The Best Way to Get Rid of Termites in a Tree
Termites are undeniably one of the most destructive pests a homeowner can battle. Their ability to infest trees and structures quickly and silently make them challenging to get rid of. Having termite infestations in trees not only puts the tree at risk but brings the risk of infestation closer to structures and homes. There are steps you can take to get rid of termites in a tree. However, calling in professionals is the best approach.
What are Termites?
Termites are beneficial insects for the environment. They are small insects that feed off the cellulose contained in wood. In nature, they play a crucial role in breaking down and recycling dead and dying trees. Of the 23 types of termites found in California, subterranean termites are the most damaging to trees and structures. Subterranean termites live in large colonies in the ground and require damp, dark, and warm conditions. They travel up the tree feeding, further compromising the tree. Within the subterranean termite colonies, there are three groups of individuals. These include workers, soldiers, and reproductives.
A Termite Infestation
The number of termites found does not represent the level of infestation. Colonies often contain tens of thousands of individuals or more. Even finding a few termites is a cause for concern. When termites venture too close to structures and homes, they can cause billions of dollars of damage. If termites are in trees surrounding your home, it is crucial to get rid of the infestation as quickly as possible. As the termite colonies grow, a portion of the population will swarm and set up new colonies. Swarming puts nearby structures and homes at greater risk of infestation and damage.
Prevention is the Best Approach
Prevention is the best way to ensure you won’t be battling a termite infestation. While they can feed on healthy trees, they prefer those that are dead and dying. Fallen trees, woodpiles, and tree stumps are prime spots for termites to take up residence. Monitor trees surrounding the home for signs of decline and disease. Remove debris, stumps, and dead limbs. Also, avoid stacking firewood close to trees and structures. Keeping firewood raised off the ground will also help deter termites. These steps will help minimize the need to get rid of termites in trees and homes.
Trees Most Prone to Termites
While termites will feed on almost all varieties of trees, the following are among their favorites;
- Fruit trees
- Palm trees
- Conifer trees
- Oak trees
- Maple trees
So You Suspect You Have a Termite-infested Tree
If you suspect a tree has a termite problem, there are a few signs to look for. First, inspect around the tree and under the bark for small holes and pathways the termites use to travel. Also, look for waste deposits resembling sawdust around the base of the tree. Another common sign is finding wings and deceased termites surrounding the tree trunk. In addition, mud tunnels are sure signs that termites are attacking the tree. Termites build these networks tunnels to allow travel above ground without being exposed to sunlight.
Getting Rid of Termites in a Tree
Quick and aggressive treatment is necessary once you determine that a termite infestation is present in a tree. These steps will help get rid of termites from the tree and reduce the risk of spreading. Firstly, clear all debris and compromised wood from the tree using a trash container with a secure lid. This helps contain the termites and prevents them from moving on to another tree, or worse, a structure. Then, when safe to do so, ensure termite eradication by burning the pruned wood.
Following pruning, it is necessary to locate the nest. Start by looking at the base of the trunk and around the roots. Next, use a shovel to prod the ground, look for the nest or many termites in one area. Once located, a liquid termiticide should be applied. While there may be insecticides available over the counter, the most efficient and reliable products are limited to professional pest control experts in California. Another product to use in the fight against termites is bait traps. Installed in the ground, these use treated material fed on by termites and brought back to the colony. Again, the most reliable forms of bait are restricted to professionals for application.
Call in the Professionals
Battling a termite infestation is a big job. Calling in professionals is the best way to identify, treat, and monitor the problem most effectively. Also, they have the training to spot the signs of current infestations and locate other potential problem areas. Additionally, professionals have access to the most effective treatments. Many treatments used contain regulated substances. Misusing pesticides can be dangerous to people, pets, and the environment. The professionals at A-1 Bonded Termite have the experience and knowledge to apply treatments using the safest and most effective methods. Contact us today to learn more about treatment options.
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