Christmas tree

Those aren’t pinecones on your real Christmas tree, they’re a nightmare!

If you find these little “bulbs” on your real Christmas tree, don’t mistake them for pinecones – they’re a nightmare waiting to happen that you need to remove immediately! People share their stories and dire warnings of yuletide horror…

Those aren’t pinecones on your real Christmas tree – they’re something much more terrifying!

You might call these little “bulbs” that are frequently found on fresh Christmas trees the “Nightmare Before Christmas.” Many people mistake them for budding pinecones – but that’s not what they are at all.

In reality, these little nubs are going to blossom into something you might find terrifying. If you spot these, you need to take immediate action before your Christmas turns into a Halloween-like nightmare.

These little walnut-shaped clumps attach themselves to the branches of fresh pine trees and give off the impression they are the budding stage of pinecones.

But in reality, they are an egg mass holding around 100-200 praying mantis eggs! And when you bring them inside into your warm and cozy house, the temperatures encourage them to hatch.

What you’ll soon have is a tree covered in miniature praying mantises, which look exactly like tiny versions of the adults, that will soon spread around your house.

A number of people posted pictures online of praying mantis infestations from their Christmas trees.

What to do when you spot these on your Christmas tree

LADBible wrote a report with comments from a man named Daniel Reed, who gave this advice to anyone finding this light-brown mass of mantis eggs on their real Christmas tree.

“If you happen to see a walnut sized/shaped egg mass, on your Christmas tree, don’t fret,” Reed said. “Clip the branch and put it in your garden.”

One pest control management company advised people to shake their real Christmas trees outdoors before placing them inside their homes to prevent bug infestations.

About praying mantises

Although mantises are among the insects that are most commonly kept as pets, with at least 31 species kept and bred in the United States, you probably don’t want 200 of them hatching in your living room.

Mantises are most commonly confused with stick insects and grasshoppers, but their closest relatives are cockroaches and termites.

Mantises typically eat whatever they catch, consuming both beneficial and harmful insects. Therefore, their value in biological control is seen as negligible.

Mantises normally live for about a year. In cooler climates, adults lay eggs in autumn, then die. Females sometimes eat their mates–but they aren’t generally harmful to people or pets.