By: Shelby McCullough| Published: March 16, 2018
Termites can spread quickly through Central Florida trees. They are persistent, surviving solely on the consumption of dry wood, weakening a tree’s structure and potentially causing danger to vehicles, homes or businesses. Like other tree conditions, termites create risk to person and property.
McCullough Tree Service sees signs of termites in trees — like one we treated in the Conway area of Orlando recently — fairly often.
It’s not necessary to treat healthy trees for termites if you are not seeing the tell-tale signs of their presence. Hints that there’s a termite colony taking up residence on your property? You may see “shelter tubes,” little tubes of dirt about the size of a pencil connecting a termite nest in the soil to a tree (the termites’ food source). Termites build these tunnels with soil and bits of wood to help keep them from predators while traveling between their nest and food source.
Termites also can leave small holes in the bark of a tree, or wood shavings in spots where they have entered the wood in search of their next meal. You may see discarded wings and termite carcasses —especially with Formosan termite colonies, as they are so large — under the soil line, where the tree’s roots are.
At McCullough Tree Service, we sometimes see swarm castles, or the protected “staging area” where reproductive, winged termites wait before flying off and expanding the colony, in the scars of trees. Along with holes, wood shavings and tunnels, these are all signs of termites, and we bring our findings to the home owner or business owner’s attention right away.
Termites are not an isolated problem causing damage only in trees, of course.
Termites in trees can equal termites affecting a home eventually, either by migrating over to munch on the wood of the structure itself, or by devouring a tree limb or trunk to the point where it’s so weakened that it topples right onto the house. Termite colonies can grow to be massive, with over 200,000 termites calling a colony home in some cases. Florida’s warm weather encourages colony growth. Queen termites, which lay the eggs, can live for decades: definitely forces to be reckoned with!
Some property owners know the signs of termite damage, such as swarm castles or wood shavings, and give us a call.
The experts of McCullough Tree Service also spot tree termite problems while out doing other services for customers, such as pruning, removal or trimming. With the homeowner’s approval, we get to work getting rid of the termites. First, crews trim back the dead wood the termites have previously feasted upon. We then take care of the termites with a solution that goes on the tree’s bark, where termites take it back to the colony to eradicate the hungry wood-eaters at the source.
After treatment, property owners should watch the tree area for any further signs of termites. Call McCullough Tree Service at 407-734-5854 and we’ll come right out.
Other ways to prevent these bothersome bugs near your home or business is to avoid piling too much mulch around your home; stacking firewood near your house; or leaving dead tree stumps to rot in your yard. Termites can take up residence in all of these — you don’t want them then moving into your house as well.