Cutting down and buying your own Christmas tree is a cherished and honored event for many families. However, there are lots of critters that may be living in the Christmas tree that you could inadvertently bring home with you. Also, a natural Christmas tree in your house could attract a host of other pests. Don’t let a few little animals ruin the holiday fun. A few simple tricks can keep the animals at bay while you can enjoy Christmas with your loved one and without unwanted guests.
Tips for Keeping Bugs and Other Animals Away from the Christmas Tree
- Look inside and under the tree: Before you bring the Christmas tree inside your home, look underneath branches and inside them. Remove any nests or animals that you might find. Nests can store various parasites from birds including lice and mites.
- Use a mechanical tree shaker: Many Christmas tree lots offer a free shaking down of the tree that you picked out. Not only is this helpful for removing little bugs and other animals, it also shakes out extra needles, so you have less of a mess when you set up your tree.
- Avoid bug spray: When faced with an infestation it might be ever so tempting to grab the nearest bug spray. However, most bug sprays are highly flammable. Between all the candles, Christmas lights, and wood place fires, bug spray could be very dangerous and create some real Christmastime trouble.
- Apply diatomaceous earth to the tree: Sprinkle diatomaceous powder over the tree to kill any remaining bugs. You might let the Christmas tree sit in your garage for a few days to let the diatomaceous earth do its magic. At the end of the three-day period, bring it inside and set it up.
- Grab the vacuum: Vacuum the trunk for any bugs that you see. Lay a white blanket down underneath the tree. That way if any bugs escape, you will be able to see them and vacuum them up. As soon as you are done, remove the vacuum dust bag and set it in the outside trash can so that the bugs cannot make their way inside again.
- Turn up the heat: Bugs that come in from the outside are used to the cold conditions. They will flee your house if the thermostat is turned up. Your house will also be a lot more comfortable too.
- Hang candy and other edible goodies on the tree the night before Christmas: Sweet treats are just as appealing to mice and rats as they are to humans. By minimizing the amount of time these goodies are hanging on the tree, the less likely they are to attract pests and the problems they bring with them.
- Inspect the tree occasionally: Check the tree every so often for signs of animal life. Suspicious clues are animal droppings, wet spots on or around the tree, unpleasant odors, and changes in the texture or color of the leaves.