Once gifts have been unwrapped and the holiday meal eaten, it will be time to start putting your holiday decorations away for the year.

holiday decoration

While you may be most concerned with carefully wrapping your treasured ornaments to ensure their safety, there are a few things you should consider when it comes to storing your holiday decorations.

The coldest months of winter are still ahead, and unwanted pests will be seeking shelter from the elements. The last thing you want to see as you unpack your holiday decor next year is the unwanted gift of an infestation.

Read on to learn how you can help prevent spidersmice and other undesirable visitors from turning your favorite time of the year into a nightmare.

Store Your Decorations Properly

Helping prevent infestations begins with inspecting the items you bring into your home after purchasing them. Natural greenery and trees need to be carefully inspected for any signs of bugs or pests before they are brought inside the home. The same goes for any purchased items; check the boxes and the items themselves for any signs of infestation.

Items that you're planning on storing away should be inspected, as well. As you pick up each item to put it away, give it a once-over to make sure you see no signs of pests, like claw marks, bite marks or feces. Wrap each item and place it in an airtight container so uninvited guests can't make it their home. Hard plastic containers with tight fitting lids are best for storage. Avoid using cardboard boxes or plastic bags, as they can easily be penetrated by pests. Not only is this a great way to help prevent pests, but it also allows you to organize ornaments by category or color for easy unboxing next season.

Linens and other soft fabrics should be placed in large sealed storage bags, and then in an airtight box. This will help keep your favorite Christmas napkins dry and clean.

Edible decor, like stringed popcorn and candy canes, should never be stored for next year. It’s almost guaranteed that a hungry pest will find them. In addition, items such as pine cones are especially attractive to pests. If you plan on storing pine cones for next year, be sure that they are well-protected.

Consider Where You Store Your Decorations

Where you store your decorations can also affect your chances of a bug-free unboxing next year. Common storage areas, like basements and attics, are rarely frequented by humans, which can make a perfect hideout for a number of pests.

Take the time to inspect the room or closet in which you'll store your items. Use a flashlight to check corners and under any furniture. This small step can make all the difference when it comes to helping keep your holiday decor pest-free!

If You Find Pests, Don’t Panic

If you do happen to find an unpleasant surprise while unboxing your holiday items next year, don’t panic. Give the knowledgeable technicians at Terminix® a call. We'll help ensure you have a happy, pest-free holiday season.