There can be up to 25,000 bugs living in a single Christmas tree that continue to breed and multiply long after the tree has been completely removed from your house. The thousands of bugs that typically live in Christmas trees include spiders and mites, aphids, aeglids, scale insects, bark beetles, praying mantis and sawflies – all carrying a multitude of diseases and germs with them. While homeowners had their “visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads” this past holiday season – eggs may have been hatching and bugs multiplying throughout your home – leaving a major bug infestation to deal with in the months after the holidays are over – or at least, until treated. The bugs that live in trees go dormant during the cold months, but once in your warm home the process of breeding and multiplying is set in motion and progresses even after the tree has been trashed.
Most people like to keep their tree up for as long as possible; there’s nothing that compares to that pine scent and the beauty of a decorated tree. This is fine to do, but be sure to take the following precautions:
- Your tree will continuously drop needless, branches, debris and even live bugs, so always have your vacuum at the ready.Remove the vacuum cleaner bag after use and place the contents into a trash bag in a closed outdoor trash can.
- Continuously inspect your tree with a flashlight to look for tiny bugs, egg masses and nests.
- You can try dusting your tree with an insect powder that's free of synthetic chemicals. Whatever you do, don’t use bug sprays, which are flammable near a tree, especially the aerosol sprays!
- Keep a tree bag at your tree’s base to provide the easiest clean-up for when it’s time to remove your tree. This way, you can simply pull up the tree bag and discard of the tree.
- Have an expert carefully inspect for bugs that are invisible to the naked eye.
For more information, visit, http://www.nopests.com/blog, which includes consumer tips, an online pest identification center and the "no pests" blog, or call (914) 788-4400.