Get Rid of Christmas Tree Bugs

5 Tips to Keep Your Christmas Tree Pest-Free

Protect Your Home from Insects & Rodents this Holiday Season

The perfect winter wonderland is nestling into a cozy blanket next to the fire (or a Youtube fireplace – hey, we’re Californians). But just as you’re about to take a sip of hot chocolate, a little brown bug scurries past your line of sight, effectively slamming an error message on your holiday cheer.

But how did this scuttling invader get into your home? Unfortunately, there is a likely culprit: your festive Christmas tree.


No one deserves to be besieged by grinchy pests during the holiday season. But you’re in luck! The Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control, Inc are here with 6 helpful tips to keep your home festive, happy, and bug-free!

If you’re struggling to keep bugs outside of the house and away from your property line, where they belong, dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free evaluation with the Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs.

How Are Pests Entering Your Santa Clarita Home?

Picking out a Christmas tree is a family tradition for many Santa Clarita residents. Some families even have strong opinions about spruce, pine, and firs. 

Nowadays, there are many great options for buying a tree, including:

  • Online stores
  • Stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s
  • Green Thumb Nursery 
  • Christmas tree farms, like Frosty’s Forest Christmas Tree

But no matter your choice, all these trees are exposed to the elements and various pests, including insects and rats, during the growth, farming, and transportation processes. 

In fact, there could be up to 25,000 microscopic bugs living in a single Christmas tree! The good news is that most of these invaders are not dangerous and quickly die from starvation or desiccation inside your home. 

Good employees will help you cut down the tree and shake it to remove bugs and rodents. If they don’t, ask politely for help or joggle it yourself a few times. 

That said, a few good shakes probably won’t take care of them all, so be mindful when you secure the tree in your vehicle and bring it into your home. 

Before we get into DIY treatment options, you need to identify what pests have infiltrated your home. 

What Christmas Pests Are in Your Tree?

1. Christmas Tree Aphids

Aphids are a common Christmas tree pest because they are attracted to resin and sap. Most companies will treat their trees for aphids before they hit the busiest days of the harvest season. However, aphid colonies are known to hide in tree branches, making them difficult to spot and locate. 

Aphids reproduce quickly, so you will see these tick-like bugs sooner or later if a few make it home. Do not be alarmed. It might be annoying to have them around, but they do not bite or spread diseases. 

How do you know if you have aphids?

  • Size: A few millimeters in length, pea-shaped
  • Color: Usually brown or black, but it can be red or green.
  • Identifying features: Small specks on the tree needles or plant leaves.
  • Location: These insects can be found on the lower boughs of your tree. 
Aphids Christmas Tree

2. Are There Spiders in your Christmas Tree?

It seems like spiders follow us everywhere! We see them skulking in the nooks and crannies of our homes, spinning webs in gardens, and hiding in our festive Christmas trees.

What makes your Christmas tree so appealing? Spiders weave webs in places that offer prime opportunities to catch other bugs. Trees and foliage are preferable because the leaves and branches also offer protection. When you bring a fresh tree into your home, you might find a spider or two lurking amidst the branches.

If you’re concerned about spiders, we recommend wearing gloves when handling your new Christmas tree.

However, there is a secondary concern: Some spider species hatch during fall and winter. When you bring in your tree, babies might leave the safety of tinsel and ornaments to find food and enjoy the warmth of your home.

3. What Are Bark Beetles?

Bark beetles are small wood-boring insects that love Christmas trees. You can tell if your Christmas tree has a bark beetle problem if you notice small holes in the branches or trunk of your tree. Seeing sawdust on the floor is another common indicator that bark beetles may be using your Christmas tree as a home. Sawdust piles could also indicate termites, so you should contact a professional pest control team if you have concerns.

The good news: Bark beetles eat moist wood, so they pose no threat to your family or furniture.  

