Imagine the following: You are sitting on your couch, enjoying your Hallmark Christmas movie when all of a sudden you are overrun by countless numbers of bugs and other creepy crawlies!
While this may sound like a scene straight from a horror movie, it is actually a very real possibility. Live Christmas trees that are brought inside are a thriving ecosystem for certain insects and spiders.
The thick branches and tree stand full of water provide the perfect harborage and moisture source for large roaches, such as American and smoky brown roaches. Hidden amongst the branches is an insect that may go unseen, called the Christmas Tree aphid, Cinara spp. These aphids, as the name implies, live on Christmas trees. They live hidden in the branches of conifer trees, feeding on the sap and multiplying rapidly.
So, what’s the big deal about these aphids? Well, they can live in large populations on the Christmas tree that you bring into your home, and as the tree starts to dry out and die, they can abandon the tree in search of other food supplies. While they won’t survive for long, most people do not want hundreds of aphids running around their home, even if it is just for a couple of weeks.
Spiders can also hide in the branches of your tree waiting to feed on some unsuspecting aphid or roach that has set up shop on this beautiful tree you call your own. Bringing the tree inside, of course, brings the spiders in and can encourage them to spread throughout your home in search of food.
So, what should you do? Breathe! Put down the flamethrower. Don’t panic; I promise, you’re allowed to buy a live tree again! The amazing people here at Active Pest Control can help. Use the following tips to keep your home safe from these harboring holiday pests:
1. Get the tree shaken or shake it yourself before you bring it home.
2. Spray the tree down with a water hose before bringing it inside.
3. Check within the branches for hidden pests and their congregations.
4. If all else fails and you accidentally bring these pests inside… Don’t be ashamed to call in the experts; we are ACTIVEly here for you! We know just what to do to rid your home of those pesky pests!
Author: G. Wyatt West –A University of Georgia Graduate of Entomology