Watch for ticks on the Xmas tree this year, health officials warn

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Ticks are not usually a problem on cut Christmas trees, but they could show up on more trees this year because of warmer weather in the Northeast.

New York state health officials say adult deer ticks have beeen active and will continue to be active until temperatures stay below 40 degrees for some time; and if they hitch a ride on your Christmas tree, they could be active in your living room.

Wherever you live, if you bring a cut tree into your home for the holidays, don’t be surprised to find insects on it. 

Read more: Christmas Tree Syndrome is a real thing

In an article exploring the benefits of a live Christmas tree versus an artificial one, TechTimes points out the obvious.

“Real trees can house mites, lice, ticks, moths and stink bugs, among other insects that hibernate for the winter but wake up from the warmth of your living room.” (Source: TechTimes.com)

But don’t go overboard worrying about it. 

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences website says you shouldn’t even think of spraying the tree for bugs: “Aerosol insect sprays are flammable and should NOT, under any circumstances, be sprayed on the Christmas tree.”

What can you do? If you suspect your tree is a bit too busy, shake it vigorously outside before setting it up inside. You can even hose it down with water if you are willing to take the time to let it dry.

Read more: How to make your Christmas tree last longer

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