The plants ornamenting your home this December draws more attention than you think. Believe it or not, many pests find these floras extremely enticing and some of them even use it for their food. So better make sure that pest control is at hand when you’re preparing your house for the holidays, ‘cause these bugs will strike hard and fast. In any case, it’s best if you know the insects you should watch out for. Below are a few suspects.
Balsam Woolly Adelgid
Don’t be fooled by its lack of wings; this little bug loves to kill fir trees, especially the balsam we take home and use as our Christmas tree. It feeds on the tree by attacking through the fissures of the bark, making 4-centimeter diameter holes at breast height. Its saliva contains a certain kind of toxin that decreases the tree’s sapwood conductance, killing the plant though water stress
You can easily tell this moth from others by the distinct stripes on its wings. It’s active mostly during nighttime, and it’s extremely attracted to both natural and artificial light, as well as to plants edible or inedible for them. They especially like having a go at holly, since its flowers make such a tasty treat for their larva. Although these pests are mostly active during July and August, some of their broods can hunt well into autumn and winter, devastating many Christmas decorations to its owner’s chagrin.
Christmas celebrations for certain countries and families would be incomplete without a basket of pomegranates on the table so better get some of these sweet fruits just in case. However, in doing so, it’s best to protect them from the Leptoglossus Zonatus. These leaf-footed gray-colored bugs are merely two centimeters long, with zigzagging whitish bands across its back and two distinctive yellow spots on its anterior pronotum. Oh by the way, they use pomegranates as a motel, “making” and leaving their larvae and other bacteria inside.
Red Spider Mite
Also known as the tetranychus urticae, this bug is practically polyphagous; that is, it eats more than one type of plant, fruit or vegetable. In the red spider mite’s case, the list includes peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, maize, and strawberries, ingredients that you might need for the various dishes you’re preparing for Christmas. It also has a liking for Christmas cacti, using it both as food and as a breeding ground.
You still have a few weeks ‘til Christmas and while waiting don’t forget to clean your home regularly! Every time you do, make sure that you keep these guys in mind since they can and will try to gatecrash your Christmas celebrations in search of your plants, ruining it for you and everybody else.
Luckily, they can easily be exterminated by the various insecticides you can either buy in the market or make in your kitchen. Or if you’re too busy to do the dirty job yourself, you can call pest control! They’d be more than happy to take care of your bug problem.