As the halls are being decked with boughs of holly and homes everywhere are being made festive for the holiday season, it’s the perfect time of year for a Christmas visitor to come sneaking in—and we don’t mean Santa.
We’re talking about Christmas tree pests, insects lurking in the branches and needles of the tree. What do you need to be on the lookout for? What should you do if you see them? We’ve got you covered with all the answers you need in this month’s blog!
Home Fir Christmas
Out in nature, several types of creatures make their home in fir trees (that is, Christmas trees), so it’s no surprise that some make their way into homes this time of year.
The fir tree is a popular residence for many different species of insect, birds, and other small animals. As you might expect, the bugs and animals who call a Christmas tree their home vary depending on the region.
Here in the Southeast, there are main insects you’ll need to look out for:
- Cinara Aphids
- Praying mantis
- Spider Mites
Handling Christmas Tree Bugs
Say you’ve just spied something crawling creepily through your tree: what then?
There’s no need to worry—these insects are no great threat to you or your home. None of these insects are harmful to humans, and their presence is much more of a pesky nuisance than anything else.
In fact, praying mantises actually feed on other pests. They’re the type of bug you actually want to have around your house. On the other hand, the gooey egg cluster can release hundreds and hundreds of tiny mantises into your home all at once when they hatch—not exactly most people’s idea of a wonderful Christmas time.
For their part, aphids look scarier than they are. They are often mistaken for ticks at first glance, which can be quite alarming. However, while ticks have 8 legs, aphids only have 6. And unlike ticks, aphids have no interest in biting humans, and will feed only on the Christmas tree itself.
The spider mite is the most ‘dangerous’ of the common Christmas tree bugs here in the Southeast, but that’s only because they can leave stains on furniture and carpeting. Like the aphids and the mantis, they don’t bite or pose a risk to humans.
Hopefully, your holiday season is happy and warm, filled with visiting and cheer. But if you do have a pest problem threatening to ruin your festivities, remember that Terminix is near.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a pest-free night!