Around the Holidays, Beware Cheer-stealing Pests

Mice cookies on green plate

At this most wonderful time of the year, Braman Termite and Pest Elimination urges homeowners to heed signs that creatures may be stirring—or gnawing on festive décor.

According to the experts at Braman, a leading provider of pest management services in southern New England since 1890, pests can put a heavy and even dangerous damper on holiday spirits. “When you bring outdoor greenery into your home, you also bring anything that may be living in it,” said Jerry Lazarus, third generation owner of Braman Termite and Pest Elimination. “This can mean beetles, spiders, mites, deer ticks and other ‘tree travelers.’ Some are nuisances, while others present an actual health hazard.”

Mice, perhaps the most common type of winter pest, are not only potential disease carriers but may present a serious safety hazard as well. “They have a habit of chewing insulation and wiring, which poses a very real fire risk,” Lazarus said. “Wires and rodents make a dangerous combination, and you’re bound to find both in storage areas such as attics and basements. An unsecured box of holiday decorations could look like home to a family of mice.”

To help ensure a safe and relaxing holiday season, Braman Termite & Pest Elimination and National Pest Management Association (NPMA) suggest these tips:

  • Shake off trees and garlands before bringing them inside, and carefully inspect them for pests or spider egg sacs that can hide in branches. Because temperatures have been consistently above 40 degrees, there is the possibility of deer ticks being on items brought indoors.
  • Do NOT use chemical sprays on trees; most insect repellents are highly flammable.
  • If copying a DIY natural decoration from Pinterest or other craft site, inspect all foliage outside the home before beginning projects.
  • Store firewood on raised structures located at least 20 feet away from the home; inspect firewood for pests and brush it off before bringing it indoors.
  • After pulling decorations from storage, unpack them outdoors to check for pests like mice; look inside boxes for droppings or gnaw marks.
  • Examine string lights to ensure wiring is fully intact because mice are renowned for gnawing wires.
  • When storing décor after the holidays, use durable, sealed containers that pests cannot readily access instead of cardboard boxes or plastic bags.

These efforts can help keep unwanted holiday guests at bay, but if an infestation is suspected, contact Braman Termite and Pest Elimination to evaluate the problem and recommend an action plan. For a free consultation and estimate, contact us today!

See additional coverage from Facility Safety Management and Pest Management Professional Magazine