Bah, humbug: Should you worry about insects in live Christmas trees?

Thousands of bugs live inside growing evergreen trees, but experts say it should not be of much concern at Christmastime.

At the Dorwood Optimists tree lot in Kettering, operators say bugs are not likely to be found. That’s because the trees were cut down out of state in October and have been on the lot a couple weeks.

The Moore family on Friday night visited the Dorwood Optimists tree lot for the first time. Picking out the perfect Christmas tree is a family tradition, Jason Moore of Springboro said.

“It’s coming out with the kids, watching them run around, having those memories that we create,” he said.

He looked on and helped his youngest child choose his favorite tree.

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“Here, what do you think of this tree, buddy?” he said. “Look at this tree, how about that one? Is that the tree you want?”

A live tree helps his family get in the holiday spirit, he said.

“It’s nice to have that smell throughout the house. It brings back those memories of Christmas. We always had a real tree growing up,” Moore said.

Data collected by pest control company Safeguard, up to 25,000 bugs could be living inside one evergreen tree. Thousands of aphids, spiders, sawflies and mites could turn holiday joy to bah, humbug 

However, thousands of aphids, spiders, sawflies and mites in the tree could turn holiday spirit to bah, humbug woe.

Jim Berlon, manager of the optimists tree lot, said he’s experienced bugs in a Christmas tree before.

“When we first got married, we went and cut our own Christmas tree down. It was a great experience, brought it home, put it up. Next morning -- we didn’t shake it out -- bunch of bugs at the bottom on the ground,” he said.

These insects survive inside living trees, and inside a home is not their preferred environment.

Local tree lots don’t have the same issues farms might have.

“When we get our trees, we get them from Michigan and North Carolina, what they do is they shake the trees pretty well before they wrap them up before they come up here. So when it comes to bugs, there’s no bugs in the trees,” Berlon said.

The Moore family isn’t concerned. Their focus now is getting the tree home safely and putting it up.

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