In the interests of full disclosure, I must tell you that we have an artificial (or phony, as my two brats...I mean wonderful kids, call it) Christmas tree at our house. And, it's things like this that make me glad we do.

I'm sure there are many who didn't even click on this post because they assumed that it would be about some creepy-crawly nasty thing that could be lurking in their Christmas tree, and they just don't want to hear it.

Turns out, those people are exactly right. Or, mostly right. Creepy? Maybe to some. Crawly? Check. Nasty? Well, yes...but not necessarily to human beings or our pets.

I must give credit for learning about this to WROK Morning Show alert-listener Mike, who sent me the background over the weekend.

Now back to our walnut-shaped lumps.

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It should come as no surprise that your holiday tree came from outside, and therefore probably has a few living things still in residence. One website I visited says that there could be up to 25,000 bugs living in a fresh Christmas tree. The website was the homepage of an exterminator, so maybe there's an agenda at work, maybe not.

Whether there really are tens of thousands of bugs in your tree or not, it's probably worth your time to give the tree as thorough an examination as you can, ideally before hauling it into your living room.

Look for this:

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If you find one (or several), congratulations. You've just found yourself a preying mantis egg-sack.

An egg-sack that goes from the photo above to the photo below:

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Just one egg-sack contains around 200 of the insects, and if left unattended, could hatch and all of sudden you've got preying mantises (that's the plural, I looked it up) all over your house.

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As I pointed out earlier, the preying mantises aren't dangerous to you or anything else in your house. The danger is for the bugs themselves. If they hatch inside, they'll run around a little bit, then die of starvation.

So, what should you do if you discover a mantis egg-sack on your tree? Clip the branch it's on and take it outside.

Daniel Reed, Facebook


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