Deck the halls…with unwanted pests?

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We’ve had an artificial Christmas tree for years. I do miss the sharp, tangy smell of a live tree in the house, but there were good reasons for going fake…

There were some pretty lean years as the kids grew up. An artificial tree, only paid for once, saved plenty of bucks. We have very limited space in our house, so a skinny tree fit the room much better than a live tree. December is so incredibly busy it would be difficult to fit in a tree-chopping expedition ever year.

But the most compelling reason for our switch to artificial was the bizarre and disgusting event that took place the last time we bought a real tree, the year Oldest Sister was still Only Child and had just turned two. Such fun to decorate the tree and put presents beneath it with her. Until…

We’d had the the tree in the house for a day or so when first I noticed a number of grey-ish brown specks on the tree skirt. Grabbing my glasses, I determined that these specks were moving. On even closer examination, it turned out that the skirt and gifts were teeming with tiny spiders. Shrieking, I scooped up the gifts, folded the skirt, and took it to the front porch to shake off the filthy intruders.

Little did we suspect that this was only the beginning of the infestation. Apparently coming into a warm house had helped a myriad of spider eggs to hatch deep within the limbs of our lovely tree. Every day, several times a day, we had to shake and sweep. My inclination was to get the repulsive bearer of the eggs out of the house without delay, but lack of time to replace it and Oldest Sister’s attachment to our tree ruled that out.

So I gritted my teeth and survived that hideous experience. And I’ve been perfectly happy to assemble a fake tree every year since. “Thy branches green (and spider free) delight us.”

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