Most Living Christmas Trees Are Crawling With Bugs

Most Living Christmas Trees Are Crawling With Bugs

Here’s what to look out for and what to do!

Ah, Christmastime, a magical season filled with joy, laughter, and the warmth of family. It’s a time when we transform our homes into little wonderlands, complete with a beautiful Christmas tree. But amidst all the merriment, there may be some uninvited guests lurking in our trees – bugs!

Now, you might think that bugs aren’t a concern during the winter, but they can be. You see, bugs are just like us, they prefer a cozy and warm place to spend their chilly days. And once inside your snug living room, they come back to life, like little hibernating creatures awakening from their slumber.

It’s not just the cold that attracts them, bugs have an uncanny ability to find their way into any nook and cranny, no matter how peculiar. So, if you’re a fan of real, pine-scented trees, it’s important to be aware of what to look for and how to handle this bug invasion.

Buying a Christmas tree is a cherished tradition for many families. There’s something special about having a real pine tree in your home – the fresh aroma and the natural beauty. However, since trees are a part of nature, they also provide a cozy habitat for various types of insects, most of which are dormant in the cold but awaken in the warmth of your living room.

Some common offenders include aphids, small black or brown bugs, and other insects like scale insects, bark beetles, psocids, and mites. But don’t worry, if you don’t see any bugs, keep an eye out for other signs like feeding trails, eggs, or burrows. Stay vigilant!

Now, let’s talk about those white blobs you might find on your tree’s needles. These are clear indications of adelgids, tiny bugs that create these blobs while sucking the sap out of spruce needles. And if you stumble upon a tan, walnut-sized mass on one of the limbs, get rid of it immediately – it’s a praying-mantis egg mass that’s about to hatch!

The types of bugs you encounter may vary depending on where you live, but don’t let them dampen your holiday spirit. Remember, they may be gross, but they’re harmless.

So, what can you do to keep these pests at bay? Well, if you live in a warmer climate, a quick spot check before purchase might help. However, it’s crucial to know that if one tree has bugs, chances are, they all do. It’s a part of nature’s way, after all.

But fear not, for there are allies in this bug battle: lady-beetle larvae. These little warriors love to feast on Christmas tree pests, offering you some respite. And once you’ve made your tree purchase, give it a good shake. This will dislodge any stowaways that may have hitched a ride.

Some places even have tree-shakers on-site that can do the job for you. But if you’re without one, don’t worry, make it a fun family tradition. Stand the tree up, grab the trunk above shoulder height, and give it a good, vigorous shake. Trust us, strapping the tree to your car’s roof and driving home won’t get rid of the bugs. It’s worth a shot, though!

Another effective way to clear your tree of bugs is by leaving it in the garage for 24 hours before bringing it inside for decoration. This extra time gives any wandering bugs a chance to explore the great outdoors again.

And once your tree is proudly displayed in your home, be sure to vacuum regularly around its base. This not only helps keep pine needles off your floor but also captures any bugs that decide to take a detour and explore the rest of your living space.

Now, here’s some good news – the bugs that reside in pine trees depend on the tree for survival. Eventually, as the tree ages and dies, so do they. It may sound a bit grim, but it beats having a full-on infestation during the festive season.

So, if you’re a fan of live trees, keep an eye out for bugs and give your tree a good shake. But remember, even if you spot a critter or two inside, don’t fret – your Christmas magic won’t be spoiled!