Keep your house bug-free during the holidays - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Keep your house free of bugs and rodents during the holidays

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(WTVM) -

This time of year many people have a lot on their plates - but bugs shouldn't be one of them.

Keeping bugs out of your home can be tough, but you can keep your home bug-free with a few simple steps from Arrow Exterminator.

Cold weather drives bugs into your home, and so do the sweet holiday foods and treats that are left out.

Spills can happen when you cook, but you need to make sure to keep your cooking area clean by wiping up any messes immediately. If spills get into the cracks in the tile, it may attract ants.

Keep your cakes and cookies covered, too. A plate full of food is an open invitation for bugs. Even after dinner, don't leave dirty dishes in the sink. Not only will dirty dishes attract bugs, but rodents as well.

The biggest area to keep an eye on is the pantry. Charles Lawhon from Arrow Exterminators says to always inspect your pantry.

"As you're cleaning your pantry out, check for insect droppings on the floor or on the shelves for rodents droppings. If you notice them, take everything out of your pantry. Whatever is open dispose of it do away with it. Get some hot, soapy water and clean your entire pantry out before putting more stock back in there," he says.

You should inspect the food that's already in the pantry. Moths and beetles will hide in flour, cake mix, and dried fruits.

Lawhon also says to inspect your food in the supermarket before you buy it. You don't know which bugs may be hiding in your fresh fruit or vegetables.

Check the packaging on flour, sugar, and meals for puncture marks. Bugs may be hiding in there.

You may be bringing bugs into your home and not even know it.

If you have a fireplace, make sure to inspect any wood before you bring it in. The same precaution should be made with your Christmas tree.

"Make sure that before you bring them into your home you thoroughly shake the tree or the wreath. The reason...is that there may be a trail of ants on your tree. And the last thing we at Arrow Exterminators want is for you to bring it in already contaminated or full of ants, which could eventually make their way through your home," says Lawhon.

Experts also advice that when you take the tree down to store the ornaments in a tightly sealed container. Believe it or not, storing them in plastic bags can attract rats, spiders, and even bats.

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