This time of year the days are shorter and everything is pumpkin spice. Many people enjoy spending time with the family. Some even set up a real live pine Christmas tree in their house. While there is special care in keeping your tree healthy for weeks, and keeping your family safe many people have questions. Can your real Christmas tree bring bugs into your house?
What Bugs Might Be On Your Christmas Tree?
While its unlikely that your tree is loaded with bugs, there is a chance there could some. The majority of bugs are unlikely to be dangerous to you or your family. Most common are spiders, mites, aphids, scale insects, bark beetles, praying mantises and the sawfly. If you purchase your tree from a Christmas farm, more than likely the tree has been sprayed with pesticides. You should ask the farm if this is the case and what they use. This is important as some people can have an allergic reaction to touching the tree if certain pesticides have been used. If you purchase the live tree from a roadside stand, you may not know exactly where the tree came from and if any methods were used to prevent bugs from hitching a ride.
What Can I Do To Prevent Bugs?
Even though the bugs are mostly harmless, there are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of bugs hitching a ride into your warm home. When the tree was outside growing no doubt the weather was cold. When the weather gets cold, many insects slow down or even become dormant. So when this tree enters your warm house next to the fire place, the insects warm up and start to move about. Here are a few suggestions:
- Rest Your Tree For 24 Hours – Why not take the tree into your garage and allow the tree to warm up a bit. During this time you can inspect the tree to look for any signs of insects.
- Shake Your Tree – When you buy a tree from a farm they will have a mechanical tree shaker that will dislodge bugs, nests and eggs before its loaded for your home. If this isn’t the case, why not shake it yourself before bringing it in. This will also get rid of loose pine needles.
- Diatomaceous Earth – If you want an extra layer of precaution you can dust your tree. This is an insecticidal powder that’s free of synthetic chemicals and harsh fragrances. Just let it sit for a day before decorating. Again this can be done in the garage.
In most cases a real live Christmas tree will not bring insects into your home and invade. If you do see extra bugs around your house this holiday season, especially any roaches, give us a call. If you are already a customer we’ll take care of you. If you are not yet a customer, we’ll come out and treat for the existing problem and set you up with a program that will prevent bugs in the future.