Public warned to look out for walnut-sized lumps on Christmas trees and throw them away immediately
26 November 2020, 15:08 | Updated: 26 November 2020, 15:17
The mysterious lumps popping up on some trees could mean you end up with some uninvited guests this Christmas.
Christmas will look very different for most of us this year, but many people have been using the events of 2020 as the perfect excuse to set up our decorations early.
This means that - despite the fact it's November - many of us will be putting up our Christmas tree to get us excited for the weeks ahead.
If you are planning on doing so soon, it's worth noting that people are being warned against mysterious walnut sized lumps that were spotted on some trees last year.
The seemingly-innocent masses are actually insect eggs, meaning it might be worth checking your tree (if you opted for a real one) before bringing it into your home.
The lumps can contain up to hundreds of praying mantis eggs.
The revelation came to light when a post by Facebook user Daniel Reed - from Pennsylvania - went viral after he raised the alarm last year.
He said: "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!"
"We had two egg masses on our tree this year. Don’t bring them inside they will hatch and starve!"
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...Posted by Daniel Reed on Sunday, 10 December 2017
Comments flooded the Facebook post with many tagging their other halves asking them to look out for the suspicious lumps and others claiming this is one of the reasons they decided to get a plastic tree.
One person wrote: “If only I knew this last year before they hatched and were all over my walls.”
Another added: “I had one of these hatch. Tiny tiny praying mantis up my wall.”
A number of people shared horror stories of their own experiences, with one writing: "Been there done that! 1996 - my 9ft tree hatched.
"I had just filled the water trough when I realized.
"Had to drag that thing out to the deck and throw it off myself. I’ve never had a live tree since."
Make sure you check your tree ASAP!