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How DIY and Professional Pest Control Can Help To Protect Your Thanksgiving Meal

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Home > Blog >  How DIY and Professional Pest Control Can Help To Protect Your Thanksgiving Meal

As we enter the holiday season, thoughts of family, yummy food and cooler weather enter our minds. One element of the holiday season we do not usually consider are pests. With your Thanksgiving meal can sometimes come pests who are also looking to chow down on the delicious dishes you cook up for you and your family. However, there are ways that you can help to reduce the chance of a pest infestation during this time, thus protecting your Thanksgiving meal and the well-being of your holiday guests.

The Types of Pests That Might Invite Themselves To Your Thanksgiving Meal

There are many types of pests that can invade your home for different reasons, but during the Thanksgiving holiday and especially your Thanksgiving meal, there are certain pests who will be attracted to the food you will cook in your kitchen. Read below to learn about which types of pests you should watch our for as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast.


Ants are highly motivated by food and when they need to find a new food source, they will search structures that are nearby, which could include your home. Because Thanksgiving is such a food centric holiday, ants will be overjoyed to find an abundance of different foods that they can take back to their colonies. Although ants will not cause detrimental harm to your home like termites might, they can still pose health hazards by contaminating your food. This is not a situation that you want to subject your Thanksgiving guests to, nor is an ant infestation an issue that you want to let grow inside of your home. If you notice ants inside of your kitchen, it is best to act fast to eliminate the problem.

Rats and Mice

Like ants, rodents are usually on the hunt for a food source and the ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal gives these furry pests a buffet of snacks to choose from. If you notice a mouse or a rat in your kitchen, it is also advised that you promptly respond to the infestation, as these pests can cause damage to wires in your home, ruin your food and spread dangerous diseases. Additionally, rodents are able to multiply at alarming rates, so if the infestation is not addressed at the first signs, you may be dealing with a much larger infestation further down the line.


Cockroaches are another type of pest that will happily invade your kitchen and munch on your Thanksgiving food. An infestation by these pests can be harder to identify, as they generally avoid light and creep around in spaces that are not easily seen by the human eye. This means that if you do see a cockroach in your kitchen, there is a good chance that there are many more cockroaches lurking inside of your home. For this reason, it is important to act fast if you suspect you are facing a cockroach infestation.

There are precautions that you can take to lessen the chance that these pests will make their way into your home during the Thanksgiving holiday. Follow the tips below to ensure that you and your thanksgiving guests have a peaceful and joyous celebration without the disruption of intruding pests.

  1. Check Your Home For Any Areas Where Pest Might Enter Your Home

Before your Thanksgiving guests arrive, check for gaps around the perimeter of your home where pests might be entering. This is a good habit to get into even after the holidays are over. Check for cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation and roof and make sure there are no gaps around your windows or doors. These are common points where insects such as rodents, cockroaches and ants will enter your home. If you do find any vulnerable points around your home, make sure to seal them before you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal. 

2. Remove Debris From Your Lawn and Trim Back Any Trees That Are Close To Your Home

You will often find pests lurking in dark, damp areas near your home, including piles of leaves and firewood on your property. Removing these piles of leaves and wood will not only improve the aesthetic of your home’s exterior for your Thanksgiving guests, but it will also help to eradicate the living quarters of pests that may invade your home. Additionally, trimming back any tree branches that are situated near windows or doors will help to control pests and prevent rodents and even raccoons and squirrels from entering your home. These fuzzy critters might be cute, but there is no room for them at your Thanksgiving dinner table!

3. Secure Your Outdoor Trashcans And Other Containers

Pests love to take shelter in smelly places such as your outdoor garbage can or compost bin. To ensure that you are not attracting pests to your Thanksgiving celebration this year, make sure that these bins are securely closed, latched and situated away from your home.

4. Keep Your Home Clean and Tidy

Perhaps one of the most important ways that you can control pests and inhibit them from intruding on your Thanksgiving meal is to keep a clean home. Make sure that a couple of weeks before your Thanksgiving celebration, you perform a deep clean around your home that might help to eliminate any pests that are attracted dirt, crumbs or debris. This means cleaning small corners, inside of your pantry, cabinets and other areas of your home that are generally overlooked when you are doing a quick tidy. You should also regularly vacuum your carpet or upholstered furniture to get rid of any small insects that might have crept indoors.

