Are the holidays the best time of the year, or what?
Gifts to exchange, trees and decorations to put up, and yes, all the food, family and football! With food being the keyword. Turkey, dressing, roast beef, potatoes, gravy, casseroles, cranberry sauce, and maybe a tofurkey to boot. Not to mention the pie. But all of the above combined can sometimes bring some frustration with the festivities, especially if there are feuds, dueling recipes (or politics), or the worst case scenario – if your cousin Keith the Cowboys fan is there. Holiday pest control.
With the frost outside and the food inside, there are other unwanted guests – pests! – eager to enjoy the party. Pests aren’t interested in pie per se, but they want inside as much as we do. They seek warm cracks and entry through the walls all around you, plus the tiniest crumbs and morsels left behind in the aftermath of holiday feasts (and the leftovers).
From rodents wintering in the penthouse of your attic to cockroaches taking what ripe or gooey territory they can get, pests gain entry through exterior cracks in the walls or siding, from the basement or garage walls straight towards the cozy warmth and abundant food sources that will see them through the winter – they hope!
If they can’t find that food, your house becomes a much less attractive destination, so cleanliness and careful food storage are key to making a daily difference.
Important steps to help keep pests out of your home during the holidays.
- Recycle the cardboard boxes and paper bags that pantry food comes in and seal it up in hard plastic containers. This is a win-win by blocking enticing smells as well as acting like a lockbox to pests.
- Rinse dishes right away. If they have to sit, let them soak in soapy water. Leaving them on the countertop is an invitation to the pest buffet.
- Clean up spills thoroughly. Juice, sugar, pretzels, beer, cookie batter, olive oil – whatever it is, whether it’s on the countertop or the floor, it’s the main attraction for pests if left to sit and spoil, or if traces remain after a haphazard wipedown.
- Dispose of all food waste promptly and completely in the garbage disposal or the trash. Use cold water in the disposal and let the water run for 15 seconds after the grinding stops. This will flush it free of stubborn food particles. Remove that trash bag and get it out of the house in a timely manner. If it has to wait, seal it up tight. When throwing away perishables like fruit cores or peels, first seal them in a bag of their own. This double protection helps with those two core factors – blocking smells as well as access.
- Vacuum, sweep, mop, repeat. Keep the kitchen floor clean, especially corners, nooks, and around and under the refrigerator and stove. Vacuum floors and rugs regularly in the dining room, den, family room, bedrooms – areas wherever you and your family eat, snack, or nibble.
These tips can help cut down on available food sources indoors, but if your pest guests have already found a way in or you observe exterior breaches, the professionals at Innovative Pest Management have the expertise and the experience to help you learn your options, such as sealing, barrier work or spraying. If you live in Washington, D.C, Virginia, or Maryland, turn to Innovative Pest Management for help during the winter holiday season, with all those meals to come. You may still have cousin Keith to deal with, but at least he’s not four, six, or eight legged. Last you knew.