Found on the Christmas Tree
Fri, Jan 2, 2009 at 10:28 AM
EEK! I went to take down my Christmas tree, which we cut from a tree farm in Florida. Crawling all over my angel at the top of the tree were these bugs, ranging in size from tiny (rice-sized) to one or two about the size of a fine-point Sharpie head. It has six legs, three on each side. One set appears to protrude from nose, like antenna. The next, slightly larger set is a bit further back, and the third set is still on the middle part of the body, but much longer. It is tear-drop shaped, and the butt seems to have a bit of a point to it. It’s dark gray. I thought they were ticks, but it only seems to have 6 legs. They were ALL over the angel, and moved very quickly. I am trying to decide what to do with the tree, my first inclination is to pitch the whole thing but of course it has my most expensive decorations and lights on it.
We wanted to check with Eric Eaton before we misidentified your insect and caused you undue alarm. According to Eric: “The insect is a conifer aphid in the genus Cinara. They tend to be gray or brown rather than green, and they are quite large for aphids, too. So, no worries.”