Of course, the most important area to keep clean during your Thanksgiving meal is your kitchen. Making sure that your kitchen is clear of crumbs and food scraps is one of the most effective ways to keep pests outside and away from your Thanksgiving dinner. Roaches particularly will enjoy the sticky spills that might run under your refrigerator or cabinets or the viscous grease stuck to your stove. When you are preparing the food for your Thanksgiving meal, make sure that you do not leave out any ingredients for an extended period of time. Put each ingredient back in their places as soon as you are done using them. While preparing such high volumes of food for multiple Thanksgiving guests, it is also easy to let dishes pile up in the sink. When you leave dishes sitting in the sink, you are inviting roaches and other pests into your home to feast on the scraps which remain on the dirty dishes. Make sure to wash dishes as you go to avoid any unwanted guests. Read below for more tips on how to keep your kitchen tidy so that you can avoid inviting pesky insects and rodents to your holiday celebration.

  1. Store any food in hard plastic or glass containers. When these containers are sealed tightly, it will keep pests from smelling the food and consequently, infesting it.
  2. If possible, store your food items on runged metal shelving. Pests prefer to lurk on wooden surfaces where there are plenty of crumbs and dust present. Runged shelving is well ventilated and will make it less attractive for pests to hang around.
  3. Always keep your indoor trash can sealed with a lid.
  4. If you are making any yummy Thanksgiving pies that require fruit as an ingredient, keep this fruit in your refrigerator until it is time to use it. After you have used the parts of the fruit you need, put the scraps in a sealed plastic bag and throw it in your sealed trash can. 
  5. Make sure to regularly sweep or vacuum your kitchen as you are preparing your Thanksgiving meal.
  6. If there are any accidental spills during your Thanksgiving meal preparation, make sure to clean them up immediately.
  7. After you have finished preparing your Thanksgiving dinner, wipe down your entire kitchen, including around and under your refrigerator and stove.
  8. While you should be cleaning as you go while preparing your thanksgiving meal, you should also clean up serving areas as your guests eat. If you are serving Thanksgiving dinner in a buffet style, make sure to keep this area clean of spills and crumbs. When appropriate, pick up leftover dishes and food scraps immediately. 

If you are careful to take precautionary measures and to get rid of these food sources that will attract insects and other pests, it is less likely that you will have to endure their presence as you try to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal.

5. Be Wary Of Your Natural Holiday Decorations

It is becoming increasingly popular for homeowners to source their holiday decorations from nature, including pumpkins, hay or greenery. If you have sourced your Thanksgiving decorations from the outdoors, be sure to shake or brush them off and inspect them before bringing them into your home. It is possible that these decor elements could be hiding pesky insects and their eggs.

6. Inspect Any Holiday Decorations That Have Been Stored In Your Attic Or Garage

Insects, rodents and other pests prefer to nest in places that are dark and hidden away from humans. This can include any storage bins full of holiday decorations that you have put away in an attic, basement or garage after the holidays are over. As you retrieve your annual Thanksgiving decorations, make sure to inspect them for any of these pests before bringing them into your home. If you do not find live pests, you might find dropping or gnaw marks which could indicate that there have been or still are pests lurking close by.

7. Store Any Firewood Away From The Side Of Your Home

If burning wood in the fireplace helps you to get into the holiday spirit, make sure that the wood you burn has not been stored in close proximity to the side of your house or even in your garage or basement. Insects such as spiders, ants and cockroaches are happy to seek shelter in these piles of wood and if the wood is close to your home, it is more likely that the pests will end up indoors. Additionally, you might accidentally carry these pests indoors as you bring the firewood inside to burn in your fireplace. Any of these pests could interrupt your Thanksgiving feast as they invade the food sources found in your kitchen.

8. Securely Store Any Food Items

As mentioned, storing your food items in containers that are impenetrable by pests is one way to make sure these critters will not be interrupting you and your guests during the Thanksgiving holiday. Using cardboard boxes or plastic wrappers will not keep bugs from getting into your food and ruining your meal. Fully sealed, air tight containers are the way to go if you want to keep your home and your Thanksgiving dinner pest free. If you do have boxed or bagged items, it is a good idea to store them in your refrigerator, as pests are less likely to break into your fridge than your pantry.

9. Send Any Leftovers Home With Guests

If you have a lot of leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner, send them home with guests. Not only is this a generous act, but it will also help to cut down on the amount of unsealed food that is stored in your kitchen.

10. Utilizing Professional Pest Control Services

While these do-it-yourself tips can absolutely help to reduce the risk of a pest infestation during the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the best methods to ensure that these infestations do not happen to you is to contact pest control professionals. Using Natran Green Pest Control as your pest control provider has the added benefit of the botanically based ingredients used in our pest control products. We will not surround your home with unnecessary and poisonous pesticides before you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal. If you are looking for a pest control provider to service your home before the holidays, contact Natran Green Pest Control today to schedule your free inspection.

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