It’s the most wonderful time of the year - for the pests, that is. As more than 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S., up to 25,000 bugs per tree are invited home for the holidays. Before scaring off Santa with a potential pest infestation, check out these 5 things to consider before purchasing your Christmas tree.
The Truth About Christmas Trees
For those of us that prefer the allure of a real Christmas tree, there might be more than a few creepy crawlies making themselves at home among the ornaments. Hibernating pests nestled among the pine needles wake up when they enter your warm, festive home, thinking its spring. Most of these pests are microscopic bugs that don’t pose a danger to our families or pets. However, that doesn’t make them any less of a nuisance.
If you’ll be purchasing a real Christmas tree this year, these are the pests you’ll want to look out for.
1. Cinara Aphids
Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that are common in spruce, evergreen, balsam, and occasionally, fir trees. They typically hide their eggs in hard-to-reach spots like down inside the lower branches of Christmas trees, where they’re also more difficult to find. While aphids are harmless to humans, squishing them can cause a purple or reddish stain on furniture or carpet. Save yourself the scrubbing and call in our Charlotte pest control company.
2. Spruce Spider Mites
True to their name, spruce spider mites are commonly found on spruce trees, as well as Douglas fir and white pine. They appear as tiny red and brown dots, and despite being harmless to humans, can create small red stains on ornaments, carpets, or furniture. In addition to the fright they might cause unsuspecting tree admirers, spider mites also feed on the tree and can cause premature needle loss.
3. Praying Mantises
Each fall, female praying mantises lay between 200 and 400 eggs in the branches of Fraser fir Christmas trees. After a few weeks of being inside warmer temperatures, the eggs can hatch and start making your home, their home. If you fear the eggs on your tree have already begun hatching, call our professional pest control team today to curb the potential infestation.
4. Bark Beetles
Despite being the size of a grain of rice, the bark beetles that invade pine and juniper trees will bore small holes into your Christmas tree. Did we mention they also leave sawdust trails on the tree’s trunk? Before bark beetles can Scrooge-ify your Christmas tree, inform us right away if you notice any signs of these.
Sawflies can be found in a variety of spruce and pine trees. Though less common than the other pests on this list, beware of their brown cocoons, which eventually hatch into what looks like a fly-wasp hybrid. To not terrify any guests this year, utilize our pest control services to clean up the problem.
Don’t let the threat of pests crush your Christmas spirit. When purchasing your Christmas tree, remember that Thomas Pest Control is always ready and waiting to help. Contact us today to explore your options.