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Health & Fit The Most Common Bugs You’ll Find Crawling Around in Your Fresh Christmas Tree

00:40  03 december  2019
00:40  03 december  2019 Source:   prevention.com

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A freshly cut Christmas tree can bring bugs into your home. Here are the type of Christmas tree Picking the perfect live Christmas tree from a farm or lot is a tradition many people love—there’s These tree -dwelling insects tend to go dormant during the cold months, but as soon as you bring your

In fact, “spiders found on Christmas trees are predators of insects and are not dangerous to people or pets. They are either overwintering species that After bringing the tree home, rid it of any insects and loose pine needles by shaking it before bringing it inside. Another option is to wash the tree with a

There’s nothing like picking out a freshly-cut Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday season, but with that tree can come a host of gross little bugs just waiting to enjoy the comforts of your home.

Various insects could be living in your fresh Christmas tree. Here's how to identify the most common ones and how to get rid of them, according to an entomologist.© Getty Images Various insects could be living in your fresh Christmas tree. Here's how to identify the most common ones and how to get rid of them, according to an entomologist.

Naturally, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure you get a tree that’s as bug-free as possible. But what are you looking for, exactly? And how can you get rid of these pests? Ahead, you'll find everything you need to know about Christmas tree bugs, where they like to hang out, and how to get rid of them safely.

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A Christmas tree is a decorated tree , usually an evergreen conifer, such as a spruce, pine or fir, or an artificial tree of similar appearance, associated with the celebration of Christmas

According to the company, most of the bugs aren't dangerous and will eventually die. The common bugs that survive are aphids, spiders and bark Safer Brand suggests customers inspect trees for potential bug nests before buying. The company also says if you do buy a tree , leave it in a garage

What are the most common Christmas tree bugs?

There are actually a few different types of bugs that could be living in your tree, says Chad Gore, Ph.D., an entomologist and Market Technical Director with Ehrlich Pest Control. Here are the common ones to keep on your radar:

a bird on a branch: Aphids© Chris Mansfield - Getty Images Aphids

Aphids

These little critters love to suck sap from your tree. They look similar to ticks, but they have six legs and are typically a few millimeters in length. Aphids are often black or brown (but can also be red or green) and some may also develop wings.

adelgids© Getty Images adelgids

Adelgids

These insects are tiny, and the coating of wool-like wax they produce can look like a little dusting of snow on your tree (typically around the buds, candles, or needle bases of Christmas trees). The insects underneath can be yellow or purple in color.

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25,000 bugs could be living in your fresh Christmas tree . Pest control company Safer Brand says the most common bugs are aphids, spiders & mites, adelgids, sawflies, praying mantises and bark beetles. The company also gives five tips for preventing unwanted bugs from getting in your house

You ’re camping out: “There may be some critters crawling around on the ground that could accidentally enter your ear canal,” Dr. Troyano You have flying indoor insects: Flies are attracted to the chemicals people emit, and one could make an accidental landing in your ear and crawl inside.

a close up of a plant: pine needle scale© Brytten Steed, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org pine needle scale

Pine needle scale

The eggs of these scale insects look like little white specs on your tree’s needles, almost like it has flecks of white paint on them. These infested needles will often drop early. If they hatch, small red bugs will produce.

a close up of a plant: Spiderweb in dew drops on spruce branch© DG - Getty Images Spiderweb in dew drops on spruce branch

Spiders

Spiders are predatory feeders, so they are looking to feast on the insects that are living on the tree,” Gore says. Also worth noting: If you see a bird's nest in a tree you’re interested in, choose another one. They can contain mites and other parasites.

a close up of a rock: Extreme close-up of a Bark borer working on wood© Henrik_L - Getty Images Extreme close-up of a Bark borer working on wood

Bark beetles

These bugs are about the size of a grain of rice and have red, brown, or black coloring. They like to feed on stressed trees, so it’s possible they colonized before the tree was harvested. Bark beetles prefer moist wood, so they pose no threat to the structures in your home, like furniture.

