Up to 25,000 bugs could be living in your Christmas tree

AP Christmas Trees Ohio_752854

US Army Pfc. Daniel Hurst cuts down a Christmas tree at the John T Nieman Nursery, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Hamilton, Ohio. The farm belonged to his grandfather where he works while on leave. The fourth generation family business is home to 60,000 trees that require regular maintenance throughout the year. The family began […]

(WFLA) – 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.

“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,” Louise Hodges, co-owner, said.

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 it’s 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.

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