How to Get Rid of Termites in Trees? | Information And Control Guide

Written by George Climer

Termites seek dead or dying wood. If you have any decaying trees on your property, there’s a great possibility you’ll have termites in those trees. Termites have a similar appearance to ants with wings. They’re around half an inch long and range in color from white to light brown.

How to get rid of termites in trees? You must first destroy their food source by cutting down and throwing the infected wood away. After that, termite colonies can be destroyed using termite spray. If you still have many termites after following these measures, it is best to call a pest control professional.

You must take measures to rid termites from trees as soon as you become aware of their presence. If the colony is close to your home or other structures, it is also at risk of infection. Here are some information and methods you may take to rid afflicted trees of termites and protect your structures from future problems.

Do Termites Live in Trees?

Do Termites Live in Trees

Termites form their colonies in moist soil, damp and dry wood with little moisture, and rotting, damp, and dead trees. This area gives them adequate shelter, moisture, and consistent food.

How Do You Know if a Tree Has Termites?

How Do You Know if a Tree Has Termites

Termites leave evidence that they have invaded your trees, so keep an eye out for these indicators.

  • Muddy Tubes – Termite presence is indicated by the existence of tube-like structures at the tree’s base. They build these structures to keep themselves hydrated. 
  • Termites on the tree’s base – Check the surface of the bark at the tree’s base for evidence of termite damage, and search for dead spots throughout the tree.
  • Trunk with a Hollow – Termites may also be found if the trunk is hollow. As termites eat away at the tree’s interior, the tree’s trunk will become hollow. You’ll hear a distinct hollow sound if you hit the trunk with a hammer or other hard item.
  • Termite Hive – Termites may construct nests near the ground or in wood that is above ground. These structures are organic in shape and enclosed, made of chewed wood, saliva, dirt, and feces. 

What Do Termites Do to a Tree?

Termites damage tree limbs, which can result in massive branches breaking during storms. It eliminates a valuable source of beauty and shade, as well as the possibility of falling branches or perhaps a whole tree. Also, it can cause damage to other areas of your property.

Can a Tree With Termites Be Saved?

Trees with termites can be saved depending on how quickly the tree is treated and the severity of the infestation. A tree can be rescued from termites if all cut limbs, removed stumps, and diseased woodpiles are burned or properly disposed of.

What Trees Attract Termites?

Palm Trees

Palm trees like wet soil so it requires watering several times each week. Because the root systems of palm trees are so dense, they are ideal for termite nests, as the number of roots gives moisture and shelter.

Fruit Trees

Fruit trees appear to be a common termite target. Termites are known to prefer trees with a low damage tolerance, and fruit trees may quickly be harmed by winter weather in the winter, as well as sunlight damage.

How Do You Kill Termites in a Tree Naturally?

Here are the three natural techniques to get rid of termites in a tree:

1. Vinegar-Lemon Spray

This natural spray is one of the best natural ways to get rid of termites because it kills them immediately. In a mixing bowl, combine two lemons’ juice and half a cup of vinegar. Pour half of the mixture into a spray bottle. This solution should be sprayed into termite entry holes in the mud.

2. Cayenne Pepper 

The pepper will kill them by causing harm to their nervous systems. Simply sprinkle the pepper among the termite-infested trees.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth  is the sand that has been formed from fossilized algae. Termites are killed by the razor-sharp edges of the tiny particles. It cuts a termite deep enough to cause them to die. This powder may be spread anywhere termites are found in trees.

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How to Treat a Tree With Termites?

Here are some things you may do to get rid of termites from your infected trees:

Get Rid of Their Food Supply

Termites are attracted to dead trees and decomposing wood. The first step in eliminating termites on your property is to eliminate their food source. Begin by cutting the infected wood and throwing it in the garbage. Use gardening gloves to accomplish this, and make sure the bin has a tight-fitting cover to prevent them from escaping.

Application of Appropriate Termiticide

Apply termite killer to the base of the tree after you’ve trimmed the infected area. Termiticide  can also be sprayed on nearby plants and trees. This will not only wipe out the colony in the affected tree. It will also prevent them from establishing new colonies in other trees.

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While you’re spraying, you may also spray around the perimeter of your house. For maximum safety, use a biodegradable permethrin-based product.

Target Termites With Traps

After spraying the colony with termiticides, the last step for you is to put up traps . Use them in areas where termites could build a nest. To avoid further infestation, dispose of the diseased wood properly or burn it after trimming, spraying, and setting up traps.

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Related: How Much Does Termite Treatment Cost? | A Detailed Guide

How to Prevent Termites in Tree Stumps?

How to Prevent Termites in Tree Stumps

Apply Varnish 

Varnish  is the easiest and most efficient way to keep termites away from your tree stumps. It’s applied to tree stumps in the same way as the paint is applied to walls, giving them a protective layer from insects and termites that might damage them in the long run. Varnish is a solution that adds shine to furniture and acts as a protective coating over the wood, shielding it from infestations.

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Make Use of Aloe Vera Gel

Take an aloe vera leaf and smash it until the gel within is released. After you’ve removed the gel, apply it to the tree stumps. Termites won’t be able to cross because it forms a barrier that they won’t be able to pass.

Vinegar With Olive Oil

Another technique to keep termites away from your tree stump is to use a combination of olive oil and white vinegar. Make the mixture and apply it to the tree stump using a brush. This combination serves as a barrier, repelling termites quickly and effectively.

Do Dead Trees Attract Termites?

Do Dead Trees Attract Termites

Termites prefer to eat rotting wood, especially dead wood which may quickly become soft and wet as it rots. This is like a welcome home sign for termites. So if they come across any dead trees, they may build a nest and eventually spread to your home.

Can You Treat Termites? 

There are several ways to get rid of termites by yourself:

  • Pruning and Burning – Prune away the infected wood and burn it to ensure that termites do not spread out from it.
  • Essential Oil Spray – By stopping termites from shedding their skin or producing eggs, essential oils like orange and neem oil can kill them over time. In a spray bottle, combine two cups of water, a few drops of dish soap, and ten drops of your chosen oil and spray it on infected wood and materials.
  • Boric Acid  – Boric acid works by drying the termite and causing its nervous system to shut down. You may either sprinkle the powder over the afflicted area or combine it with water and spray it onto a tree that has been infected.

Does Bleach Kill Termites?

can be used to kill termites. Any termites that come into touch with the bleach will die as a result of its toxicity. Simply fill a spray bottle halfway with bleach and water and spray all visible termites.

What Is the Best Professional Termite Treatment?

Treatment of the Soil

Termite treatments are sprayed on the soil around them to serve as a treatment barrier. Following the excavation of a trench around the foundation, a termiticide is applied to the soil to eliminate any termites in the area. Also, this treatment helps to avoid future infestations.

Treatment of Wood

Pest control specialists use a variety of wood treatments to efficiently remove any existing termite colonies and prevent future termite infestations. Wood treatments include surface sprays, injected sprays and foams, and borate-treated wood.

Bait Termite Treatment Systems

Bait termite treatment systems are an excellent technique to get rid of termite populations. A pest control professional will set up bait stations around the perimeter of the property and inspect them regularly to guarantee that the place is protected against future and current infestations. Termites are successfully eliminated with this termite infestation treatment.

List of Sources 

Tree Health Issues: Termites. Texas A&M Forest Service.

Termites: How to Identify and Control Them. United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Waldvogel, M., Alder, P. (2017). Termites – Biology and Control. NC State Extension.