Check Holiday Décor for Pests Before Decking the Halls

mouse next to a Christmas ornament

Braman Termite & Pest Elimination shares tips to keep homes pest-free this holiday season

With the holidays upon us, families across the country will be getting into the spirit by trimming the tree, wrapping presents and competing to see who has the most decorated home on the block. While these traditions are things that mark the start of the season, something we don’t want to make a tradition is inadvertently bringing pests (think spiders, ticks and mice) indoors.

Braman Termite & Pest Elimination, a leading provider of pest management services across southern New England since 1890, reminds families what to look for when unpacking their holiday décor, so they can avoid a possible pest infestation.

One of the most common ways that pests are introduced into homes during the holidays is via Christmas trees, wreaths and firewood. Ants, spiders, ticks and other insects can hide deep in the branches of trees and in the crevices of wood. In some cases, these sneaky critters may even lay eggs in trees or on garland. When brought indoors, the eggs will hatch, introducing pests into the home.

Pests can also hide in boxes of decorations, which are often stored in garages, basements, attics and crawlspaces. These are all ideal conditions for pests to linger and when ornaments are unpacked, you might find droppings or a dead mouse.

“The holidays are a busy time of year and it’s often easy to overlook signs of a possible pest infestation,” commented Jerry Lazarus, owner of Braman Termite & Pest Elimination. “To avoid bringing infested décor inside the home, carefully inspect live greenery, give it a good shake before bringing it in, look for telltale signs, and properly store your décor for the next season.”

The experts at Braman and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommend several tactics to help prevent pests from wrecking your holiday décor:

  • Shake off trees and garland. Carefully inspect them for pests or eggs that can hide in branches before bringing them indoors.
  • 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 all wiring is still fully intact.
  • When storing décor after the holidays, use durable sealed containers that pests can’t chew through, rather than cardboard boxes or plastic bags.

With 24/7 service, Braman can help ensure your tree shines bright, no matter what hour of the day. For more information about preventing common household pests, please visit