Though many species of termites are considered beneficial, they can also be massively destructive pests for homeowners and landscapers. Along with destroying the wood inside our homes and causing serious structural damage, termites can also feast on the trees we grow outside.
Are you wondering how to get rid of termites in trees? If so, you have come to the right place. Today, we are going to learn more about termites and how to manage and eradicate an infestation outdoors.
But before we begin, let’s take a closer look at termites and cover a few interesting facts you should know about these destructive yet amazing insects.
What You Should Know About Termites
Termites can cause serious damage to trees and sometimes even destroy trees altogether.
Termites are unique insects that are closely related to cockroaches. They are some of the only insects known to be able to survive primarily on wood and the cellulose found inside of it. Termites have unique stomachs that are able to digest this cellulose and turn it into sugar, which they then thrive off of.
Although termites do look like large ants, they are actually not closely related to ants in the slightest. In fact, they even belong to a separate order entirely. With that being said, they do have colonies like ants and termites even have a queen.
The queen termite can live for up to 50 years. Incredibly, termite queens produce eggs once every three seconds, which averages about 30,000 eggs a day. In her lifetime, a queen can produce as much as 219,000,000 eggs in 20 years. This is less than half of a queen’s predicted lifespan.
With that noted, it’s no surprise that termites can be so destructive. In fact, they are considered some of the most destructive insects in the world. Common throughout every continent except for Antarctica, termites are responsible for damages up to 600,000 homes each year in the United States, and it is estimated that people spend approximately $5 billion dollars annually in an effort to repel, prevent or remove them.
And while termites are not venomous to people or pets, they are still considered some of the most dangerous pests in the world. This is because they are so incredibly destructive and can cause such serious structural damage to homes.
But termites are also a danger outside of our homes. In fact, they are known to commonly attack trees. While most termites prefer dead trees and wood debris, there are some species that will attack live trees.
If enough termites infest the tree, the tree can become damaged beyond repair. So, how do you get rid of termites in trees?
First, you must take a look at why termites are attacking your trees in the first place.
Why Are Termites Attacking Your Trees?
Just because termites are in your trees does not mean you will have termites in your home. However, it’s important to nip this problem in the bud before it gets out of hand.
Just because you have termites in trees does not automatically mean you will wind up with termites in your home. Still, you won’t want to risk it.
But why do you have termites in trees?
Not all species of termites attack living trees, but there are some species that do. The Formosan termite is one of the most threatening species of termite to trees. In fact, it is estimated that 30 percent of tree species affected by termites are affected by this particular species.
There are a variety of trees that these termites prefer to target, including ash trees, oak trees, and cypress trees.
When termites attack trees, they tend to cause damage that begins in the limbs and can weaken the tree so much that limbs crack and break. While rare, some termite infestations in trees can get so bad that the tree will die completely.
The good news is that there are some effective products and methods you can use to get rid of termites in trees.
Keep reading to learn more.
Signs of Termites In Trees And How To Get Rid Of Them
Getting rid of termites means keeping an eye out for common signs.
Before we dive into how to get rid of termites in trees, let’s first talk about how to identify if you do indeed have termites in trees.
Remember, these insects can resemble a number of other types of pests, most notably ants.
You can work to identify if you have termites in trees by keeping an eye out for dead termites below or around the tree in question, signs of termite eggs in the soil or below the tree, and mud tubes along the tree in question.
Other signs of termites could include termite swarms, which occur when termites are mating. These swarms happen when clouds of termites temporarily take flight in an effort to find a mate. After mating, termites promptly lose their wings.
Other signs of termites in trees might include signs of damage to your tree, weakened branches, dying leaves, and mud tubes in the soil below or near the tree.
Termites may also leave small holes on the bark or surface of your tree, as well as piles of wood shavings around where they have chewed. It’s often easiest to find and identify termites in trees by investigating the bottom part of the tree or digging into the soil directly against the tree line.
It is in this soil you can often find termites in action.
Unfortunately, there is no specified “termite season”. In fact, once an infestation begins it can become a consistent and year-round problem. This means that it’s very important to treat termites in trees as soon as you recognize an infestation in order to save your tree and prevent the termites from spreading elsewhere.
Getting rid of termites in trees can be difficult but it’s not impossible. There are plenty of products you can use that have been found effective when it comes to termite removal in trees, but before you invest n products it’s important to follow these below steps.
Prune Or Remove Damaged Wood
Unfortunately, it may already be too late to salvage damaged limbs and wood from termites in trees. It’s best to prune and remove any of these damaged limbs so that you can begin treating the healthiest parts of your tree for termites.
Destroy Damaged Or Infested Wood Immediately
When you do remove these damaged bits of wood, it’s important to store them properly or destroy them right away. You can either place these limbs in thick plastic bags and dispose of them right away or you can consider burning them.
This will help ensure that any termites still inside the wood will not continue to spread.
Work to Identify Where The Termite Colony Is Located
Termites often build their colonies at the base of the tree in the soil. For this reason, it’s generally easy to find termites in trees and eradicate the colony without damaging your tree further.
