Getting a Real Christmas Tree? You May Be Inviting Pests Over For The Holidays!

Getting a Real Christmas Tree? You May Be Inviting Pests Over For The Holidays!

Your real Christmas tree has beautiful lights and shiny decorations. It might also be transporting some unwanted guests into your home, pests! While few of these insects are harmful, they are very unsightly and, well, gross.

The list of potential hitchhikers includes Praying Mantii, beetles, spiders and aphids. Some of them will stay on the tree. Others will wander around your home.

Here is a brief list of some of the tiny beasts that can enter your home on your fresh Christmas tree:

Praying Mantids – These fascinating creatures lay eggs on conifers. The eggs will hatch once the tree starts to warm up. These predatory insects will eat all of the bugs on the house, but will also cannibalize each other if there is no more food supply.  Many people think that praying mantids are protected, but that’s not true. The best way to deal with them is to remove the light tan frothy egg masses and discard them.

Bark Beetles – These tiny beetles live on and in trees. They aren’t a threat to furniture or homes, but they can leave a fine sawdust on the floor and make a mess. The beetles tend to stay on the tree and will go back outside when the tree is discarded.

Spiders – Among the most feared creatures in the world, the spiders that typically hibernate on conifers are harmless. They can be a real surprise in the middle of winter crawling across the floor or up a wall. If they come down from the tree, they will weave small webs in corners. These spiders will often die very quickly inside of the house.

Scale Insects – These tiny red insects can be seen on your trees as miniscule dots moving around on the branches. When crushed they leave tiny red spots that can be washed off. They are not at all harmful, but they are not welcome friends on Christmas.

Aphids and Mites – These very familiar little insects that exist everywhere outside. When they come in on a Christmas tree, they can be seen crawling around on the tree and near the packages under the tree. The most annoying part of these insects is when someone finds them crawling over their gift.

A tree shaker, a large device that shakes a tree very hard, can remove most of these insects. It will knock the little visitors off outside where they have a chance to survive. Alternatively you can make sure the tree is shaken out very well before you bring it into your home.

Birds’ nests can often be found in trees, as well. If a tree shaker doesn’t take the birds’ nests out, they should be removed manually. Not only are there many insects that live in birds’ nests, there are parasitic disease in the birds’ feces. Even though they seem cute, they should not be allowed to stay in the house.

One important point: You should not use chemical insect sprays. They are often very flammable and toxic. They should not be used in the house. They can cause a fire and might be toxic to children and animals that play near the tree.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays from Anchor Pest Control!