What is better than heading to a local tree farm and picking out your family Christmas tree. That tradition could be a disaster if these critters come along. 

I have always been on board to having a real tree in your house for Christmas. The smell, the look of the tree, it just seems right. What isn't right are the bugs that could be on that tree and that opens up a whole can of worms (which are not on the tree).

Women's Day reminded us all that bugs lay dormant on Christmas trees in the cold. When they get into your house, they wake up and come to life. YIKES!!!!

Here are a few bugs to look for when you take home that fresh Christmas tree:

European Spruce Bark Beetle (Ips typographus), illustration
De Agostini/Getty Images

Bark beetles are just that, beetles that live on bark. They hide inside and can cause problems if not treated.

Getty Images

Scale insects are very popular. There are countless members of this family, and ones you don't want crawling around your house.

It may take years, but officials hope the Laricobius nigrinus beetles will stunt the spread of wool
Getty Images

Adelgids are the insects that make your tree dry up and cause a potential fire hazard. They suck tree sap. Be very cautious of these bugs.

There are hundreds of other types of insects that you can find. But, your Christmas won't be infested if you do a few simple things.

1. Make sure the place you buy the tree from shakes it and shakes it and shakes it. Usually, those shakers take care of everything. If for some reason you don't feel comfortable, then shake it yourself.

2. When you get home, inspect the tree with a flashlight. Look for things like nests, eggs and other nasty things.

3.  Before you decorate the tree, store it in a place far enough way from your permanent tree location. It could be a garage, storage house, somewhere you can take care of the bugs if they are on the tree.

4. Vacuum the floor till you get sick of it.

One of the most important rules to follow: NO BUG SPRAY. It is a real tree. If you use any chemicals, you are setting yourself up for a fire. I would certainly have a few critters on my tree than having the fire department knocking on my door.

Then there is the other option of buying a fake tree. I admit that I have one of those, but the reason for it is I can't have a real tree at my place. There will be a day when that won't be the case, and I will follow the same guidelines for a real tree.


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