To look for termite colonies, you may need to do some digging around your tree. Once you have located the colony, you can use some of the methods and products listed below to eradicate the colony before focusing on treating your tree.
The video below talks more about how you can identify termites in trees.
Invest In Quality Products to Get Rid Of Termites In Trees
When it comes to termites in trees, there are several methods and products you can use to get rid of them.
Protecting your trees and eradicating the termites can go hand-in-hand, though there are some steps you may need to take first depending on the severity of your infestation.
Let’s take this time now to talk about some of the best products we recommend for how to get rid of termites in trees.
Best Products For How To Get Rid Of Termites In Trees
Getting rid of termites in trees takes consistency and the right products. (https://pixabay.com/photos/termite-tracks-tree-damage-nature-71313/)
Getting rid of termites in trees is possible, and it is especially helpful to have the right products on hand. Luckily, there are plenty of products you can use for not only getting rid of termites in trees but also for protecting your trees from these pests in the future.
In this section, we are taking a look at some of the best products for how to get rid of termites in trees. Scroll down if you wish to look at a list of products that are ideal for protecting trees from future termites.
If you’re looking for an all-natural way to get rid of termites in trees, we suggest taking a look at beneficial nematodes. Beneficial nematodes are beneficial worms that devour specific insects like termites, gnats, fungus gnats, fleas, grubs, and more.
They can help not only kill termites around trees but also prevent them if they are consistently applied. The above order can be purchased in several size varieties and you can apply them easily with a watering can. They treat up to 200 square feet and can be used both inside and outside of the home for pest control.
Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection and Killing Stakes
The Spectacle Terminate Stakes above have two uses; they can help you detect early signs of termites on your property or near your trees while they also kill any termites currently foraging below the soil near trees and shrubs.
This product works using a pop-up indicator that immediately lets you know when termites are nearby, allowing you time to get a plan together for effective termite control and eradication when it comes to getting rid of termites in trees.
BioAdvanced Termite Home and Permit Treatment
BioAdvanced Home and Permiter Treatment Granules work well for protection outside of your home as well as along your home’s perimeter. If you’re especially worried about termites in trees, you can create a barrier with these termite granules around trees that could become potential targets.
Each order covers up to 200 square feet and the product works immediately upon getting wet. You can use this along with gardens, near woodpiles, in your garage, and along fence posts to keep termites at bay.
While it is effective, it does have some restrictions. Please be aware this product is not permitted for sale in certain states and regions.
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Taurus SC is another popular product experts recommend for how to get rid of termites in trees. This product works using the active ingredient fipronil to kill these pests. This termite insecticide is specifically designed for outdoor use only, and it can be dangerous to people, pets, and the environment if not used as directed.
However, when used as directed this product can be highly effective in not only killing termites on contact but keeping them from coming back for an extended period of time.
Best Products To Protect Your Trees From Termites In The Future
Termites procreate at an incredible rate. Getting rid of them can be difficult, so it’s often easiest to prevent them.
Unfortunately, it’s very easy for a termite infestation to get out of hand and for your trees to suffer severe consequences. While not all trees will perish after a termite infestation, many will. The best course of action when it comes to protecting your trees from termites is to use preventative products like those we have listed below.
When looking for the best products to prevent termites in trees, we suggest considering the reviews and the ingredients. If you’re not sure which products would be best when it comes to preventing termites in trees, we have listed some of the best preventative products below according to experts.
Bonide Tree and Shrub Insecticide
The above tree and shrub insecticide by Bonide is designed to provide annual protection against pests like termites in trees. It comes in a concentrated formula that controls a number of pests like termites, aphids, birch borers, leaf miners, and more.
While this product can get rid of current infestations of termites in trees, it is also ideal for preventing them.
It works by being applied directly to the soil and can continue protecting your trees for several weeks. The product will need to be mixed with water, however, and it should be kept out of reach of children and pets when not in use.
BioAdvanced 12 Month Tree Protector
BioAdvanced 12 Month Tree Protector is another highly recommended product you can use to help get rid of termites in trees. This product kills insects on contact and continues to protect trees for up to one year after application.
It works not only on termites but also on Japanese beetles, leafminers, aphids, and more. This insecticide also works as a slow-release fertilizer for trees and can help ensure the health and vitality of your garden. It’s a win-win!
HARRIS Termite and Carpenter Ant Powder
If you’re looking for an effective repellent that also works as a form of management for termites in trees, we suggest the HARRIS Termite and Carpenter Ant Treatment. This product also works against fungus and mold, as well as other wood-destroying pests.
It comes in a powder form and is designed to be mixed with water to make one gallon of liquid spray. It kills termites on contact but also helps to prevent them from coming back.
You can use this spray both inside and out. The powder is derived from Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate and is odorless, non-flammable, and effective.
Orange Guard Pest Control Spray
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Termites are repelled by the scent of citrus, so we recommend investing in the above orange Guard Pest Control Spray if you are struggling with recurring termite problems. We like that this product is completely natural and made with organic ingredients that are safe to use both inside and outside of your home.
