How to prevent the presence of insects in your Christmas tree

The Holiday season is almost here, and it's time to think about your Christmas tree. If you choose a natural tree this year, know that several types of insects may be hiding in it.

What insects can there be in your tree?

Spider in a Christmas tree

When you take your tree indoors, you also bring in thousands of visible or invisible insects. Those insects are usually inactive during the winter, but they wake up because of the warmth and light, thinking spring is back.

It is possible that you find the following insects in your tree:

  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs
  • Beetles
  • Spiders
  • Moths
  • Balsam woolly adelgids
  • Balsam fir sawflies
  • Praying mantises
  • Mites

What to do to prevent the presence of insects in your tree this Christmas

Kids under Christmas tree

There are many things you can do to avoid unpleasant surprises. Here are a few:

  • When choosing your tree, check the branches and trunk with a flashlight. This way, you can easily see if there are spiders, roaches or aphids.
  • Leave your tree in the garage for at least 24 hours before taking it indoors.
  • Shake your tree vigorously over a white bed sheet. You'll see if there are insects and/or eggs, or a bird nest.
  • Vacuum the base of the tree regularly to help eliminate eventual parasites.
  • It is important to avoid spraying the tree with an insect repellent (aerosol pesticides), as that type of product is flammable. 

The good news is the insects that live in your tree need it to survive. So, when it dies, they die too. Note that most of the insects sometimes found in Christmas trees are harmless to humans.