Make Sure Your Christmas Tree Is Free From Bugs Before You Bring It Into Your House

PHOENIX, AZ – Think of them as “Holiday Hitchhikers,” but they’re not college kids trying to get home for Christmas.

They’re pests—bugs that hitch a ride into your home on firewood, Christmas trees or holiday decorations and they include beetles, spiders, mites, ants and moths among others.

Some of the little buggers can be unhealthy for you, your pets and your children.

If you’re going to buy a real tree this holiday, shake it out thoroughly before bringing it indoors.

Most of the hitchhiking insects will be dislodged, but if shaking the tree reveals an infestation, you may want to get a different tree to avoid the problems holiday hitchhikers may cause.

Most insects are harmless but some could cause problems.

For example, brown recluse spiders have been known to hitch a ride into homes on firewood or Christmas trees.

They hide in dark areas, near woodpiles and debris.

While these spiders are mostly considered a nuisance pest, they will bite when disturbed and produce painful, open sores on the skin.

Shay Runion, Arrow Pest expert said, “Christmas trees, door wreaths and firewood provide the perfect hiding spot and transportation for pests such as brown recluse spiders.”

The United States Department of Agriculture put out a Christmas Tree Pest Manual to provide you with tons of details about what kinds of bugs might be hiding on specific types of trees.

Arrow Exterminators provides a list of tips that will help keep homes pest-free this holiday season:

  • Carefully inspect Christmas trees or other greenery or plants before bringing them into your house.
  • Make sure your pets and children know that trees and wreaths are not edible.
  • If you’ve stored your holiday decorations in an attic, basement or shed-make sure to thoroughly inspect them before setting them up in your home.
  • Always store your holiday decorations in plastic airtight containers and try to keep them in a dry area.
  • Store firewood away from your house on a raised structure that keeps the wood off the ground.
  • Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free.

Plug up any holes in the façade of your home and place screens over vents and openings to chimneys.

Check out the National Christmas Tree Association’s advice for taking care of your tree.