The holiday season is here and that means that it is time to decorate! Unfortunately, your new decorations may be bringing more than holiday cheer to your home; your festive display may also attract mice, insects and other unwanted interlopers. Read on to learn which decorations are most likely to become vectors for potential pests. Also, learn a little about what you can do if you find an unwanted visitor in your home.
Which Decorations Lead to a Humbug Christmas?
Some decorations are more likely to attract extra guests than others. You don’t need to skip these decorations. However, you may want to take some extra precautions to ensure that only you and your loved ones are enjoying them.
- Christmas Tree: It probably comes as no surprise that natural trees sometimes have insects and other pests in them. At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we recently helped a hospital rid an 85-foot tree of squirrels that were having a ball chewing on all the lights. Even if your tree is a little shorter, give it a good shake and visual inspection before bringing it inside.
- Wreaths and Garland: Similarly, pests can hitch a ride on other natural decorations. Even store-bought or artificial decorations may be an inviting home for any critters that find their way indoors. Again, a thorough visual inspection outside is a good idea.
- Lighting: Holiday lights aren’t likely to come with wildlife already on board. However, they tend to attract rodents who like to chew on them. Some wiring is made with bioplastic that can include soy. This can seem like a nice holiday meal to rodents. As a company with safety as our number one priority we ensure each system is protected by an overvoltage protected timer and a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI, which safely cuts the power in a fault condition. Our technicians are trained to meticulously troubleshoot any fault and rectify any suspected damage.
- Gingerbread Houses and Sweets: Some decorations that attract pests are a little more obvious. Gingerbread houses and other edible decorations can be a major draw for any animals looking for a meal over the holidays.
- Stockings: Although stockings don’t typically attract animals directly, they can act as ladders for mice and other rodents. For example, if you have cookies for Santa on your mantelpiece, your stockings may make getting a treat easier for your uninvited visitors.
- Gifts: Wrapping paper and boxes make great materials for building nests. Obviously, most people are not going to forego gifts. However, you can keep them safely stored away until you are ready to open them.
How Can You Avoid Wildlife Problems?
You may be wondering if any decorations are safe. Can you even enjoy the holidays without needing to call up a wildlife removal service? The good news is that yes, you absolutely can decorate and have plenty of holiday cheer.
Be cautious about what you leave out. Food is going to attract animals. If you have treats in an advent calendar, cookies for Santa or gingerbread houses, simply put them away in a cabinet or secure pantry before heading to bed.
As mentioned above, inspect your decorations before bringing them indoors. Additionally, keep an eye on larger decor items, especially your Christmas tree, to see if any wildlife emerge during the season.
At Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control, we help families and businesses prevent animals from chewing on and living in their decorations. Here are some on the job stories from one of our Skedaddle Wildlife Experts Julian Ames.
Naturally Accented Wreaths and Bird Feeders
- Although this is not one of our Christmas decor products, a homeowner had a wreath that was accented with natural pine cones and it fell foul of red squirrels in search of their winter cache, stripping a festive wreath of its decorations.
- Another case was caused by the introduction of a new bird feeder which in itself attracts unwanted wildlife. Simply removing the feeder solved that problem.
Christmas Lights not Working
1. After spending an entire day in an 85ft boom lift a week before the Grand Lighting Up festival for a Hamilton District Hospitals, we received a call the day before lighting up, saying that our lights weren’t working. Upon further inspection, it was revealed that squirrels had been chewing off the mini lights confusing them as nuts. We found over 50 lights missing, probably sitting proudly in a dry (squirrel nest) close by. We replaced the damaged lengths and applied a foul tasting repellent to deter them.
2. After installing a beautiful array of lights on a home in Burlington we were called to investigate a call for lights not working. The inspection revealed large sections of missing lights. We found approximately ten 6″-18″ sections that were completely missing. In this case, our wildlife experience revealed the tell-tale bite pattern of the common grey squirrel. Like all rodents, their teeth constantly grow and they have to chew to ensure that their teeth are maintained, like filing your nails. Fortunately, squirrels are diurnal (active during the day) so didn’t get zapped as all our decorations are controlled multi programmable timers. We repaired the ‘vandalized’ sections and applied a caulk-like deterrent liquid. This had to be addressed a number of times before the squirrels were eventually deterred.
What Things Can You Do?
Try to seal any points of entry. This is also a good idea simply to keep your utility bill down during the cold weather. Filling any cracks and crevices around the walls, doors, and windows is a good idea. If you have air vents, cover them with wire mesh. The more challenging you make it for animals to get inside, the better off you will be. However, rodents and insects can be tenacious. The best thing you can do is avoid giving them any reasons to come indoors. If you find anything they are going after, either remove that decoration or treat it with repellent. If you notice anything serious, such as multiple animals, strongly consider calling a wildlife removal service. You will be glad you did when you get to enjoy the holidays without the worry of uninvited guests.
Get the Right Help for Wildlife Removal This Christmas
If you need humane mice removal or any other help with wildlife this holiday season, call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. We will help you enjoy the spirit of the season without having to worry about attracting more than just reindeer. Contact us or check for a location near you to get started. We are happy to help you with any wildlife control needs.