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Keep Your Holidays Pest-Free This Year

Arrow Exterminators Offers Tips to Prevent Pests from Spoiling the Season’s Good Cheer

The holiday season is a time to celebrate, be thankful, and spread good cheer to all.  Unfortunately, holiday baking, parties and decorations can be a great reason for pests to celebrate as well.  Nothing will spoil the holiday festivities more quickly than an invasion of mice, ants, cockroaches, and Indian meal moths, which are all common intruders this time of year. 

“Homeowners are often engaging in activities this time of year such as baking, parties and decorating that can provide an entryway or welcoming environment for pests,” said Arrow pest expert, Mike Malone.  “A few simple steps can go a long way to ensure pests don’t ruin the festivities.”

Seal Entry Points: As temperatures drop, pests seek refuge indoors, making it essential to fortify your home against potential entry points. Conduct a thorough inspection of windows, doors, and any cracks or gaps in the foundation. Seal these openings with weather-stripping, caulk, or other suitable materials to create a barrier that deters pests from making their way inside.

Landscaping and Yard Maintenance: The mild Florida winter doesn’t mean that pests disappear entirely. Many thrive in the warmth of well-maintained landscapes. Trim overgrown vegetation, remove debris, and keep the yard free of standing water to eliminate potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests. Regular landscaping can also disrupt hiding spots for pests, reducing the likelihood of infestations. We recommend maintaining a safe distance between your home and vegetation to create a barrier that deters pests from accessing treated areas. Ants and other pests often nest in overgrown vegetation, using it as a pathway to gain entry into your home.

Adjusting Irrigation Practices: As temperatures drop during the winter months, it’s crucial to modify your irrigation schedule to prevent unnecessary moisture buildup in your lawn, which can contribute to fungus activity. We recommend reducing irrigation to an as-needed basis for your lawn. This involves monitoring weather conditions and adjusting watering frequency accordingly. Additionally, for established shrubs that are 6 months or older, it is advisable to completely shut off shrub irrigation until March to discourage fungal growth and promote overall plant health.

Regular Pest Inspections: Consider scheduling routine pest inspections with a professional exterminator. A trained eye can identify potential problem areas before they escalate, providing peace of mind and allowing for prompt intervention if necessary.

Arrow Exterminators recommends the following tips to help keep homes pest-free this holiday season. You can also view these tips on our pest-free holiday infographic.

  • Clean up spills immediately and store holiday goodies in airtight containers.
  • Before baking, inspect all food, especially dry goods, for potential infestations and check expiration dates.
  • When grocery shopping, inspect goods carefully and only purchase sealed packages that show no signs of damage.
  • If a pantry-infestation is suspected, discard all contaminated foods and any other open dry goods in outdoor trash bins, and clean the infested area thoroughly with a vacuum and soap and water.
  • Inspect and shake Christmas trees, wreaths, and other live greenery thoroughly before bringing them into the house.
  • Store all holiday decorations in plastic, airtight containers and when retrieving from the attic or basement, inspect them outdoors before bringing inside.
  • Store firewood off the ground, at least 20 feet away from the home and inspect each piece before bringing it inside.
  • Seal all holes and cracks along the foundation and any openings around exterior doors and windows. Place screens over vents and chimneys to prevent rodents and insects from finding their way inside.
  • Vacuum and sweep often around the home.
  • In the event mice are detected, a pest professional should be contacted immediately.


A flurry of baking in the kitchen is a sure sign the holidays are here.  Cookies, cakes, and candies are delicious treats for the holidays, but are also very attractive to pests.  Many types of ants are attracted to sweets and pantry pests such as Indian meal moths and merchant grain beetles can be found lurking in flour, cake mixes, dried fruits, and corn meal.  “We always recommend that homeowners thoroughly clean and conduct a complete inventory of their pantry this time of year, closely inspecting dry goods, such as flour, corn meal and sugar for pests,” said Malone. 


Decorating is a great time for family fun, but it is important to take precautions when bringing live trees, wreaths, and other greenery inside the home.  Pests like spiders and ants may have taken up residence in the trees or wreaths, and you will unwittingly bring them into the home as well.  Additionally, decorations coming out of storage in your attic or basement may be harboring rodents and other wildlife.

Finally, uninvited guests like mice, cockroaches and ants are still looking for food and shelter. While a roaring fire is certainly welcoming for guests, that stack of firewood is also the perfect nesting spot for many pests including spiders, cockroaches, termites, and rodents, and provides easy transportation into the home.

By implementing these recommendations, you contribute to the overall success of our pest control efforts and help maintain a healthy and vibrant outdoor environment. If you have any questions or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Arrow Exterminators in The Villages (352) 689-0050.

Wishing you a pest-free and flourishing landscape this winter season!

Ricardo Rodriguez
Service Center Manager