Pest Control Christmas Edition
Pest Control Christmas Edition: What's In Your Christmas Tree?
Who doesn’t love a live Christmas Tree? The color is unmatched, the scent is divine, and apart from the falling needles, decorating real trees is just more fun. Whether you cut it down yourself or buy it from a tree lot, real trees can house pests that might get in your home when you bring it in.
Most of these pests won’t cause too much damage to your home and they can be eliminated by simply removing the pest or removing the section of branch where the pest is clinging. Be sure to take it outside if that’s what you do. Throwing away bugs in your garbage can doesn’t mean they are gone. They can always crawl out of your garbage can and get back into your home.
Spiders are very common in Christmas trees. You might see small webs between branches or bunches of silk on a single branch. Considering spiders eat other insects, seeing a spider on a limb means you definitely know that there were other pests in your tree. Carefully remove the branch and make sure to take it all the way outside. If spiders run out of insects to eat in your tree, they might branch out (sorry for the pun).
Aphids are a little harder to see. These small pests can resemble ticks or smaller spiders, but they aren’t a serious threat to you or your home. They are small and greyish black, usually. Though, sometimes they can be a dark brown color. While disconcerting to see, they should cause you too much trouble. They like to hang out in the lower branches, so if you’re going to see them, it’ll probably be when you’re adding water. They feed on the tree’s sap and will kill it faster.
These little guys can be more difficult to spot. A scale insect lives on the branches of the tree and feeds off the sap. They are less than 1/8” across and are usually a lighter brown color. They don’t post any real threat to your furniture because that wood is already dried out. They do, however, kill your tree faster by depriving it of moisture and nutrients. If you spot some scale insects on a branch, clip the branch carefully and take it outside.
These little guys like conifers and their name is hard to say. It’s pronounced uh-DILL-jih-dye if you’re interested and these parasitic bugs look like little white bubbles stuck to your tree’s branches. Like the other Christmas-tree-infesting-pests, this one also likes to feed on tree sap.
We hope this doesn’t keep you from buying a live tree, but equips you for what to look for at the tree lot. If you see any of these pests on the branches before you buy it, keep moving and find another tree. Though most of these pests aren’t a danger to your home or furniture, they can still put a damper on the Christmas Spirit.