Officials Warn To Check Christmas Tree For Walnut-Looking Growth Before Bringing It Indoors

With Christmas right around the corner, many people are bringing freshly cut trees into their homes. It’s a fun tradition, but it can have devastating consequences if you don’t know what to look for.

Officials with Erie County, Ohio are warning that if you see a walnut-looking growth on your tree to clip the part of the limb with the growth off and place it outside in nature.

As it turns out, Christmas trees can be hiding hundreds of praying mantis eggs and they won’t survive long inside a home on a Christmas tree when they hatch!

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The county shared a Facebook post back in 2019, and it went viral and continues to be re-visited each year around Christmas. In the post, they wrote:

“PSA: If you happen to see a walnut sized/shaped egg mass, on your Christmas tree, don’t fret, clip the branch and put it in your garden. These are 100-200 preying mantis eggs!
Don’t bring them inside they will hatch and starve!”

Bringing a praying mantis egg sack in on a Christmas tree won’t hurt you or your home so much as it’ll hurt the baby insects that hatch. Of course, I doubt anyone would want a few hundred praying mantis unleashed in their home, even though they’re generally harmless to humans.

The real problem comes for the bugs, themselves. Without having access to the outdoors, they’ll starve.

Photo: flickr/born1945

The issue only applies to those who live where praying mantis can be found. In the United States, they primarily live in warmer climates from the Carolinas to Texas and even through southern California.

So, if you happen to spot a brown walnut-sized mass on your tree, don’t panic. Simply cut the spot off and leave it outside so the eggs can safely hatch!

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