Stockings are being hung and cookies are being made, which means the holiday season has arrived. As you pull out your decorations and lights, a few unexpected guests may surprise you. Unfortunately, some pests will be waiting to crash your holiday festivities. We’ve made a list of a few tips to help keep your holiday season pest-free. Shake Off Your Christmas TreeYou may not be the only one rocking around your tree this year. Live trees make the perfect home for pests like aphids. Before bringing a tree, garland, or wreaths into your home, you’ll want to inspect them. Keep an eye open not only for bugs, but also for their eggs. Shaking the branches can help to remove any hidden pests.Inspect FirewoodGathering around a warm fire always adds to the cozy feeling of the holidays. Unfortunately, bringing firewood into your home can also invite unwanted pests. Bugs, like ticks, hide in wood because it offers them warmth and safety. Check your wood before bringing it inside and don’t store it close to your home.Check Your DecorationsBug decorations probably aren’t what you had in mind for your holiday décor. Since many people store decorations in areas where bugs love to hide—basements, attics, and garages—it’s possible you’ll find them when you open your boxes. Unpack your decorations outside and inspect them for signs of pests. You’ll also want to check your lights for damaged wires.Don’t Bring Bed Bugs HomeIf you’re traveling for the holidays, be careful you don’t bring bugs home with you. Bed bugs have a habit of hitchhiking on luggage. If your hotel room has signs of bed bugs, switch rooms immediately. Store your luggage off the floor and inspect it before heading home. Wash your clothes when you get home to ensure you didn’t bring back an unpleasant souvenir.Pest-Free BakingMaking cookies and other sweet treats is one of the best parts of the holiday. You don’t want them ruined by pests sneaking into the batter. When shopping for your favorite ingredients, check for signs of pests like damaged packaging. Once home, transfer ingredients to tightly sealed containers to ensure your baked goods are free of pests.Don’t Share with BugsThere’s only one thing better than baking your favorite treats—eating them. Just as the smell of cookies can bring kids running to the kitchen, it can also attract hungry pests. Ants, cockroaches, and other pests will stick around your home if they can find food. Clean up any crumbs you leave behind and wipe up any spills. Prepping for Next YearWhen it comes time to pack up your decorations, you’ll want to be careful when choosing your storage containers. Pests search for places that are dark and offer shelter. It’s easy for them to slip into cardboard boxes. It’s best to store decorations in plastic bins with a tight seal. This will help keep your decorations safe until next year.Preventative TreatmentKeeping your home full of holiday cheer isn’t easy if you’re dealing with a pest problem. Applying a natural, plant-based insecticide spray, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Home Bug Spray, can help keep your home pest-free. Not only will it kill bugs on contact, it will also provide you with residual repellency. This will help keep bugs from entering your home.The holiday season is supposed to be filled with fun family activities, not with pesky bugs. Taking just a few preventative measures can ensure your holidays are filled with joy and not stress. If you’re dealing with a pest-problem, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.