Bugs Inside the Christmas Tree


It’s almost Thanksgiving y’all! That means good food and for many families, following a tradition of setting up the Christmas tree! These days, a lot of families opt for setting up artificial trees. They’re definitely reusable and can be easily stored away. For others though, they prefer to go and pick out a real tree and bring it home every season. They’re lots of fun and it’s a great tradition to have, but as you can imagine, there is this fear of bringing in unwanted and potentially harmful bugs and insects inside of your house. The following is a list of the most commonly found insect pests that can be brought in with a real Christmas tree. (these are not listed in any particular order)

  • Spiders: Spiders are probably more easily distinguished by homeowners than some of the other pests that may hitchhike on the tree.
  • Mites: Many species of mites can be present in trees and although most are not harmful to people, some species like bird mites can be very difficult to get rid of and will actually bite or host on people.
  • Aldegids and Aphids: These insects are similar but different. They are sucking insects that will secrete substances from their bodies. Aldegids cause “flocking” effects on the trees. Sometimes, it gives the appearance of dew or snow flakes on the leaves. Aphids will secrete something called honeydew, which is a sticky substance.
  • Psocids: They are commonly known as “barklice” and do not bite nor are they parasitic. Conditions inside the home usually don’t allow them to survive.
  • Scale Insects: Eggs easily hatch with indoor temperatures but the “crawlers” quickly die because of unfavorable conditions inside.
  • Bark Beetles: They are small brownish beetles that can be found on or near a tree. They bore into the bark that will cause sawdust to fall but they do not infest home furnishings. If they are brought inside, they will bore into the bark and overwinter as normal and return to regular spring activity when the tree is put out.
  • Praying Mantids: These might be the most common Christmas tree hitchhiker. Eggs that are tan in color and look much like the froth from beverages will hatch and hundreds of mantids will infest the tree. They are not harmful. Keeping them indoors will not higher their chances of survival though, so it is best to remove the egg sac itself and put it in a place outside that is protected.
All these pests may be a bit disturbing, maybe even frightening, but do not fret. Just because they can hitchhike, it doesn’t mean that they will with proper inspection. Prevention is the safest and most practical method of keeping these pests out. Many people have heard of shaking the trees before bringing them in. This is true and believe it or not, there are actually machines that will do it for you! You should NOT apply aerosol insecticides to the tree because aerosol sprays are highly flammable. Hand picking the pests out or thorough inspection of the tree before bringing it inside is the best way to have a Happy Holiday without the pests!


Date: Thursday, 15. November 2012 16:48
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