Are There Home Remedies You Can Use To Get Rid Of Termites In Trees?
Combine lemons and vinegar to kill termites on contact.
If you’ve just discovered you have termites in trees, don’t worry. There are some home remedies and household products you can use to get a jump on treatment.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are commonly used as effective forms of pest control, and this is great news if you are looking for a natural remedy for how to get rid of termites in trees.
Like most pests, termites are highly sensitive to certain aromas, and essential oils are famous not only for their strong smell but also for their medicinal properties.
The best essential oils for how to get rid of termites in trees include:
- Citrus Oil
- Garlic Oil
- Clove Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- And Cedarwood Oil
Of these oils, experts suggest that clove oil and garlic oil are two of the most effective when it comes to getting rid of termites in trees specifically.
To use essential oils for how to get rid of termites in trees, you have a few options. You can make your own essential oil spray using two cups of water and 10 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice above.
Mix this solution in a spray bottle and spray it along the base of the tree and over the bark to repel termites. Repeat this process as often as necessary.
You can also try using the cotton ball method for termite repellent. This method works by saturating cotton balls in the above essential oils and placing them around the base of the tree you are looking to protect. You will need to replace these cotton balls with freshly soaked cotton balls once every three days.
Make A DIY Vinegar And Lemon Juice Termite Spray
Citrus naturally repels termites, but if you combine vinegar with lemon juice, you have your very own termite killer on hand.
While this method will likely not eradicate entire infestations, it can help to kill termites on contact while you are working on the best way to protect your tree from these pests.
To make this homemade termite-killing spray, combine half a cup of vinegar with the juice from two lemons. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray termites directly. Not only will doing this help to kill termites on contact, but the scent of the citrus will help repel any termites nearby.
Make Your Own Wet Cardboard Trap
Identifying the colony that is causing the damage to your tree is an essential part of ensuring you are treating the problem head-on.
Eradicating the colony will help ensure that your tree is not infested, but doing this can be difficult. We suggest using the products listed above for how to get rid of termites in trees, but we also suggest using other methods like termite traps. This can help to monitor how your termite eradication is going and will let you know if you are getting rid of them as quickly as you need to.
To make your own homemade termite trap, you can use wet cardboard. Simply soak two pieces of wet cardboard and stack them on top of each other near where you have discovered the colony of termites.
Termites will be attracted to the cellulose in cardboard and will climb between the pieces to feast. Once they do, they will become stuck in these slats and die.
Try Using Rock Salt
Salt is highly effective when it comes to killing termites. You can use this method not only as a repellent and termite remover but also as a protective agent for your trees in the future.
To use salt most effectively, sprinkle it around on the ground near where you have noticed most termite activity. We also suggest making a barrier of salt around other trees to help protect them from termites spreading.
And speaking of preventing termites from spreading to other trees, it’s time now to talk about methods, tips, and tricks on how you can keep termites out of your trees in the future.
Expert Tips On Preventing Termites In Trees
Termites generally live below the soil near the trees they infest. It’s important to take measures to prevent them before they get out of control.
Preventing termites in trees is often much easier than spending time and money trying to get rid of them.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to catch these pests before they get out of control. The good news is that we have some expert tips and tricks you can follow here to help you manage and prevent termites in trees.
Keep an eye out for early signs of termites in trees. Look for potential damage like holes in the bark, wood dust, discarded termite wings, dead termites, or signs that your tree is dying or becoming unhealthy.
Catching a termite infestation early can help ensure your tree suffers the least amount of damage possible.
Remove Wood Debris From Around Your Home
Excess wood around your home can attract termites and may even lead to a termite infestation inside of your home. To prevent this, it’s important to stack woodpiles away from your home and away from trees.
We also suggest removing leaf litter from around your property, disposing of any fallen tree branches or debris from trees, and removing dead trees, stumps, or logs from your property.
Avoid Using Mulch
Mulch is commonly used in gardens and along borders of homes, but it can be highly attractive to a number of pests, not just termites. Instead of using mulch, we suggest using cedar mulch or straw. Not only can this help prevent termites in trees, but it can also prevent other pests like earwigs, snails, spiders, and slugs.
Work to Minimize Moisture Around Your Foundation
Moisture can attract a number of pests, including termites. While it is important to ensure your trees, garden and lawn are properly watered, excess moisture from leaky drainage pipes could lead to an excess of pests.
Be sure that leaky drains and excess water sources are repaired or removed from your yard and from around your home in order to help keep pests like termites at bay.
Keep Up With Routine Landscaping And Tree Pruning
Keeping your yard trimmed and trees pruned can help to keep them healthy. Most importantly, it can help eliminate termites in trees.
Use a Year-Round Pest Control Product For Prevention
Termites can attack at any time and be a problem year-round. The best way to prevent termites in trees is to use a preventative. We recommend investing in one of the products listed above for termite prevention or you have the option of using home remedies.
If you feel that the termites in your area may be out of control, you always have the option of contacting professional pest control experts in your region.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.