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This Christmas, Don't Deck the halls with Boughs of Spiders!

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 by Bill Cowley


Shopping for Christmas Tree

Just this week, a news reporter in Texas. while shopping for a Christmas tree, discovered a black widow spider dangling off a tree branch!  The reporter snapped the obligatory Instagram pic of the venomous arachnid and wisely selected another tree on the lot that was not “pre-decorated” with spiders.

For many of us, Christmas trees are a centerpiece of the holiday season. During those weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, evergreens strapped to the car roofs are a common sight at the Jersey Shore. This tradition brings joy into our homes and brightens our spirits. Artificial trees just can’t hold a candle to the look and scent of a freshly-cut tree. 

The Cowleys team would like to remind our valued customers that those firs, holly, ivy, and mistletoe we bring into our homes may well be harboring some hidden surprises — a variety of bugs including adelgids, aphids, bark beetles, sawflies, psocids (“bark lice”), spiders, praying mantises, mites, and moths. And if the tree happens to have an empty bird’s nest, that nest is likely full of insect eggs and parasites. Yuck!

Here’s the good news. Unless you are Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold, you should not have to worry about a squirrel leaping out of your Christmas tree to ransack your home! However, there is a good chance that greenery brought inside your home is harboring insects, perhaps hundreds of them. Insects can be tough to spot. Outside, they are often inactive because of the cold temperatures. However, once exposed to the warmth of your festive home, they spring back to life. 

Some easy ways to prevent unwanted Christmas surprises:

  • Inspect any greenery before bringing it indoors, focusing on the undersides of the branches and the trunk. 
  • If possible, leave the tree in your garage for a few days before bringing it inside. 
  • Keep an eye out for insects in and around the tree and immediately vacuum them up. 
  • Take the expression “you have to shake the tree to see what falls out”  — literally! Vigorous shaking will help dislodge those bugs. Most tree farms, and even some retail lots, have mechanical tree shakers. These shakers not only shake out bugs, but also dead needles and dust, mold, and other allergen spores that, for some of us, cause respiratory issues.

By following these preventative steps, you’ll go a long way keeping those little Christmas tree “grinches” out of your home!

 

 

 

 

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Our Locations:

Christmas Decor by Cowleys
1145 NJ-33
Suite #2
Farmingdale, NJ 07727
1-732-709-4466
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