Do termites eat palm trees?

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Do termites eat palm trees?

September 16, 2019
Do termites eat palm trees?

Recently a customer reported that they found a subterranean termite “lead’ travelling up one of their Palm trees stumps on a property in Brisbane. This is not uncommon in the South East Queensland area, where there are a lot of Palm trees and termites.

But to find such a large lead was a bit unusual. Usually, the termite infesting Palms trees comes from smaller colonies, such as Microerotermes or Heterotermes. Their leads are thinner and paler in colour. This lead was coming from a Nasutitermes nest, originating from a nest in a nearby gum tree.

Termites search for anything that contains edible cellulose. The stems of most plants are made of cellulose. Some termites attack grass and other small plants. However, most termites attack large plants, like gum trees and sometimes Palm trees. As termites forage in the ground, they usually invade trees through the roots. However, sometimes termites make a dirt tunnel up the side of the tree. The termites move from the dirt tunnels and invade the trees through the bark.

Termites weaken the tree when they hollow it out. When there is a severe storm, the high winds often blow down the damaged trees. The falling trees often cause damage when they land on homes and cars. Sometimes the falling trees also injure people. It’s a little unknown fact that if a tree on your property has live termites and falls onto a neighbour’s house, fence or car, you are not covered by insurance in Australia.

An Arborist can make suggestions on repairing damaged trees. These specialists can make recommendations on strengthening the tree. However, if the tree has been damaged too severely, the arborist might recommend removing it. But you’ll need to get a licensed pest controller to treat the live termites before the Arborist can do anything. We would typically rod around the tree’s base with the non-repellent transfer poison, Termidor.

If you are concerned about your Palm trees or termites, call us now on 1300 417 007.

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