Common Christmas Tree Pests and How to Control Them

Common Christmas Tree Pests and How to Control Them

There’s nothing quite like the smell or glow of a Christmas tree in your home. But when you decide to go with a live tree instead of a fake tree, be aware of the potential pests you could be bringing into your home along with it.

While most of these hitchhiking insects will likely die shortly after entering your home, they can still pose some problems for a few days (plus, who likes finding unfamiliar pests in their home?).

There could be up to 25,000 bugs in one Christmas tree.

Here are a few pests you may be bringing inside your home:

  • Small insects that may only be visible in large groups, such as aphids. The warmer temperatures in your home can often cause their eggs to hatch, but they will typically die in a few days
  • Larger insects like bark beetles and praying mantids
  • Sawfly cocoons that hatch black and yellow flies
  • Mites
  • Spiders

6 steps to prevent these unwanted Christmas guests:

  1. Inspect the undersides of branches and the trunk of the potential trees
  2. Be on the lookout for small holes with sawdust trails, as these could be signs of bark beetles
  3. Prune branches where you see anything unusual, such as egg cases
  4. Shake the tree vigorously before bringing it inside
  5. Take a vacuum to the floor beneath your tree regularly
  6. Find a safe, effective spray or oil to kill anything that may still be living on the tree. Never use aerosol pesticides!

The last thing you should be worrying about during the holiday season is bringing unwanted pests into your home, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea of having a live tree. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a pest-free Christmas!