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Getting a real tree this year? Here's what to do if any insects come inside with it

Thankfully, most bugs that do hitch a ride inside are not dangerous and are easy to take care of!

YORK, Pa. — If your family gets a real Christmas tree each year, you might also find a few insects hitching a ride inside with the tree!

This isn't abnormal. Anytime you bring an outdoor object in, you run the risk of bringing a few bugs with it. 

Lois Miklas is an Area Master Garden Coordinator at Penn State Extension. She tells FOX43 that most people worry about bugs such as praying mantises, gypsy moths, and spotted lantern flies, though there are plenty of different bugs that could move in with you. 

If you do see any of these insects in your home after getting your tree, there is a pretty easy solution according to Miklas. “The best thing to do if that would happen would probably be to suck them up with a vacuum cleaner," she says.

If the vacuum isn’t nearby, you can always get rid of the bug by taking it outside or killing it on your own. 

However, if you do see an unwanted bug, Miklas stresses avoiding using any aerosols or insect sprays, as those products are flammable. 

These bugs that might come inside with you thrive outdoors, so if they do make it inside, they are unlikely to live very long. Miklas also notes that they do not pose any risk to people.

If you're out looking for the perfect tree for your home, there are a few things you can do to try and prevent any insects from coming in as well.

Miklas says to look through the tree's branches and make sure there are no birds nests. 

“Because there might be mites and those," Miklas tells FOX43. "Those would be something you don’t really want, they might actually bother a person.”

The last piece of advice Miklas has before you bring a fresh tree into your home? Give it a good shake. 

“I think some tree lots might be able to shake them for you. Or you can shake them really well before you bring them inside.”

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