The holidays are a-comin’ and District of Columbia residents are preparing for the arrival of one of their favorite winter rituals: Venturing over the river and through the woods to find the most colossal Douglas Fir or Pine tree in the forest and bring it inside for a festive holiday makeover.
What most holiday celebrators don’t realize is that bringing a piece of nature indoors means that all forms of nature come with it, including pests that you don’t want crashing at your place!
Evergreen trees play host year-round to all sorts of insects and bugs, including spiders, praying mantis and aphids. Most of these critters are actually content to stay outside and will likely perish within a few days of being in your home without food and water. By far the biggest concern with these pests inadvertently hitchhiking into your home stems from the egg cases that female insects previously laid on coniferous branches earlier in the year. The cozy indoor temperatures will likely expedite the development of such egg cases which will lead to potentially hundreds of these creepy bugs taking your home and holiday celebrations by storm!
Follow these tips from the pest control experts at American Pest to make keep these outside invaders OUT:
- Inspect Before You Select
You don’t need to give every Evergreen the third degree, but bring a flashlight on your Quest for the perfect cut-your-own Christmas tree and take a closer look at your top choice for any insects, spider webs or egg cases before you cut it down.
- Prep Your Tree For the Indoor Life
Whether you’re visiting a Christmas tree farm in Virginia or buying a pre-cut tree, once you’ve selected a suitable tree for your family, be sure to give it a good shake to dislodge insects, egg cases and other debris before bringing it into your home. If the tree has a bird nest, be sure to remove it, even if it is abandoned. Bird nests can harbor insects, especially mites. You can also prune any branches that appear to have attached egg cases or insects determined to stay onboard.
- Monitor the Situation
Once your holiday display is complete, keep an eye out for insect activity in or near the tree. Any critters that have made it to this point can be vacuumed up, as long as the bag is promptly discarded.
Please note: American Pest strongly advises not using aerosol insecticides on or near your tree, especially once it is inside. These products are a fire hazard and there are alternative solutions that will eliminate your pest problem while keeping your family safe.
American Pest wishes a very safe and joyous holiday season and new year to our customers and all residents of DC and its surrounding areas including Silver Spring, Bethesda and Reston. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for constant updates on protecting your family from pests! To learn more about how American Pest can protect your home from holiday invaders, please contact us here.