When Christmas approaches the only thing we want to do is decorate our live Christmas tree. It brings sweet smells and also the spirit of Christmas to your home, but there’s something else that may not be as appealing lurking between the branches!
You need to remember that your tree is a live tree. It spent a lot of time growing up outdoors, and it can probably have some bugs calling it home. Don’t be scared because the wildlife that you might encounter living in your live Christmas tree is not dangerous. However, you might not want to have them at your Christmas party.
Aphids are a common insect and could probably be living on your Christmas tree. This six-legged creature can measure one-eighth of an inch. They have no wings and stay on the tree throughout their lives. The thing is, when you take the tree indoors, it copies the conditions of springtime, making the life cycle springs of Aphids into action again. Because of that, you might be dealing with a host of hatchlings sooner than you might think.
Cinara aphid is the most common variety of aphid and is seen mostly on pines, Fraser fir, balsam fir, spruces and white fir trees. They can only survive by feeding on certain plants, like your live Christmas tree.
Many different species of mites could infiltrate your home. Mites are commonly found on white pine, douglas-fir, spruce, and Fraser fir trees. They overwinter as adults but become active when presented to the heat of your home. They usually do not move from the tree where they eat insect and mite eggs. Mites are small, and they can go unnoticed. If you want to look for them, try to find little bugs that are light colored. There is one type of mite that is a bit bigger and is bright red, and they are families of chiggers, but in the adult state, they are harmless.
If your tree has an old bird’s nest in it, you should remove it before bringing the tree indoors because there are a few species of bird parasites (mites) that could end up getting a ride in the bird’s nest and into your home.
Spiders are predators to the bugs we mentioned above you could find on your tree and are no danger to humans. They might be spooky, but they are helpful in keeping the bug population of your tree under control. Spiders on your tree will either be an overwintering species or spiderlings which hatched when they were exposed to the heat of your home. Spiders are supposed to be outdoors and will usually die not long after being introduced to the indoors.
Keeping Bugs Out
You can take practical measures to keep bugs out of your live tree. You should first inspect the branches and the tree trunk, and look for visible egg sacs or other infestations. Do it before bringing the tree indoors. Then, leave the tree for at least a day in your garage, so the bugs have a chance to move.
Before bringing the tree inside your home, shake the tree vigorously. You could spray neem oil on your tree to kill all remaining bugs, but remember that you must not spray insecticides because they are flammable.
To avoid all of these, you could choose a fake Christmas tree. It’s also festive, and there are many artificial beautiful trees that you could use for many years to come.