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You must be wondering if raised beds attract termites. Many gardeners have faced termite infestation in their raised beds. These termites feed on the wood and ruin every wooden furniture or accessory in their presence. People wonder if their raised beds can lure termites into their houses.
Raised beds do attract termites and ants and cause an infestation. However, said infestation is heavily dependent on several conditions, such as the wood you used, the moisture levels of the raised bed itself, the general area of your garden, and the placement of the gardening bed.
Many people blame their raised beds for infestation. But the reality is different. The termites you see in your backyard do not need to be because of the raised beds. You may have other stuff lying around in their backyard attracting the termites.
What Attracts Termites?
It is common to raise beds to attract termites—these pesky insects like being damp and full of plants, such as gardens.
Alone a termite is powerless, but in large numbers they overthrow entire buildings.Matshona Dhliwayo
Since termites are not there to eat plastic present in the garden, it is either for wooden items, dead leaves (source), which may be the main material of your raised garden bed or water.
Mulch and Wood Chips are favorites of termites.
One of the most obvious attractions is mulch and wood chips.
Mulch is an extra layer people commonly use to conserve moisture and increase soil fertility.
It is mostly organic and made of hay, roots, and other things that can attract termites. Wood chips are also used as organic mulch used as biomass to enhance pulp production. It can also attract these insects to your garden.
Dead Branches and Old Roots attract termites.
Something more attractive than mulch is dead branches and old roots. These are perceived as one of the best places to build a nest by termites.
As the plants grow old, they leave dead roots inside the soil, and the presence of these can catch the attention of these insects.
Meanwhile, it is not just dead branches or trees that termites like to feed on. It can be anything made of cellulose, such as wooden products. It includes the possibility that the wooden frame of your raised bed can attract termites to the house in it.
Loose and Moist Soils attract termites.
Termites will likely be in gardens because they are more drawn toward loose, moist soils.
Although there can be termite movements in soils like sand, clay, and potting soil, they are more drawn to soils that are not compact.
Termite infestation also depends on where you live and the season. For instance, Florida has no termite activity compared to Connecticut, which has one of the most aggressive termites swarming during the spring, which occurs in April and May.
How to Know it is a Termite Infestation?
You cannot eliminate termites unless you know the garden is infested. So, the main question is, how would you know in the first place that termites are living in your beloved garden, backyard, it lawn?
Well, the first and easiest way to know is to look at the lights in your house at night time.
Turn on a light at night to check for termite infestation
As everyone knows, Termites are attracted to light. Those were most likely termites if you have seen small white-winged insects fluttering near the light at night.
So, at night turn on the backyard (only one bulb will do). And then observe if any insect is flying around it.
Knock on the wood and search for droppings to check for termite infestation.
The easiest way to check termites is also quite simple. You have the wooden raised beds. Now knock on these wood planks like you would on a normal door.
If the sound of a knock on the wooden material feels normal, then the wood is probably safe.
But what if you hear a hollow sound like the inside of the wood is empty? Then, unfortunately, termites may have already attacked it. Also, look for Termites dropping on different surfaces. It usually looks like small brown dots.
You can check for termite infestation by checking the outside walls of your garden bed.
Another trick to check the termite is examining the house’s outside walls. If the termites have infested the garden, they might have attached the house too.
So, if the wall color is peeling, you know why. You can also do the knocking technique on the wood siding.
How to Get Rid of a Termite Infestation?
Are you someone whose garden has already been infested? Well, do not worry. Getting rid of termites is a big business, but it is not impossible. You can do a few things to kill the termites and eliminate the infestation.
Get rid of the infested wood to rid the termite infestation
The first step is pretty obvious.
Get rid of all the infested wood around the garden, which can be easily done if termites had only attacked the spare wood.
But if raised beds were infested, you must have a few insect-killing products.
Do not use chemical termite killers.
We recommend not using any chemical termite killers. The chemicals can seep into the soil and worsen the situation. It can also be harmful to plants and vegetables.
On top of that, using chemical Insecticides and pesticides is also not good for the environment.
