This time of year is truly beautiful, especially with all sorts of decorations lining houses inside and out.  From poinsettias to pine cones to wreaths and everything in between, there is so much joy in the air—and plenty of places to hide.  Come join us today, as we tell you what pests may be vying to hide in your decorations, and the best way to make them stay away!

So to give you all of this great information, we’re going to take a certain type of common decoration, tell you about the pests that love them, and how to get rid of them.  However, please note that we will not be covering the Christmas tree, as we did it in a previous article this month, which can be found here.

So, without further ado, let’s get going!

Pine cones:  Either as part of a wreath or in a bucket by themselves, pine cones are just a nice touch to everything else going on—and plenty of beetles agree.  If you are taking pine cones from outside or from a hardware store (not the scented ones that you would get from a craft store) you should keep a lookout for common tree pests like the aphid or the beetle.  While they are typically not harmful, they are certainly a nuisance, and should be taken care of before they start to appear.  A great way to make sure that your pine cones won’t harbor pests is to bake them in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.  No joke, grab a cookie sheet, line the pine cones on it, and stick them in.  Once they are done, you’ll get a nice rustic smell, and pest-free pine cones!  

Poinsettias: A Christmas staple in its own right, poinsettias are the traditional flower you need.  However, these desert plants can also bring along with them a slew of flies, gnats, and mealybugs.  Not only will they make a buffet out of your poinsettias, but they can also spread their nasty ways to your household at large, and that is the last thing you need during Christmas Eve dinner.  Do yourself a favor and give your poinsettia leaves a quick swab with some rubbing alcohol to kill off any bug larvae or eggs that could be hiding.  In addition, you can also put up some yellow sticky fly traps around the flower, since whiteflies (the fly that typically plagues poinsettias) love the color yellow.  In either case, so long as you keep an eye on them, you should be good.

Gingerbread houses: Seems like a no-brainer, but leaving your expertly made gingerbread house out overnight can lead several pests marching towards it for a super sugary and delicious meal.  All of your typical food pests, from cockroaches to ants and flies, would love to have a taste of icing or bring a gumdrop back to their colony.  That being said, do your due diligence and wrap up the house at night and stick it in the fridge to avoid these pests from biting holes through your house.

‘Tis the season to decorate, but it is always the season to keep pests at bay.  For more pest defense tips and tricks, be sure to check back to our blog regularly!

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