Pest-Free Holiday Decorations

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This time of year is truly beautiful, especially with all sorts of decorations lining houses inside and out.  From poinsettias to pinecones to wreaths and everything in between, there is so much joy in the air—and plenty of places for pests to hide.  Come join us today, as we tell you which pests may be vying to hide in your decorations, and the best ways to make them stay away!

Poinsettias: A Christmas staple in its own right, poinsettias are the traditional flower you need to bring the Christmas spirit into your home.  However, these desert plants can also bring along with them a slew of flies, gnats, and mealybugs. Not only will they make a buffet out of your poinsettias, but they can also spread their nasty ways to your household at large.  To stop this, give your poinsettia leaves a quick swab with some rubbing alcohol to kill off any bug larvae or eggs that could be hiding. In addition, you can also put some yellow sticky fly traps around the flower, since whiteflies (the fly that typically plagues poinsettias) love the color yellow.  In either case, so long as you keep an eye on them, you should be good.

Pinecones:  Either as part of a wreath or in a bucket by themselves, pinecones are just a nice touch to everything else going on.  Just ask the beetles! If you’re taking pinecones from the great outdoors or from a hardware store (not the scented ones that you would get from a craft store) you should keep a lookout for common tree pests like aphids and beetles.  While they are typically not harmful, they are certainly a nuisance if they’re not taken care of right away. If left unchecked, they could multiply and spread throughout your house, which will surely put a damper on the holiday cheer.  Yet, a great way to make sure that your pine cones won’t harbor pests is to bake them in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. No joke—grab a cookie sheet, line the pinecones on it, and stick them in. Once they are done, not only will you get some nice smells to circulate throughout the house, but also pinecones that are assuredly free of critters.

Gingerbread houses: Seems like a no-brainer, but leaving your expertly made gingerbread house out overnight can lead several pests marching towards it for a super sugary and delicious meal.  All of your typical food pests, from cockroaches to ants and flies, would love to have a taste of icing or bring a gumdrop back to their colony. That being said, do your due diligence and wrap up the house at night and stick it in the fridge to avoid these pests from biting holes through your house.

‘Tis the season to decorate, but it is always the season to keep pests at bay.  For more pest defense tips and tricks, be sure to check back to our blog regularly!

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