People keep suggesting pinecones, berries, branches, and flowers from the outdoors for holiday decorations. However, when I try this, they always have tons of bugs that come out when they warm up in the house. I don't mind a bug or two, but fifty bugs on my dinner table make me want to buy fake flowers! What am I doing wrong?
You can rid your outdoor decor of unwanted bugs by placing your pinecones, branches, etc. on a cookie sheet and baking in a 200-degree oven for 1 to 2 hours. Of course, you will keep a watchful eye over the oven. I set the timer for every 15 minutes. There is an added bonus. The warmed effects will fill your home with a crisp fragrance. If you want more of a Holiday scent, spray the items with a cinnamon oil and cloves mixture! Works wonderfully!
Powder Springs, Georgia
I freeze my pinecones and other outdoor decor that I collect. After a day or two of being frozen in a plastic bag, all the bugs should be dead. Just shake them out when the items thaw.
As for pinecones, when I bring them into the house to use for decorating or crafts, I first boil them in a large pot of water. It only takes about 5 to 6 minutes, when the water is brought to a full boil before adding the pinecones. After they are in the water for the 5 to 6 minutes, remove the pinecones from the water and lay them onto newspaper to dry. When you remove the pinecones from the water, they will be closed up. As they dry, they will again open up completely. Make sure you turn them a couple of times a day to help them dry evenly. It will take a couple of days to completely dry, but it is well worth it. I have never had problems with bugs.
Put everything in a garbage bag. Then spray bug spray into the bag (outdoors of course) and seal it tightly. Leave for a couple of days. By this time, any insect should be dead. I have had no problems with insects. I also do this for any firewood that I bring indoors.
Place all your natural goodies in a plastic garbage bag. Next, drop in several mothballs and tie the bag tightly. In a couple of days, all the bugs should have vacated your items, and you are now ready for decorating.
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