CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Nothing can ruin Christmas faster than an infestation of bugs hatching in your decorated tree.
According to bug expert Dr. Gavin Svenson with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, bugs are just waiting to wake up in the warmth of your home.
“Spiders, bugs, all the things that you normally see outside, and a bunch of other stuff like birds and bird nests," Svenson said.
Once you bring a tree into your home, you also welcomed in creepy crawly stuff that was perfectly fine out in the cold.
“You bring them inside, a lot of the stuff is dormant for winter, it’s all set up to last the whole winter, it’s sheltering from the snow and the rain, you bring it inside and it’s nice and warm and everything starts to pop up and emerge,” Svenson warned.
One of the worst culprits is the praying mantis that builds egg cases in trees, that kind of look like mini pine cones, in late summer and fall.
“Once you bring it inside, and it warms up, it thinks that winter is over and then all the babies hatch,” Svenson said.
And not just a couple, is some cases up to 150 to 200 baby praying mantises could be decking your halls.
Certain trees are worse than others depending on where you got it according to Svenson.
“This is a problem mostly for people who are cutting their own trees because these trees have been out in nature for some time and a lot of stuff has moved in. You take it out of nature and you bring it in your house, you bring nature with you.”
Trees sold in lots and from stores have generally traveled some distance on trucks, and most of the bugs have probably retreated.
But Svenson said all trees should be shaken out, outside and given a good visual inspection.
After finding a spider this past weekend, the wife of Cleveland 19 News Producer Jim Beveridge, decided to vacuum her tree.
What’s crawling in your house? Prowling in your backyard? What am I seeing through my backyard telescope? Did I really just see a bald eagle during my drive home? Are coyotes dangerous? Experts from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History join us to set the record straight on Cleveland Natural – helping you better understand Northeast Ohio nature and providing tips on how to best share our region with our wild neighbors. Explore the wonders of science and nature at cmnh.org.