Mysterious clumps in Christmas tree should be removed immediately
You absolutely do not want these hanging on your Christmas tree
With Christmas looming large on the horizon, many of us will be deciding when to put the tree up.
Whilst some of you will be opting for an artificial number this year - avoiding the mess of pine needles come January - others will be going for the real thing.
But whilst height and width are important factors in picking the perfect tree, you might want to pay close attention to another feature - the branches.
People have been warned to check their trees for small walnut-sized lumps - and to immediately remove any found.
The clumps, which look a bit like pine cones, could be a sac of 100-200 praying mantis eggs, and it is important to find the sacs before the eggs hatch, or you could risk a nasty infestation. Thankfully, one social media user has already shared what to look out for.
In his viral post, Daniel Reed 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 preying (sic) mantis eggs!
"We had two egg masses on our tree this year. Don’t bring them inside they will hatch and starve!"
To date, the warning has been shared more than 185,000 times, with several others commenting that they have found similar clumps on their trees.
One reply said: "We had a tree with one in and we didn’t know until they hatched. They were everywhere."
A second person wrote: "That s**t happened to me a few years ago it was crazy, went to my in-law's house came back to a bunch of little bugs, and found out they were praying mantises." Another added: "I think I have PTSD from when it happened to us."
So, when you're out picking the perfect tree for your home this December, maybe take a bit more time checking the branches.
Or you might end up playing host to some unwanted guests this festive season.