It's that time of year, the bells are ringing, the hot chocolate brewing. The treks to fresh Christmas tree lots are aplenty.
It's a question that comes up every year, do I make the jump to freshly cut tree, or hang back and dredge up the fake tree from the closet/cellar/mom's basement.
One reason for opting for the fake tree is often the ecosystem of pests you're inviting to your home for the holidays. It's easy to forget that Christmas trees were at one point planted in the ground and a suitable home for many species bugs.
We made a list detailing the most common pests to keep an eye out for, and how to prevent these guys from crashing the party.
- Look for: small, pin-needle sized black bugs with six legs. They are typically found on the lower boughs of your Christmas tree, most common in evergreen, pine, spruce, balsam fir, white fir, and Fraiser fir trees.
- Look for: white masses of woolly wax that kind of look like snow. They enjoy the sap of fir, white pine, Norway spruce, and Scotch pine trees.
- Look for: long, hard-shell cylindrical bodies about the size of a grain of rice, with red, black and brown coloring. They enjoy borrowing through the wooden branches and can also be identified by small holes and sawdust trails. They are most common on Coulter pines, Monterey pines, Jeffrey pines, ponderosa, junipers, and white pines.
- Look for: you know what these guys look like, half terrifying, half cool insects. More important, look for a walnut-sized egg mass that is light tan in color. Once brought indoors, these masses of up to 400 eggs can hatch. They can be found on any trees.
Pine Needle Scale
- Look for: white specks that look like a dusting of snow on branches. They are commonly found on Norway spruce, Scotch pines, Douglas-fir.
- Look for: brown cocoons that hatch black and yellow flies with markings that resemble wasps (no stingers though!). They like buzzing on and around spruce and pine trees.
Spiders and Mites
- Look for: tiny red and brown dots that, upon closer look, look like mini-spiders. They like crawling on Douglas-fir, white pine, Fraser fir, and spruce trees.brown cocoons that hatch black and yellow flies with markings t