Washington, D.C., Woman Makes Unpleasant Discovery On Her Christmas Tree

| by Brendan Kelly
Christmas Tree With Aphids.Christmas Tree With Aphids.

A Washington, D.C., woman wasted no time getting her Christmas tree out of her house after getting a scary surprise.

When she returned home from a trip just after Christmas, the homeowner spotted insects all over her living room, bedroom and bathroom. 

After taking out her Christmas tree she discovered the tree was the source of her problem.

Initially, she thought the insects were spiders, but later learned that they were aphids, a common plant pest.

“I am known to be very afraid of spiders, so it was quite a day for me,” the woman told WTOP.

“I pulled out the tree out of the house and when I dropped the tree to the ground hundreds of [aphids] went running across the concrete -- it was terrifying,” she added.

The woman said the management at the Whole Foods grocery store where she bought the tree has been helpful. Employees retrieved the tree from her home and recycled it. They also gave her a full refund and paid for an exterminator to take care of her pest problem.

“Our customers should know our policy is 100 percent satisfaction,” Whole Foods spokeswoman Kristi Gross told WTOP in an email. “The bugs are Cinara aphids which are commonly colonize on fir tree as they feed on the sap. They are harmless to people and pets, but are very annoying.”

Penn State Department of Entomology says people should not be worried about pests brought into their home on Christmas trees.

Insects on Christmas trees are common. One homeowner in Florida who bought a tree from a Home Depot found hundreds of aphids falling off of his tree and initially believed them to be ticks.

Sources: WTOPWPTV / Photo credit: WTOP