Do Christmas Trees Have Bugs? Yes, Here’s How To Get Rid Of Them

Do Christmas Trees Have Bugs? Yes, Here’s How To Get Rid Of Them by Petri Pest Control in South Florida

Do Christmas Trees Have Bugs? Yes, Here’s How to Get Rid of Them 

Common questions we get around the holidays are, do Christmas trees have bugs? What are the little bugs in my Christmas tree? In this article, we discuss why Christmas trees might have bugs, the common types of bugs you’re likely to find, and how to get rid of them.

Could bugs be in my Christmas tree?

The first thing you should know when you are worried about bugs in your Christmas tree revolves around the fact that, yes, some bugs could be on your tree; however, most bugs in your Christmas tree aren’t living off of your tree, just in it! Chances are higher of finding critters in your tree if you go out and chop down your tree in the woods and drag it home. Most Christmas tree lots have machines that shake trees when you purchase one, then wrap your tree in netting for the ride home.

So, how do you check to make sure your tree is bug-free?

Inspect the tree you’re interested in buying, not just for that perfect shape, but also for any kind of nest. Look for any white flocking on any of the branches or needles, a sign of adelgids that secrete waxy filament that looks snowy. Any tan or light brown masses the size of walnuts could be praying mantis egg sacks. A tree with small holes in its trunk and super fine sawdust might be a sign of bark beetles. Shake your tree at the lot. Most lots will mechanically shake your tree before wrapping it in netting. Before you bring your tree into the house, give it another good shake.

Choosing a Christmas tree from a lot or cutting one down yourself is a ritual that gets many people in the Christmas spirit, and while some people worry about bugs in their Christmas trees, here are a few tips for picking a bug-free tree:

  • Remove any bird nests, as they might contain bird mites, that don’t feed on human blood but can still cause itchy bites.
  • Remove praying mantis egg sacks, so the eggs don’t hatch in your home
  • Check for flocking that looks like snow on the branches or needles that might be pine bark adelgids.
  • Look for evidence of scale insects and aphids.
  • Check for small holes in the trunk of the tree with super fine sawdust that could be pine bark beetles.
  • Take advantage of mechanical shakers at tree lots to remove any pests and dead needles from your tree.
  • As an added precaution for trees that you chop down in the wild, sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth on your tree and leaving it in your garage or on your porch for a day or two will remove any bugs that are in your tree.
  • Shake your tree once more before you bring it into the house.

The most common pests found on trees in homes

While a few horror stories are out there about aphids numbering in the thousands climbing out of a Christmas tree, these tales remain far removed from the reality of the situation. The most common bugs found on Christmas trees include:

  • Aphids: Small, sap-sucking insects found in most gardens, with piercing mouthparts that suck the nutrients out of plants.
  • Pine bark adelgids: Small, purplish to yellow insects similar to aphids, covered with a white material that resembles snow on branches, found in white pines throughout North America and Europe.
  • Psocids: Small soft-bodied insects with chewing mouthparts, found on bark, leaf surfaces, leaf litter, in bird and mammal nests, or caves.
  • Scale insects: Barnacle-like, white plant parasites that suck the nutrients out of plants.
  • Bark beetles: Small beetles that bore into the trunks of trees, but aren’t a threat to your furniture or the wood in your home, as that wood is too dry for their tastes.

Sometimes bugs happen

If you do happen to find bugs in your Christmas tree, there are a few simple things you can do to remedy this situation. Take the tree back outside, provided you haven’t decorated it, yet. Most newly hatched bugs will die in the cooler air. However, in South Florida, it might not be that cool outside, so these tips might help:

  • So, try sprinkling your tree with food-grade diatomaceous earth and leaving the tree in the garage or outside for a day or two, to kill any bugs that remain.
  • Avoid using aerosol pesticides indoors, as they are flammable and should never be used indoors with the windows closed.
  • Purchase a life-like artificial tree and never have to worry about bugs on your tree again

A full spectrum pest control company, Petri Pest Control Services strives to be your neighborhood pest control professionals you can rely on for affordable, quality pest management solutions! Here’s to a bug-free Christmas tree and the happiest holiday season ever! Contact Petri Pest Control Services for a free pest inspection and to customize a plan to keep pests from getting near your home.

Do Christmas Trees Have Bugs? Yes, Here’s How To Get Rid Of Them in South Florida

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