As you head into the Thanksgiving season and prepare yourself for giblets and gelatinous cranberry, there are a few things you can do to keep household pests from ruining your festivities. Here are some of the repeat offenders that may try to join you this Thanksgiving, and how to uninvite them to the party.
Cockroaches. These nasty little things love to run around your kitchen any time of year, but especially Thanksgiving. They love it when you accidently drip turkey juice between your stove and the counter, and their whole family comes together and feasts on spilt orange juice that ran under the fridge. If you haven't gotten around to sealing up your home and getting your exterior walls treated by a professional, deep cleaning is the next best deterrent for roaches. They love rotted, sugary gunk. The less you have between the stove and the wall, the less interested they are in staying at your house. Keep your stored food in hard, plastic containers and put a lid on your trash, to further deter them. If they know of another place near your house with easier food access, they will go there.
Pantry Pests. Nothing can ruin Thanksgiving faster than opening a package and finding beetles or moths. These nasty, little bugs come home with you from the grocery store. As you're out buying fixings for Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to check packages for tiny holes or tears. And, when you get back to your pantry, get rid of the old stuff on your shelves. The smell of rotting food is a dinner bell for pantry pests.
Rodents. These nasty, little dumpster divers love to crash your Thanksgiving. Keeping them out of your house, through proper exclusion and perimeter spraying, is the safest strategy for your family, but if you haven't been able to make that happen, at least grab a caulking gun, circle the house, and fill in any rotted holes you find. Be sure to look in hard to get at places, like under the porch, deck, or closed in stairwells.
Wildlife. There are a ton of animals living around your home, and nothing draws them in like the smells of Thanksgiving. Every time the door is opened, the scent of tasty morsels drifts out, and the wild animals take notice. But more than anything else, it is the trash that will lure wildlife into your yard. Make sure to keep all of your trash in sealed containers, and use a bungee cord to hold the lids on, if necessary.
Bed bugs. Thanksgiving is also a time of visiting friends and relatives, and nowadays it is getting more and more likely that you'll run into bed bugs in your travels. The trick is not only to avoid them, but to keep from bringing them back to your house. Always bring a flashlight with you. Check any mattress and box spring, you intend to sleep on, for black fecal deposits. Check for dried, brown blood stains. And, inspect the backboard and any furniture in the room, for tiny seed-like bugs.