The holiday season is one of the most special times of the year – the whole family come together to enjoy great food, warmth by the fire and holiday cheer.

However, one of the lesser loved parts of the holiday season is its tendency to draw bugs into your home.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled 8 ways you can make sure that your home stays bug free during the festivities.

Check your decorations.

When your decorations aren’t up around the house, or decorating your Christmas tree, they’re usually kept in cardboard boxes – out of the way, in your attic, cellar or basement, where they spend the majority of their lives.

Unfortunately, bugs love these spaces – and your decoration storage boxes provide the perfect shelter for critters such as spiders, lice and mites to hide.

So, before you take out your decorations, you should check each box to ensure that you aren’t bringing any unwanted guests into your home – you’ll probably want to wear gloves, as some bugs may bite.

Use sealable plastic containers to store your decorations.

Most people use old cardboard boxes to store their decorations each year – however, many bugs are drawn to cardboard boxes as a source of shelter or even food.

Instead, to ensure your decorations stay bug-free, consider storing them in plastic sealable boxes each year so that you don’t need to check your decorations for pests next time.

Seal up any cracks in the walls of your home.

At any time of the year, sealing cracks in the walls of your home is a sure way to reduce the entry of pests into your home.

Particularly in the holiday season, however, when it’s freezing outside and nice and toasty in your heated home, bugs will be even more desperate to gain access to your house, and sealing any cracks in your walls or foundation is a great way to prevent them from doing so.

Inspect your Christmas tree before you buy.

One of the biggest bug mistakes you can make during the holiday season is to buy a Christmas tree without thoroughly checking it for bug infestations.

Christmas trees – such as firs and spruces – are a huge attractant to bugs including adelgids, aphids, beetles, spiders and mites, and by bringing them into your home without checking, you’re effectively inviting a whole host of creeping crawling guests to join in the festivities.

So, you should check for bugs on the branches and spines – but also for eggs, and white, cottony coatings, which suggest the presence of certain Christmas-tree loving bugs.

To find out more about how to ensure your Christmas tree stays bug-free, read our article here.

Shake your tree outside before bringing it in.

As a final precaution, you should shake your Christmas tree outside before bringing it into the home, to throw off any critters you might have missed when inspecting your tree.

Check your firewood.

Another common vehicle of bugs into your home during the holidays – and throughout all the cold fall and winter months – is firewood.

While there’s nothing quite as comforting as a fire during the holidays, certain bugs are drawn to firewood as a food source, while others use it as shelter to protect themselves from the elements.

So, you should always check any wood before you bring it into the house, and swiftly remove any bugs you might find manually, or with diatomaceous earth.

Moreover, if you keep your firewood too close to the house then bugs are also more likely to travel from your firewood stores and through the door to your home, in search of warmth and shelter, so make sure to keep your stores as far away as possible from your home.

Ward against bed bugs on your holiday travels.

Lots of people like to travel during the holidays – whether that’s to visit with friends or family, or even on vacation – but so do bed bugs.

Whenever you’re staying at a new place – though particularly in hotels and hostels – you should always check for bed bugs, especially around the seams of the bed.

Moreover, to ensure you don’t bring any back to your home, you can take a few steps to bed-bug proof your suitcase and luggage. Read more about how in our article here.

Consider having a perimeter pest control treatment.

As a chemical line of defense around your home, perimeter treatments can help to stop all types of creepy crawlies from crawling over your lawn or around the perimeter of your home to inside the house.

At Mantis Pest Solutions in Overland Park, we can provide perimeter and lawn pest control treatments to ensure that the bugs on your porch or in your garden never make their way into your home.