There’s just a month left until Christmas and people have been decorating their homes earlier than ever this year.
After all, who doesn’t need a little festive cheer after a dreary 2020?
However, if you’re planning on having a real Christmas tree then you need to keep your eyes peeled.
If you spot a walnut-sized cluster on your Christmas spruce then you may need to dispose of it hastily.
The mass might not be a pine cone, but instead a cluster of hundreds of insect eggs.
Do you buy a real Christmas tree? Let us know in the comments…
A tree-owner who spotted one of the clumped eggs in his tree last year took to Facebook to warn fellow Brits that 100 to 200 praying mantis could be inside.
Posting from Pennsylvania, Daniel wrote: “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 praying mantis eggs!"
He added: “We had two egg masses on our tree this year.
“Don’t bring them inside they will hatch and starve!”
You may be thinking that praying mantis are rare in the UK, which is true, but Christmas trees are imported from all over the world.
What’s worse is that zoologist Dr Gavin Svenson, from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, confirmed warm temperatures in your lounge could accelerate the time needed for eggs to hatch.
Luckily, you just need to cut the branch off the tree and deposit it outside away from the house.
This will cause the mantis to starve and die.
While it would be unusual to see in the UK, it’s worth checking your tree for clumps just in case.
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