I think I’ve been in denial up until now with all the warm weather we’ve been having in Chicago.  But with Christmas coming up this week, there’s no denying that winter and the holidays are here.  Along with choosing recipes and beginning to pick out gifts for people, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of pest and wildlife control calls we get at ABC Wildlife this time of year.  A lot of animal activity slows down in the winter, but there are still plenty of issues that plague people throughout the holiday season.  Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas: animals and insects don’t follow a calendar, and they won’t ease up just because it’s a special day.  Here are just a few of the most common problems we hear about this time of year.

Bed Bugs

Traveling is a huge pain for many of us during the holidays.  People are so distracted by crowded terminals, delayed and canceled flights, shrieking children, and lost luggage that they may not think about a smaller and much more persistent problem: bed bugs.  Seat upholstery, suitcases, purses, briefcases, and computer bags are all optimal places for bed bugs to hide away, and your holiday guests might be carrying these parasites without even knowing it.  Unfortunately, Chicago is one of the most heavily infested cities in the nation, which means ABC Wildlife has a lot of experience handling this kind of problem.  Bed bugs can happen to anyone.  The very best thing you can do is call a licensed pest control company the second you realize there’s a problem.


Mice can’t survive outside with it’s this cold, so they will look for the nearest warm, enclosed place to spend the winter.  That place may very well be your house.  Mice are chewers and poopers, and once they’re inside, no place in your house is safe.  From the presents and decorations stored in your attic to the holiday food in your pantry and kitchen, mice will gnaw and defecate their way through everything.  Nobody wants a Thanksgiving dinner peppered with mouse droppings.  If you suspect you might have a rodent problem, don’t wait until after the holidays to take care of it.  A professional mouse control company may very well save your holiday season.  ABC Wildlife will even do a free mouse inspection when you call during the holidays.  How’s that for a present?


Squirrels are one of the few animals that stay active all winter, which means they’re a problem year round.  Torn up attic insulation, chewed electrical wires, and holes in roofs and soffits are all pretty standard when it comes to squirrels.  But every year we get at least one emergency call from someone who has a squirrel stowed away in their Christmas tree.  Yes, this sounds like something from a National Lampoon’s movie, but it’s a real thing that actually happens.  The best thing you can do in this situation is try to isolate the squirrel in a room and call a wildlife control company.  ABC Wildlife is open 365 days a year, so even if it’s Christmas, we can get one of our technicians out to your home to handle the frantic squirrel in your living room.

Your Local Wildlife Control Company Can Help

The holidays are supposed to be a time of family, friendship, and togetherness.  We at ABC Wildlife want you to have the most joyful and stress-free season possible, which is why we’re available to you every single day of the year, including holidays.  You never know when a wildlife control problem will pop up, and from bed bugs to mice to squirrels, our technicians are ready and happy to help.  Call us any time day or night at (847) 870-7175.

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Karen 2

Karen Jesse is a wildlife writer and educator licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Public Health in urban wildlife management and structural pest control.  She enjoys hiking, telling people how cool skunks are, and opera.  

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