There’s nothing like the smell of fresh pine to get you in the Christmas spirit, but when you bring a live tree indoors, you might have unwanted guests joining your holiday festivities…bugs! A few things to know about Christmas tree insects are most die soon after entering your home due to the change in environment. These insects have adapted to an outdoor habitat which your home lacks. A large number of these insects are also too small to see with the naked eye and only visible in large numbers. However, larger Christmas tree insects include bark beetles, praying mantises and spiders. Adult praying mantises will die during cold weather changes, but will leave their eggs behind in your tree. The warmth of your home will induce hatching which could potentially lead to hundreds of mantises in search of shelter and food in your home.
To minimize the chance of Christmas tree insects wandering around your living room and crawling around amongst your gifts, look for small holes in the tree’s trunk and check the underside of the branches for small insects. Also, it’s a good idea to shake the tree vigorously to rid it of bugs and spiders.
Please note that whatever you do, do not use aerosol pesticides on your tree. These products are flammable and can be very dangerous when used in combination with tree lighting.