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According to the company, most of the bugs aren't dangerous and will eventually die. The common bugs that survive are aphids, spiders and bark Safer Brand suggests customers inspect trees for potential bug nests before buying. The company also says if you do buy a tree , leave it in a garage

When you bring a live Christmas tree home, you may be WATCH: As Many as 25,000 Bugs Could Be Living in Your Fresh Christmas Tree . When your Christmas tree enters your house, all of its creepy crawly residents will wake up thinking it’s spring. Most of these insects are harmless, and die as soon as you bring the tree home, but among the ones that live, the most common will be aphids

a close up of a bug: Typical Psocoptera, commonly known as booklice, barklice or barkfly© hekakoskinen - Getty Images Typical Psocoptera, commonly known as booklice, barklice or barkfly

Psocids

The little winged insects, also known as bark lice or booklice, like to eat mold or fungi that might be on your tree. They are typically brown or gray in color and die quickly in homes due to low humidity. Despite their name, they are not like typical lice and do not bite or feed on humans.

mantis© ViewStock - Getty Images mantis

Praying mantis

In some areas of the country, you might also see praying mantises in your tree, Gore says. You may even find their egg cases attached to the branches, which are large and brown in color. In this case, take that part of the branch outdoors to keep it from hatching inside.

Where do bugs like to hang out in Christmas trees?

It depends on the bug. “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,” says Gore.

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Thankfully, the most common insects found on Christmas trees are aphids, Adelgids, and bark beetles. These guys mainly want to stick with the And if you ’re still worried, shaking your tree in the parking lot can also do the trick. Learn more about how to avoid insects in your Christmas tree right

The most common trees known to carry bugs are spruce, fir, and pine trees . Consequently, one of the most common bugs found in these trees is Other tree -dwelling bugs are ticks, scale insects, bark beetles, psocids, and mites. But beware! Even if you don’t see any bugs , there could still be

Adelgids are more likely to be found on the limbs or green parts of the tree, and they can lay eggs that are “white and sac-like, with wispy webbing around them,” Gore says, adding that “you’ll see them very easily against the green of the tree limbs.”

As for spiders, they’ll show up anywhere on your tree. “They could be hiding on the trunk, or within the boughs of the tree,” Gore says.

Should you worry if you find bugs in your Christmas tree?

While it’s gross and less than ideal, these bugs aren’t usually going to harm you. “There’s no reason to panic if you find a pest on your Christmas tree,” Gore says. Most of these bugs like to eat plants, so they won’t bother you. While uncommon, some spiders can bite, Gore warns, so it’s not a bad idea to wear gloves when you’re handling your tree and setting it up inside.

In some cases when there’s an egg mass on a tree, bringing the tree inside to a warm space can speed up the development and hatching. “That might create some worry if you suddenly have hundreds of tiny insects that appear around your tree,” Gore says. “However, these cases are rare.”

How to get rid of Christmas tree bugs

Your best bet is to use your vacuum. “Simply vacuum the pest up and then empty the canister or remove the vacuum cleaner bag,” Gore says. “Place the contents into a larger trash bag, seal the trash bag, and take it to an outdoor trash can or dumpster.”

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According to the company, most of the bugs aren't dangerous and will eventually die. The common bugs that survive are aphids, spiders and bark Safer Brand suggests customers inspect trees for potential bug nests before buying. The company also says if you do buy a tree , leave it in a garage

Creepy- crawly critters find their homes in natural settings, so of course there might some insects Before you decide to swap your traditional real tree for an artificial one, learn more about the pests The following critters might be living in your Christmas tree : Adelgids – harmless bugs that suck sap

You definitely don’t want to use an OTC insecticide on or around your Christmas tree. “Many can be flammable and the heat of Christmas tree lights could be enough to cause a problem,” Gore warns.

Some sources recommend treating the tree with diatomaceous earth, a powder that kills insects by drying them out. “It would certainly kill insects that contact it and get exposed to enough of it,” Gore says, “but it does not work very quickly.” Plus, he adds the average homeowner may end up over-applying the product, leading to “unnecessary exposure to it by the home occupants. If you have pets who like to mess with a tree, you don’t want them to get it on or in them if they ingest it.”

If you feel that the infestation is too large to handle on your own, simply remove the tree from your home—your best bet simply may be getting a new one.

How to prevent Christmas tree bugs

Gore recommends taking these steps when you go to buy a tree:

  1. Inspect the tree. “It’s never a bad idea to take along a bright flashlight with you as you select your tree,” Gore says. “Shine the light onto the trunk of the tree at several points and look for insects or eggs.” If you see them, try another tree.
  2. Shake your tree. Many places will have a mechanical tree shaker that can be used but, if there’s not one available, Gore recommends giving your tree a “vigorous shake or two” before you put it inside your car or house.
  3. Inspect it again. Just to be safe, before you take the tree into your house.

Again, if you happen to spot a bug or two in your tree, don’t panic. But taking a few preventative measures can go a long way toward keeping pests out of your place.

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Shot of an african american father and daughter celebrating Christmas with love at home.

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