BLUFFTON, SC (WSAV) – Christmas tree lots are officially open, but you may be bringing home more than just a tree. A recent study published by Safer Brand found up to 25,000 bugs could be living in single Christmas tree.
However, experts say there’s no reason to fear having a live Christmas tree, if you follow a few simple steps.
The best way to prevent bringing bugs into your home is to shake it, many tree lots do this for you, but be sure to do it before loading it up.
“Leave that tree out in the garage for a day or so, to kind of let things settle out,” says John Harris with Hilton Head Exterminators, “Check low hanging branches to make sure there’s not any webbing, nesting, anything like that within the tree, check it for birds nests, that sort of thing.”
Experts also recommend different sprays. Greenbug is a local Beaufort company that makes a spray safe for the family room.
“The active ingredient in Greenbug is cedar,” says Co-owner, Louise Hodges, “Cedar is deadly to all the pests that you don’t want which are roaches, flees, ants, ticks, chiggers, that might be coming in your Christmas tree.”
A Bluffton tree lot with Christmas Mountain Farms says they tackle bugs in the beginning.
“That is one thing that is watched very closely by the farmers,” said Salesman Douglas Brown, “When they find something like that, they are treated… a lot of preventive treatment is done to them to keep them from even getting in.”
Exterminators say its not just live trees.
“When folks start moving Christmas things around, taking things down out of the attic, start bringing things into the house… things that are hiding are now exposed and no longer hiding,” says Harris, “So we do get several calls where people are seeing a little increased activity.”
He says the best thing to do with a tree or Christmas boxes is to leave them in the garage or on the porch for a day or two before bringing them into your home.