A good reason to use a "fake" plastic Christmas tree or decorate your Christmas tree that is growing outside: bugs, lots and lots of bugs. Most stores hose down the fresh cut trees, but that doesn't guarantee no bugs. In fact, according to the ABC7 article and tree experts, "odds are you will be bringing as many as 25,000 bugs in with it." That's a lot.
Tree experts say most spiders, mites, beetles and even praying mantises could be living in your new tree.
Most of these bugs are not dangerous and will eventually die.
Experts suggest inspecting trees for potential bug nests before buying.
And, if you do get a freshly cut tree, it is a good idea to leave it in a garage for a few days and shake it out before bringing it inside your home.
(via ABC7, "Your Christmas tree could be infested with thousands of bugs")
Interestingly, a couple days after publishing this article, ABC7's new count on the number of bugs came down to 20,000. And they added tips on choosing your Christmas tree sans bugs:
Insect experts say there could be more than 20,000 bugs in one tree, including mites, ticks and spiders.
The majority of creatures are harmless and most die off once inside your home.
There are some things you can do to avoid hidden surprises:
- Ask your supplier if they have a mechanical shaker.
- If not, shake it at the store, or outside your home.
- Remove bird nests.
- Don't use aerosol bug killing sprays, because they're flammable.
Creatures are not the only issue with real trees, as allergies can be a problem too.(via ABC7, "Experts share tips on how to get bugs out of your Christmas tree")
Experts said it is not pine pollen, but mold that's the issue.
Using a leaf blower can make it worse, so instead try a HEPA air filter.
Last year Good Housekeeping published some picture and more info on the type of bugs you could find in your Christmas tree (also with the 25,000 bug count):
Since tree bugs go dormant during the cold months, you might not notice them at first. But once the tree is inside your warm home, they'll wake up. Yikes. And apparently there could be up to 25,000 bugs in one Christmas tree. Double yikes! So what kind of insects should you be on the look out for, exactly?
Alphids are brown and black little guys with six legs — watch out, some have wings.
Adelgids produce little white masses that suck sap from spruce needles.
If you spot tiny red specks crawling on your tree, it's probably scale insects.
The name bark beetles says it all: These dark brown bugs burrow themselves into tree trunks.
Other insects include psocids (small, winged, grey creatures), praying mantis', mites, and tickswhen the weather is unseasonably warm outside.
(via Good Housekeeping, "Your Christmas Tree Might Be Filled With Bugs")
You could also grow your own Christmas tree, indoor/ outdoor. No cutting of trees involved, or displacing thousands of bugs.