It’s a clear sign that termites have attached to your lawn and have built termite mud tubes in yard. You have to be ready to conquer this situation or lose your lawn’s beauty.
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.
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.
A few indications show your lawn is under attack by termites. Let’s look at those indications to prepare to fight them until you discover them.
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 originate 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.
Flying termites and 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 to have an expert eye to differentiate between them.
Holes in Wood
Termites damage wood and create multiple tiny holes by boring into the wood and consuming it inside out. So the hollow wood clearly indicates 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.
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.
Termites create wood that traps moisture after mud, and the wood becomes swollen. Doors and windows may become 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. https://www.termitelarvae.com/what-are-termites/
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, subterranean termites usually build four types of mud tubes. These are:
- Swarming castle
- Drop tubes
The purpose of mud tubes is only to protect the termite colony, while these four structures play the following role for termites.
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.
Termites use working tubes to transport thousands of termites from their nest to source food. Working mud tubes act as highways used to carry food.
Swarn castles constructed by termite workers are designed to accommodate termite swarmers flying the colony during a swarm. Swarm castles are long tubes, usually 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.
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 the 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?
Preventing your yard from termite attacks is better than making efforts once attacked. You can make the following arrangements to keep your yard safe from termite infestation:
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. Termites can’t stay in such dry conditions when the soil dries out.
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 in the gutter contain cellulose. These cellulose-containing materials are the perfect option for termite attacks when combined with moisture.
Always clean your getter from these organic materials and keep your lawn from this green waste. Once no ideal environment termites find, the chances of their attack reduce.
Avoid Installing Wooden Structures on Your Lawn
Are you considering building wood benches, tables, and a patio to make your lawn more beautiful and comfortable for your leisure time? 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., composed of plastic and wood.
How to Remove Termite Mud Tubes from Your 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 & to decide 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, he analyzed the area and made some arrangements; after that, you can clean the mud tubes from the yard, trees, and your home wall.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Removing Termite Infestation from the Yard
People usually make common mistakes while removing termite mud tubes from their yards. We’ll briefly explain what to do and not to do to remove termites from the garden.
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, making tracing new habitats challenging.
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 eliminate termites, but it won’t help. Termites dig deep down mud tubes into the soil, and removing topsoil won’t help.
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 from 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 is helpful to keep your trees safe from termite infestation.
Rid your garden beds of Termites with a spade.
Using a spade to shovel these surface termites in your garden into a wheelbarrow is recommended. Sprinkle the pesticides on them.
Once done, dump the soil away from your garden and home.
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. Calling some pest control expert to deal with such a situation is a better option.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the sign of termite infestation in the garden?
Ans. Termites build Termite Mud Tubes in Yard. If you see some mud tubes growing in your yard, it indicates a termite infestation.
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.
Should I worry about termites in my yard?
Ans. Yes, you should be worried that if termites are present in your yard, your home is likely vulnerable to termites. Further termites will destroy trees in your lawn and damage grass & wood.