Is Your Christmas Tree Tick Free?
Each year, thousands of Christmas trees enter into our homes to add that little bit of magic and sparkle for the Holidays. However, bringing a little of the outside into our homes also comes with the risk that there may be a few lurking little critters between the branches.
“Getting a Christmas tree at a Christmas tree farm or a roadside operation should not have any concerns for an individual about brining ticks inside with the tree,” said Jim Dill, a pest specialist at the University of Maine. With the recent temperatures dropping below freezing at night, ticks are not going to be active now, and they don’t live where Christmas trees are grown.
The fear may be ‘unfounded’ but still, it’s worth being cautious and taking preventative measures when it comes to protecting yourself and your family against ticks. Last year there were many reports that ticks were the uninvited guests during Christmas celebrations. Tiny bugs were being discovered between the branches, which sent a wave of worry to those who had bought a real Christmas tree into their homes.
Could you be bringing more than holiday spirit into your home when you opt for that real Christmas tree? Many are concerned with warmer than usual temperature since Thanksgiving that ticks could be on your tree. “It’s been a relatively mild year so far,” Bryon Backenson, a research scientist with the Department of Health, said. “People should take precautions. They should wear long pants and long sleeves, which is pretty much normal this particular time of year.” He says you’ll only encounter ticks in the fields if you’re cutting your own tree. It is important to check yourself afterward.
Remember, you can’t just go and help yourself to a Christmas tree from any where. You need to go to a specialist farm. It will be safer in the long run anyway as these farmers know what they are looking for when it comes to transferring your tree from the outside to indoors.