Avoid Bringing Bugs in with Your Live Christmas Tree

The holidays are here and children everywhere couldn’t be more thrilled about that little fact. Lists are being made for Santa Claus and the halls are decked. As you deck the halls this Christmas season, it will most likely include a Christmas tree. If you have chosen a live Christmas tree, you may not have realized that it might be home to several pests. Eagle Pest Services is here to talk about what insects you might find in your live Christmas tree and how to avoid bringing them into your house.


What Insects Do You Find in Live Christmas Trees?

Depending on the size of your tree, there are several pests that make their homes inside live pine trees. Interestingly enough, there could be as many as 25,000 insects found hiding in the branches of one Christmas tree! Many of them have settled in for a long winter’s nap and as soon as that tree is brought into your home, they come to life. They can’t help it, you home is so warm and inviting, they forget that it is winter time. Here are some pests that you might find in live Christmas trees:

Bark Beetles - These beetles have a hard shell that is red and black in color. They are really small, about the size of one grain of rice, and a cylinder shape. They leave behind small holes on the trunk along with sawdust.

Praying Mantis - Although you won’t find adult praying mantises on your live Christmas tree, you can find egg cases on Christmas trees. When brought into warm temperatures, they can hatch and you will have hundreds of the little bugs looking for their next meal.

Spiders - Several different types of spiders make their home in pine trees. Keep your eye out for webs and the spiders themselves when picking your tree.

Aphids - This insect will most likely be found near the bottom of the tree. They are small and their eggs will likely hatch when brought into warmer temperatures. Make sure you don’t smash these insects on your furniture. They are known to leave behind a red or purple smear.

Saw Fly - If you see brown cocoons on your tree, they will hatch and leave behind a small yellow saw fly.

Mites - If you see any birds’ nests on your tree, you should be aware that they may have mites in them. They look like small red or brown dots.

Scale Insects - If you see white dots on the pine needles or branches of your live Christmas tree, it is most likely pine scale insects. These hatch into tiny red insects.


Inspect Your Christmas Tree for Pests

Even though these insects are all harmless, nobody wants any bugs climbing around their house as they decorate their Christmas tree. Before bringing in your Christmas tree, give it a good shake outside. This will get rid of any insects found on your tree. Inspect the branches for any egg casings and prune the branches where you spot any. If you are worried, you can put your tree in water and keep it in the garage for a couple of days to ensure there won’t be any insects coming in on the tree. Eagle Pest Services wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season and can assist you with any of your pest control needs. Call us today!