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Check your boxes for bugs and all your packages for pests

Those holiday deliveries may come with some uninvited guests!

TAMPA, Fla. — Because of the pandemic, many of you have done much of your holiday shopping online. But, all those packages showing up at your door may be bringing along some uninvited pests. It's good to know there's a way to prevent that. 

It seems so harmless, bringing that package inside your home to unpack your goodies. Turns out, cardboard boxes are actually the perfect home for ants, silverfish, roaches and even rodents!

"First thing we can do is try to limit the amount of time they're (packages) sitting out in front of our door. The longer it's out there the more likely it is to attract pests. So give it a good inspection inside and out," Michael Bentley with the National Pest Management Association said. "It's probably a good idea to even open the package outside, before bringing it in."

After that, it's time to get rid of the box. 

"Making sure that those boxes are broken down and being stored in a cool, dry place if possible. And then most importantly getting rid of them as soon as you can," Bentley advised. 

While you may be tempted to reuse them to store items after the holidays, Bentley says that's not a good idea. 

"A number of pests look for cardboard. It offers the perfect refuge for them. Like I said, it can even be a food source for a number of these pests. So swap out all of those cardboard boxes for sturdy plastic containers that have a nice sealable lid to them."

One more thing to think about, especially since the temps are regularly getting into the 40's and 50's, that's when rats and mice look for a place to get warm and all they need to get into your home is a hole the size of a pencil! 

So if you notice any of these bugs or pests inside your home, call a pest professional to take care of it before it becomes an infestation. 

You can find a list of licensed pest professionals in your area at Pestworld.org.


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