It's nearly Christmas, the time of year we chop down millions of pine trees and let them slowly die in our homes. But it's not just pine needles that you're dragging into your house. There's also bugs. A lot of bugs. Around 25,000 bugs to be exact.
Since most tree bugs go dormant during the cold months, a wide variety insects are hanging out on your Christmas tree, and they can be especially hard to spot. But once they're in your warm and cozy home, they think it's time to wake up.
So what kind of insects should you be on the look out for? The most common are aphids, both winged and non-winged.
Adelgids are another common insect that infest Christmas trees, they produce little white masses that suck sap from the tree.
Scale insects leave behind a waxy mixture wherever they walk.
And you'll find bark beetles burrowing themselves into tree trunks.
The good news is that if you go to a farm and they use a tree shaker, it should take care of most of the wildlife in your tree.
"A mechanical shaker will usually dislodge any potential intruders and eggs, in addition to getting rid of loose pine needles," Nancy Troyano, a medical entomologist, told Realtor.
If you don't, then your best bet is to inspect the tree with a torch and if you spot any bugs, leave your tree in the garage for 24 hours before decorating it. And make sure to vacuum your carpet regularly so that it doesn't become its own ecosystem.
What you absolutely shouldn't do? Use bug sprays. Believe us, your Christmas tree is flammable enough as it is.