Holiday pest proofing your live and artificial tree

Pest proofing your Christmas tree

HINDS COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Most of the Christmas decorations may be up by now, but if you’re still decking the halls we have some tips.

Tree experts and exterminators offer advice on keeping pests from ruining your Christmas.

“This time of year is the best times of year for a lot of people, and the Christmas tree represents that,” said Don Kazery Jr. owner of Kazery Christmas Tree Farm.

The Hinds County farm he’s operated for 18 years offers 10 varieties of trees. Kazery takes precautions inspecting them for insects and has even found bird’s nests hidden in the limbs.

Don Kazery Jr. preps, inspects and cuts his Christmas trees for customers. Source: WLBT
Don Kazery Jr. preps, inspects and cuts his Christmas trees for customers. Source: WLBT

But he makes sure they’re pest free when he cuts them by hand for families who search the rows for the perfect tree .

"About a month or so before we tag the trees to sell, we'll use an insecticide to spray," said Kazery. "It's something that's approved for inside".

"Shake it out and go through it real good with a flashlight before you drag it inside," suggested Chris Price with Stark Exterminators.

The Ridgeland company official also urges you to thoroughly go over your artificial tree and decorations before putting them on display.

Chris Price with Stark Exterminators offers tips on pest proofing your live and artificial trees. Source: WLBT
Chris Price with Stark Exterminators offers tips on pest proofing your live and artificial trees. Source: WLBT

"People will bring down their Christmas tree or even light garland and decorations from an attic and they don't go through it in the attic with a flashlight or shake the tree out a lot of time," said Price. "What they'll do is they'll bring that downstairs and then they start putting that tree up. Next thing you know they'll see something jump out of the tree and startle them, and it could be anything. Could be some roaches, mice you name it".

Experts say you should also check for termites, silverfish and earwigs and other insects in pine cones, pine straw or other outdoor greenery you may bring inside for decorating your mantle and throughout the house.

When it’s time for the tree to come down be sure to store your tree and decorations in air tight plastic containers so rodents and insects can’t reach them.

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