Termite Treatment for Trees: Holes, Disease Signs & Control

To begin, we’ll discuss the signs of termites on trees to determine if the holes you see are caused by their feeding activity.

Many other pests are known to burrow holes in trees, which may be the case in your situation. Read through this article to find answers to treating trees for termites.

Termite in Tree Near House

Known for their destructive activity, termites will target all cellulose-rich sources, including trees. A single colony may hold up to a million members or more.

Such destructive force leaves havoc in its wake. So, if you’ve recently noticed holes in trees and suspect signs of termite presence, this article will help you identify the problem.

Common Insects That Bore Holes in Trees

To establish the causes of tree holes, we need first to identify the usual suspects involved. Do termites bore holes in trees?

Are such holes similar to those burrowed by other pests if they do? Common insects that bore holes in trees include bark beetles, clearwing moths, and yellow-bellied sapsucker.

Other causes of holes in trees include roundhead borers and flathead borers. Let’s briefly discuss the nature of each of these problems before getting back to termites.

  • Bark Beetles

A lot of times, it’s hard to distinguish between bore marks due to the similarity.

What is most important is to notice these on time. Bark borers are opportunists and mainly target stressed-out trees. They tunnel through such trees to lay their eggs.

This action further stresses out the tree, thus preventing the free movement of food and water. Most trees hardly survive such activity.

As the eggs hatch and the beetle molt, they eventually mature enough to exit the tree.

  • Flathead Borers

Flathead borers are also among insects that target holes in trees.

They’re a species of beetles that come in several color shades. These boring wood beetles target crevices and cracks on tree barks to lay their eggs.

These hatch into larvae which tunnel into the tree, creating oval or “D” shaped holes.

  • Clearwing Moths

This insect species may be responsible for the holes you find in your trees. These look like wasps. They mainly target vulnerable trees with wounded barks or fresh pruning injuries.

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Eggs are laid by the female, which hatches into larvae. These larvae tunnel through the tree to complete their development before exiting.

  • Roundhead Borers

These beetle species lay their eggs on trees which hatch into larvae.

Like most beetle species, the larvae begin to tunnel through the tree leaving behind oval to round holes. This tunneling activity always affects the tree’s health and may kill it if it is previously stressed.

  • Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

This is quite different compared to the others discussed above.

Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are birds that seek out trees with sugary sap. In feeding on tree sap, they leave behind distinctive marks that may be called holes.

Termite Tree Infestation: Entry Points

It’s no news that certain termite species, such as Formosan, target living trees. These pests mostly start their destruction from the roots and move inwards.

Sometimes, you might not find these holes but only see dead spots. There are always tell-tale signs to tell of termite presence in trees.

These are much different from those mentioned above.

Finding holes scattered in trees is a clear sign that termites aren’t the problem. Termite signs in trees include mud tubes along the bark, termites at the base, and swarmers around the tree.

i. Mud Tubes Along Tree Bark

Mud tubes are meant to serve as protective passageways that help retain moisture.

They also protect these pests from predators and sunlight. With such tubes built, termites can work (damage) unhindered even under unfavorable weather conditions.

These tubes connect termite colonies to targeted areas, especially those with food. When termites infest a tree, you’ll find these mud tubes linking their settlement to some part of the tree.

Where this mud tube ends is likely to have a hole through which they gain entry.

Here, ‘all that’s needed to confirm is a basic visual check. Trees hardly survive this onslaught, especially when Formosan termites are involved.

Formosan termites are the most destructive of all termite species.

ii. Termites at Base of Tree

Termites will feed on all tree parts as long as it holds cellulose.

Starting from the root, these termites ravage the tree before slowly moving up. You’re likely to find evidence of their presence and activity. It must be said not every termite species feed on live trees.

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Some prefer dead trees to feast on. To inspect for termites, you only need to take a close look at the base and sections of the roots.

A screwdriver or similar probing tools will help identify dead patches or spots around the tree.

You might have to lift the bark to reveal cavities beneath it. The most affected sections at the tree’s base are hollow because termites have eaten them up.

This won’t show many holes as some people assume.

iii. Swarmers Around Tree

Wherever termites are, swarmers are observed, especially after a rain shower.

This is often the earliest sign that your tree is infested. If you weren’t around to notice such, you might find scattered wings around the tree’s base.

Stressed-out trees might be unable to recover.

How to Treat Tree Termites

All termite species pose a severe threat to both live and dead trees. Formosan’s subterranean termite, in particular, is known for feasting on live trees.

They weaken tree branches and let the storms decide their fate. If these termites are left untreated, they can cause significant harm to your home.

Of course, this is not what you would like for your garden trees at home. Stay with us. We will guide you across various termite treatments for trees.

This will help you address infestations/damage and prevent future occurrences. Without further ado, let’s get on with the conversation.

  • Effective Tree Termite Treatment Options

There are several options you can explore to address termite infestation/damage to trees.

You can apply the natural or chemical treatment plan. Although these plans are carried out differently, they both have positive outcomes.

However, before proceeding with any highlighted treatment options, you must do some homework. Check the activity of termites within the tree.

This allows you to determine which treatment option is suitable. Having completed your survey, you can employ either of the treatment options below.

  • Chemical Treatment Of Termites In Trees

This is one of the most effective and timely ways to deal with a termite infestation in trees. There are two ways to put this plan into action. Sterilize or inject straight into the wood.

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If you choose the spraying method, you must have your tools on hand. This includes an insecticide/termiticide as well as a vaporizer.

Bifenthrin is a potent insecticidal agent that kills termites in 24 hours.

After acquiring all this equipment, you must spray the chemical at least 2 feet up the trunk, in the vicinity of the trees (if any), and around your yard.

However, it is not recommended to spray termiticides if creeks or ponds surround you.

You’ll need an insecticide form for those who will opt for the injection method. It is also an effective chemical for treating an outbreak of termites. However, it is not as fast as the fluid insecticide.

Now, you’ll need to drill holes into hallowed areas of the tree and inject the form. But before you do that, be sure to read the user’s guide and wear safety kids.

  • Treatment Of Termites In Trees By Natural Means

There is only one way to treat termite infestation of trees naturally.

That’s to prune affected branches and burn them immediately. Although pruning might not end the activities of termites in a tree, it will make your treatment much more manageable.

We’re going to close our discussion by highlighting some preventive measures. To lessen the likelihood of termite infestation in your home and garden, avoid leaving dead stumps in your yards.

Don’t also stack firewood near your home. If activities perform any of the activities listed above, call for professional help.

Who to Call for Termite Tree Treatment?

When it comes to trees with termite infestations, there is sometimes confusion on who to call.

One school of thought thinks tree specialists or arborists should be called, while the other argues for a pest control service. Either way, you’re not wrong.

A pest control service helps assess the level of damage and recommends specific actions to be executed. An arborist may recommend tree removal to help contain the spread.

One sure thing is the need to treat the area around the tree.

Termite holes in trees may not necessarily belong to those created by termites. We’ve discussed other possibilities, including identifying what termite damage in trees looks like.

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