NEW ORLEANS – Many families are shopping around for a Christmas tree and if you are looking for one, you may want to examine it carefully for critters.
With so many Christmas trees to choose from it’s not always easy finding the perfect one.
Aaron Smith’s family knows that firsthand. His family has made getting a fresh-cut tree a holiday tradition.
"What makes a perfect Christmas tree is something that has a lot of room for presents,” Smith said.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, about 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year.
For Diem Luu, there is nothing like it.
“The smell of it just gives the house that nice Christmas feeling,” Luu said.
No matter where you end up buying a tree, it may have some unexpected guests.
"Sometimes you'll find the animals eating the needles, sucking on the sap, so there are occasionally caterpillars, aphids, sometimes mites and scaled insects that are on Christmas trees, and once in a while, predatory bugs like spiders,” Zack Lemann, Audubon Insectarium animal curator, said.
Lemann said if it happens don’t bug out.
"It's important to know that having bugs on Christmas trees is occasional at best and even if they make it into your house, none of them are harmful,” Lemann said.
Bugs or not, people don’t seem to mind.
"We've never had a problem with that and I mean if it attracts a bird, why not? It makes it even merrier,” Luu said.
As families find their perfect tree, seeing the excitement on their loved ones faces is what matters most.
“As a dad, it's just so special to be with the kids to do the whole Christmas experience and that's the part I love,” Smith said.
Praying Mantises are also known to lay their egg cases on Christmas tree limbs. Some say it is best to give a tree a good shake before bringing it inside to decorate.