How to Avoid Christmas Tree Critters

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Nothing truly says Christmas like bringing home a fresh tree to decorate with the family.  It’s a Christmas tradition in its own right, yet some critters may want to join in on the fun.  Just because it is the season of giving does not mean that you need to include pests, despite their best effort to hitch a ride on a fresh-cut tree back to your home.  So, given that you are taking something from nature into your home, how can you best defend against the pests which are inevitably living in the tree? Read on to see our best practices!

First, let’s discuss some of the common critters you can expect to find in a Christmas tree.  Of all the critters that may be hanging out in the tree, aphids and spiders are the most common.  After bringing a tree into your home, don’t be surprised if you see a couple of spiders crawling around, as they love to spin their webs across tree branches. There is also the chance that you may come across a beetle, sawfly, or even a praying mantis, but they are much more unlikely.  Yet, no matter what kind of critters they are, there are a few ways in which you can limit the number of critters you bring inside.


  • Shake the tree. Sure, it may seem a little odd, but shaking the tree before bringing it inside will help to make sure that these bugs don’t stick around.  Some farms may have a mechanical shaker, but you can always do the job yourself when you bring it back. Try to place a tarp underneath the tree before you shake it, so that way you can scoop up whatever critters fall out.
  • Leave it in the garage. Believe it or not, leaving the tree by itself for a few days is a great way to encourage pests to leave.  For the best results, put it in the garage, as the lack of sunlight and other pests (i.e. food sources) will cause these critters to leave the tree in search of something better.  To get rid of the pests that have come out of the tree and are now in the garage, just leave the garage door slightly cracked for a few days—they’ll scamper out on their own.
  • Vacuum the tree. You’re going to break out the vacuum anyway to pick up all the pine needles after bringing in the tree, so do yourself a favor and vacuum up all of the pests at the same time.  Even if you cannot see them, taking the vacuum to the tree itself can rid the tree of both unwanted pests and dead pine needles—talk about a two-for-one combo!


You may not be able to snag a pest-free tree, but you can sure do some small things to make sure that you still have a pest-free home even after you bring the tree in.  Christmas is a wonderful time of year, so don’t let a few pests hiding out in your tree put a damper on it.

As always, feel free to give us a call if you ever need some more advice!

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