Picking a Christmas tree is a well-loved tradition for Americans across the nation. There’s something really special about trekking out to the country (or even Home Depot), spending the day on a Christmas tree farm, and heading home with a beautiful tree that coniferous dreams are made of. However, what’s not so fun is the Christmas tree bugs that may come along with your seasonal pride and joy. Yup, BUGS.
Although these tree-dwelling pests often lie dormant during the cold winter months, they spring back to life as soon as they enter the resurrecting warmth of your cozy living room. Gross, right? Luckily, Christmas tree bugs are much easier to rid yourselves of than other common household pets. Just sit back, relax, and take notes.
For the proactive purchasers of Christmas trees, you can reduce the likelihood of bringing Christmas tree bugs into your home by shaking the bugs off with a mechanical tree shaker. We know, we know: a mechanical tree shaker is probably not something you have lying around your garage. (Unless you’re Taylor Swift circa her adolescent years living on a Christmas tree farm.) But alas, most of us average folks don’t have the kind of heavy machinery at our disposal. Don’t worry though, most Christmas tree farms and lots have mechanical tree shakers that you may use when purchasing your tree.
It’s important to note that if your point-of-purchase does not have a mechanical tree shaker at their disposal, that duty is going to fall on you and your group of Christmas tree hunters. The jostling that your Christmas tree will receive on the highway heading home is not enough to dislodge Christmas tree bugs, so your biceps must accept this burden of responsibility. According to Realtor.com, “If you visit a farm that doesn’t have a mechanical tree shaker, do the shaking yourself at the tree lot. When you get to a clear spot, plant the trunk on the ground, grab it above shoulder height, then shake it back and forth vigorously.” That should be easy enough if you are buying your tree with family or friends. (If you’re lucky, a random stranger might help too! You know, in honor of holiday spirit.) Stick that Christmas hack in your back pocket and don’t forget it!
Shaking your Christmas tree should dislodge the Christmas tree bugs that may be hiding out, as well as their budding eggs. An added bonus is that shaking your Christmas tree also will rid you of loose pine needles!
When you get home, you should also be proactive in searching your tree. Using a flashlight to look for birds nests and egg masses will help you keep an eye out for these seasonal critters.
Realtor.com breaks down the various types of Christmas tree bugs:
No one wants a bunch of insects running around their home; fortunately these outdoor bugs will eventually die in your home, making a chronic infestation highly unlikely. However, who wants to wait until these bugs die when you can nip the problem in the bud? Vacuuming regularly around your tree will assist in eliminating Christmas tree bugs. (And you should be doing this anyways to get rid of stray pine needles. You can also vacuum your ceilings, walls, windows, and anywhere else the Christmas tree bugs may be congregating. Word to the wise: don’t use a pest spray. They are usually flammable and therefore a no good, rotten, very bad idea in conjunction with the Christmas lights that are bound to be cascading down your tree.
Cleaning up those pesky pine needles is enough of a headache; You don’t need Christmas tree bugs making things worse. Now crack on those Christmas tunes and start decorating that tree!