You may have never thought about this, but your Christmas tree could be covered with bugs. However, most of the bugs are harmless. Most of these bugs are small and very difficult to see. Tiny bugs include aphids, pine needle scales, mites and other small bugs. Your tree may also have praying mantises and spiders. Furthermore, most of these bugs won't survive in the warm and dry conditions that are in your home during the holidays.
Some of the most popular Christmas tree bugs you might find include adelgids, aphids, bark beetles, mites, praying mantises, psocids, scale insects and spiders.
The pine bark adelgid is a tiny bug that won't leave the tree, though they may flock. They are aphid-like and suck on the tree. They also secrete white wax filaments on their bodies. These Christmas tree bugs are harmless.
Usually, aphids are tiny bugs that you'll never notice, though once in a while, they'll hatch in huge numbers. They are usually less than 1/8-inch long and are wingless. However, if the tree is inside long enough, the offspring that are produced do have wings. Aphids have brown or black on their legs and could be mistaken for ticks or spiders. If you look closely, you'll see that they have just six legs, while ticks and spiders have eight legs. Cinara aphids may be found on true firs, while their gray-green cousins, the balsam twig aphid, may be found on pines and spruces.
You may find several different types of mites on your Christmas tree. Most predatory mites only become active when they are exposed to warm temperatures and will stay on the tree. Mites eat other insect and mite eggs. Most are light-colored and remain unnoticeable. However, one type larger and is bright red in color. This particular mite is related to chiggers. Mites in their adult state are not a threat to animals or people.
These small beetles range in color from dark brown to black. They generally bore into the trunk of the tree, so you might notice tiny piles of fine sawdust. They won't bother furnishings or the structural part of your home because your home is too dry for them to survive for very long. Once the tree is removed, the beetles go back into dormancy and will resume their activity in the spring.
The one bug that will creep most people out is the spider. The type found on Christmas trees are not dangerous to pets or people. They are predators of the other insects you might find on your tree, so these are good spiders. If you do notice them because they are weaving webs, simply vacuum them up and their webs up. Because they are not indoor spiders, they will not survive for very long in the house.
In all probability, it does. Some preventative steps you might take include leaving the tree outside for a couple of days before bringing it in, shaking the tree to remove bugs and vacuuming up any bugs yo might see near or on the tree. You may also treat the tree with datomaceous earth or neem oil if you are really creeped out about bugs that may be in the tree. You may also spray the tree with a cedar-based spray.
The one thing you should not do is spray the tree with any type of aerosol, as it is flammable and could start a fire. Most Christmas tree farms spray their trees before they're sold, but that doesn't guarantee that all bugs have been eradicated.
And remember, when disposing of your tree, keep in mind that it may be recycled for other uses, including landscaping, mulch and sanctuaries for birds.