Watercolor of a fir tree in the back of a red pickup.

Watercolor of a fir tree in the back of a red pickup.As you decorate for the holidays, make sure you don’t accidentally bring in unwanted guests. A variety of insects can ride along with your evergreen garland, Christmas trees, Hanukkah bushes, poinsettias, Xmas cactus, etc. So, here’s our helpful guide to avoiding holiday pests.

Poinsettias

Whether you like the red variety or the white, poinsettias add a burst of color to the usual winter greenery, making them a popular addition to holiday décor.

What kinds of bugs infest poinsettias?

White flies are the most common pests affecting poinsettias. Greenhouses work hard to deter them, but they’re still the most common insect affecting poinsettias. Before purchasing, carefully inspect the plant for signs of white flies, which tend to attack the leaves and turn them yellow. They especially tend to flutter around the plant when disturbed.

Spider mites leave behind a white web as they suck sap from the leaves.

Aphids leave sticky residue on the underside of leaves. Eventually the leaves turn dark from aphids.

Hornworms, which are a type of caterpillar, chew small holes in leaves or create protective tunnels by webbing leaves together.

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus are a showy succulent with colorful blooms. They are commonly mixed up with related plants known as Thanksgiving cactus and Easter cactus.

What pests infest Christmas Cacti?

Fungus gnats hide in potting soil where they find fungus to eat. They’re attracted to light and are weak flyers that hover over the dirt in a Christmas cactus pot.

Mealybugs are initially hard to spot because they’re so tiny. Gradually they leave cottony material on leaves. They grow larger as they mature. Eventually they leave a sticky material on the leaves that can lead to mold.

Spider mites can also infest Xmas cactus. Because they’re small, you often notice the tiny dots they cause on leaves or webbing.

Amaryllis

Also called Red Amaryllis, this plant is actually related to daffodils.

What pests infest Amaryllis?

Amaryllis frequently suffer from bulb mites. Before planting check the amaryllis bulb for soft spots that are rotten. That’s a sign of bulb mite infestation.

Caterpillars love to chew on amaryllis leaves and flowers.

As with the other plants on this list, amaryllis can attract mealybugs, aphids, and spire mites as well. Ants can even be attracted after a mealybug infestation, drawn by the sticky honeydew the mealybugs produce.

Have a pest free holiday with Arrow Exterminating

Regardless of the type of plant or plant material you purchase this holiday season – from pine boughs to Christmas trees to colorful plants like amaryllis, always inspect them carefully before bringing them indoors. As festive as they all are, they can also carry a wide array of bugs. If you think you have an insect problem of any kind, contact the experts at Arrow for a consultation to identify and eliminate them.

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