Now that most of the dust has settled from the festivities around Christmas and New Year’s, many of us are packing up our decorations and cleaning up the crumbs from leftover treats. The last thing we want ruining the rest of the winter season is unexpected pests making themselves cozy in our homes. According to Charlie Jones, an entomologist and pest control expert at Arrow Exterminators, there are a few areas you should be extra-careful about when it comes to bugs and rodents.
For example, anyone who whipped up plenty of cookies and cakes over the holidays should be on the lookout for ants. Although they might seem more prevalent in the warmer months, they’re still attracted to sugar that gets left lying around in nooks and crannies. “We always recommend that homeowners thoroughly clean and conduct a complete inventory of their pantry this time of year, closely inspecting dry goods such as flour, cornmeal, and sugar for pests,” said Jones. Other creepy-crawlies that might pop up in your kitchen in the winter include Indian meal moths and merchant grain beetles, so it’s important to keep things nice and tidy.
Here's a list of even more helpful tips from the experts at Arrow Exterminators:
- Clean up spills immediately and store leftover holiday goodies in airtight containers.
- When grocery shopping, inspect goods carefully and only purchase sealed packages that show no signs of damage.
- If a pantry infestation is suspected, discard all contaminated foods and any other open dry goods in outdoor trash bins and clean the infested area thoroughly with a vacuum, plus soap and water.
- Store all holiday decorations in plastic, airtight containers.
- Store firewood off the ground and at least 20 feet away from the home and inspect each piece before bringing it into the home.
- Seal all holes and cracks along the foundation and any openings around exterior doors and windows; place screens over vents and chimneys to prevent rodents and insects from finding their way inside.
- Vacuum and sweep often around the home.
- In the event that mice are detected, a pest professional should be contacted immediately.
Following these steps will keep any hidden pests from appearing throughout the rest of the year, too. Plus, it will be less likely that you bring in any especially sneaky critters when it comes time to put up your holiday decorations again. No one wants to start the year off with an expensive exterminator bill, so be sure to keep these tips in mind.