How to Get Rid of Termites in Trees Near Home

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How to Get Rid of Termites in Trees Near Home

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Keith's Pro Tips

"Unfortunately, once your tree or stump becomes severely infested with termites it will need to be properly removed. With that being said the wood cannot be reused for firewood as this can spread the infestation to the inside of your home. If you cannot tell if the tree is dead then perform a scratch test on the tree underneath the first layer of tree bark. Scrape this surface with a scraping tool if it is green then it is alive and if it is brown then it is dead."

How to Get Rid of Termites in Trees Near Home

This page is a general DIY guide to discuss the methods to preventing and controlling termites in trees within your homes property. By quickly implementing the use of our products and techniques suggested in this article can help you successfully control termite populations before the infestation spreads.

When the spring and summer season arrives, most homeowners are aware of termite infestations. One area in your yard that often goes unnoticed for termite monitoring is live or dead trees. These insects are known for causing serious destruction on wooden surfaces like these and more.

They cause massive destructions to these surfaces, because termites specifically feed on cellulose. Cellulose is the substance found in the cell wall of the plant, or more precisely, the hard inner material of the tree. Since few pests feed on these food sources there is less competition for the termite in terms of nutrients and breeding sites.

The most common termite to infest your tree is the Formosan termite, but depending on whether it is live or dead can determine the species of termite. Once they make themselves at home in your tree it is only a matter of time before they spread to your house. Termites are a serious issue, and the faster you control your termites with the recommended products and tips in this DIY guide the less risk there is of destruction of your home and other wooden structures in your property.

How to Tell if Termites Are In Trees

Formosan Termite

Termites are not obvious pests, but they do leave signs of their presence in your trees. Here are some signs to look out for when inspecting for termites in the trees in your homes yard:

  • Look around the base of your tree for frass, termite droppings, or termite wings. Frass looks like sawdust but has a more granular appearance.
  • Termites are drawn to moist areas, especially around wooden surfaces. Some termite species, like Formosan termites, create mud tubes leading from the soil to the tree trunk, branches, or adjacent sites. These tubes provide a safe way for termites to travel from place to place.
  • With a shovel, lightly dig the soil around the base of your tree. Some termite species, like eastern subterranean termites, create nests in soft, moist soil. This can be indicated with clusters of small, white eggs in the soil.
  • Since termites feed on cellulose, you are bound to find tunnels on the inside and outside of the tree. As a result, their may be missing bark or a hollow sound escaping from the trunk when you knock against it.
  • Observe the branches for a lack of leaf growth. Many termite species will destroy trees from the roots, resulting in a loss of water and nutrients for the tree to consume. Most termite species destroy the tree from the roots, which can cause loss of water and nutrients.

What To Do If Termites Are in Trees

If you have noticed signs of termites around your property, then it may be necessary to perform a trench treatment around your homes foundation. When applying or mixing any insecticide material you will need to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Failure to address termite infestations in your trees can lead to a series of extensive repairs to your yard and homes foundation. If you find your tree is heavily infested with termites, then it would be best to properly remove the tree altogether from your property. Heavily infested trees can cause termites to spread to your home or results in weakened parts of the tree falling on nearby structures.

Prune Infested Tree Parts

Pruning Branch

Termites normally infest dead or decaying wood, but they can travel into live trees retaining moisture. First thing to do is to prune away infected parts of the tree with a tree pruner, then immediately disposing of it through a shredder or complete removal from property.

Make sure no limbs or other parts of the infested tree is close to other trees, structures in yard, or the home. If so, then prune these overgrown parts until it is no longer within reach of these sites then immediately dispose discarded foliage off your property or through a shredder.

If have seen signs of termites or the pest itself within infested branches, prune them away. This not only removes some of the termites, but it prevents them from spreading to other nearby trees.

Eliminate the Colony

Spraying Tree

Once you have determined which trees in your yard are infested with termite colonies - usually in the ground or underneath nearby buildings then spray an insecticide product labeled for termites. Supreme IT is a 7.9% bifenthrin suspended concentrate insecticide that controls a wide variety of pests, including termites. As a repellent insecticide this allows termites to touch the product for up to 90 days after the application leading to a quick elimination.

Supreme IT product label includes directions for controlling different termite species in different situations. For general termite control, we recommend you spray the outer surfaces of trees and the surrounding soil and conduct injection treatments.

To spray trees with Supreme IT, use a handheld pump sprayer to create a 0.06% emulsion by mixing 1 fluid ounce of product with enough water to create 1 gallon of finished solution.

Spray 3 feet up the trunk of the tree from the ground, then spray in about a 3-foot radius around the base of the tree. This will kill any termites on treated areas and prevent reproductive termites, or alates, from landing on the tree to reinfest.

To conduct an injection treatment, prepare a solution of Supreme I/T at the same emulsion rate of 0.06%. Using the appropriate equipment, drill into the tree to reach the termite colony and galleries, and inject the solution into the cavity. This treats all surfaces and tunnels the termites use to travel throughout the tree and eliminates the entire colony.

This product may only treat trees that are non-bearing fruit and nut trees, and ornamental trees. Non-bearing fruit and nut trees are those that will not produce a harvestable crop during the season of application.

Keep children and pets away from treated areas until it is completely dry and when 24 hours have passed after application.

Install Bait Stations

Termite Bait Station

Lastly, install a termite bait station around your home or structure to monitor and kill any remaining termites. We suggest doing this around your home as termites are likely to move on to another food source when trees have been eliminated or treated.

Red Eye Termite Monitoring System is a low profile bait and monitoring station for termites around homes. As a singular unit, this station comes with a high cellulose attractant, clear view on top for visual sighting of termites, and a unique red eye monitoring system. The red eye is the red dot on top of the product in the clear view.

When set up properly, observe when the station's red eye disappears. This is your alert that termites are active. Once termite activity has been confirmed, you can inject a product like FiPro Foaming Aerosol into the station to treat infesting termites. FiPro Foaming Aerosol contains 0.005% fipronil, and will expand to treat the cavity, killing termites before they can spread.

Place one Red Eye Termite Monitoring System at least 5 feet away from the structures drip edge and drill a hole into the ground about 2 inches in diameter. Insert the product into this hole until the dome is flush to the ground. You will need to insert more than one of these products around your home or buildings perimeter for accurate monitoring. Make sure there is 8 to 10 feet of space between each Red Eye Termite Monitoring System.

Replace the Red Eye Termite Monitoring System once the red eye drops or when 30 days have passed after applying termiticide.

Key Takeaways

Do Termites Live in Trees?

  • Termites build their colonies in moist soil as well as decaying or moist wood which can be found in live or dead trees. Finding termites in certain parts of live trees, indicates that part of the tree is already dead.

How to Treat Termites on Trees

  • The first thing you should do is eliminate their food supply with pruning infested parts of the tree then properly disposing of it. Once infested parts of the tree has been destroyed or removed from your property, apply a termite labeled insecticide such as Supreme IT Apply this product into the infested tree cavity, but you may have to drill to reach this part of the tree. After the colony has been treated with termiticide, the last thing you will need to do is install a termite bait station like Red Eye Termite Monitoring System.

Can A Tree With Termites Be Saved?

  • Trees with termites can be saved depending on how fast you treat the tree and the size of the infestation. A tree that is severely infested with termites will need to be removed from your property.
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