How To Keep Your Christmas Tree Bug-Free Through The Holidays
There’s few feelings in life more satisfying than finding the perfect Christmas tree to bring home for the holidays. But if you’re not careful, you could be bringing in some unwanted pests with it. Here are some tips to help keep your Christmas tree bug-free all through the holiday season.
According to Nielsen Research data published by the American Christmas Tree Association, over 21 million real Christmas trees will be bought for the holidays. This is nearly double the amount of artificial trees projected to be bought this year.
There are many upsides and downsides to having either kind of tree in your home. Sure, the artificial trees may not feel as authentically Christmassy as a real fine hunk of pine would. But what real Christmas trees have working against them is the ever-looming threat of bugs and pests lurking beneath.
Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate that threat so you don’t have to worry about bugs disrupting your holiday. In an interview with health info site Prevention, entomologist Chad Gore, Ph.D., shares some insights in how to prevent a pest infestation within your Christmas tree.
First, you should carefully inspect the tree and try to eyeball any creepy crawlers before putting it on your car and in your home. “It’s never a bad idea to take along a bright flashlight with you as you select your tree,” suggests Gore. “Shine the light onto the trunk of the tree at several points and look for insects or eggs.”
Gore also provides tips for where you would be likely to find bugs on your tree. “Scale insects and aphids are sap-feeding insects that can be found on the trunk, limbs, and the woody parts of the tree. This is also where you’ll find bark beetles and psocids.”
It’s also suggested that you give the tree a good shake to clear out any loose bugs trying to hide. Some tree shops may even have a mechanical shaker you can use, but of course you can always use brute strength and force to shake it yourself.
These preventative measures should ostensibly be enough to keep your Christmas tree bug-free. But what do you do if you were to find bugs burrowing in your beautifully ornate Christmas tree?
Your instinct might be to squish them, but don’t do that. Some bugs are able to release eggs upon being crushed. The solution is quite simple: use a vacuum! Combing through your tree with a high-strength vac should be able to clear out virtually every kind of bug plaguing your tree.
In summary, if you inspect your tree closely you should be able to spot any bugs that might be there. And even if you do spot a few on there after you have it set up, a simple run with a vacuum should take care of them.
Abiding by these steps will help ensure that you and your family don’t receive any unwelcome guests for the holidays. Well, besides the in-laws of course.