How to recognize bark beetles: 

  • Size: ¼ inch, the size of a grain of rice
  • Color: Brown, red, or black coloring
  • Identifying features: Bark beetles are shaped like a cylinder. 
Bark Beetle on Christmas Tree

4. What About Mites?

Mites can be found on your Christmas tree because they overwinter under the bark of host plants. When a bug overwinters, they enter a state of hibernation known as diapause. The warmer temperatures inside your home may confuse their internal clock and accelerate their maturation cycle. 

The positive news is that active mites usually prefer to remain on the tree instead of wandering around your home. These tiny, light-colored insects will prey on other bugs and mite eggs without you ever noticing their presence. 

Think you have mites in your tree?

  • Size: 6mm (very tiny)
  • Color: Tan, Brown, or Redish-Brown
  • Identifying features: Mites are very tiny, sometimes even invisible to the naked human eye.

5. Scale Insects...or Flocking?

Is your family the flocking type? Ironically, scale insects provide this snowy look too!

Scale insects are landscape pests with an interesting life cycle. Have you ever seen small white spots on the needles of your Christmas tree? Those might be scale eggs, which appear as fleck-like dots of white on your tree. The infested needles will drop early, and the eggs will hatch into small red bugs.

Hey, at least they aced the color scheme!

Scale Insects Christmas Tree

6. Mice, Rats, & Squirrels - Oh My!

It is always cute to see fluffy little squirrels jumping and running around the trees above our yard. But what happens when they get in our Christmas trees? If you’ve watched Christmas Vacation, then you might have an idea!

Squirrels, rats, and even raccoons have been known to hide in Christmas trees because they are a source of food and shelter.

But you can also keep it from happening!

Christmas Vacation Squirrel

6 Tips To Keep Your Cozy Santa Clarita Home Pest-Free

The tree is purchased, the holiday tunes are on, and now it’s time to deck the halls….well, almost. Before you start the decorating process, make sure to follow these tips to reduce your chances of hosting unwelcome guests.

By keeping the pests outside, you can enjoy a healthy Christmas tree and pest-free home throughout the holiday season.

1. Quarantine Your Christmas Tree

Yes, yes. It’s so tempting to set up your tree and immediately start decorating it with ornaments and tinsel to kickstart your Christmas festivities. 

But we recommend keeping your tree in the garage for a few days to give lingering bugs and rodents a chance to escape. When it comes to bugs, outside is always better than inside!

2. Give It A Shake

No one likes scary earthquakes, not even insects. It may seem super cliche, but giving your tree a few good shakes forces the pests to awaken from their comfortable spots and scurry away to safety. A solid jolt can also drop any bugs attached to the tree needles.

When choosing your tree, also examine the undersides of the branches and trunk before fixing it to your vehicle.

3. Care For Your Tree

One easy way to prevent an infestation is to keep your tree as clean and healthy as possible. This process involves properly and consistently watering, pruning, and fertilizing your tree. And remember to vacuum up any insects you find on or around it! Don’t forget to throw out the vacuum bag immediately!

Research the type of tree you purchased and learn more about its needs. With a little TLC, you can reduce the bug population and protect your home from confused insect freeloaders.

4. Natural and DIY Treatments

Avoid spraying your Christmas tree with commercial bug sprays comprised of harsh chemicals – and never spray these inside your home. The compound may not be healthy for your family, not to mention flammable!

If you are looking for a more natural way to rid bugs from your special tree, try spraying vinegar, neem oil, or soapy water. These three options help repel any bugs that are interested in your tree, as well as deter the ones already on it.

5. Call in the Professionals!

Pests can be very persistent, and despite your best efforts, they may find a way to infest your property before you even realize it’s happening. If you need professional pest control, contact the Santa Clarita experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control, Inc. We can help you enjoy a pest-free winter full of cheerful parties and fun family gatherings. 

Dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free evaluation with the Santa Clarita pest control professionals at No Bugs. We can inspect your property and create a safer space for your family members and pets.