Warm December causes insect issue for Christmas

Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-10 18:22:04-05

Our warmer December weather is creating a bit of a creature problem with our Christmas trees.  While we are enjoying this great weather, so are the bugs, spiders and other insects out there.

Linda Longrico from Longrico's Christmas trees knows about all kinds of insects that can attach themselves to your Christmas trees. Linda told us, though, her trees are inspected for various bugs by the USDA once in the summer and once before the trees are shipped.  "(Inspectors) come out and they have their little tests and they check it and they know if there are bugs there or not and then they give you the okay if it is or if it's not," said Linda.

With our warmer weather recently, more of the holiday tree huggers are able to hang in there through pine cones or even bird nests and make a trip right into your home.

"They don't know it's your house,” said Terry Robison from Cleveland Metroparks.  “They think it's just another big leaf or big tree that they can hide in for the winter."

Terry told us one way to avoid the creepy crawlies is, while you're outside, give the tree a good shake either with your hands or ask your tree seller if they have a mechanical shaker.  “This time of year insects are looking for places to spend during winter, warm places, places that protect them from temperature extremes,” said Robison. “So, when you bring that tree inside temperature comes up more and they become more active and you tend to see them in the house.”

"You can also go through the branches to see if there are any hangers on, leftover eggs, or give the tree a power shower.  "If the temperatures stay like this you can also take water and spray it with water...pretty good jet from a hose and knock off a lot of the insects," commented Robison.

If you pick up your tree after dark, take a flashlight with you to help search for the leftover bugs.

The good news is there probably won't be any dangerous bugs coming in unless you're allergic to spider bites and things like that.

If they do get inside your house, bugs will normally look for water and food so make sure you're all cleaned up before carrying in your Christmas tree.


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