How to Get Rid of Christmas Tree Pests

 In Blog, Pest Control, Pest Control Tips, Pest Prevention

One of the most common holiday traditions is picking out a Christmas tree. Not only are Christmas trees festive—they also smell great and are a beautiful decoration for our homes this time of year. Unfortunately, there is one downfall to bringing these real trees into your home, and that’s the pests that may be lurking inside! To avoid bringing these unwanted insects into your home, there are a number of things you can do to prevent Christmas tree pests.

Common Christmas Tree Insects

Studies from entomologists have claimed that within any given tree, there could be more than 20,000 insects inside! Some of the most common types of Christmas tree insects include:

  • Aphids: Usually found in the lower branches of a tree, aphids are harmless. They are common in evergreen, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser fir, and white fir trees.
  • Mites: Mites are known to cause needle loss in Douglas fir, white pine, spruce, or Fraser fir trees.
  • Spiders: Probably the most feared Christmas tree pest is the spider! Spider egg sacs hidden within Christmas trees can cause homeowners a lot of grief.
  • Beetles: Bark beetles are wood-boring insects about the size of a grain of rice. Seeing holes in the branches or trunk of your tree—or sawdust on your floor—are signs of bark beetles.
  • Praying mantises: Adult praying mantises are green and can grow to be quite large. Egg sacs, which can contain up to 400 eggs, can also be found on trees. These bugs are harmless and can be carried outside.

4 Ways to Pest-Proof Your Christmas Tree

To avoid having insects invade your home this holiday season, there are a few ways you can prevent Christmas tree pests:

  1. Inspect your tree. Before picking a winner, inspect the Christmas tree for irregularities, spots, damaged branches or trunk, or signs of pests.
  2. Shake out the Christmas tree. Ask the tree lot attendant to vigorously shake out the tree before bringing it home with you.
  3. Leave the tree in the garage at first. Keep the tree in your garage or a covered area for a few days to settle and encourage lingering pests outside.
  4. Use a vacuum regularly. Once inside, regularly inspect your tree, vacuum up falling needles, and, if necessary, vacuum up any pests.

What to Do With an Infested Christmas Tree

If you bring home a Christmas tree only to realize it’s seriously infested with insects, you may want to go back to the lot and see if you can get a new one. It’s not recommended to spray any pesticides on your tree because aerosols are flammable and may interfere with the lights and decorations. For more information on how to prevent Christmas tree pests, give the exterminators at Anderson a call today!

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