Bugs could live in your Christmas tree — here are some ways to get rid of them

The holiday season is here and that means it’s time for many households to acquire a Christmas tree. But be careful if you get a real tree, because there may be bugs living in it.

Freshly-cut evergreen trees can make your home smell like the holidays, but there could be dozens of insects living inside and hibernating, according to Safer Brands.

About 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year, Safer Brands reported.

Once you’ve got that festive tree inside your home, the warmth will likely wake up the bugs. Here are some ways to pre-treat your tree and keep infestations out of your home.

  • Check the undersides of branches and the trunk of the tree for pests. You should prune any branches that have egg casings or bird nests as some might.  
  • Try diatomaceous earth, which is a chemical-free, odor-free powder. Dust your tree with it while it’s still outside and shake off any excess before you bring the tree in to decorate it.  
  • Leave the tree inside the garage for a few days as a way to clean out the pests. While it’s in the garage you can set up a white sheet under it and shake it to dislodge the bugs and then vacuum or sweep them up.  
  • Try Neem Oil Spray. The spray targets insects at any growth stage and it should be used before you trim the tree and anytime you spot any insects.

If you’re worried about the pests that could be in your tree, Safer Brands said the bugs that live within holiday evergreens are mostly harmless and will likely not cause any damage to your house. The conditions in your home are also not ideal for the insects and they most likely will dry out or die off.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.