

Fortunately, though, bed bug infestation can be as simple as a quick ten-minute inspection before “unwinding.” As soon as you enter your room, place your luggage inside the bathroom — not the closet– until your inspection is done. The EPA has a handy guide to preventing and dealing with bed bugs, but you can also use these simple tips to do a “once-over” upon arrival in your hotel room:

You should look for:

  • Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.
  • Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would.
  • Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger.
  • Live bed bugs.

Bed Bugs can be found in:

  • In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
  • In drawer joints.
  • In electrical receptacles and appliances.
  • Under loose wall paper and wall hangings.
  • At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet.
  • Even in the head of a screw

Once you’ve determined that bed bugs are nowhere to be found, you can remove your luggage from the bathroom and place it in the closet/drawers/etc as desired (again, this self-inspection should take under 10 minutes).

 

4) GET CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH YOUR WOOD!

firewood

In addition to being tracked in by a brand new Christmas tree, insects, rodents, spiders, and more can be brought in when you use firewood. A simple fix? Closely inspect any Yuletide Logs you bring in to make sure stowaways are eliminated!

 

5) DON’T GET MAD…. GET GLAD (or at the very least, plastic)!

plastic bins
Boxes of decorations can also be a haven for pests to nest in… to avoid spreading the infestation any further, you should INITIALLY open your decoration boxes OUTSIDE of the home (i.e. in the front yard). When you prepare to store your decorations again, use plastic totes OR wrap your boxes in heavy duty trash bags (these can mask any scents that may attract outside pests AND can also make it more difficult for the pests to get access).

 

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So there you have it, five simple, painless lifehacks to keep your home pest-free this holiday season!

Remember, if you see signs of pests or suspect an infestation this holiday season, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the problem promptly so you can get back to enjoying the festivities in a PEST-FREE home!

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