How to Control & Prevention from Termite Mud Tubes in Yard

How to Control & Prevention from Termite Mud Tubes in Yard

Table of Contents

It’s a clear sign that termites have attached to your lawn and they have built termite mud tubes in yard. You have to be ready to conquer this situation else you’ll lose the beauty of your lawn.

Signs of Termites in Your Garden:

Every year, when warm and humid months come, male and female termites leave their colonies and fly out. The most visible sign of termite infestation is the flying swarms.

There is a possibility that these flying insects aren’t termites but are simply flying ants. You must have an expert eye to distinguish between termites and ants.

How to Control & Prevention from Termite Mud Tubes in Yard

It’s not unusual for southern states where termite infestation occurs in the yard or grassy lawn. Termites are known for collecting grass pieces from the lawn to carry into their nests.

There are a few indications that show your lawn is under attack by termites. Let’s have a look at those indications so that you can prepare yourself to fight them until you discover them.

  1. Termite Mud Tubes in Yard

The most significant indicator that your lawn is under Termite attack is the presence of mud tubes. Termites build small mud tunnels using dirt soil.

These mud tubes can be seen originating from the soil climbing against the house wall and can be found anywhere in the lawn or yard.

Mud tubes grow in your lawn, yard, back patio, inside of the garage, front porch, and wood handles of gardening tools.

  1. Flying Termites

Flying termites, also called swarmers, can be seen on the lawn, indicating a termite attack. But being a homeowner, you might be confused between termite swarmers and flying ants. So it would be best if you had an expert eye to differentiate between them.

How to Control & Prevention from Termite Mud Tubes in Yard

  1. Holes in Wood

Termites damage to wood and create multiple tiny holes by boring into the wood and consuming it inside out. So the hollow wood is a clear indication of termite infestation in your lawn and trees.

Termites create tiny tunnels inside the wood called galleries and can be seen inside split wood. The infected wood will feel hollow and papery inside when you tap it.

  1. Termite Droppings

When termites consume wood, they leave behind grainy brown-colored pellets. People sometimes confuse these pallets or powered wood with sawdust and ignore them as termite infestation after effects.

  1. Swallowed Wood

Wood traps moisture after mud created by termites and the wood turns to be swollen. Doors and windows may become so tightly closed and fitted and hard to open.

Types of Termite Tunnels or Termite Mud Tubes in Yard?

There are around 45 species of termites have been found in the USA. All these species fall into three main types of termites classified as:

  • Subterranean Termites
  • Drywood Termites
  • Dampwood Termites

You can read about types of termites, how termites attack your building & wooden structure, and presentations here.

Apart from above mentioned three termite types, Subterranean termites are known for creating colonies in the soil underground the above-ground food sources through mud tubes. Termites build these tubes with soil, wood, and saliva.

Types of Subterranean Termite Mud Tubes in Yard

Until now, there are four types of mud tubes that subterranean termites usually built. These are:

  • Exploratory
  • Working
  • Swarming castle
  • Drop tubes

The purpose of mud tubes is only to protect the termite colony, while these above four structures play the following role for termites.

Exploratory Tubes

These are thin and fragile mud tubes that branch out in multiple directions. These tubes are made up of faces, dirt, and saliva and can extend up to 15 feet above the ground with the support of concrete or metal.

Working Tubes

Termites use working tubes for the transportation of thousands of termites from their nest to source food. Working mud tubes act as highways used to carry food.

Swarm Castle

Swarn castles constructed by termite workers are designed to accommodate termite swarmers flying the colony during a swarm. Swarm castles are very long tubes, usually around four to five feet wide.

This swarm castle plays an essential role in protecting and keeping the swarm healthy and functional after the host swarm flies the colony leaving behind termite swarmers that are subjected to damage otherwise.

Drop Tubes

These tubes look like stalagmites in caves like shaves and are drop tubes suspended between wood structures and the ground. Their function is to re-establish the connection between base and working tubes for food passage to termite workers.

Unlike exploratory and working tubes, these tubes are lighter in color tubes and are built from wood fibers. These tubes have a similar diameter to exploratory mud tubes.

How to Prevent Termite Infestation on Your Lawn?

It’s better to take steps to prevent your yard from termite attacks than to make efforts once the termites are attacked. You can make the following arrangements to keep your yard safe from termite infestation:

  • Don’t Overwater

Moisture is the ideal condition for termite growth as termites love moisture. Subterranea termites that cause mud tubes in lawns live in soil, and moisture in the soil is a perfect condition for their growth.

Don’t overwater your plants. Make sure that the garden soil gets dry during every watering cycle. When the soil dries out, Termite can’t stay in such dry conditions.

  • Remove Decaying Branches & Wood

Always clean your lawn of decaying leaves and fallen branches of wood. Remove debris, tree stumps, rotting dead bodies, and fallen branches from your lawn as these are gold mines for termites.

