How to Prevent Pests at the Holidays

Holiday cookies

The holidays are just around the corner, which means copious amounts of decorations, food, and people going in and out of your home. To prevent pests from making themselves at home in your home this holiday, we recommend the following tips.

How to Prevent Pests at the Holidays

1. Inspect natural decor

Before bringing Christmas trees, wreaths, garland, and firewood inside the house, it is crucial to give them a good shake and inspect them for critters. Most commonly, ants, ticks, spiders, and other small bugs may be nestled inside.

2. Check storage boxes

Another location critters love to hide is in storage boxes that weren’t adequately sealed or were made of a material they could gnaw through. If you are pulling boxes out of the attic, basement, or garage, we recommend taking them outside first. Inspect the content of your boxes for droppings, gnaw marks, or damages specific to pests. If you see any, make sure the critter is accounted for or long gone before bringing anything inside.

3. Keep firewood away from the house

During the holidays, many homeowners love building a fire. Building a fire isn’t a problem; it is how the firewood is stored. Firewood should be stored at least 20 feet away from any entry (including vents) and should be lifted off the ground. Doing this will prevent pests from having an easy access route into your home. Additionally, make sure to give your firewood a good shake and quick inspection before bringing it inside.

4. Keep food sealed tight

The holiday season is known for having a copious amount of food for everyone to indulge in, but you certainly don’t want pests munching along with you. To prevent pests from eating or contaminating your food, we recommend sealing it up tight when not being served. Yes, this means putting a lid on the Christmas cookies, but that will also help keep them fresher!

5. Keep the house clean

Pests have an excellent sense of smell, making it easy for them to identify spills, crumbs, and anything left out for grabs. To prevent this, we recommend:

  • Quickly cleaning up messes
  • Keeping all food stored, even uncut fruit
  • Using a sealable lid on trash and recycling
  • Placing dishes in soapy water, rather than the sink
    • Then doing the dishes at your earliest availability
  • Regularly take out the trash, recycling, and compost

6. Ask guests to practice bed bug prevention

Do you have guests coming to visit this holiday season? Or maybe you are going to be the guest? Either way, guests are an excellent vehicle for bed bugs to make their way into your home. The easiest way to prevent bed bugs is to:

  • Stay in reputable, clean establishments when traveling
  • Inspect bed sheets when sleeping in a new place
  • Using hard-case suitcases and protective clothing bags
  • Placing luggage on suitcase racks rather than the floor
  • Washing clothes in hot water and drying on high heat before putting clothes away (note: clothes should go straight in the washer, no pit-stops!)


Persistent pests can thwart even the best efforts. Do you have a pest problem? Give us a call today at Reliable Pest to book an appointment.