The holiday season approaches. Part of the joy of Christmas is decorating a Christmas tree and choosing a Live or Artificial Christmas Tree can change your whole holiday decorating vision. Unfortunately, if you are considering a real one, there are a number of insects hiding in a real Christmas tree. Every Christmas tree can harbor insects, mites, or spiders. Some of these may remain on the tree into winter and could become active after being exposed to the warm temperatures inside the home.
Here are some steps to prevent these critters moving into your home:
- Mechanical tree shakers (available at some retail lots) are useful in removing some insects from the trees.
- Vigorously shaking the tree before bringing it into your home will serve the same purpose.
Any egg masses on the trees, including those of praying mantis and Gypsy moth, should also be removed.
- Do not spray insecticides on fresh cut Christmas tree. Aerosol insect sprays are flammable and there is no benefit to exposing your family to pesticides that aren’t needed.
Insects occurring on the tree should be left there until the tree is removed. It is important to remember that these “critters” are normally found outdoors, on LIVE trees. The low humidity and lack of appropriate food — conditions typical of most homes — will usually kill these invaders in a short time.