As the holidays approach us, I am always surprised by how many calls we get about bugs found in Christmas decorations. Being a local Raleigh Pest Control Company, we are the first to get the call about sawdust found under the reindeer, moths flying out of the Christmas tree decorations, or thousands of tiny bugs on Christmas trees.
The first call we received this year was from a Raleigh, NC homeowner who was finding piles of sawdust in the attic under where they were storing a large, wooden reindeer that was a yard decoration. After investigating, we found that wood-boring beetles had in fact infested the wood and were emerging from the reindeer, causing piles of sawdust where it was stored. Remember, a lot of handmade decorations, especially ones that are made from whole pieces of wood (uncut) are susceptible to a beetle attack. Unless the wood is kiln-dried, the beetles can emerge. Don’t worry. It is highly unlikely that these types of insects will re-infest the wood in your home. Removing and/or destroying the infested material is the safest bet.
Another phone call we get this time a year, from the Raleigh Pest Control customer in loud and frantic voices, “I’ve got thousands of tiny bugs crawling on my Christmas tree!” This is common and I have had this happen at my house as well. You bring in a Christmas Tree that has been outside and is cold, then heat it up to room temperature, what insect is not going to think that springtime is here! The female praying mantis will lay her egg case (100-400 eggs) on branches of trees just before wintertime.
When springtime comes, (or temperatures rise) the baby mantises will hatch, and it seems like by the thousands. Being a very beneficial insect it is hard to recommend treating for these bugs but when they hatch out by the hundreds it is hard not to perform some type of pest control. Any type of household pest control product will get rid of these pests (just read and follow the label). **
Probably the most common call we get this time of year is our Raleigh Pest Control customers finding moths in Christmas ornaments. Typically these will be the Indian Meal Moth. These moths feed on stored products such as popcorn (remember threading all that popcorn for tree decoration?), pastas and rice, chocolate, etc. There are several pheromone traps that are available for this moth. Find the infested food source and destroy it. Keep open containers of dog food, cooking products, cereals, etc in airtight containers.
Hope your Holidays remain bug-free and know if you need any help with your Raleigh Pest Control, we are only a phone call away.
**I know it is hard to kill these beneficial pests but remember if you were somehow able to capture and release them outside they would most likely perish due to low temperatures and inadequate food available.