If one of your Christmas traditions is cutting down an evergreen tree to decorate, you may risk bringing a pest into your home. Choosing to purchase a tree from a tree lot can reduce that risk, but when you bring nature into your living room, you’ve almost got to expect that you might get more than you bargained for. Here’s what we recommend for dealing with ants or other critters that might be in your Christmas tree.
What Kind of Pests Can You Find in Your Tree?
The pests that live in evergreens include aphids, praying mantis, carpenter and other types of ants, spiders and beetles. Insects love pines and fir trees because the sap is sweet. The branches make good protection against other critters through the winter. When you bring a tree inside, it can make any of the dormant pests think spring is here, so they’ll come alive. Keep in mind that many of the pests that like evergreens aren’t dangerous to humans, just annoying pests. We understand that you don’t want to live with them, but you shouldn’t panic.
Prevent Pests From Coming in Your Home Through Your Christmas Tree
Before you bring your Christmas tree home, do an inspection. Look for:
- Bird’s nests in the branches – remove them.
- White flocking on the branches and needles.
- Any masses that could be egg sacs, such as a walnut sized bag.
- Small holes in the trunk or sawdust on the trunk.
Most Christmas tree lots have shakers, which can help eliminate pests, but you could also shake the tree yourself to dislodge pests. Don’t use an insecticide on your own, because the chemicals can damage the tree or affect your pets and humans in the house. Spraying aerosols inside can be a fire danger. Insecticides are highly flammable. On a Christmas tree with lights or near candles, you could create a bigger problem. You can vacuum up any little critters you see, but to make sure the problem doesn’t continue, call a professional pest control company to keep any colony from forming in your home.
Are Ants Really a Problem in the Winter?
In most homes, ants aren’t considered a winter pest, because they do tend to go dormant in the cooler months. If ants are living in the Christmas tree you chose, they, too, will come back to life in the warmth of your home. A few ants may not seem that bad, but they do reproduce quickly. If you keep seeing ants in your home during the winter, it’s likely they’ve built a nest. To get rid of them, you’ll have to find the nest and destroy it. Carpenter ants will move into your walls, under carpets, and into wall crevices to get to the wood in your home. Over time, they will damage your home. Regular house ants aren’t going to bite you, but once they set up house, they can contaminate food and create other problems.
You don’t have to give up your Christmas traditions and buy a fake tree to avoid having pests ruin your holiday season. Take preventative measures to keep most of the pests out of your home before you set up your tree. Get carpenter ant control in Markham from Truly Nolen. A professional exterminator can take care of any Christmas tree pests to make sure your holiday isn’t ruined by insects. Our technicians not only take care of the infestation, we check to make sure pests haven’t set up house permanently and can look for places where pests may move in. We take a preventative approach to pest control to keep your home comfortable. Contact us for pest control in Markham.