It’s the question on everyone’s minds this holiday season: Should I cut down a real Christmas tree or buy a fake one?
Freshly-cut evergreen trees are beautiful and make your home smell amazing, getting you in the Christmas spirit. But when you bring home a living tree you are also inviting thousands of little insects that are hibernating inside the tree. To prepare for these insects, pre-treat your tree before bringing it into your home with:
- Diatomaceous Earth – An insecticidal powder that uses no synthetic chemicals and leaves no scent or odors. Simply dust your tree while it’s still outside and shake off excess before bringing it inside.
- Neem Oil Spray – Apply this spray to target insects at every growth stage. Use it before trimming your tree or as soon as you spot any pests.
Most microscopic bugs living in Christmas trees do not cause harm to humans. These tree dwellers quickly die when you bring them inside. That being said, below are the most common insects you might find lurking in your tree:
- Spiders and mites
- Pine needle scale
- Saw fly
- Bark beetles
- Praying mantises
The best way to avoid Christmas tree critters from ruining your holiday is to take these preventative actions.
- Inspect the tree branches and trunk for any signs of eggs or bugs. Norwegian pines are know for having the most bugs.
- Give the tree a good shake before bringing inside.
- Buy a local hardwood tree as this is more likely to have a limited fauna.
- Let the tree sit in your garage for at least 24 hours before decorating. This will allow you to see if there are any other bugs venturing out from the tree and to help the tree settle.
- If you notice a large number of bugs, take the tree back to the Christmas tree shop to trade it in for a new one (most shops will exchange if your tree is particularly buggy).
Living Christmas trees are important to holiday traditions. Don’t let a few bugs scare you into not enjoying a freshly-cut evergreen.