Yes, it is true! Termites are not just “living” in your wooden walls. They also infest the trees around your home, and it can be genuinely annoying when the infestation reaches your house and destroys it. With that said, termites must be 100% exterminated. But did you know that there are ways to get rid of termites before they can plague your home? First, though, let us discuss all the basics.
What Are Termites?
- 1 What Are Termites?
- 2 Why Do Trees Have Termites?
- 3 Signs Of Termites In Trees
- 4 Can Termites Live In Trees?
- 5 Do Termites Damage Trees?
- 6 When Are Termites The Most Active?
- 7 How to Eliminate Termites in the Trees Naturally
- 8 How to Prevent Termite Infestation in the future
- 9 Final Words
Termites are pests, in the real sense of the word. These insects are very destructive as they feed on wood chips, logs, leaves, and even soil. About 50 species of termites in the US alone, and the most common species is called Subterranean termites. These creepy crawlies live and nest underground.
Why Do Trees Have Termites?
Formosan termites typically feed on live plants and trees. They especially love to infest Oak, Cypress, and Ash trees, among others. This is their nature. The infestation was so rampant in the US that back in the year 2000, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry initiated a termite treatment program for public trees to save them from dying due to the insects. This program also decreased the threat of termites moving to other nearby locations and colonizing wood structures.
Signs Of Termites In Trees
According to Cannon (2018), these are the signs of termites in trees:
- If you can see insect wings (especially during springtime) and wood shavings at the base of the tree, this is a sign that termites live and feed in it.
- Termites want their living condition damp, and so they will create mud tubes on tree barks to lessen exposure.
- Get a drill and put a hole in the middle of the tree. If it is easy to drill and is hollow, it means the termites have already infested it. You will also see termites going out after you drill.
- One way of also checking if there are termites is by using grass. Put it inside the hole of the tree. Let it stay for a bit, then pull it out. If termites are present, then it is infested.
- The soil around the base of the tree will show termites if the tree is colonized. Dig around the bottom and check for infestation.
Termites also leave fecal mounds and can also be responsible for floor, wall, and ceiling damage.
Can Termites Live In Trees?
Yes, termites can live on trees. The species called Formosan termites are the ones living on live plants and trees.
Do Termites Damage Trees?
Termites do not only damage trees. The colony can be so devastating that it will kill the tree and other living plants around it. The problem is that termite damage cannot be spotted early on by the naked eye because physical destruction is only evident when the infestation is severe. Attention to detail is the only way to check if the tree is indeed colonized and termites feed on it.
Usually, it will be very challenging to treat a severely destroyed and termite-infested tree, but some experts can provide the service to fix this pest issue.
When Are Termites The Most Active?
Termites do their damage 24 hours a day and seven days a week with no break. These are pests and insects that thrive on damaging and killing live plants and trees. The problem is that they move to your homes and eventually destroy your wooden walls and floors from trees and soil.
And so, when are these critters at their most active state? They hate extreme temperatures, and they tend to slow down during winter if they live in trees. But if the termites are already in between your walls, the damage will continue at its pace. Their everyday living and eating temperature is 75 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit which means they are very active during summertime, and they love to reproduce during spring in swarms.
How to Eliminate Termites in the Trees Naturally
Termites are a pest in their real sense. It destroys and kills everything in its track and can cause house damage to significant amounts. Some homeowners ask if there are ways to kill termites before destroying plants, trees, and their homes. Experts say that there are natural ways to get rid of termites. Here are ways to do so:
Ingesting boric acid will dehydrate the termite and cause their untimely death. Do the solution every day for at least seven days.
Cayenne Pepper Paste
Capsaicin, which is potent in cayenne pepper, is very hot and spicy. Ingesting this will mess up the nervous system of termites and kill them. This can take effect after four to five days of applying the paste to the affected area.
Put the cardboard as bait on the infested area and wait for the termites to eat it. Burn afterward.
These roundworms are harmless to humans and pets but deadly to termites. Spray it on the area.
This fossilized algae can kill termites since the sand has sharp edges.
Lemon and Vinegar
Spray this mixture in the affected areas.
Neem or Orange Oil
Neem oil disrupts the natural reproductive process of the termites, which lessens their population by not laying eggs. The Orange oil works best if the termites have not severely infested the area yet. Drill holes and apply the oil.
Like Boric acid and cayenne pepper, salt also dehydrates the termites upon ingestion. Repeat every day until the infestation diminishes.
How to Prevent Termite Infestation in the future
There are some methods you can do to prevent the future termite infestation in your trees.
To keep your trees out of the termites, take these steps:
- Each month, you need to keep an eye out for the termites.
- All trees should be pruned and trimmed.
- Branches that are growing too close to your property should be pruned.
- Outside the house, don’t store cardboard, wood, or other fibers. Remove tree peelings, wood, leaves, and stumps as soon as possible.
- Excess mulch, organic soils, and manure should be avoided.
- To prevent the termites, you need to store the firewood in your house or a good area.
Termites are everywhere and anywhere. It can be in your yard, underground, the trees, eating your plants, and also on the way to destroying the foundation of your home. What can you do about it? Be vigilant, and observe. Trees are prone to termites, and that is where they start to thrive. If you have a yard with big trees, have it checked for infestation. Before buying a home, hire a pest control service to ensure no termites in your home. And if ever you have a pest problem, get rid of it naturally. If it doesn’t work, call the exterminators. Better be safe than sorry.