Look Out For Bugs in Your Christmas Tree!
The Christmas season is finally here, and at Perseverance Pest Control we couldn’t be more excited for the holidays! And one of the best parts of this holiday is bringing in a beautiful Christmas tree, but did you know that your Christmas tree might be home to thousands of tiny bugs?
It’s true! Now, most of those bugs are harmless and are just using the tree as a home, but no one wants to see bugs crawling around their ornaments!
Most bugs hibernate during the winter, which is why you don’t see most bugs when the temperatures drop. And that is what a lot of bugs in your Christmas tree are doing before you bring the tree into your home.
When you bring your Christmas tree into your home, the tree is moving from the cold outside to the the warmth of your house. That could cause hibernating insects to think that spring has come and wake up.
Most of the bugs in a Christmas tree are really small, but you could see the following common types of bugs in your tree.
- Aphids – Often on lower branches: found on evergreen, pine, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser fir, and white fir trees
- Spiders & Mites – Can cause premature needle drop: found on Douglas-fir, white pine, Fraser fir, and spruce trees
- Adelgids – May look like snow on a tree: found in fir trees, white pine, Norway spruce, and Scotch pine
- Pine Needle Scale – Looks for white specs on needles: found on scotch pine, Norway spruce, and Douglas-fir
- Sawfly – Could find brown cocoons on the trees that hatch black and yellow flies: found on spruce and pine trees
- Praying Mantises – May appear as tan, walnut sized egg masses and will begin to hatch weeks after being indoors: found on any type of tree
- Bark Beetles – Cylindrical red, brown, or black bugs about the size of rice in small holes on the trunk: found on Monterey pines, ponderosa, Coulter pines, Jeffery pines, white fir, and junipers.
Occasionally you can also find moths or other types of bugs in your tree, but those are the most common that could be hibernating inside.
But don’t panic! There are a couple steps you can take to keep bugs in the tree away and out of your home.
- When you’re looking for a tree, take a look around the undersides of branches and around the trunk
- If you see any evidence of bugs, leave the Christmas tree in your garage for a day or two to let the bugs leave the tree
- If you’re able to, place a sheet under the tree and shake the tree over it to dislodge any bugs
- Vacuum around the tree to clean up any bugs
- Most importantly – Don’t squash any bugs that you might see! Most of them can leave stains on your furniture!
The good news is that most bugs in a Christmas tree aren’t completely infested with bugs. Most farms selling Christmas trees take precautions and spray pesticides on the trees while they’re growing, shake the tree down, or spray the trees after they’ve been cut. But there are precautions you can take to double check the tree that you bring into your home.