Now that Thanksgiving is over, everyone's wondering the same question: Should I cut down a real Christmas tree or just buy a fake one? While freshly-cut evergreens give your home that perfect holiday look and amazing Christmassy smell, there's one small detail you might not notice until it's up and decorated: Real Christmas trees tend to have tiny insects hibernating inside.
Before you tote your tree into the house, you should pre-treat it with Diatomaceous Earth or Neem Oil Spray. Or, if you want to avoid spraying anything, just give it a good shake before bringing it in. You can also keep the tree in the garage for a while to dry out, which will destroy most, if not all, of the bugs. Whatever you do, please do not treat your tree with a chemical-based product, as they are highly flammable.
Diatomaceous Earth ($20, Amazon), is a chemical-free and odor-free insecticidal powder and it's super easy to use. Lightly dust your tree (while it's still outside), and shake off any excess powder before bringing it inside.
Neem Oil Spray
Neem Oil Spray is a quick and easy way to target any insect at every growth stage. To use, apply spray before trimming your tree or the moment you spot a pest.
Should you be worried?
If you're worried about thousands of bugs invading your home in some strange apocalyptic march, don't be. According to the Penn State Department of Entomology, you'll probably only see one or two insects, if any at all. The Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences also commented on the issue, listing spiders, mites, scale insects, sawflies, and beetles as the types of critters you may find crawling around your new Christmas tree. Most of the bugs are harmless.