December 6, 2023 / Seasonal Pest Control

Getting a Real Christmas Tree? Check for These Pests Tagging Along

A small child dressed for the holidays runs through by a group of Christmas trees.

One of the best parts about the holidays is picking out and decorating a Christmas tree with your family. There is so much joy in traveling to your favorite tree farm or local park to enjoy seasonal sounds, steaming hot chocolate, and twinkling lights while you search for the perfect tree.

Of course, a perfect tree can lose its luster if you discover that its branches are home to bugs. Believe it or not, this is a fairly common problem when it comes to Christmas festivities. 

Find out how to spot common Christmas tree pests when selecting your tree, along with a few DIY measures you can take to get rid of any that might have come home with you to celebrate the season. 

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Common Christmas Tree Pests

A Christmas tree bug almost sounds cute, like they should be wearing little hats and scarves or something. In reality, they really aren’t. 

Two of the most common offenders eager to join in on the holiday fun are aphids and spiders. If the tree is freshly cut, there is a good chance these bugs will hitchhike home with you. Most often, they will lay eggs in the pine needles that will not hatch until they are in the warmth of your home. This can take your Christmas celebration from cozy to creepy in no time flat. 

Another common Christmas tree pest are praying mantises, even before they hatch. When inspecting your tree, make sure that there are no light brown oval cases, this is the praying mantis egg case

Once inside and warmed, hundreds of eggs will hatch in your home, just in time for Christmas dinner. If you do not want to feed these extra mouths, it is best to be proactive and inspect your tree for these egg cases. If you do find some, carefully remove them and place them outside, away from your house. 

Is it Easy to Spot Christmas Tree Pests?

How do you know if some pests are nestled amongst the needles of your Christmas tree? 

Start by taking a good look at the tree when you are still at the lot. If you see any moving bugs on the tree, it may be best to keep searching for a different tree. These bugs are capable of turning any ordinary tree into the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. 

When inspecting the tree, you are looking for things out of the ordinary. Such as holes in the trunk, or any sawdust suggesting a burrowing insect such as a bark beetle. This is similar to the termites that could be brought inside this holiday season via freshly stacked firewood.

How to Kick Christmas Tree Pests to the Curb

Sure, that’s not really in line with the favored Christmas traditions, but we understand that you don’t want to share your home with pests of any kind at any time of year. 

Give your tree a good shake outside -- whether you see any pests or not. This will remove anything loose or dead from the tree, which could also help get rid of any eggs still clinging to the tree. 

After this, let your tree sit for at least 24 hours. This is a good time to inspect your tree with a flashlight on a deeper level. Keep your vacuum cleaner handy wherever you intend to put your tree, so that you can easily and quickly clean up fallen pine needles and any unwelcome visitors as they appear.

For any lingering or persistent pests, contact our team! We’ll keep them under control for you, so that you don’t have to.

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