Getting Rid of Post-Holiday Pests

The holiday season has drawn to a close. Friends and families have come together to share food and festivities, and now they are heading home. Pest control is the farthest thing from your mind. The house lights are dim and for the last time this season you sit in the shadows and enjoy the memories and the beautiful lights. Tomorrow is enough time to pack it all away. Tonight is about enjoying the peace and quiet. Only it isn’t so quiet after all.

Remember those gingerbread houses you made with the kids? They turned hard and you thought it would be a good idea to put them outside for the birds. The kids loved to look at the Quail and Blue Jays that came to see what was for dinner. The children didn’t tell you how they laughed at all the cute little mice running in and out of the gingerbread window you decorated with gumdrops.

The mice certainly didn’t let you know they deeply appreciated how you have been feeding their rapidly growing family all season long. They failed to mention that their crumb trails invited cockroaches to come in and celebrate the holidays. The cockroaches also left little trails of scents the ants could follow. All of this pest activity invited the spiders that have now set up home in the corners of your house.

Everyone is all snuggled down in their buggy beds for a long winter’s stay at your home. So much for the peace and quiet! Maybe it’s time to call the exterminator. But first, let’s rewind this movie just a bit and remember that proper pest control starts with you. Let’s go back and take a look at your gingerbread houses – and all of the leftover food from your holidays.

This is the time of year that all the pests you don’t want crashing your holidays may already be in your house. They came in looking for food, water, and warmth. You can lay out a banquet for them, or, with a little strategy you can close off the buffet line.

Your post-holiday pest control starts with proper clean up, storage, and disposal of your holiday feasting. After the flurry of baking and cooking, carefully check your counters and floors for spilled food. Give your floor a good mopping and be sure to frequently wipe down your counters well. Keep your pantry foods in tightly closed plastic containers or glass jars with lids. Your refrigerator calls for the same kind of storage.

Watch out for spoiling foods at the back of the refrigerator and cupboard shelves. Make sure that anything you are going to throw away goes into a garbage bin with a tight lid, and store the garbage bin away from your home.

We don’t like to think of all of the uninvited guests that may have attended our gatherings, but they do come. On the list of least wanted pests is probably the bedbug. But wait, you don’t have any bed bugs, right? Only now you do and you wonder how they came in.

Remember that bedbugs are not an issue of cleanliness. They are the worst kind of hitchhiker there is – the type that you don’t see unless it is too late. Your out-of-town family could have picked them up in the airport, or in the hotel, and brought them along to your house without even knowing about them. Even your friends down the road could have picked them up and invited them to join the festivities. Those pests are something you want to get rid of – and fast!

How do you know if you have them? You might see some bites on your skin, or even see some brownish staining on your bedding, or see the bugs on your sheets. Be careful when you unplug your holiday lights. Bedbugs like to live around outlets because it is a warm spot for them.

Now it is time to start taking down all the decorations inside, and outside, of your home. Tree lights, garlands and treasured ornaments are all being packed carefully away until next year. The winner of the “Ugliest Holiday Sweater” has been carefully folded and is ready to be stored, along with all of your other seasonal clothing. For many of us that means storage in garages, attics, basements and outbuildings.

Check those places you store your decorations and your seasonal clothing. If you are using cardboard boxes, anything in them is a temptation for all kinds of pests. The worst kind of pests that come into these areas are the spiders, and you have to be careful. Often you won’t know they are hiding in your garage until you move some
boxes, or open them.

The spiders living in and around your stored boxes can become scared and will try to bite you. Remember, here in the Yakima Valley we have three kinds of venomous spiders. The Hobo, Yellow Sac and Black Widow all deliver very painful and dangerous bites.

The best way to protect your items – and yourself – is to store them in plastic boxes with tight-fitting lids. That will help to prevent the pests from moving in, and it will help you be able to see if they have somehow made their way into the boxes.

Just because we have lots of snow on the ground doesn’t mean that pest control can rest. In fact, it is more important now as the pests you want to control are all trying to move inside your house. Your vigilance can help make the difference between an occasional bug and a full on infestation. In the early stages, a pest control specialist can help you learn what to do to help yourself. Once an infestation starts, it really takes a professional pest control operator to help you determine the extent of the infestation and the best course of action to take.

If you think unwanted pests like ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, spiders, or rodents have moved in for the holidays you will want to get them under control and out of your home as quickly as possible! Jerry Garcia’s extensive experience providing pest control services in the Yakima valley gives you the confidence of professional, proven, and quality year-round pest control for your home. Pests are eliminated as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we offer effective and ongoing prevention to keep your home or business pest free.

Now you can relax.
Remember – February is the month of love; even for pests!