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Unwanted Christmas Tree Pests

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Christmas trees are vulnerable to thousands of spider mites, praying mantis eggs and more.

Did you know that up to 20,000 bugs could be lurking in a single Christmas tree? This holiday season, we’re here to help and have a checklist of things to consider before bringing your tree into the house.

Christmas tree pests include:

  • Aphids are common pests of evergreen trees and the warm conditions of the home may cause overwintering aphid eggs to hatch. Cinara aphids are large brown while black aphids that resemble small swollen ticks. These aphids do not bite or spread diseases and they will not feed on regular house plants.

  • Adelgids can produce cottony secretions over their bodies that might resemble snow on a Christmas tree.

  • Spider mites produce fine webbing and can appear as tiny red and brown dots when shaken out of the tree. The mites also create small red stains on carpets, ornaments, or furnishings and quickly die after the tree is cut.

  • Praying mantis eggs can hatch when introduced to the warmth of the home and if so, there can be hundreds of tiny mantids wandering in search for food.

  • Beetles and non-threatening spiders can also be found on Christmas trees.

It is important to note that none of the insects that emerge from a fresh-cut tree will cause any harm or damage to the tree, house, furnishing or occupants. Do not spray Christmas trees with pesticides, as they may do more harm than the insects themselves.

If you’d like to learn more about what to watch out for this holiday season, see this recent news story (click here) featuring one of our Regional Trainers discussing the topic of pests and Christmas trees.