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Fresh Christmas Trees Might be Hosting Uninvited Guests

Posted by on December 14th, 2017

“First Christmas” by Jared Lind via Unsplash, December 2, 2017, CCO.

Christmas trees typically are adorned with ornaments, lights, and the usual Christmas decorations.  Occasionally, a cat will even find its way into the tree.  This holiday season, consumers should also be aware of unwanted critters that may find their way into homes clinging to a freshly cut Christmas tree, said Texas A&M University entomologist, Dr. David Ragsdale.   “It should be no surprise that when a living plant is brought into the house it has hitchhikers,” he said.

The Department of Entomology at Penn State University has a complete online listing of the different types of insects you might find on your tree and the potential harm that insect might cause.  The good news?  Most do not pose a significant threat to your health or the health of other plants you have in your home.

The experts do have a list of tips to help minimize the risk of insects on your tree:

  • Tree farms often have mechanical shakers that can be used to help dislodge dead pine needles and insects.
  • Vigorously shake the tree before bringing it inside your home.
  • Do a visual inspection of the tree and remove any egg masses or nests.
  • Do NOT use any type of aerosol or insecticide as these are flammable.


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