We spend all year ensuring pests don’t enter our home, and then we literally carry them inside when we enjoy having a real tree on display during the holiday period.
Christmas tree insects
A study conducted by the University of Bergen in Norway discovered that there could be up to around 25,000 insects and spiders living in a Christmas tree! However, not all Christmas trees contain this many pests.
If you’ve freshly cut yours down (with permission) rather than an artificial one, then your new festive edition could be more prone to pests inhabiting it. Here in Australia, the conditions are perfect for insects. The warmth, the food source, the shelter, provide optimal solutions and harbourage choices for pests.
Common Christmas tree pests
There are a range of different pests and insects that can squat in your Christmas tree and this can vary depending on which type of tree you have.
However, there are a handful of common Christmas tree pests that could potentially be dwelling in your festive decoration such as:
Aphids are small insects which love to feast on sap. They can be a nuisance, particularly in your garden, by causing damages to a range of plants and flowers due to their feeding habits.
Cockroaches are commonly found on the trunk of real Christmas trees. It’s a perfect place to lay their eggs.
Spiders can sometimes be found nesting in Christmas trees. It’s like a free buffet for them!
Interestingly, did you know that Eastern European folklore explains that the origins of tinsel on Christmas trees came from spider webs?
Moths feeding habits can cause a range of damage to your beautiful Christmas tree by feeding on the needles (this does depend on the species though).
Christmas tree pest prevention tips
If you are concerned about inviting some unwanted pests into your home this Christmas then there are a few suggestions that you could follow:
- Before buying your Christmas tree, thoroughly inspect it for pests and other insects by checking leaves, needles, branches and even the trunk.
- Give the tree a good shake (not too roughly though) to help remove any pests that might be living within the branches.
- Wipe down the tree with a cloth to help remove any eggs and stubborn insects.
- As an extra precaution, place your Christmas tree from any other indoor plants to deny any potential pests of a tasty treat.
Don’t forget to book a general pest treatment post the holiday season to ensure that any pests that do escape their festive home, don’t make a home in yours!