Most Americans choose to decorate a live Christmas tree, because nothing compares with a fresh pine aroma during the holidays. Well, this is the Christmas tradition: either you go and cut your own pine tree or purchase it from the local Christmas tree farms. But, before bringing it indoors, you have to make sure that isn’t full of Christmas tree bugs (pests).

How can you detect these lurking tiny creatures?

Keep in mind: tree bugs go dormant during the cold winter months, making them unnoticeable at first, but as soon as they get indoors where is warm and cozy, they will be brought to life and will start moving around your home.

Most common Christmas tree bugs

These particular bugs aren’t going to bite you or destroy structures, but even so, most people don’t want bugs crawling out of the Christmas tree.

  • Spiders and Mites
  • Aphids
  • Adelgids
  • Scale Insects
  • Bark Beetles
  • Praying Mantises
  • Sawfly

Guess what? Even if these tiny unwanted houseguests are not a threat for your home, it may affect your houseplants. Aphids and Scale insects love to feed with some fresh plant sap in order to thrive through winter.

Methods to keep bugs away from your Christmas tree

Shake It

The most effective option is to shake the Christmas tree. The idea is simple: Shake the tree vigorously enough and you’ll remove any hidden pests, as well as loose pine needles and other debris. This is an easy way to prevent bringing dirt, grime, bugs, bird nests and other undesirable things into your home.

Tip: some retail tree lots have mechanical tree shakers for this purpose.

Inspect Vigorously The Tree

Even if you shake the Christmas tree, you better inspect it thoroughly again before moving it into your home. Some stubborn bugs could still be lurking in the limbs. Remove them with your hands or use the vacuum cleaner.

Let The Tree Rest For 2 Days

One way to get pests out of your Christmas tree before decorating it, is to place the tree in your garage for roughly 48 hours. Doing so will allow your tree to warm slowly, which in turn will cause any hidden bugs to emerge from their dormant stage and leave the tree. Of course, this method could introduce bugs into your garage.

Sprinkle It With Diatomaceous Earth

Another effective way in getting rid of unwanted Christmas Tree pests is to use a pesticide, of course. But, remember: never use a chemical-based pesticide to get rid of bugs from your Christmas tree in order to protect your family’s health. Use diatomaceous earth instead. Before bringing your tree inside, thoroughly sprinkle it with DE. Then shake off the excess after letting it sit for about an hour. If your tree’s already indoors, you can still treat it with DE, just sweep up the remaining dust afterward.