If you’re planning to get a real Christmas tree instead of a fake one this year, there’s a chance you could be bringing home tons of little critters!
Don’t let that discourage you, though. There’s a pretty simple fix.
Is your Christmas tree full of bugs?
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The most effective way to eliminate Christmas tree bugs is to shake the tree off using a mechanical tree shaker, which many farms and lots offer as a free service when you buy from them. In addition to taking care of bugs, the shaker will get rid of things like dirt, loose needles and leaves.
If you visit a farm that doesn’t have a mechanical tree shaker, here’s what Realtor.com recommends:
When you get to a clear spot, plant the trunk on the ground, grab it above shoulder height, then shake it back and forth vigorously. (In case you’re wondering, tying a tree to the roof of the car is not an effective way to dislodge insects.)
And after you bring the tree home, leave it in your garage for a day (at least 24 hours) before decorating it.
What types of bugs can live in Christmas trees? According to Safer Brand, the major insects include: adelgids, aphids, bark beetles, mites, praying mantises, psocids, scale insects, spiders, moths, sawflies, weevils, bark lice and webworms.
Check out their graphic below to see exactly what these critters look like:
If you already have your tree in the house, the good news is that most bugs living in Christmas trees are harmless and won’t lead to an infestation — so no need to call an exterminator!
However, you may want to keep a vacuum near the tree just in case you find some bugs.