Do Real Christmas Trees Have Bugs?

A fresh Christmas tree can add a lovely atmosphere to your home during the holidays, but can they also bring in unwanted pests?

Recent news reports have warned of the possibility of deer ticks in Christmas trees, but this alarm was only due to continued warm weather in most of the U.S., and not because any insects were discovered in trees. The unseasonable warmth could mean deer ticks are staying active while temperatures continue to stay above 40°F. Thankfully, any insects should be long gone by the time the tree is set up in your house, simply due to the way Christmas trees are handled.

If you've ever been to a Christmas tree farm to cut down a live tree, you may have seen it loaded into a contraption that vibrates the tree's trunk. This is done to remove loose needles and other debris, but also sufficiently knocks off any insects. If you buy your tree from a Christmas tree lot, they may also have a shaker on site, but even the act of cutting down the tree at the farm, loading it on a truck, and transporting it is enough to shake out anything hiding within the tree.

The most likely visitor to your live tree would be a spider or small aphid, but any unwelcome guests are so rare that it's much more worthwhile to focus on choosing the best tree this season!

Read more about bugs in Christmas trees in this press release from the National Christmas Tree Association.