Common bugs found in Christmas Trees, and how to get rid of them.
A live tree is on many Christmas lists here in Naples. And why wouldn’t they be? They look beautiful, the natural tree smell just can’t be beat, and once decorated with our favorite, cherished ornaments the become the centerpiece of our holiday celebrations.
However, what we don’t think about while we search for that perfect tree is the ecosystem of insects that may be living inside of it.
So just what could be living inside your Christmas tree?
Find out if you need to worry about bringing extra guests home with your live Christmas Tree
Before we list common bugs you may find living in your Christmas tree we want to say that in the majority of cases, insects found in trees are harmful, and you are not likely to even notice them.
The spiders that may be living in your tree will vary based on where your tree was grown. A tree harvested from cold weather states will probably not have a large number of adult spiders due to cold weather. It may have young spiders as the warm weather causes eggs to hatch. However, if your tree comes from a Florida tree farm it may have a variety of spiders. Remember that these species are in the tree as predators to other insects found there, and should not cause harm to people or pets.
In colder climates, Mantids go into a sort of hibernation within eggs and, like spiders, may hatch as they are brought into warmer conditions. Look through your tree for signs of egg sacs and remove branches that contain them.
These tiny insects can appear, but you will have trouble seeing them because they are very small. The may feed on eggs or insects within the try, but adult mites cannot harm people or animals.
If a bird has nested in your tree, there may be parasites that remain within the nest. Make sure that there are no nests in your tree before bringing it into your home.
These beetles overwinter in trees during the colder months, but may become visible once you bring it into your home. While they do bore into trees, they will not harm the wood inside your home because they are looking for live wood that contains water, and the dry wood inside your home cannot sustain them.
Plant lice, or aphids are often misclassified as spiders or ticks. As the name implies, they survive by eating plants, but they are plant specific, which means they most likely will not be attracted to your houseplants. If you leave you tree up for a long time, young aphids may appear with wings.
Have yourself a bug-free Merry Christmas
Reduce your chances of brining insects into your home with the following tips:
- Leave your tree in the garage for a week
- Shake out your tree before bringing it into your home
- Search and remove any eggs sacs
- Remove any birds nests (wear gloves for the removal)
- Remove your tree from your home in a timely manner
- Once removed, vacuum up any debris or webs that have occurred around the tree
- Never use aerosol inspect spray on your tree. These aerosol sprays are flammable
- Inspect any other live plants your bring home such as wreaths or garland
- And of course, you can always go for an artificial tree