Christmas is coming and along with the old and new decorations, there would be some unexpected guests in your home, should you decide to go with a real christmas tree. Pests. They’re everywhere, especially if you physically import them along with their home.
Yes, christmas trees are home of many bugs, before they get cut and presented on the market for unsuspecting consumers of festivities.
What Damage can Christmas tree pests do?
The good news about this is there is no danger of your home becoming infested. The bugs that find shelter between the branches of the tree, live in the forest and depend on the habitat. Once this habitat is changed, they will die due to lack of food and proper humidity.
Pests that Infest Christmas Trees
- Adelgids. These are tiny, sucking insects that secrete cottony wax filaments over the tree branches and the tree stem. They are sedentary and cannot fall from the tree, unless you use some force. They can flock together in bizarre forms, but are generally harmless.
- Aphids. A general rule of thumb is – if it’s a plant, it will be targeted by aphids at some point. Most aphids are tiny, inactive, and unnoticeable. But there are some species that grow big enough to be seen by the naked eye. The ones that infest christmas trees can survive only on the particular tree, which means they would not try to infest other house plants.
- Bark Beetles. The bark beetles get their name from the fact that they mostly bore into the tree trunk, creating small holes and fine sawdust. Unlike the woodworm, which causes similar symptoms on wood, this specimen wouldn’t target your furniture, because they need humidity and all furniture is made of dry wood. You might never notice them and if they manage to survive until the end of the season, they will resume their life cycle in spring once the tree is outdoors.
- Mites. Another example that might go unnoticed. Mites generally become active when exposed to warm temperatures, but even then they will remain on the tree, preying on insect eggs.They are not a threat to humans or animals.
- Praying Mantis. The praying mantis overwinters in egg masses attached to the tree branches. If left there, the eggs will hatch and the tiny mantids will swarm around the tree looking for food. They will most likely eat any other insects infesting the christmas tree and might even devour each other if they’re the only ones left.
- Psocids. Psocids are small, winged insects that feed on including fungus, mold, pollen, and dead insects. These die the quickest when exposed to the dry indoors air.
- Spiders. Spiders are another very likely insect, but the good news about them is that they’re on the tree precisely because there’s food – aka, other insects. Spiders are harmless to humans and pets, so it won’t be a big deal to just leave them be. If they decide to venture away from the tree, they might make spider webs in certain corners of your house, waiting to catch more prey. But, most species of tree infesting spiders will die because they’re not used to the environmental conditions of your home.
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How to Remove Pests from Christmas Trees
This process of pest removal should start on the market. So, don’t be shy to look over the tree of your choosing before buying.
- Examine. First look around the branches and notice if something is moving. There is a possibility to find insect eggs, or leftovers of bird nests. In that case, prune the branches.
- Let it sit. Once you buy your christmas tree, leave for a few days in the garage. If there are any bugs on it, they will die on their own because of the lack of food.
- Shake. After a few days, come back to the tree, place a sheet around the tree and shake it nicely to remove any bug corpses. They should fall right off.
- Clean up. It’s not a good idea to leave the bugs on the floor of your garage, so either sweep them up, or vacuum.
- Dust. There shouldn’t be anything left, but if you’d wish, you can also spray the tree with neem oil, or Diatomaceous Earth, just in case.
Or, simply give a call to Fantastic Gardeners’ Christmas tree service! Then you can be certain that no pests will infest your holiday.
What about the bugs that made it into the house?
If by any chance there were some bugs left alive after your treatment, they might find shelter around your property. But there is nothing to worry about, as they will soon find their death. The aforementioned christmas tree pests are not able to survive inside properties (except for the spiders, but even they have limits). Simply sweep or vacuum any dead bug you find laying around.
The Fantastic Pest Control team cares about the state of your home and is always here to give handy tips that would keep your life away from pest infestations. Happy Holidays!
Image source: melis/shutterstock.com
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