Working on my garden to make it a relaxing place is one of my favorite hobbies!
Termites are one of the most destructive pests in the world, causing billions of dollars in damage each year. Though they are often associated with wood-frame homes, termites can also infest trees. While most termite species prefer dead or dying trees, some will attack healthy trees if given the opportunity.
If you think your trees may be infested with termites, look for the following signs (always consult a professional).
1. Hollowed Trunk
One of the most common signs of a termite infestation in a tree is a hollow trunk. Termites tunnel through the tree, eating the wood as they go.
This can weaken the structure of the tree and make it more susceptible to toppling over in high winds or during a storm. Drill into the tree to see if it is hollow; if it is, then there is a good chance that termites are present.
2. Mud Tubes
Termites like moisture, and as such, you should look for mud tubes as another common sign of termites in trees, particularly around the base. These tubes are made by the insects as they travel back and forth between their nests and the tree.
The mud helps to protect them from predators and the elements. Look for these tubes on the trunk of the tree or at the base of the tree where it meets the ground.
3. Look to the Base of the Tree
The base of the tree is another area where you should look for signs of termites. If the tree is infested, you may see a large mound of dirt or mud around the base of the tree. This is where the insects have tunneled into the tree and are living.
There can also be carcasses of dead termites around the base of the tree. These are usually black in color and have a hard shell.
You may also see small holes, also known as "termite holes," in the bark of the tree where the insects have emerged. More importantly, look for wood shavings and potential termite wings, as this is a good indicator that termites are or have been present. Get a shovel and dig a bit under the foundation to really have a good look.
4. Termite Wings
As termites mature, they grow wings and become reproductive termites. These winged insects are known as swarmers and are often the first sign that homeowners see of a problem.
If you find termite wings around your property, it is a good indication that there is an infestation nearby. The wings will be shed as the insects swarm and try to establish new colonies.
How to Find Termites: Set Up a Camera
If you think you may have termites in your tree but are not sure, setting up a camera can be a helpful way to confirm your suspicions. Place the camera near the base of the tree or in an area where you have seen other signs of termites. Check the camera regularly to see if you can spot any termites.
If you have found any evidence of the above signs of termites in trees, take pictures and video evidence. Send it to a professional for further analysis, as you may have a termite problem. As always, if you think you may have termites, it is best to contact a professional for an inspection and treatment options.
Local professionals also tend to offer a free inspection to see if you have termites. If you live in an area with a lot of trees, it may be a good idea to have your property inspected annually for signs of these destructive pests.
Why Do You Need to Deal With Termites Near Your Property?
If you have termites on your property, it's important to deal with them as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Left unchecked, termites can destroy the foundation of your home, making it unsafe to live in. They can also weaken the structure of trees, making them more likely to fall and cause damage to your property.
In addition to the damage they can cause, termites are also a health hazard. The CDC lists termites as a potential allergen, and their bites can cause irritation and swelling. If you have termites on your property, it's important to take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible.
How Will Professionals Get Rid of Termites?
There are several ways that professionals can get rid of termites on your property. The most common method is to use baits and traps. These baits and traps will lure the termites in and then kill them. This method is effective, but it can take some time to work.
Another common method is to use pesticides. Pesticides are designed to kill termites and other pests. However, they can also be dangerous to people and animals if used incorrectly. It's important to follow the directions on the pesticide label carefully and only use them as directed.
Some professionals also use heat or cold to get rid of termites. This method is effective, but it can damage your property if not done correctly.
The best way to get rid of termites is to prevent them from entering your property in the first place. There are several things you can do to deter termites, including
- Keeping your property clean and free of debris
- Repairing any cracks or holes in your foundation
- Inspecting your property regularly for signs of termites (by professionals with pest control services)
If you think you may have termites, it's important to contact a professional as soon as possible. They can help you identify the problem and come up with a plan to get rid of the termites. Taking action quickly is the best way to protect your property from these destructive pests.
- Chapter 4: Disease Vectors and Pests | Healthy Housing Reference Manual | NCEH
- Subterranean Termites Cause 95 percent Structural Damages in the US - Study Says
Studies show that eastern subterranean termites are responsible for nearly 95 percent of structural damages in the US.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2022 Elin Beck