There are over 2,000 termite species worldwide, with South America having around 400 known types. These insects feed majorly on dead, decaying wood. But, some species, especially the Formosan termites, can live and feast on live plants and trees, too.  Termites are guests you don’t want to entertain in your trees, considering their destructive tendencies. Are you interested in learning how to kill termites in a tree effectively? This article offers tips to rid your trees and home of this insect.

How To Tell if a Tree Has Termites?

Termites typically have wings but shed them off if they find a place to settle. Your tree may give them a permanent home, encouraging them to shed their wings. Thus, you may notice their shells and wings close to the tree’s base.  Also, the insects will leave some wood shavings or small holes on their paths as they enter the wood. Look out for the signs around your yard. Alongside those, here is some evidence to look out for when you suspect the insects have invaded your trees.

  • Dig around the roots of the tree to see termites’ tunnels or find the insects just below the soil level.
  • Check the tree trunk for scars, muddy shelter tubes, tiny white eggs, or swarm “castles.”
  • Hollows on the tree trunks could be a sign of termites eating from the interior.
  • Check for termite nests in wood above the ground, or on the ground, near the tree.

Why Are Termites in Trees a Problem?

Termites are beneficial to the environment since they help in recycling decaying trumps and fallen trees. However, the insects can also feast on living trees, making them a risk to your structures and landscape. For instance, the insects eat through the tree and may make it fall over time. Similarly, termites eat tree limbs, weakening branches and easily breaking during winds and storms. That means the destruction of your yard’s beautiful decoration and a shade provider.  The breaking branches and falling trees can lead to the massive destruction of structures in your compound. You also risk more damage if the termites find their way into your house. They can feast on your furniture, clothes, books, and the home’s structure. If the tree falls at your neighbor’s home, you’ll also face more liability costs.

How To Kill Termites in a Tree

Most homeowners will do everything to kill termites in a tree and prevent them from spreading, given the disadvantages of having insects in the yard. Here are some tips to help you kill insects.

  • Prune away any infested wood as soon as you notice them.
  • Destroy and burn any infected wood and tree branches to ensure the insects don’t spread.
  • Find where the termite colony is, and eradicate it all. Check underneath buildings, in wood piles, or under the ground. It’s a good idea to call in a pest professional at this point. 
  • Spray fluid termiticide, vinegar-lemon, cayenne pepper, or diatomaceous earth in a 3-foot radius around the base of the termite-infested tree and all surrounding trees.
  • Spray tree trunks up to 2 feet above the ground to keep the insects away.
  • Spraying termiticide all-round the perimeter of your yard will also keep the insects away.
  • Place termite traps around your yard to notify you of the insects’ activity.
  • Keep checking the infected trees for any recent invasions.

How To Prevent Termite Damage To Trees

While the tips on how to kill termites in a tree are essential, you also need ways to prevent the insects’ invasion altogether. For instance, constantly watch and control any proximate termite populations. Involve a professional termite inspector to help determine the active species in your locality and the dangers they pose on your trees, home, and structures.  Your professional will help you develop safe ways to prevent termite invasion and control the insects. Similarly, you can consider these prevention tips.

  • Remove any dead tree stumps lying in your yard.
  • Avoid stacking firewood around the home.
  • Don’t pile large amounts of mulch around your property.

An annual inspection can help you detect and address termite invasion before the insects spread and cause significant damage. If you suspect a termite infestation, call for an inspection right away.