Products you can use to rid of termite infestations
So, which products can eliminate termites while being good for nature?
Consider trapping termites
The most natural way to get rid of termites is to trap them.
You can use the sticky traps with an adhesive layer to eliminate termites.
When termites fly into them, they get stuck. You can dump the sticker after training enough termites. The only downside of this trap is you cannot kill the eggs and the nymphs.
Use oils to get rid of termites.
But we have a solution for that too. Now you can use several other natural products to kill the whole colony of termites. The first product is all-natural neem oil or neem oil concentrate. When the termites feed on wood treated with neem extract, they die in a few hours.
Bean oil is also effective for nymphs. Or you can use horticultural oil. Insects breathe through the skin but cannot breathe when they have a covering of this oil. And hence suffocate to death.
A natural soap concentrate is also a great option for organic gardeners.
How to Prevent Termite Infestation?
Getting rid of termites might take time, but it is possible. But how amazing would it be if you could prevent it from happening?
If your garden has already been infested, remove the termites first. After that, follow these simple tips and tricks to prevent future infestation.
Get rid of Extra Junk to prevent termite infestation
If you want to avoid termites, it is best to eliminate all of the extra wood junk. If the mulch chips are lying around in the backyard, they invite termites.
It would help if you removed any dead branches, as termites like feeding on them.
Moreover, we advise you not to leave wooden furniture in the open. Furniture that has untreated raw wood is vulnerable to termites. You can treat the raw wood furniture at home too. Just spray a little neem oil extract, and the piece will be termite resistant.
Use Minimum Wood to prevent termite infestation.
Getting rid of wooden furniture and junk is easier. The other top thing we recommend is not installing any wooden deck. What you cannot get rid of is the wood siding. Reinstalling metallic or concrete siding is rather expensive.
But what you can do is decrease the direct wood-to-ground contact. And for that, take off the sidings that are near the ground. The recommended height of the sliding installation is 6 inches above the ground.
Reduce the moisture in the soil as much as you can. Ensure the pipes are not leaking and every other water feature is intact.
To prevent termite infestation, do Regular Inspections
The last and kind of obvious tip is regular inspection. Regular does not mean weekly or monthly.
You can get a professional infestation inspection every six months and use natural Insecticide products every 2 to 3 months.
If you incorporate these tips in your gardening, your garden will be saved from termites. On top of that, it also keeps the garden from other insects.
FAQs on Do Raised Beds Attract Termites? Avoid this!
Do termites only live in the wood, or can garden soil also be infested?
It is a common misconception that termites only attack wood. While they attack deadwood, a popular raised bed material, many termite species are also known to live and thrive in garden soil. Consider sprinkling termite pesticide on the base of your garden beds to solve this.
What type of other bugs can infest the wooden raised beds in the garden?
Many insects other than termites feed on the deadwood of raised gardening beds. Make sure to look out for Carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and bark beetles, as they are a few examples of those pests that can further deteriorate the material of raised gardening beds.
How do you kill termites in a garden bed?
Consider using a mixture of the juice from 2 lemons and half a cup of vinegar. Spray it on the affected parts of the raised garden beds and suspected areas. This mixture can successfully rid the garden bed of termites when done regularly due to termites dying off due to the mixture’s acidity.
What smells of termites hate?
Termites hate the smell of cinnamon and essential oils, specifically those from tea trees, clove buds, garlic, cedarwood, and orange. As per the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the most effective for killing termite pests would be oil from the clove bud and garlic.
Conclusion on Do Raise Beds attracts termites?
All in all, termites are the bane of existence, may it be within your home or even in your garden. Since most do use deadwood material for raised garden beds, there will be a tendency to attract these pests in our garden if regular inspections and checks on the garden bed are not done.
It is heavily discouraged to use chemicals against these pests, as those may bleed into the soil and cause further harm and soil deterioration, putting all your hard work into the drain of enriching your soil. Instead, stick to essential oils from tea trees, clove, garlic, and nonchemical options to keep them at bay so as not to cause more problems.
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