Christmas Tree Pests

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For some of us, this time of year would not be complete without a Christmas tree. In my family, the Christmas tree truly rings in the holidays (My mother usually likes the tree up for Thanksgiving, yes, I know). The evergreen and pine scents fill the home and sitting around the tree creating memories with family is priceless. (See photo to right of Promise, our bed bug detection K9 in front of our tree).

Don’t let this joyous time of year be ruined with pests, Christmas tree pests. Sometimes insects can hitchhike their way inside on your Christmas tree. Usually your home is not the best habitat for these types of insects because your home is lacking food and appropriate humidity.

No Christmas tree will have every pest on the following list. In fact, most will be free of these hitchhikers. Occasionally, one or more of the following may find its way into your home on your tree.

  • Aphid is a common evergreen tree pests and the warmth inside your home may cause overwintering aphid eggs to hatch.
  • Adelgids are tiny, sucking insect that secretes cottony wax filaments over its body. You will notice them if your tree looks like it had a dusting of snow.
  • Bark Beetles may be found on or near the tree. They may be boring into the trunk, creating small holes and very fine sawdust. These beetles are not a threat to your home because wood inside the home is too dry for these beetles to survive.
  • Spiders found on Christmas trees are predators of insects and are not dangerous to people or pets. If you find a spider remove and place outdoors, webs can be easily removed with a vacuum cleaner.

Before bringing your Christmas tree indoors:

  • Inspect. Look for signs of aphids or other small insects by looking at the branches and trunk.
  • Shake. Shake to dislodge insects and remove any loose needles.

What to do with the Christmas tree once inside:

  • Find the perfect spot to showcase your lovely tree.
  • Turn on the music tunes.
  • Put up the tree and begin decorating.
  • If you find any insects, do not spray aerosol pesticides. These products are flammable. Most insects are unable to survive in your inside environment. If you find any pests vacuum up any dead insects.
  • Enjoy!

Tips to keep a real Christmas tree fresh:

  • Recut the tree by making a straight cut approximately one inch off the butt. Immediately place in water afterwards.
  • Make sure your tree stand can hold approximately 1 gallon of water.
  • Always keep the base of the tree in water. If the base dries out it will form a resin over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water.
  • Take down the tree before it dries out. This will also prevent a trail of needles throughout the house.


Bugs and the real Christmas Tree - Keep your Christmas Tree free of Bugs


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