Buying the perfect Christmas tree isn't always easy, but one thing people never ask is how to get rid of what could be living inside.
Insect experts say there could be more than 20,000 bugs in one tree, including mites, ticks and spiders.
The majority of creatures are harmless and most die off once inside your home.
There are some things you can do to avoid hidden surprises:
- Ask your supplier if they have a mechanical shaker.
- If not, shake it at the store, or outside your home.
- Remove bird nests.
- Don't use aerosol bug killing sprays, because they're flammable.
Creatures are not the only issue with real trees, as allergies can be a problem too.
Experts said it is not pine pollen, but mold that's the issue.
Using a leaf blower can make it worse, so instead try a HEPA air filter.
Artificial trees can be a problem too, especially if they have sat for months and collected dust.
If you are going to purchase a real tree, ask what the store does to remove bugs.
Richard Devine, owner of National Tree and Shrub, said they have a plan to get rid of the little critters before they reach your front door.
"We hose everything down when it comes in here," Devine said. "We wash out the needles that have been in the middle of the tree, and our trees are shipped in refrigerated trucks, so they're pretty cold."