Is Your Christmas Tree Crawling with Insects?

Shake out your Christmas tree to remove insects before bringing it into your Snohomish WA or Everett WA home - Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest Few things signal the start of the holiday season like picking out a Christmas tree! Whether you pick a balsam fir or spruce tree, Christmas trees smell delightful and are the perfect holiday decorations. Unfortunately, Christmas trees are reported to harbor as many as 25,000 insects! Although most Christmas tree insects are microscopic and harmless, no one wants them in their home. Luckily, there are a few ways you can prevent Christmas tree insects from ruining your holiday spirit.

4 Tips to Prevent Christmas Tree Insects

Many people don’t think twice about bringing a Christmas tree into their home, but there are a few things that need to prevent insects. Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest’s top tips for preventing Christmas tree pests include:

  1. Give the tree a thorough inspection. Before making the final decision, inspect the Christmas tree for irregularities, spots, damaged branches or trunk, or signs of pests.
  2. Vigorously shake it out! On your own or with the tree lot attendant, shake out the Christmas tree before bringing it home with you.
  3. Leave the tree in the garage at first. Store the tree in your garage or a covered area for a few days to encourage bugs to part ways with the tree.
  4. Use a vacuum regularly. On a regular basis, inspect your tree, vacuum up falling needles, and, if necessary, vacuum up any pests.

Common Christmas Tree Pests

Entomologists have done research to prove that thousands of insects can be hidden away within a Christmas tree. A few of the most common types of Christmas tree insects include:

  • Aphids: Aphids are usually found in the lower branches of evergreen, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser firs, or white fir trees.
  • Mites: These minuscule bugs cause needle loss in Douglas firs, white pines, spruce trees, or Fraser firs.
  • Spiders: Probably the most feared Christmas tree pest is the spider! Spider egg sacs hidden within Christmas trees can cause homeowners a lot of grief.
  • Bark beetles: These wood-boring insects are about the size of a grain of rice. Holes in the branches or trunk of your tree—or sawdust on your floor—are signs of bark beetles.
  • Praying mantises: Adult praying mantises are green and can grow to be quite large. Praying mantis egg sacs are also commonly found in Christmas trees.

How to Control Christmas Tree Insects

It is overwhelming for any homeowner to find out they purchased a Christmas tree covered in insects. If the infestation is serious, you may want to exchange your tree for a new one. If you’re still dealing with insects in your Everett WA home long after you’ve gotten rid of your Christmas tree, give the  exterminators at Western Exterminator, formerly Pratt Pest a call!