Science and Tech


Christmas Trees And Bugs Are Seemingly Symbiotic

The National Christmas Tree Association says bugs in trees are a relatively small problem, but recommends giving your tree a good shake anyway.
Posted at 4:43 PM, Dec 24, 2014

Oh, Christmas tree. What have you brought in with thee?

Before that majestic evergreen graced your living room, donned with lights and emitting that familiar pine scent — 

It was likely home to aphids, beetles or other tiny pests. But sometimes it's hard for those creepy-crawlies to let go.

A recent Wall Street Journal story calls attention to such "humbugs", which it says are "[mostly] microscopic, but also such hefty specimens as slugs and yellow jacket queens." 

This story seems to have legs. And it's making its way around the world.

From the U.K., where the BBC caught up with a couple who obliterated their tree following an aphid infestation — to Cleveland, Ohio.

"A million bugs. The whole floor is just black with little bugs," Heather Patton said.

"Heather Patton and her husband experienced the 'bah, humbugs' last year," said WOIO reporter, Danielle Serino.

"It just started raining bugs off the tree," Jim Patton said.

The National Christmas Tree Association, a trade group, told the Journal the bug problem is small relative to the number of trees out there. But the group recommends giving your tree a good shake nonetheless. 

Besides, not all Christmas-tree-loving-bugs are bad. The Times-News in North Carolina points out Christmas tree farms can "attract a surprising array of pollinators and other beneficial insects, some of which eat Christmas tree pests."