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Those really aren't ticks on your Christmas tree – here's why

By Bill Tomison and T.J. Del Santo ( - December 13, 2016

"You need to be rest assured that these things are not ticks, and it's very unlikely that you'd get a tick from a Christmas tree."

"It's Christmas tree season and a bug expert at the University of Rhode Island says when you bring that fresh tree home and see what you think is a tick on it — it's likely not what you think.

The threat of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is quite prevalent in Southern New England, and the last thing you want to worry about is the presence of ticks on your family's Christmas tree.

"They're concerned they're going to bring in a little more nature than they wanted to," said Dr. Tom Mather of the Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology.

But what may appear to be ticks on the tree are harmless to humans.

They're aphids, Dr. Mather said; "their technical name is the Cinara aphids."

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