Cutting down and decorating a real Christmas tree are usually highlights during the holiday season. But some people unknowingly bring home more than just a tree.
According to associate professor Bjarte Jordal from the University Museum of Bergen, a single living Christmas tree could have up to 25,000 bugs hibernating inside. When you bring the tree into your warm living room, the bugs will wake up thinking it’s spring.
Don’t worry though! Outside of their natural environment, they can’t live very long and most will dry up and die before venturing out. There have been a few cases where aphids, spiders or praying mantises hatch on the tree. In those cases, use a vacuum to suck up all the bugs. Don’t squish them as they might leave spots on your walls or furniture. You can also use natural insecticide products like Diatomaceous earth or neem oil to kill the remaining insects quickly. However, don’t spray aerosol pesticides on the tree as they are flammable.
The best way to avoid these unexpected guests this holiday season is to simple check your tree before bringing it home. The most common Christmas tree bugs and what to look for on the tree to see if they infest it can be found on this post. Look closely at the branches for any signs of eggs or hibernating insects. Carefully give your tree a good shake to remove any loose bugs. I know they might look pretty, but remove any bird’s nests or tan praying mantis egg cases from the tree. With these tips, there is no reason to fear bringing a real Christmas tree into your home this holiday season.
Do you have critters in your Christmas Tree? I’d love to hear your story so please share by commenting below.