Is your Christmas tree housing pests?
Purchasing a real Christmas tree is a tradition many families celebrate this season. Many of us bring real trees into our home to decorate them with ornaments, lights, tinsel and garland. This tree could be purchased from a tree farm, a retail store, a local provider, or cut down from a homeowners own property. For most families this beloved tradition happens each year without any issues, however it is possible to introduce unwanted pests to your home by bringing a real tree into your living room.
A scary thought, and one we have recently come across this season is what comes into the house along with the tree. We don’t often think about what could be hiding in the tree itself and it can be a scary reality! All real trees can house things like insects, mites, and spiders. Many of these pests are dormant in the cold aisles of the tree farm but wake up when introduced to your warm home. Often these pests will stay put on the tree itself but light and other factors can attract others off of the tree and into your home. Common pests who travel on real christmas trees include Adelgids, Bark Beetles, Mites, Praying Mantids, Psocids, Scale Insects, and Spiders. Each makes a home on some part of the tree, whether it is the bark, twigs or pine needles.
There are a few easy tips to help prevent these insects from overtaking your home. First, make sure the location you are purchasing your tree from uses a mechanical tree shaker. These devices often remove many of the unwanted pests before the tree is wrapped and put onto your vehicle. If a mechanical shaker is not available give your tree a vigorous shake prior to bringing it into your home to knock any pests off outside. Stick to non chemical means for treating any pests that do make it into your home. Many aerosol insect sprays are flammable and should not be sprayed onto the tree itself. Use a vacuum to pick up any visible pests or webs created by pests who wander off of your tree into the home. Lastly if a pest problem becomes out of control, contact a professional to handle the job.
The story that prompted us to share this with you comes from one of our longtime clients who purchased a Christmas tree from a tree farm. This client has now found thousands of spiders and intricate webs all over their home. In this scenario, there was no way to treat the problem and keep the tree, so full removal of the tree and discarding it was the only way to remedy the issue. This is an extreme example but one that isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It is important to keep your eyes peeled for any pests that may follow your tree into the home and to take the appropriate action to protect your home and your family. Contact Noosa Pest Management if you see pest activity in your home that you cannot control yourself.