Holiday wreath and candles

Some Do’s (And Don’Ts) of Pest-Resistant Holiday Decor

Christmas is quickly approaching, and homes are definitely showing the signs of the season with decor showing up in and around houses all over Polk County. Overnight, many of our local neighborhoods turned into holiday wonderlands, but all that decor is expensive, and it can be tempting to fall into the DIY trap (we're looking at you Pinterest) when you want to save some money and have a festive home at the same time. Many of these projects utilize old or natural materials to shave down the cost, and while it seems like a good idea, it can mean bad news for your pest control. That's why we took time to search out a few great ideas for DIY decor that won't break the bank, and won't attract the neighborhood pest population right to your front porch.

Some great ideas we found include:

  • Cement block Christmas presents. Simply spray paint inexpensive cement blocks from your local hardware store with any fun colors you would like! Tie them up with some wide ribbon and add a large bow on top for a festive faux "gift" that you can use alone on a front table, or as a grouping in various sizes for some patio decor with a punch. The best part is, the only pests you might find with these are an occasional spider hiding out at the end of the holiday season. Simply sweep him aside, brush off the blocks, and they'll be ready and waiting in your garage for next year!
  • Giant Christmas Ornaments. Want to add some big impact for very little cost? These oversized ornaments are a wonderful way to spice up large-scale trees in and around your yard, accent a front porch, or even hang from wire in your outdoor living spaces (they'd look GREAT in a pool area!). Who knew that amazing decor could come from cheap plastic balls, some deli containers, and some paint? Find the tutorial here (https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/home-and-family/how-to/giant-ornament-with-tanya-memme) and prepare to be amazed at what you can make!
  • Creatively use lights. Who said classic string lights are only for wrapping trees and shrubs? You can fashion lights into a variety of designs on garage doors, wireframes, and more. Have some old tomato cages in the garage? Flip them upside down, add a few strings of lights, and you have a brightly lit, trendy tree for little to no money out of pocket. A grouping of these on a front porch is a great way to be merry and bright. Think outside the box with your Christmas lights this year!

On the other hand, we also found some ideas that you probably don't want to try this year:

  • Homemade birdseed ornaments. Yes, in theory, this seems great. You get pretty, festive ornaments to hang in all of your trees and outdoor areas, and you'll help out the hungry birds at the same time! It's a win-win right? Not necessarily. Guess who else loves birdseed? Squirrels. These pesky rascals don't need any excuse to get close to your home. Not only are they a nuisance, but they also have crafty ways of finding their way into attic spaces and wreaking havoc on your home by nesting in your insulation (or boxes of personal belongings). You're better off getting a squirrel-proof feeder if you want to feed the birds this year and find another way to decorate your trees for the holidays.
  • Old pallet wood decor. We've all seen the ideas floating around for using old pallets to make Christmas trees, sleighs, and more. Unfortunately, you don't always know where that wood has been, and it could bring a host of unwanted characters with it, including termites. What's more, over time if these wooden decor pieces are left out in the elements and begin to deteriorate, they could attract termites on their own. Using treated wood outdoor decor is your best bet if you want to keep bugs at bay.
  • Bringing the outdoors, in. While a large vase full of pretty branches from the woods behind your house might look nice, the critters that come out at night while you're sleeping might make you want to think twice about this decor idea. Anytime you bring natural materials into your home you run the risk of insects hitching a ride. If you do choose to use branches or natural materials, give them a thorough visual inspection for any bug activity, and then leave them in your garage for a few days on a white sheet. As insects fall off, you'll be able to see what you're dealing with. If you see nothing to worry about, you're probably safe to go ahead and use them.

We hope your holiday season is full of fun and joy, as you decorate and prepare for the big day. If pest issues are putting a damper on your fun, Country Boy is ready to come to the rescue. We make it a priority to offer quick, reliable service for residents in and around the Winter Haven area, and our team of professionals is equipped to handle everything from a simple ant nest to a full roach infestation. Give us a call!

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