There is nothing like choosing a freshly cut Christmas tree to celebrate the Christmas season, but with that tree you can come a lot of little bugs that just wait to enjoy the comforts of your home.
Naturally, you will want to do everything possible to make sure you get a tree that is as error free as possible. But what exactly are you looking for? And how can you get rid of these pests? Below, you will find everything you need to know about Christmas tree insects, where they like to hang out and how to get rid of them safely.
What are the most common mistakes of the Christmas tree?
Actually, there are some different types of insects that might be living in your tree, says Chad Gore, PhD, entomologist and Technical Market Director of Ehrlich Pest Control. These are the most common to keep on your radar:
Chris Mansfieldfake images
These little creatures love sucking the sap of your tree. They resemble ticks, but they have six legs and are usually a few millimeters long. Aphids are usually black or brown (but they can also be red or green) and some can also develop wings.
These insects are small, and the layer of wax similar to the wool they produce can look like some snow on your tree (usually around the buds, candles or needle bases of Christmas trees). The insects below can be yellow or purple.
Brytten Steed, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Pine needle scale
The eggs of these squamous insects look like small white specifications on the needles of your tree, almost as if it had white paint stains. These infested needles often fall early. If they hatch, small red insects will be produced.
"Spiders are predatory feeders, so they seek to feast on insects that live in the tree," says Gore. It is also worth noting: if you see a bird's nest in a tree that interests you, choose another. They can contain mites and other parasites.
These insects are the size of a grain of rice and have a red, brown or black color. They like to feed on stressed trees, so it is possible that they colonized before the tree was harvested. Bark beetles prefer wet wood, so they do not pose a threat to your home's structures, such as furniture.
Small winged insects, also known as bark lice or booklice, like to eat mold or fungi that could be in your tree. They are usually brown or gray and die quickly in homes due to low humidity. Despite their name, they are not like typical lice and do not bite or feed on humans.
⚠️ Do not use over-the-counter insecticides on or around your Christmas tree.
You definitely don't want to use an over-the-counter insecticide on or around your Christmas tree. "Many can be flammable and the heat of the Christmas tree lights could be enough to cause a problem," Gore warns.
Some sources recommend treating the tree with diatomaceous earth, a powder that kills insects by drying them. "It would certainly kill the insects that contact him and they would be exposed to enough," says Gore, "but it doesn't work very fast." In addition, he adds that the average owner may end up applying the product excessively, which leads to "unnecessary exposure to it by the occupants of the home. If you have pets that like to mess with a tree, you don't want them to put it on or in them if they ingest it. "
If you feel that the infestation is too large to handle on your own, simply remove the tree from your home; Your best option may be to get a new one.
How to prevent Christmas tree mistakes
Gore recommends following these steps when shopping for a tree:
Bolder LC40 rechargeable flashlight
Inspect the tree. "It's never a bad idea to carry a bright flashlight with you while selecting your tree," says Gore. "Brighten the light on the tree trunk at various points and look for insects or eggs." If you see them, try another tree.
Shake your tree. Many places will have a mechanical tree shaker that can be used, but if there isn't one available, Gore recommends giving your tree a "vigorous shake or two" before putting it inside your car or home.
Inspect it again. Just to be sure, before taking the tree home.
Again, if you find a mistake or two in your tree, don't panic. But taking some preventive measures can help a lot to keep pests out of place.
Like what you just read? You will love our magazine! Go here To subscribe. Don't miss anything by downloading Apple News here and following Prevention. Oh And we are also on Instagram.
Korin Miller Korin Miller is a freelance writer who specializes in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with jobs that appear in men's health, women's health, self, glamor and more.