According to The Mother Nature Network, There are up to 25,000 bugs in the average Christmas tree. But you don’t need to worry about them ruining the holiday!
Aphids, spiders, mites, bark beetles and even praying mantises all could be your new (unwelcome) holiday guests. How festive!
Dreaming of a Creepy Crawly Christmas?
While this may sound alarming on many levels, there’s no reason to fear these insects.
Most of them are microscopic, so you’re unlikely to notice them in the first place, according to Pennsylvanian State University’s Department of Entomology’s Cooperative Extension, and most of them are likely to stay on the tree anyway.
A few may be attracted to sources of light, including windows, but, because they are associated with field-grown conifers, none of these accidental introductions are a threat to your home, its contents or occupants. And they aren’t a threat to your home because the bugs rely on the tree to survive. Once the tree is gone, they will be gone.
Here are seven possible insects that might appear in your Christmas tree.
1. Aphids. These insects are tiny, and while some species of aphids resemble small spiders and ticks, they have only six legs. Most of the aphids are inactive, and they survive only by feasting on certain parts of the tree. This means any other plants in the house are safe.
2. Bark beetles. Despite their intimidating-sounding name, bark beetles are small insects that bore holes into trees. They may create small piles of sawdust. But if you’re worried about your furniture, don’t be. Your furniture is too dry for the bark beetles to survive inside of them.
3. Mites. Predatory mites stick to trees, eating other insects and eggs. While they’re related to chiggers, adult mites aren’t a threat to humans or pets. Mites are likely in the tree as a the result of birds nesting in the tree at one point. So while a nest may seem decorative, remove it from your tree to ensure no mites end up in your home.
4. Praying mantids. These are predatory insects, so they’re likely controlling whatever pest population is in the tree. If eggs have been laid in the tree, and they hatch, your tree will soon be overrun with baby mantids. But fear not. The little bugs will eventually eat one another if they run out of food. If you’d rather not have an insect cannibal Christmas, check the tree for walnut-sized egg masses before taking it indoors. Cut off the branch the mass is attached to and place it in an evergreen shrub or tree so it can hatch in the spring.
5. Psocids. Colored brown or gray, psocids munch on mold, pollen, fungus, and other insects. You don’t need to worry about these pests, though. They will likely die due to the warm conditions in your home.
6. Scale insects. If you notice tiny and moving red specks, these are scale insects. They can be shaken out of or knocked away from the tree very easily.
7. Spiders. These are probably the least-welcomed guests, but any spiders you find in your tree are aiming to nibble on insects, not on you. Like the psocids, these spiders are likely to die soon, due to the conditions in your home.
Keeping the bugs out
It’s extremely unlikely that a tree will have insects in numbers that you will notice. If you’d rather be safe than sorry, though, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the risk of bringing bugs home for the holidays.
2. Treat with insect sprays or powders. Before bringing the tree indoors and dressing it, you can use organic insect control. DO NOT SPRAY YOUR TREE WITH INSECT REPELLENT inside the house. It could catch the tree on fire.
3. Vacuum. Your vacuum has a hose attachment, yes? Take it to your tree and just suck up the insects.
4. Just let your tree (and the insects) be. Leaving the insects alone will result in them dying anyway. Warm temperatures, low humidities and lack of appropriate food conditions typical of most homes will usually kill these invaders in a short time.
So rest easy about insects crashing your holidays and enjoy your tree and the Holidays! Holistic Pest Solutions wishes you and your family the very best!
CONTACT Holistic Pest Solutions to learn more about our treatment plans for bugs or rodents or give us a call at 434 842 1700. Whether you’re in Charlottesville, Waynesboro, or close by to either, Holistic Pest Solutions has the perfect plan for you that is as Green As You Wanna Be!
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