JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While you are posting your snowmen-made-of-beach-sand and Santa-in-a-bathing-suit pictures to strike envy in your snowbound friends, be aware that the cooler regions may have it a little better off when it comes to their Christmas trees. Warmer than average temperatures this season may prompt a similar scenario to last year's, with tick infested Christmas trees.
Ticks typically go into hibernation when the temperatures plunge below 40°. In November and December of 2015, we saw unseasonably warm weather. In November of 2015, there were no temperatures locally below freezing. The average low temperature for the month was 59.1°. Overnight temperatures only briefly dipped below 40° once, on the morning of the 23rd, hitting 37°. In December of 2015, the average low temperatures was 56.7°, there were no days below freezing, and overnight temperatures only dipped below 40° twice, on December 19th and 20th, down to 36° and 37°.
This year, our temperatures profile has been warm as well, but we have gotten below freezing once, on November 21st, we reached 30°. So far we have seen three mornings below 40° on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd. If the unseasonably warm weather continues, especially above 40°, may may see a repeat of last year, with tick infested Christmas trees.
Experts recommend shaking your tree vigorously before moving it into your home to potentially dislodge and insects. If you are still concerned you can also wash the tree with lightly soaped water to remove and creepy crawlies. You should not use bug sprays on your tree in an attempt to kill the bugs, most are quite flammable and may cause a fire when your Christmas lights heat up on the tree.