Your Living Christmas Tree Is Most Likely Crawling With Bugs

Did you put up your Christmas tree this year? This tree definitely brings the Christmas spirit in our home and its very smell reminds us of that special time of the year we call Christmas.

However, there’s one thing to consider before gathering around the Christmas tree to open presents, that is if you have a live tree.

There’s the possibility that your live tree is a home to a host of critters because, after all, it grows outdoors.

However, the wildlife living on this tree is not dangerous, but it’s still something you should consider as you probably don’t want uninvited guests to your Christmas party, do you?

Here are some of the critters that might live on your Christmas tree right now:

Aphids

This six-legged insect can grow up to 1/8 an inch, but since it’s wingless it usually doesn’t leave its habitat. However, if it produces offspring, it could be a variety with wings.

Once the tree is in your home, the life cycle of aphids springs into action as the indoor conditions resemble those of spring. So, your tree could have a host of hatchlings any minute now.

Cinara is the most common type of aphid found on spruces, pines, Fraser fir, balsam fir, and white fir trees. Aphids eat only plants, so they have no problem spending their entire life on that tree.

Mites

You can find many types of mites in your home, but when it comes to Christmas tree they are usually found on white pine, Douglas-fir, spruce trees, and Fraser fir. They can live through the winter as adults, and once exposed to the warmth of your home mites become active.

They feed on mite eggs and insects. Mites are tiny and light colored which is why they go usually unnoticed. The bright red variety, however, is a bit larger than the others but harmless in the adult state.

To reduce the risk of allowing mites to enter your home, make sure you remove any old bird’s nests from the tree before entering in your home.

Spiders

Spiders are not dangerous for people, but they are for the other insects found on your Christmas tree. Don’t be afraid of them as they control the number of bugs on the tree.

You can either notice overwintering species or spiderlings that have hatched when exposed to your indoor temperature. However, since they are meant to live outdoors, they usually die off shortly after entering your house.

How to Keep Bugs Out

If you want to keep bugs out of your home during the holidays, check the branches and tree trunk of your Christmas tree to see they are free of visible egg sacs.

Before you bring the tree into your home, make sure you leave it in the garage for a day or two to allow the bugs to leave the tree.

Then, shake the tree well and spray some neem oil on it to destroy any remaining bugs. Insecticides are flammable, so don’t use them. Last but not least, choose a fake tree instead of a live one to prevent these critters from entering your home.

Source
The Hearty Soul | Safer Brand | Wall Street Journal