Now that Thanksgiving has officially come and gone people across the country are getting their Christmas decorations all set up. Hours are being spent hanging lights, hauling decorations out of the attic or storage, picking the perfect tree, buying and wrapping gifts, watching Christmas movies, and listening to Christmas music. The magic of Christmas is hard to ignore! One thing that does not get talked about very often during the holidays is the bugs that may be living on your Christmas tree. If you are one of the people that love to purchase a live Christmas tree you could be bringing unexpected bugs into your home. Many people think that since it is cold outside all bugs are not an issue but that is not true. Many tree-dwelling bugs will go dormant in the cold but once they are in your nice warm home they will come back to life. Stewart Termite and Pest Control list bugs and pests that are commonly found in your Christmas tree. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Types of Pests Found in Christmas Trees
• Aphids: Aphids are commonly found in evergreen, pine, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser fir, and white fir trees. They are frequently found on the lower boughs of your tree.
• Spiders & Mites: Spiders and mites are found on Douglas-fir, white pine, Fraser fir, and spruce trees. You can typically see tiny red and brown dots that upon further inspection are spiders and mites.
• Adelgids: Adelgids are found on fir trees, white pine, Norway spruce, and Scotch pine trees. They resemble a dusting of snow on your tree.
• Pine Needle Scale: Pine needle scale is found on Scotch pine, Norway spruce, and Douglas-fir trees. You will notice white specks on the needles or branches. Once they hatch you will see tiny red bugs.
• Sawfly: Sawflies are found on spruce and pine trees. They from brown cocoons that hatch black and yellow flies.
• Bark beetles: Bark beetles are found on Monterey pines, ponderosa, Coulter pines, Jeffery pine, white fir, and junipers. When you are picking your tree look for small holes and sawdust trails on the trunk. They are cylindrical, hard-bodied red, brown or black bugs that are about the size of a grain of rice.
• Praying Mantises: Praying mantises are found on all different types of Christmas trees. They are light tan, walnut-sized eggs that begin to hatch several weeks after being indoors.
Year Round Pest Management
There are some steps that you can take to prevent these pests from coming into your home. When you are choosing a tree inspect the branches and the trunk. If you see lots of bugs on it you will want to pass by that tree. When you bring your tree home we recommend you leave it in your garage for a few days so that the bugs can crawl off of the tree before you bring it all the way in. After you let it sit there for a few days get a sheet and shake the tree over the sheet to dislodge any bugs. You can then use Diatomaceous Earth or spray your tree with neem oil to kill any bugs that are still on your tree. If you do end up with a pest problem in your home from your Christmas tree, give Stewart Termite and Pest Control a call today! We can come out and get rid of pests quickly for you.