More than Gifts Under the Tree
Live Holiday Trees and Insect Pests
If your holiday decorating plans include a live tree, prepare yourself for the possibility of a few unwanted visitors.
No, we don’t mean your opinionated uncle – we’re talking about bugs. Your live tree has spent several years growing outdoors on a tree farm where it served as a home for all kinds of insects, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies. Most of them probably dropped off before your tree arrived at your home - especially if it was shaken to remove loose needles or shipped from far away - but a few may have hitched a ride inside.
Fortunately, most of the animal life you’ll find on your live tree is harmless to people, like aphids, bark beetles, and scale insects. These plant pests are after your tree – not your family.
You can reduce the likelihood of bringing insects and spiders in on your holiday tree by checking the tree for bugs before buying, and choosing a different tree if you notice a major infestation. A few stray spiders and insects can be caught and released outside. You can vacuum under your tree to remove any small insects that may have fallen off.
However, DON’T reach for an aerosol bug spray! These products are flammable, and can create a fire hazard when sprayed near fireplaces and other ignition sources – including tree lights.