Subject: Aphids…Again
Location: Dead on the ground and in the Christmas Tree
December 2, 2016 12:09 pm
Dear Bugman,
You helped us identify the bugs on our Christmas Tree last year as aphids – I was very happy to learn they were aphids and not ticks or spiders, so thank you! However, even with close inspection before bringing it home, it seems our tree again this year has aphids. We’ve had the tree six days and so far we’ve seen a handful of dead ones on the ground under the tree, until this morning. I found a small puddle of sap on the floor so investigated and discovered a branch with a cluster of them just above the puddle. I cut the branch off and attempted to thoroughly inspect the tree. I didn’t find any, but they’re pretty hard to see with the naked eye – their color and size help them blend in well! My question: is the tree doomed? Are aphids a pack bug? If there’s a handful, is the tree bound to be infested and they just haven’t made their appearance yet? I’d rather drag the tree out now and not Christmas morning!
Thank you, again!
Signature: Buggin Out, Again

Giant Conifer Aphids

Giant Conifer Aphids

Dear Buggin Out, Again,
Each year we get at least one report of a Christmas Tree with Giant Conifer Aphids on it.  We suspect that most farmed Christmas trees have a good chance of supporting a population of Aphids.  Aphids are generally found in significant numbers rather than individually.  We are most amused that you asked if your tree is doomed.  The tree was doomed the minute the axe was taken to it, and one might even argue that since it likely came from a tree farm, it was doomed the minute it was planted.  Our advice to you is to chill and ignore the Aphids you have found and to just enjoy your tree until you normally remove it.  The Giant Conifer Aphids will not infest your houseplants, and they will not leave the tree unless they drop dead onto the floor.  You will need to vacuum tree needles anyways, so don’t stress.  Since we will be leaving the office for the holidays, we are postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of the month. 

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