Store woodpiles away from your yard as these wood contains moisture and are suitable for termite invitation into your lawn.

Try to store woodpiles inside your garage or build a stronger concrete wall around them to stop termites from building colonies there.

  • Clean Your Gutters & Lawn Regularly

All the fallen branches, tree leaves, and twigs that gather in the gutter contain cellulose. These cellulose-containing materials, when combined with the moisture, are the perfect option for termites attacks

Always clean your getter from these organic materials and keep your lawn from this green waste as well. Once there is no ideal environment termites find, the chances of their attack reduce.

  • Avoid Installing Wooden Structures on Your Lawn

For making your lawn more beautiful and comfortable for spending leisure time, are you thinking of building wood benches, tables, and a patio? These wood structures will make your lawn vulnerable to termites

Always choose a material other than wood for your lawn. But if necessary, you want your lawn to have wooden structures as they look aesthetically more appealing and attractive; you can go for composite structures, i.e., chairs, tables, etc. are composed of plastic and wood compositions.

How to Remove Termite Mud Tubes from Your Yard?

How to Control & Prevention from Termite Mud Tubes in Yard

Don’t remove termite mud tubes without asking for help from some pest control experts. Some homeowners may get panic after seeing growing termite mud tubes in their yards and try to destroy these mud tubes themselves.

But removing these mud tubes yourself isn’t a solution. Produced by subterranean termites, these mud tubes provide shelter for them.

If upset by the disturbance, these termites will be scattered and easily move to some new path into the yard or lawn. It might be difficult for you to find their new home easily.

It’s always better not to destroy termite tubes without proper inspection & deciding the right strategy to kill them in mud tubes.

Destroying a termite mud tube will make them aware of the danger, and sometimes termites repair a broken tube and sometimes disappear from that place for a long time.

Once you’ve managed termiticide spray or called the pest control expert and he analyzed the area and made some arrangements, after that you can clean the mud tubes from the yard, trees, and alongside your home wall.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Removing Termite Infestation from the Yard

People usually make some common mistakes while trying to remove termite mud tubes from their yards. We’ll briefly explain what to do and not to do to remove termites from the garden.

  • The Don’t

Don’t use Termiticides

Compared to wooden furniture inside the home where termiticides can be applied, these sprays are not recommended in the garden as insect spray can harm plants but won’t kill termites.

The insect spray might kill the termites, but only termites are present on the surface, while most termites are under grand living inside mud tubes deep within the soil.

Termites may migrate to a different location in the garden or home once sprayed, hence challenging to trace new habitats.

Don’t Use Pine Sleepers

People often use pine sleepers to repel termites in their gardens. Pine treated with arsenic chemicals is very toxic.

Watering the plants may result in chemicals from pine seep penetrating the soil, thus causing a hazardous effect on your food if you’re growing veggies.

Relocating Termite isn’t a good option

People mostly remove the topsoil and shift it somewhere to get rid of termites, but it won’t help. Termites dig deep down mud tubes into the soil, and removing topsoil won’t help in this.

  • The Dos

Consult Pest Control Specialist

The best approach to combat termites in a garden is to contact a pest control expert as they know better how to stop termites from destroying your garden and creating new mud tubes.

If you see termite bud tubes growing in your garden, a pest control company can help you better in such a situation.

Sprinkle Termiticides at the base of all your trees

Earlier, we discouraged you not to using pesticides in your garden to kill termites as you’ll only be able to eradicate them from the surface while most termites are dug deep down into the soil.

But sprinkling pesticides to the base of tree beds are helpful to keep your trees safe from termite infestation.

Rid your garden beds of Termites with a spade

It is recommended to use a spade to shovel these surface termites in your garden into a wheelbarrow. Sprinkle the pesticides on them.

Once done, dump the soil away from your garden and home.

Final Thoughts

Termite mud tubes are an alarming indication of termite infestation in your lawn. It’s time for you to take the necessary steps to stop them from destroying your lawn.

Don’t destroy these mud tubes, as termites will move somewhere else and be hard to find. It’s a better option to call some pest control expert to deal with such a situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the sign of termite infestation in the garden?

Ans. Termites build tubes in the lawn. If you see some mud tubes growing in your yard, it’s a clear indication of termite infestation.

  1. How to get rid of termites in my garden?

Ans. Contact a pest control specialist, and he will help you save your garden from a termite attack.

  1. Should I worry about termites in my yard?

Ans. Yes, you should be worried that if termites are present in your yard, chances are there that your home is vulnerable to termites. Further termites will destroy trees in your lawn and damage grass & wood.

Megan K Carroll

Dr. Megan K Carroll is a doctoral candidate. Researcher and expert in Pests and Pest Control, as well as their effects on our surroundings. The audience of this blog will receive insight and knowledge from Megan K Carroll. This blog greatly appreciates your support.

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