Once termites establish their colony in a tree, they become highly destructive. In fact, these irksome creatures are regarded as one of the most hardworking insects on earth as they are capable of destroying entire houses.
The presence of termites in trees can be beneficial to the environment as they help recycle lifeless trees and stumps. But at the same time, they will likely ruin your house if care is not taken. In most cases, it is the decaying trees close to your house that often become their first victim.
An infected tree with no solid root will likely fall unexpectedly. And when such happens, it is best not to be around it. Hence it’s important to protect yourself as well as any nearby trees from any pests, including termites.
Once you identify some signs of termites activity within the vicinity of your house, don’t waste any time, request a termite inspection immediately.
Knowing The Destructive Critters
Termites run a caste system which often contains more than 250,000 individual termites that are often separated into groups with specific roles. Such groups include:
- A king and queen that gives birth to the progenies and raise the colony.
- Swarmers (also known as flying termites) perform the role of searching for the ideal place to develop a new colony.
- Worker termites ensure that the members of the colony are fed, takes care of eggs, and fix the faulty nests.
- Soldiers are responsible for the safety of the colony as they protect the entries and exits from enemies.
The worker group always form the highest member of the population. This group is capable of ingesting lifeless and rotting trees rapidly to secure the moisture and cellulose needed for the survival of the colony.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that some termite species do not eat dead wood and stumps. For instance, subterranean termites are usually found nesting in living trees.
Signs That You Have Termites In Trees
Once termites enter a tree, some signs are usually left behind. These signs include:
- At the base of the tree, there will be some termite wings and wood shavings.
- Since termites need moisture, they usually erect mud tubes in the tree bark to protect themselves from being exposed.
- If you drill a hole to the middle segment of the trunk and you discover that it is weak and hollow, then, it is most likely that termites have colonised it. Once you finish drilling, you may see some termites crawling out of the drill hole.
- And if you do not see any, insert a glass blade into the hole and check if there are any termites on it once you pull it out.
- Use a shovel to dig the soil close to the roots; the nest of most destructive termites is usually found in the soil close to the tree base.
Tree Protection Against Termites: What To Do?
The presence of termites in trees around your house can be quite problematic. Hence, taking preventative actions and termite treatments if found is highly crucial. Below are some helpful steps to take.
- Get rid of lifeless or infected tree parts as well as any wooden furniture or firewood laying around your home.
- Identify the colony where the termites are coming from and destroy it. It is possible to see the nest in a woodpile, tree stump, or around the tree.
- If you have an infected tree, treat the soil under and around the tree using liquid termiticides.
- Chemical barriers such as Fipronil, Imidichloprid or Bifenthrin can be used to prevent the termites from entering a perimeter around your property.
- Establish termite bait stations around your house, most notably in infected regions to catch termites looking for their next meal.
Finally, call on local pest control experts for the effective application of termiticides without jeopardising the safety of family and pets. After you have successfully get rid of termites around your home, regularly inspect the trees for any termite activity.