We get a lot of questions about termites. It makes sense because termites are a serious problem here in the Aloha State. But, a recent question really caught our attention. We were asked, "Can termites kill the plants and trees in my yard?" This is a great question because we usually focus on the dangers these insects pose to man-made structures. This question gives us a chance to look at the benefits of termites. What? There are benefits to having termites? Yes, some. But these benefits are not without their problems. Here is what you need to know.
It is easy to think the world would be a better place if we didn't have any termites, but termites actually play an important role in nature. These tiny, tunneling creatures actually make the world more beautiful. They do this in two ways.
Their elaborate tunneling aerates the soil. If you're not aware of what aeration is it is a process that loosens the soil and allows air to circulate through the grains. So, termites basically help the ground breathe. That is a pretty important job. And it makes vegetation greener and healthier.
The second way termites make the world a better place is in the way that they turn rotting wood into fertilized soil. So, these scary pests are actually helpful in our forests.
When termites come into your yard, they may aerate the soil and make your lawn look a little greener, but they can also be a danger to your garden. While termites prefer the cellulose fibers found in wood, they can attack some plants that have heavier fibers like tomato plants, pepper plants, corn, etc. If you're noticing your plants wilting, there is a chance that it could be termite related.
As far as damaging the trees in your yard, once again, termites can be a benefit, but they can also be a threat. All termites will be happy to turn the rotting wood in your yard into new soil. But, if the termites invading your yard are Formosan subterranean termites, they can attack perfectly healthy trees.
While there are benefits to termites in nature, there really are no solid benefits to having them in your yard. They can't do anything for your lawn or plants that you can't do for them yourself, and they have the potential to harm your plants and your trees. It is best to not have termites in your yard at all.
If you need help controlling termites on your property--or worse, inside your home, the specialists here at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions can help. We offer the most advanced and effective termite control options available in Hawaii. Get your home and yard protected today.