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There might be presents stacked under your Christmas tree, but what unwanted surprises might be lurking inside it?
Research has shown that the average family Christmas tree could be harbouring as many as 25,000 bugs.
Most of these microscopic critters are perfectly harmless and many will die when you bring the tree indoors.
Here, however, are five insects you might want to watch out for:
Usually found on the lower branches of your tree, aphids are common in all types of spruce and pine. If you’re removing them, don’t squash them onto carpets or furniture because they tend to leave a red or purple stain.
Another common pest in spruce and pine trees, mites can be responsible for needles dropping prematurely. They can also leave stains on carpets and soft furnishings.
You may spot little brown cocoons nestled in the branches of your tree, and these could hatch into sawflies. They’re perfectly harmless, but they are a pain to get rid of.
After a couple of weeks indoors, praying mantises may hatch on your tree. You can spot light tan coloured clusters of eggs early on, around the size of a walnut and containing up to 400 unhatched insects.
If sawdust starts to appear and you spy small holes in the bark of your tree trunk, it could be a sign you have bark beetles. They’re cylindrical in shape and about the size of a grain of rice, with hard red, brown or black bodies. They won’t hurt you, but they could do some serious damage to your Christmas tree!
If you want a truly happy, pest-free Christmas, then it’s always worth inspecting your tree before you buy it to check you’re not inviting in any unwanted guests.
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