Termites ???? Please help me

ladyofengland(8A)April 24, 2009

I know know why my beautiful tree fell down last year.

A swarm of flying termites ( Well I think that is what they are)flew out of the remaining trunk this morning.

Nasty creatures all over the place, thank goodness it is not closeto the house.

Is there anything that someone may suggest we can use before calling in a Pest Control.

Thanks Jen

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Termites don't kill trees; they eat dead trees or dead parts of trees. They may even benefit live trees by removing rotting parts. If the termites aren't damaging your house, there's no reason to exterminate them.

If you see termites around other trees, you may want to have a certified arborist come and examine the trees. The termites could be a warning that the tree is dying, and a dying tree could pose a danger to you or your home. Termites are your fiends as long as they don't come to your house for a visit.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:44PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

oops: fiends ---> friends

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:53PM
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maternut(7 west tn)

Now folks there is the difference between a educated man and a old uneducated man. He says they are your friends, and I say spray the suckers. That way, they won't come to your house for dinner. Sure would be nice to have spell check on this site, I don't even know when I misspell a word.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:41PM
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ladyofengland(8A)

Thank you so much for your kind advice. I'm leaning towards
"spray the suckers" but hope that doesn't make me into an old uneducated lady. just kidding. I appreciate all the wonderful advice I have received on this forum in the few months I have been here.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 5:24PM
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bigorangevol(Nashville)

Jen they were swarming outside our house last night. I hate 'em too! The thing is that they are in the ground all over your yard and everyone else. Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night from a good sleep only to have those critters flying around your head and landing in your face in total darkness. That'll sure give ya a case of the yips and the heebie-jeebies! I rented a crappy apartment in college and had that experience; didn't get back to sleep that night and was kinda skiddish the rest of the week!!! Like Brandon said, as long as they aren't inside the house then you're cool.

The ones you see in a swarm are Alates. Alates are the young winged reproductives of both sexes. From time to time about 100 to 1000 alates leave the colony for a mating and colonizing flight. They're just socializing, hanging out, trying to pick up chicks, get a one-nighter and start a relationship! After mating a pair settles down at a suitable site like a rotting scar on a tree in order to establish a new colony. Poor little suckers only live about two years, but that's two too many for my taste!

Around the world, lots of people eat termites (supposedly winged termites are very nutritious especially when lightly fried are reasonably tasty???). Termites are important in the diets of many ants, lizards and birds and there are quite a few specialist feeders such as aardvarks, aardwolves and numbats, they are also eaten by lions, chimpanzee's and gorillas? Fish, especially salmonids, are big predators of flying termites. Some Fly fishermen use them too and they will also tie flies to look like termites.

All in all, you do need to set a barrier around your house to be safe. We're not supposed to do this but... if you're in Middle TN you can call Tommy Swint at 615-227-3563. I've know Tommy most all his life and he's a past president of the Tennessee Pest Control Association.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 8:18PM
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ladyofengland(8A)

My My they eat them !!! I don't think I'll catch a few cook them and hand them around at the next Plant swap. I don't think I would be very popular doing that. And as a newbie to gardening I'm hoping to get some good tips there so I had better not pull any pranks.
Thanks for the Pest Control info.
Jen

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:13PM
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ladybug37091(z7 Tennessee)

Jen, I would highly recommend that you have your house checked every year for termites. Termites can do major dollars in damage to a house unbeknownst to you in a very short time. Also keep wood chips far away from your house as they see them as an invitation to dine. Time to call a pro for peace of mind. Rhonda

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:17AM
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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

As Jeff and Brandon have pointed out, it isn't a matter of if there are termites on your property, but where. As long as they aren't attacking your house, they shouldn't be worried about too much. A chemical barrier is good, but then you are talking about pumping a lot of chemicals into your soil. The bait/poison traps are just as effective IF you properly monitor them and only put the poison strips into the bait traps when there is sign of activity.

I always like to toss out this statistic I ran across somewhere... Termites not only out number humans, they out weigh us.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 11:17AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Take a look around your yard and see if you spot any of these (see link). If you do, I would advise getting an exterminator out to check things out.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 2:14PM
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bigorangevol(Nashville)

Zig I've never seen a 200-pound termite; and hope I never do.

Where have you been anyway?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:19AM
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maternut(7 west tn)

Brandon are you saying that's a termite mound? I thought the last dinosaur, had took a walk through my yard, the last time I saw mounds like that.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:02PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Yep! That's one a snatched off of Google Images. Take a look at the others.

I figured Jen would get a gasp (I mean a laugh) out of that picture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Termite Mound Pictures

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:34PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Oops, change that "a" to an "I".

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:45PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

On a somewhat related note, I have a ton of those wood digger bees on my porch where all my plants are now. I don't imagine I have to worry too much, if at all about the bees themselves, but do I need to worry about them attracting hamrful pests or maybe affecting any of my plants somehow? Please let me know! They're already quite busy creating sawdust, drilling holes into my porch.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:32AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I think the damage carpenter bees could do to your porch could be much worse than anything they'd do to your plants. However, they can reduce pollination of many plants by robbing pollen. They cut holes in the sides of blooms to get the nectar and therefore don't end up pollinating the plants. This reduces available pollen for other bees as well. Unless you are raising a crop and have a lot of carpenter bees, I wouldn't worry about anything but the potential damage they could do to your house or other wooden structures.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 2:06PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

Ok, cool...thanks. I plan on spraying the outline of my porch with some Ortho Home Defense this weekend due to an ant problem i've had. I imagine that will persuade them to drill their holes elsewhere.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 4:03PM
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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

Jeff, they are out there....

Been staying pretty busy working around the house getting things ready for next month. Had to start some seeds the other day just to deal with my plant swap withdrawals.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 4:46PM
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tn_veggie_gardner(7)

A nice Neem Oil showering of the rail (GardenSafe products rule) seems to have quieted the noise of the bees somewhat...or maybe it's just the 732 days straight of rain.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 10:44PM
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