Christmas Pests – Are pests hiding in your holiday decorations?


by Mandy Nolen

The ritual of bringing down boxes from the attic to decorate for the holiday season is all too familiar. It can sometimes be a tedious task, but the end result and holiday cheer is always worthwhile. Then again, there’s something else you need to think about.

Is there something lurking in those boxes full of sparkly holiday joy?

Pests in Florida love attics. They especially love chewing on cardboard, glue, tape and bindings, which can be found in the boxes used to store your holiday decorations as well the decorations themselves. The most common pests found in attics in Florida are silverfish, roaches, spiders and rodents.

Silverfish are an extremely common attic pest in Florida. Silverfish are typically 1/2” in length, silver to gray in color and wingless. They eat starch, glue, sugar, photographs and synthetic or starched fabrics. Silverfish prefer damp places and paper storage areas. This combination of preferences makes decorations stored in your attic the perfect blend for a destructive feast!

The American Cockroach (also known as a Palmetto bug) is another common attic pest. These large roaches love dark, damp and warm places. Aside from the emotional damage that these roaches can have when they fly out of a box at you, they also tend to leave behind stains from their fecal matter on stored items. Have you ever pulled something out of the attic and found some mysterious little brown spots all over it? Well, you may have been a victim of the American Cockroach.

Spiders love attics too! While all spiders can bite if provoked, they typically avoid human contact and are quite content to discretely share space with us. Spiders are certainly creepy, but aside from simply being a nuisance, they can also indicate the presence of other pests that they feed on.

When Clement Clarke Moore wrote the line “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,” he obviously had never met one of Florida’s roof rats. The roof rat is the most common rodent in Florida. Inside the home, roof rats can be heard scratching or running in the walls or ceilings. They chew through wires (potentially starting fires), gnaw through plastic and lead water pipes, make holes in walls and cause other structural damage. And your precious holiday decorations are not off limits! In addition to damaging your attic and its contents, rats are also filthy creatures. This rat is the same species that carried Bubonic Plague around the world. They carry and transmit a host of bacteria and infectious diseases that they spread through bites, contamination contact, feeding, urine and feces. If you find evidence of rodent droppings in your attic, be very cautious!

While you’re in the attic, this is also a great opportunity to check your insulation as well as look for water stains and other leak evidence.

If you have evidence of any of these pests in your attic or if you’re too afraid to look yourself, call Nozzle Nolen for a free inspection. Nozzle Nolen can eliminate all of these pests and can also sanitize a rodent infestation.

nozzlenolan_logoNozzle Nolen is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). For more information about Nozzle Nolen and its Certified Green Solutions Program, visit or call (800) 22-NOLEN.


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