From the NPMA:
Spotting a pest in your Christmas tree is more common than you might think! Remember the famous scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when a squirrel leaps out of the Griswold’s Christmas tree? While that scene is sure to give us a good laugh, many people don’t realize a situation like this could actually happen in their own home. Spiders, mites, moths and other pests have been known to nest in live greenery like trees, wreathes and garland, which in turn, end up in homes once we decorate.
Here’s their tips:
- Give fresh cut trees a quick shake before setting them up inside to avoid bringing a pest in on the branches.
- Opt for plastic bins with tightly sealed lids to store décor at the end of the season. Avoid cardboard that pests can chew through.
- Inspect boxes of ornaments and other decorations for signs of an infestation like gnaw marks and rodent droppings.
- Stow firewood on a raised structure at least 20 feet from the home and inspect wood before bringing it indoors.
- Examine string lights to ensure wiring is fully intact, as rodents are known to gnaw through it.
Also, separate but related: DON’T FORGET TO WATER YOUR TREES! Check out this video from FEMA showing how a spark reacts in a watered tree vs. a dry tree. Yipes.