The eve of Christmas is knocking at the door. Well, every Christmas décor without a Christmas tree is just next to impossible. While everyone welcomes Christmas tree into their living hall, they don’t realize that they are also inviting few unwanted guests- the little dirty bugs and pests. A freshly cut evergreen tree on the Christmas eve is not only aromatic but also the hiding place for numerous pests and insects. No one wants to get insect bites and rashes especially when it’s time for holidays and seasonal celebrations with friends and family.
Fortunately, there are solutions to get rid of these pesky bugs. Before discussing the solutions let’s get acquainted with these unwanted yet familiar guests living on your Christmas tree.
Balsam Twig Aphids
Aphids are tiny and soft-bodied creatures. They suck the sap of the plants using their piercing-sucking mouthparts making the plants weak and disfigure the ornamental plants
Aphids are not common in the houseplants, as they feed themselves on the plant of the temperate regions like evergreen, balsam, fir and spruce trees. They are one of the most destructive insect pests on the cultivated plants.
Balsam Wooly Adelgids
The balsam wooly Adelgids are microscopic insects that are similar to the snow cover on a tree. It has a tender body and is native to the trees like white pine, Norway Spruce, and Scotch Pine. As these insects are so small to be identified, it takes a long time to spot these insects on a tree. As a result, their numbers can grow alarmingly causing serious loses for the trees.
Unlike the other two above mentioned species, bark beetles are hard-bodied creatures that are commonly found in the Monterey Pines, white firs, and Junipers. There are about 6000 species of bark beetles. Bark beetle starts its work on the bark surface and penetrates to the inner bark of the twigs, branches or trunks.
Mites are not so harmful to the human beings or animals, but they can cause a lot of damage to the trees thereby causing premature growth to the tree. A plant affected by mites may be spotted with red stains. Some of the trees that are affected by the mites include the white pines, firs, and spruce.
The praying mantids or praying mantises are categorized as carnivorous insects that come from the family of Mantidae. They are common in almost all types of Christmas trees.
The list continues with the names of different kinds of pests that are common in the Christmas trees and they include, pine bark Adelgids, pine leaf Adelgids, Cinara aphids, Spruce spider mites, dust mites, white grubs, rosette bud mites, eastern spruce gall Adelgids, bagworms, deodar weevils, pales weevils, eating weevils, white pine weevils, pine sawflies, moths and many more.
The fact that why these insects find the Christmas trees as their best dwelling place is that, they hibernate in the months of winter into these trees. But when they are brought to our homes, they awake again after feeling the heat of the living room. When they get both the heat and the light of the living room they start to assume that the springtime has arrived and become active once again.
Effective Pest Control Measures
To fight these unwanted guests, we have to follow certain effective but healthy measures. One of these is the Integrated Pest Management. This (IPM) form of pest management is quite effective in controlling pests as it uses some of the cultural pest control practices such as appropriate site selection, scouting the fields, ground cover management, interplanting, harvesting the affected trees as early as possible. Let’s discuss them elaborately.
Select an appropriate site for growing the Christmas plants
Christmas trees are more prone to pest if they are grown in a poor site as most of them are very sensitive to the area where they grow. Roots of Phytophthora plants decay when they are grown in areas having flowing water.
Scouting fields at regular intervals
If the plants affected with pests are not treated in proper time, the result may be more damaging. So, it is better to examine the fields on a regular basis to decrease the number of pests. And if you are anywhere in the densely populated area of New York with no time to scout your yard and plants, the best way is to get in touch with a professional Manhattan company dealing with pest control extermination to make it all easy for you.
Correct selection of pesticide
Different types of pesticides are common in the market. But while applying pesticides, it is better to choose the less toxic one. Not only, the less toxic pesticides should be used, but the people who apply them must also follow certain personal safety guidelines- such as using masks in their mouth and hand gloves.
Some other ways can also be followed to stop the breeding of pests in the Christmas trees. These methods should be followed before welcoming the tree into the house.
● By spraying neem oil
Neem oil is environmentally friendly. So, Neem oil can be sprayed at every stage of growth of the plants. It can be used before trimming the trees or even when any pest is spotted on the plants.
● By examining a Christmas tree very minutely and closely
Before buying a Christmas tree from the market, one has to carefully examine the tree- its branches, leaves, and trunk. If any larvae of insects are found then, it has to be immediately cut off from the main tree.
● By dusting the tree with Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a non-odorous insecticidal powder with 0% synthetic chemicals. It must be applied to the tree before taking the tree inside the home.
● By cleaning the Christmas tree
Prior to the decoration, the Christmas tree must be first kept in an isolated part of the house such as a lawn or garage for a few days, so that the pests can be separated from their habitat. This can be done by shaking the tree and applying appropriate insecticides.
So, why should you worry about these unwanted critters? A proper precaution at a proper time can not only save your gorgeous Christmas tree but can also make your Christmas party a delightful one. And just in case everything else fails or you are left with a very little time to curb this situation, feel free to contact professional pest control service in your area and save yourself some time to prepare for the celebration time. The professional pest controllers will ensure that your Christmas tree is taken care and devoid of any insects before it sits in your living room for a Merry Christmas!