The holidays are upon us once again. Though the season is mostly about being with family and spreading joy, we also receive more temporal things: gifts.
In the spirit of the season, we’d like to give you a few tips on how to keep those gifts away from pests.
Protect your clothes from moths
Whether you got a shirt you love or an ugly sweater from your Grandmother, you’ll want to make sure you don’t go to dress one morning and find moth larvae have made a meal of your clothes. Moths prefer dark areas that remain undisturbed for long periods of time, like spare bedrooms, closets, wardrobes, lofts or attics.
You could invest in some mothballs—which release a gas that prevents the moths from mating and laying eggs on your clothes—to keep moths away, but the gas will leave a lingering smell all over your clothes. Alternatively, you can buy moth sprays or strips that kill moths and kill them and their eggs with an odourless insecticide.
You should also hoover under beds and other furniture to capture any eggs before they hatch, especially if you have had an infestation or noticed more moths than usual in your home.
Protect your bedding from dust mites
If you received crisp new sheets for your bed or a warm blanket for the winter chill there’s a good they are going to attract dust mites. Dust mites feed on the flakes of skin found in dust, and they can trigger severe reactions in people with asthma or allergies.
Make sure you keep your house as dust-free as possible to limit their source of food. Wash your bed linen and pillows weekly and on a high temperature to kill off the dust mites. You can buy a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which will trap even the smallest mites, as well as special cases for your mattress, pillows and duvet.
Protect your cakes and cookies from mice
Since the economy isn’t exactly in the best shape, a lot of people are looking to make the presents they give, and few homemade gifts receive a warmer reception than baked goods. The problem is that mice like that sort of food almost as much as we do!
To make sure you don’t pick up any freeloading mice this season, make sure any food outside of your fridge is sealed in containers. And clear away crumbs and other food waste. No access to food means an uninhabitable home for rodents.
Protect your wood from termites and woodworms
Gifts of all shapes and sizes can be made of wood – from an all-new deck out back for hosting guests to a rocking horse for the kids or a beautiful wood sculpture for the garden. Whatever the present is and wherever it goes, you should take the time to protect it from potential termite or woodworm infestation.
Woodworm is usually the larvae of various wood-eating beetles, including ambrosia beetles, common furniture beetles and weevils. They are usually attracted to humid areas, so keeping your house free from humidity can make your house less hospitible to the creatures. If you do find you have a woodworm problem, however, the only real solution is to call in the professionals.
To keep termites at bay, you can use treatments for wood that prevent termites from eating the wood. These proactive treatments are fairly inexpensive and don’t take long to apply and are a lot cheaper than trying to treat an infestation, which can be tenfold cost of the preventative measures.
We hope these tips prove helpful during the holiday season. And if you do find that you’ve attracted a few unwanted pests with all the food and festivities, you may want to read about the ways you can trap pests using your leftover beer.