Is It Necessary to Kill Termites Found in Tree Stumps, Dead Branches, Logs and Other Areas in a Yard Landscape?

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Israel Alvarez

Owner @ Insight Pest Management

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Why Are Termites BadIs It Necessary To Kill Termites Found In Tree Stumps, Dead Branches, Logs And Other Areas In A Yard Landscape?

Your average California resident may not have much to say about termite biology or foraging habits, but everyone knows that termites feed on wood, particularly structural wood in homes. Since termites are abundant throughout southern California, including Ventura Country, it is not uncommon for residents to spot termites infesting dead wood in their yard. For example, residents may dig up a termite-infested log or spot termite mud tubes around tree stumps and loose branches that have fallen to the ground. Pest control professionals are often asked whether yard mulch can become infested, and if mulch attracts termites to properties. According to experts, spotting termite infestations in dead wooden materials lying about in yards is normal in southern California where subterranean termite colonies are numerous below houses. In fact, every neighborhood in Ventura County is likely located above an interconnected network of subterranean termite colonies. While finding termite-infested wood in a yard is certainly alarming, it does not indicate that termites are headed toward a home’s structural wood.

The presence of termite-infested wood in a yard indicates that subterranean termite colonies exist below the ground, but this is not surprising in southern California. Killing these termites is not necessary, and doing so would be a waste of time, as millions of termites can be found below the ground in urban and suburban areas. Rather than killing all termites that may be found on a property, homes should be protected from termite invasions by having a termiticide soil barrier applied around the perimeter of the building. It would also be wise to have a termite inspection carried out in a home and the surrounding property after finding termites in dead wood, especially if the home is not protected by a termiticide barrier. It is alright to use wood mulch around a home, just as long as the mulch is located at least one foot away from a home’s foundation, and mulch should never be piled up against the wood siding of a home. Subterranean termite workers can forage as far as 150 feet away from their colony nesting sites, so it can be assumed that all homes in Ventura County are accessible to termites. This makes biannual termite inspections and termiticide barriers essential for preventing termite attacks.

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