Termites can cause an incredible amount of damage to your home. It’s important to notice the warning signs and eliminate termites before they become an infestation on your property. When properly identified, these warning signs can help you to act quickly and ultimately help you reduce your tree service bill!
What is a termite?
Termites are small insects that feed on wood and often make their way into our home. They are very small creatures who only grow to a half an inch. They often get confused with ants because they look so similar. Termites, however, have straight antennas, soft bodies, wings, and also have a milky color to them. They are almost aways found in colonies and they often eat for about 24 hrs straight per day!
What part of the tree does the termite eat?
Cellulose is the main food source for a termite. Termites will build their colonies in moist soils or wet or dry wood. Many times they are found in dead or decaying wood that is provides not only a consistent foods source, but shelter too.
The types of termites that invade your home prefer to eat soft, moist, and fungus infested woods. They also like to eat this type of wood that is closest to the soil.
Trees that termites tend to stay away from are redwoods, yellow cedars, and cypress.
Signs your tree may be infected with termites:
- Wood shavings around the base of the tree
- Small holes in trunk of tree
- Termite colonies around tree roots
- Discarded wings of termites at base of tree
- Clusters of small white eggs around soil at the base of tree
Damage termites can cause
In forests, termites are a vital part of the ecosystem. They help to break down dead or decaying trees by consuming the wood. In more urban settings, termites can pose a hazard to properties and homes. Once termites invade trees on your property, they can create a potential hazard with falling limbs or even create a situation where a tree could fall on your home. Once an infested tree is removed, there’s less of an opportunity for it to invade your home, fence or garage and cause an incredible amount of damage.
How to prevent termites?
Regular tree care is the number one way to prevent termites from infesting your tree. Because termites tend to thrive in moist areas or within dead/decaying trees, it’s important to remove any dying branches from your tree. If your property also has stumps or dead trees, it can also attract termites. Removing these will stop potential termites from invading your property. The wood should be hauled off or burned to ensure that the termites are gone.
Here’s some additional tips to prevent termite infestation:
- Keep your yard super tidy and remove any tree limbs, logs, fallen trees, or any other types of dead wood that might attract termites
- Burn any wood that’s been infected by termites
- Avoid stacking firewood next to your house
- Make sure your property has plenty of drainage so moisture does not accumulate in your yard
- Remove mulch around areas effected by termites
- Make sure there’s plenty of sunlight, which deters termites
Maintaining the look and health of your trees can be challenging, especially when it comes to insect infestations. That’s why our team of tree care specialists are ready to help you! Our knowledge and experience will keep your trees looking their best for years to come. When you need help, please reach out to us for your tree service needs!