How Do I Keep My Tree Pest Free?

It’s time to pick out the perfect tree to light your holiday home, but what potential pests might you be bringing indoors? Not only are there several different pests that can hide inside your Evergreen or Douglas-fir, there can be up to 25,000 bugs in one tree. Spiders, aphids, mites, and bark beetles can all be found on many common trees in addition to many microscopic bugs. So how do you find a tree without thousands of unwanted guests? Follow these quick tips before and after you leave the tree lot.

How to Protect Trees From Pests

1. Shine a Light
Use a flashlight to inspect for visible signs of pests. Small holes in the trunk could be a sign of bark beetles, and white specks or dusting on the needles could mean adelgids or pine needle scale are present. Look for red dots, indicating small spiders or mites and check the lower tree branches and trunk for aphids.

2. Shake, Shake, Shake
Show off your holiday dancing skills by giving your tree a vigorous good shake before you get home, and then again before you go inside. This is best done over a sheet or tarp that can be disposed or shaken off into a trash can later on so you do not end up with a pest-ridden lawn. Many tree lots have mechanical shakers which are very effective.

3. Solitary Tree-tment
Leaving your tree in the garage for a day or two will help the tree start to acclimate to an indoor environment. This can make your tree live longer and encourage outdoor pests to flee before bringing the tree indoors.

4. Keep it Tidy
Vacuum in and around your tree on a regular basis. Not only will this pick up pine needle stragglers, it will help pick up small eggs and insects hard to see with the naked eye.

5. Go Green
Do not use household bug sprays on your tree, many of these products are flammable and could create some dangerous decor. Some natural remedies can be beneficial in preventing pests such as cinnamon or neem oil.

6. Phone a Friend
Still a bit nervous about what could be hiding in your pine? The service professionals at Advanced IPM are always a call or click away.