Christmas trees, while bringing joy and festivity into our homes, can also bring along some of nature’s tiny tenants. Let’s explore the the unwanted guests that may hitch a ride into your home on your holiday tree.
‘Jurassic’ Bark: The Hidden World – In Your Tree
In their natural habitat, fir trees are bustling ecosystems, home to a variety of insects, birds, and small critters. Depending on where you live, these uninvited guests can vary.
For instance, in the Eastern, NC and Tidewater, VA areas, you might find:
- Spider Mites
- Cinara Aphids
- Praying Mantis
- Pine Bark Beetles
- Douglas-fir Twig Weevils
Meet The Crawlers
While seeing one of these occasional invaders may startle you, these Christmas tree dwellers are mostly harmless. However, some may leave behind some damage in the wake of their presence.
- Praying Mantis Egg Clusters: While they control pests, their egg clusters can hatch hundreds of tiny mantises. It’s like a mini Christmas parade you didn’t sign up for!
- Aphids: Aphids, often mistaken for ticks, are far less alarming. They sport six legs, not eight, and are more interested in your tree than you.
- Spider Mites: They don’t pose a threat to you, but your upholstery might not be as lucky. These little critters can leave behind more than just holiday memories.
- Pine Bark Beetles: Common in the Tidewater, VA area, these beetles burrow into the trunk and branches, potentially weakening your tree.
- Douglas-fir Twig Weevils: While less common, these pests can be found in the needles and twigs, causing minor damage.
Oh, the Pests You’ll Prevent: Ensuring a Tree Without Tenants
Before bringing your tree indoors, a few simple steps can help prevent pests from entering your home:
- Inspect the Tree: Look closely at the branches and under the needles. If you spot any insects or egg masses, gently remove them.
- Give It a Shake: Most tree lots have mechanical shakers, which can dislodge insects hiding in the branches.
- Let It Sit: If possible, leave the tree in your garage or a covered area for a day or two, allowing any hidden pests to leave.
Pestbusters: Safe DIY Solutions
If you do find pests after bringing your tree indoors, here are some DIY tips:
- Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner to gently remove any visible insects. Avoid using insecticides, as they can be harmful indoors and to your tree.
- Soapy Water: For aphids and mites, lightly spray a mild soap and water solution on the affected areas.
Merry and Bright, And To All A Pest-Free Night!
As we count down to the big day, we hope your holidays are filled with joy, laughter, and the warmth of loved ones. And remember, if you encounter any unwelcome critters in your holiday tree, help is just a call away with Terminix.
Don’t let pests be a part of your holiday tradition. Contact Terminix today for a free home pest inspection and to ensure the best way to a hassle-free, pest-free holiday season.