Fresh warning comes as people buying real trees have taken to social media with concern
Written 2nd December 2022 | Subscribe to our Christmas newsletter
People on the lookout for a real Christmas tree this year, or those who have already bought one are being warned to be on the lookout for walnut sized lumps on their tree as pictured below.
These could actually contain hundreds of praying mantis eggs. The praying mantis is not (yet) native to Britain and Ireland, however 18 species occur in southern and central Europe.
Depending on where your tree has come from you should be sure to look out for this.
What's the advice for those who find this on their Christmas tree?
US-based Daniel Reed shared a helpful image a few years back on Facebook which has resurfaced ahead of Christmas.
Commenters agreed with people sharing their personal experiences with this:
"These mantis are actually VERY invasive,' one user wrote. 'They are native to Asia and eat both bad AND good bugs. They have been seen killing humming birds."
"While I would never go out of my way to kill a mantis, I wouldn't recommend saving them. They honestly do more harm than good."
"Petty sure I've seen these and mistaken them for pinecones"
Image credit: Charles J. Sharp
Pictured above, the European preying mantis.