Tis the season for holiday decorations and cheer. But you might feel less than cheery if you discover a new pest problem in your home. Believe it or not, Christmas trees can be a source of some pretty obnoxious creepy crawlies. That’s definitely not the type of holiday guests you had planned to invite!

Sure, you could always go with an artificial tree. But you might be concerned about the environmental impact, or you prefer the look and smell of a real tree. If so, just be the lookout for these common Christmas tree pests, and know what to do about them.

Aphids. These insects are luckily harmless, but they are prone to stowing away on Christmas trees. If you begin to find aphids around the house, just don’t squash them on furniture or carpet. They can leave a reddish or purple stain.

Bark beetles. Bark beetles are tiny, wood-boring insects about the size of a grain of rice. If you find what looks like sawdust on the floor underneath your Christmas tree, bark beetles are likely to blame. It’s better to check the trees for tiny holes in the trunk and limbs before even bringing it home. It’s not common, but bark beetles could theoretically move into the wood structures of your home next.

Praying mantises. Praying mantises might creep you out, if you’re not a bug person. Luckily they won’t harm you or cause an infestation in your home. Killing them is considered bad luck in some cultures, so you might prefer to capture and release them outdoors.

Spiders and mites. Checking your tree before bringing it into the home is always a good idea. Look for egg sacs, which can hatch out dozens or even hundreds of baby spiders. Typically, though, venomous spiders don’t live in Christmas trees. As for mites, they will often stick with the tree and simply cause needle loss. But they have been known to leave reddish stains on carpets or holiday decorations.

Of course, you could always spray down your tree with an insecticide before bringing it home. The other option is to notify us right away if you need pest control services during or after the holidays. It’s rare to see a true infestation due to an insect introduced by a Christmas tree, but it could happen. Let us know if you need pest control services and we’ll be happy to help.