How to Detect and Get Rid of the Bugs That May Live on Your Christmas Tree

As convenient as they are, and no matter how many pine-scented candles you light, it might seem like the fake trees are missing something. Living trees do more than just make a mess when their needles fall and are then tracked around the house (although this is a bonus). Another thing missing from (most) artificial trees are beetles.

Sure, it sounds harsh – and thankfully quite rare – but that’s what you signed up for when you decided to bring a freshly felled tree from nature to your home. Now that Christmas is over and your tree is likely to come down soon, it might seem like too little, too late, fighting any of its pests.

But that’s not the case – checking for errors before chopping down the tree (and taking action if necessary) is a good idea before dragging the tree through the house to the door. Here are the mistakes to look for and how to get rid of them.

Mistakes That May Live on Your Tree

Before we go any further, we must point out that the insects that inhabit Christmas trees, while disgusting, probably won’t harm you. As Dr. Chad Gore, entomologist and CTO of marketing at Ehrlich Pest Control , recently told Prevention , most Christmas tree pests feed on plants, especially sap (which is why they are on your tree in the first place).

One exception, however, is spiders, which can also live on Christmas trees and bite, although Horus said this is rare. However, he recommends wearing gloves when throwing out the tree. Other resident pests may include :

  • Aphids (similar to a tick with wings)
  • Adelgids (which may look like snow dust, but are actually beetles)
  • Pine needle scales (which looks like white specks, but these are eggs laid by bedbugs)
  • Bark beetles (the size of a grain of rice)
  • Root lice (at least not in humans)
  • Praying mantises (perhaps someone rode a tree to your house)

How to get rid of bedbugs on Christmas trees

The good news is that if you spot bugs in your tree at this point and get rid of them, you won’t be blamed for “spoiled Christmas” or anything else. In addition, many of the insects that live in trees prefer to live outdoors , so if some manage to escape during an eviction, they may not stay long.

However, in a perfect world, no one would have to worry about letting bugs into their home at the Christmas tree. But if you see them, here’s what to do (and what not to do):


Vacuuming is the easiest and safest option. And don’t just walk around the tree: if you spot bugs, take out the baits and collect as many as possible before moving the tree out of the house. Lift up the base, branches, bark – wherever you see (or can see) errors. Once the tree leaves the building, vacuum the path it took from location to door to get out. Then pour the bag or canister of the vacuum cleaner into a sturdy trash bag, close it, and then put it in the trash can.

Do not use over-the-counter insecticidal sprays.

This is especially true if you accidentally spot bugs before the holidays and do not want to demolish the tree. This is because many OTC sprays are flammable , and you do not want these substances are near a source of heat, hanging on a tree. Also, it’s best to avoid spraying chemicals inside your home if there are alternatives.

It’s too late for diatomaceous earth

While you may have heard of using diatomaceous earth to get rid of insects on a Christmas tree, it’s helpful before you bring the tree into your home, rather than the other way around. (For example, if you spot bugs on a tree when you unload it from your car.) The insecticide powder does not contain synthetic chemicals and does work, but it must be on the tree for at least 24 hours before it starts to grow. be effective, so it is of little use at this point.


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