For many families, one of the most beloved rituals of the holiday season is bringing home a freshly cut Christmas tree to decorate and put on display. Nevertheless, there are risks involved with bringing a natural object that has been living outside for years inside your house. For example, you probably already know that bringing in foreign objects can lead to a bed bug infestation. Does the same hold true for Christmas trees? Could your family’s celebration cause a need for professional bed bug control once the season is over?
How Do You Know if You Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are very small and adept and hiding. They are also nocturnal, which means you are unlikely to see them during the day. Because they feed on blood, bed bug bites are one of the most noticeable indicators of an infestation. However, these can be mistaken for the bites of mosquitoes or fleas.
While bed bugs hide during the day, they may leave behind visible signs of their presence. You may notice reddish-brown stains on mattresses or bedding from the bed bugs’ excrement. As bed bugs grow, they shed their exoskeletons, so you may find the empty shells they leave behind. These can be hard to see, however, because they are nearly transparent in addition to being very small.
Can Bed Bugs Live In Real Christmas Trees?
The chances of bringing bed bugs into your home with a real Christmas tree are very small. Bed bugs are obligate parasites, which means they have to feed on blood to survive. Therefore, they like to live near their hosts. Living out in the woods, or on a Christmas tree farm, wouldn’t give them very easy access to the food they need to survive.
You may have heard of people having bed bug infestations after bringing home furniture that was left out on the street. However, it was probably not the exposure to the outdoors that gave the parasites access to the furniture. More likely, they were already living in the pieces when they were put outside.
What Bugs Do Live in Real Christmas Trees?
While you don’t have to worry about bed bugs from your Christmas tree, you may inadvertently bring in some other critters. These include bark beetles, praying mantis, aphids, and mites, as well as spiders, which feed on insects. You may not notice these bugs at first because they typically go dormant during the winter. However, once exposed to the warmth inside your home, they may become active again. These critters are mostly harmless, but you still do not want them in your home.
What Can You Do About Bugs on Your Christmas Tree?
When you first purchase your Christmas tree, give it a good shake first before preparing to transport it home. This simple measure helps to dislodge any critters that may be lying dormant in its branches. If you notice bugs on the tree after you get it home, do not spray it with an aerosol pesticide. A cut tree in your home already poses a risk of fire as it dries out. Pesticide sprays increase the risk because they are flammable.
Small insects will probably die after a few days due to a lack of food. You may vacuum them up along with fallen needles without even realizing they are there. If there is a bug on your tree that is large enough to see, you can use a cup or a branch to move it outdoors.
Contact Truly Nolen for Bed Bug Control
While you probably won’t experience a bed bug infestation from your Christmas tree, there are many other ways they can get into your home. Find out more about Truly Nolen’s innovative treatment methods and ask about bed bug exterminator cost.