Imagine the following: You are sitting on your couch, enjoying your Hallmark Christmas movie when all of a sudden you are overrun by countless numbers of bugs and other creepy crawlies! While this may sound like a scene straight from a horror movie, it is actually a very real possibility. Live Christmas trees that are brought inside are a thriving ecosystem for certain insects and spiders. In fact, entomologists have reported that a single tree can contain up to 25,000 insects at a time. No one wants to deal with a pest infestation in their homes, especially during the holidays. To learn how to prevent Christmas tree insects in your Atlanta GA home this holiday season, read on for tips with Active Pest Control!
Common Insects Found in Christmas Trees
A Christmas tree’s thick branches and tree stand full of water provide the perfect harborage and moisture source for large roaches, such as American and smoky brown roaches. Hidden amongst the branches is an insect that may go unseen, called the Christmas Tree aphid, Cinara spp. These aphids, as the name implies, live on Christmas trees. They live hidden in the branches of conifer trees, feeding on the sap and multiplying rapidly. These aphids can live in large populations on the Christmas tree that you bring into your home, and as the tree starts to dry out and die, they can abandon the tree in search of other food supplies. While they won’t survive for long, most people do not want hundreds of aphids running around their home.
Spiders can also hide in the branches of your tree waiting to feed on some unsuspecting aphid or roach that has set up shop on this beautiful tree you call your own. Bringing the tree inside, of course, brings the spiders in and can encourage them to spread throughout your home in search of food. Some other typical Christmas tree insects are mites, bark beetles, sawflies, moths, and even praying mantises. Although most of these insects are harmless, they can cause a lot of frustration for any homeowner that has to deal with an infestation during the busiest time of the year.
How to Prevent Pests This Holiday Season
There are a few precautions you can take to avoid the frustration of dealing with Christmas tree pests in your home during the holiday season. The 5 main ways you can prevent a Christmas tree pest infestation:
- Inspect your tree. Before choosing a tree, inspect it for irregularities, spots, damaged branches or trunk, or signs of pests.
- Shake it out! On your own or with the assistance of an attendant, vigorously shake out the tree before bringing it home with you.
- Leave the tree in the garage initially. Store the Christmas tree in your garage or a covered area for a few days to settle.
- Spray it down. Consider using a hose to spray down your tree before bringing it indoors.
- Use a vacuum to clean up. Regularly inspect your tree, vacuum up falling needles, and, if necessary, vacuum up any pests.