How to Have a Pest Free Holiday Season in Miami
December 05, 2022
Happy holidays! While you may not be walking in a winter wonderland in Miami, ‘tis still the season to be jolly. Whatever holidays you celebrate, the winter months are the best time to give, see the people you love, eat lots of sweets and decorate.
Unfortunately, the pests in Miami are the Scrooges of the holidays. While it’s the perfect time to be care-free, it’s important to be aware of the pests you may be attracting when you put up your Christmas tree or your festive lights.
What Pests Are Attracted to Holiday Decor?
By putting up holiday decorations, you are basically giving the green light for any pest to enter your home. However, more specific pests you should watch out for are spiders, ticks, ants, rodents, termites, cockroaches and silverfish.
Christmas Trees and Pest Infestations
25 to 30 million real Christmas trees are sold every year in the United States alone, and that’s only about 25% of people who celebrate Christmas. About 75% of Americans have switched out the tradition of real Christmas trees for using an artificial one.
And both types of Christmas trees can lead to pest infestations. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have one! To keep pests out of Christmas trees (real and fake), shake them outside–away from your home–before setting them up to get rid of lingering pests.
Protecting Decor Storage From Pests
Most people store holiday decorations in attics, garages and crawl spaces. When January 1st comes and it’s time to put the holidays away for the year (or maybe you wait until March, we don’t judge!), avoid the temptation of storing them in the ever-so-loved cardboard boxes you’ve had for twenty years. The cracks and crevices of cardboard boxes can attract bugs like cockroaches and silverfish.
Instead, store decor in airtight plastic bins. This will keep them inaccessible to pests, because we can all imagine how tragic it would be to get all excited to decorate your home, listening to festive music and eating cookies only to face the horror of opening a box and finding a cockroach trying to blend in with your ornaments.
Rodents and Christmas Lights
One of the most common victims of rodents like rats and mice is electrical wiring–this includes Christmas lights. Rodents will often chew on lights, which is not only gross, it can lead to your lights not working at all.
To keep rodents away from Christmas lights, avoid setting up the lights directly on the exterior of your home. Yes, we know that this is tough. You may have a tradition of lighting up your entire roof for the month of December, but on the bright side you’ll save time!
Instead, place Christmas lights on trees, fences, and other areas of your front yard. The other solution is to put the majority of your festive lights inside. While rodents can get in the living areas of your home, they are much more likely to be found in the attic or on the exterior.
Pest Proof Your Holiday Baking
One of the most cherished parts of the holidays is baking. From gingerbread cookies, to peppermint bark, to bread pudding, you can never run out of delicious treats to bake.
But it’s important to remember that a messy kitchen is pest paradise. Ingredients like flour, sugar, and baking soda left on your countertops can attract ants, cockroaches, silverfish and pantry pests. These pests all share a love for anything with sugar and carbs.
Cleaning up directly after baking can best help avoid holiday pest infestations. Also make sure your baking ingredients are sealed up either in bags or airtight containers.
Professional Pest Control in Miami
If you find that your Christmas tree or wreath has bugs in it, or your lights have been chewed up by rodents, you don’t need to worry about saving the holidays yourself.
Native Pest Management can offer every service you need to keep your home holly, jolly, and pest free for the season. In fact, we have brand new bundle packages that will set your home to be pest free for all of 2023.
Pricing for each plan will depend on the square footage of your home, so give us a call to see which plan works best for you!
Pest Control Bundle Options:
- Home Protection: Services ants, cockroaches, millipedes, silverfish, pantry pests, drain flies and earwigs
- Home Protection Plus: Home Protection + preventative Trelona termite bait stations
- Home Protection Advantage: Home Protection Plus + rodent bait stations
- Home Protection Complete: Home Protection Advantage + attic dusting for drywood termites
Our eco-friendly and pet friendly pest control products are here to bring peace of earth right to your home. For more information about our pest control bundles or to schedule your service, call us today!
Holiday Season Pest Control FAQ
What Bugs Can I Find in Artificial Christmas Trees?
Typically, mice, cockroaches and spiders like artificial trees, while real trees are well-loved by outdoor pests like mites, aphids, and scale insects. The difference is that your artificial tree is a shelter while a real tree is a food source.
The pretty Christmas tree you got from Target with multicolored lights may be the perfect hiding spots for mice, so making your home unappealing and inaccessible to rodents (and spiders and roaches) is the best tactic. We recommend professional rodent exclusions to all homeowners, whether you’ve seen rodents in your home or not, to avoid them winding up in your tree and being an unpleasant surprise.
For rodents, cockroaches, and spiders alike, sealing entry points as well as regularly cleaning your home can keep your artificial tree safe.
How Should I Inspect My Christmas Tree For Bugs?
The good news is that the “fun fact” that there are about 25,000 bugs in the average real Christmas tree, is a myth. Most Christmas trees are free of bugs, nevertheless tens of thousands of bugs.
However, it’s still a good idea to check a Christmas tree before you purchase it. So when you think you’ve found the perfect tree, take a good look at the branches and look for insects, as well as eggs and cocoons.
Then, give the tree a good, vigorous shake. Most Christmas tree farms have what’s called a “tree shaker” which will shake out dead leaves, as well as insects.
You can also try vacuuming your tree when you get home. Most Christmas tree bugs are tiny, so a vacuum will easily scoop them right up.
The most important tip: Do not spray bug spray or any kind of pesticide or insecticide on your Christmas tree. These products are typically flammable.
How Can I Store Firewood to Avoid Termites?
While you may not have a fireplace for warmth in Miami, you might have one for the ambiance.
Unfortunately, pests and firewood are a common pair. Termites, as well as ants and spiders, will often find shelter in firewood, so you could be bringing a pest infestation inside.
First, you should never store firewood in your home. It’s okay to keep some inside for a day or two, but otherwise, you should keep your stash at least 5 feet away from your home’s foundation and off the ground. We recommend purchasing a firewood rack and keeping it in a storage shed to protect the wood from rainy Miami days.
Should I Still Put Up Christmas Decorations If They Attract Pests?
Our goal is not to scare you away from decorating your home for Christmas, especially considering that most Christmas trees don’t have thousands of bugs living in them and putting up lights doesn’t automatically draw every rat in Miami to your home.
In reality, there’s a good chance you don’t have any pest issues with your holiday decorations - but prevention is the key to pest control. We advise homeowners to follow these tips even if they’ve never experienced a pest issue over the holidays or any other time of the year. In the event that it could occur, holiday pest prevention could save you a lot of time, stress, and money.
How Do I Keep Pests Away From Gingerbread Houses?
Gingerbread houses may tie your indoor holiday decorations together, but if you leave it out for days on end, it’s almost a given that bugs will find it and that would be a sad sight to see on Christmas morning.
The best way to keep ants, roaches and other pests away from a gingerbread house is to not keep it uncovered for days, even if it’s in the fridge. When you’re not putting the house on display, store it in plastic wrap or in a cake dome, if possible.