What images does the word “holidays” bring to mind? Cooler temperatures? Pumpkins and evergreen trees? Changing leaves? Football games? Turkeys? Camouflage? Snow?
For many of us, “holidays” means heading out to storage buildings, basements, or attics to retrieve holiday decorations. Occasionally, these decorations harbor uninvited holiday guests. We can unintentionally bring many pests indoors on decorations or in their boxes. Brown recluse spiders, silverfish, cockroach egg cases, Asian lady beetles, brown marmorated stink bugs, and even rodents and their droppings can be brought in.
If the decorations are food-based, stored product pests such as meal moths or beetles can be present. Live plants can also carry nuisance pests, such as greenery or poinsettias, hay bales, and other living or dead plants. Firewood is another culprit for hitchhiking pests such as cockroaches, spiders, and mites.
Avoid the Problem
These vagabond pests bypass any repellent or barrier products applied in or around the house when we accidentally carry them in. The best way to avoid problems with these unwanted guests is to properly store holiday decorations and carefully check them before bringing them into your home.
Inspect all holiday décor before bringing it in the house
Unpack boxes and bags outdoors
Shake out any items outdoors to dislodge any potential pests
Store items in hard plastic containers or bins with a sealable lid which are more difficult for pests to access
Food or animal based items, such as papier-mâché, wool, seeds or garlands should be stored in sealed in plastic bags or other sealable containers
Avoid storing items in cardboard boxes; they are great homes for pests. Rodents can easily chew through them, and they don’t last well in humid or very hot environments
If you choose to bring in living plants, trees or greenery, inspect them carefully for any pest activity, especially deep in the branches and at the trunk of trees or main stem of plants
Treating your home now to avoid pests later
To use Viper Insecticide Concentrate, add ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) of the product to 1 gallon of water. Apply the dilution as a coarse, low-pressure spray around doors, windows and similar areas where these pests may be found or where they enter premises. Read the “Barrier Treatment” and “”Outside Surfaces and Around Buildings” sections of the product label for more details.
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Always read and follow any pesticide label directions.