Live Christmas trees provide insects with a wonderful place to wait out the snow and cold of winter. Unfortunately, this means that occasionally hibernating insects get indoors by hitching a ride on your Christmas tree. Once inside, warm temperatures fool them into thinking it is time to get up and get active, and (eek!) maybe even reproduce. Here are some tips for keeping your Christmas tree bug-free.
Several types of insects are fond of over-wintering in conifers, including certain types of aphids, spider mites, sow bugs, beetles, earwigs, praying mantids, spiders, and even earthworms. They don't normally cause any damage (e.g. spread to your houseplants), because let's face it, the interior of your house isn't exactly the coniferous forest habitat they need to survive. Most will die after thawing out and waking up, and the remaining bugs are usually nothing more than a nuisance.
According to the North Carolina State University Christmas Tree website, the chances of you buying a buggy trees is actually rare. In fact, only about one tree in 100,000 will have any of the above bugs in it when you buy it. The odds are best when temperatures are mild around the time the trees are harvested. Despite the fact that buggy trees are a relatively rare occurrence, it does happen. Therefore, unless you are willing to risk having bugs crawling over your presents or potentially starting the New Year with hundreds of mantid eggs hatching in your living room, you'll want to inspect your tree carefully to minimize the chances of bringing bugs indoors.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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