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How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Pest Free

Picture of Molly Paws
By Molly Paws on October, 24 2017
A cut-down pinecone tree

It’s the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. A mouse? EEK, a mouse! Where did he come from? Sugar Plum Fairies may be welcomed into your home on Christmas, but certainly not mice, rats or pests of any type. Though how can you keep unwanted creatures from celebrating the holidays with your family and remain pest free? It’s easier than trying to eat your Aunt Ruth’s fruitcake.

Both critters and insects love to create their home in Christmas trees. It doesn’t matter if it’s fake or freshly cut either. Pine needles from either make for perfect nesting materials. Mice and rats will especially hide out in live pine trees and inadvertently be carried into your home without your knowledge. And they really don’t mind. One minute their snuggling in a tree to keep warm, next they are brought into a cozy home with plenty of treats around to snack on.

Create a pest free TREE zone

One way to prevent insects or creatures from entering your home from your tree is to give the tree a good shakedown. Many tree lots have mechanical tree shakers available that shake any unwanted vermin from the tree as well as ridding your tree of excess pine needles you don’t have to clean up later.

Shaking the tree does help, but it doesn’t always get rid of everything on your tree. Take a closer look for any possible egg sacks. Praying mantis love to nest in pine trees. There’s nothing like waking up on Christmas morning with a bunch a baby praying mantises walking all over your presents. Although, if you’re going to have an insect infestation on Christmas morning, they would be the most appropriate… relatively speaking.

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Another insect, which you may have to look closely for, are aphids. Aphids are harmless to humans. Your tree may have them, and you won’t ever know. Though depending on how long you keep your tree indoors, aphids can begin to reproduce, and the next generation could grow wings and fly around your home. As a general rule, unless it’s your pet bird, if it flies around your home it shouldn’t be welcome.

Now, you may be tempted to use aerosol insect sprays if you do see any insects in your tree. DON’T! Aerosol sprays are flammable, not to mention toxic, and should under no circumstance be sprayed on the Christmas tree. To rid your tree of insect pests, it’s best to use your vacuum cleaner’s onboard attachment wand and suck the pests away from your tree. To remove stubborn pests, like aphids, use soap and water on a sponge to wipe over the needles. Be certain your lights are not turned on, and the area is free of electronics.

Artificial Trees

Artificial trees can also carry vermin as well. Mice, rats and other vermin have been known to make a home in artificial trees, especially if they were housed in a cardboard box or breathable bag. Before bringing your tree into your home, examine the box or wrapping for any signs of gnawing or any other types of holes. If you do find any, cautiously shake out each of the tree’s pieces before bringing them into your home. Wear gloves and a long sleeve shirt with pants to avoid being bit.

If your Christmas tree has more insects than ornaments and they’re taking over your house, it’s time to call in the professionals. The highly trained team at AIPM specializes in all types of pest and critter control problems. AIPM’s trained team can eliminate any threats to your property while setting up a custom plan to ensure that you never have to face an infestation by any insect or pest again. Receive a free consultation today!

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