Remember how in “The Night Before Christmas” there wasn’t a creature stirring, not even a mouse?
Well, that may be wrong this holiday season, especially when it comes to ticks.
New York health officials have warned families across the United States that adult deer ticks may be living in fresh-cut Christmas trees since they are still active and will continue to be until the weather is consistently under 40 degrees, according to WNYT.
WPXI, a news station in Pennsylvania, also reported on the warning, seen in the video below.
Ticks in trees can be potentially dangerous for many families, as ticks are known to transmit Lyme disease, a common tick-borne illness that creates fatigue and flu-like symptoms.
“Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.”
Families should also avoid using aerosol insect sprays, which are flammable “and should not, under any circumstances, be sprayed on the Christmas tree,” according to Penn State.
Those buying real Christmas trees may also want to watch out for other potential living creatures in their trees.
“(R)eal trees can house mites, lice, ticks, moths and stink bugs, among other insects that hibernate for the winter but wake up from the warmth of your living room,” according to Tech Times.