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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. This is what makes people wonder if their raised beds can lure termites into their houses.
Raised beds do attracts termites and cause termite infestation. However, said infestation is heavily dependent on several conditions, such as the wood you used, the moisture levels of the raised bed itself as well as 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 laying around in their backyard that is attracting the termites.
What Attracts Termites?
It is common to raise beds to attract termites—these pesky insects like being in places that are 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 the fertility of the soil.
It is mostly organic and is made of hay, roots, and other things that can potentially attract termites. Wood chips are also used as organic mulch used as biomass to enhance the production of pulp. 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 that is made of cellulose, such as wooden products. It includes the possibility that the wooden frame of your raised bed can attract termites to house in it.
Loose and Moist Soils attract termites
Termites are likely to be in gardens also because they are more drawn towards loose and 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?
There is no way you can get rid of termites unless you know that 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 very 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. If you have ever seen small white-winged insects fluttering near the light at night time, then most probably those were termites.
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 just like you would do 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 through checking the outside walls of your garden bed
Another trick to check the termite is examining the outside walls of the house. Well, if the termites have infested the garden, then they might have attached the house too.
So, if the wall color is peeling, then you know what the reason behind it is. You can also do the knocking technique on the wood sliding.
How to Get Rid of a Termite Infestation?
Are you someone whose garden has already been infested? Well, do not worry. Taking rid of termites is sure a hefty business, but it is not impossible. There are a few things you can do to kill the termites and get rid of 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 lying around the garden, which can be easily done if termites had only attacked the spare wood.
But in the case raised beds were infested, then you would have to have few insect-killing products.
Do not use chemical termite killers
We recommend not to use 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 to use that can get rid of the 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 that have a layer of adhesive to rid of 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 rid of termites
But we have the solution for that too. Now you can use several other natural products for killing 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 they 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, then get her rid of the termites first. After that, follow these simple tips and tricks to prevent any future infestation.
Get rid of Extra Junk to prevent termite infestation
If you want to prevent the termites, it is best to eliminate all of the extra wood junk. If the mulch chips are laying around in the backyard, then it is an invitation for termites.
It would help if you also got rid of any dead branches as termites like to feed on them.
Moreover, we advise you not to leave wooden furniture out in the open. Furniture that has raw untreated wood is vulnerable to termites. You can treat the raw wood furniture at home too. Just spray a little bit of neem oil extract, and the piece would be termite resistant.
Use Minimum Wood to prevent termite infestation
Getting rid of wooden furniture and junk is easier. The other top thing that we recommend is not to install 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 to 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. Make sure 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 6 months or so and use natural Insecticide products every 2 to 3 months.
If you incorporate all of these tips in your gardening, your garden will be saved from termites. On top of that, it saves the garden from other insects as well.
Conclusion on do Raised Beds attracts termites
All in all, termites are really are the bane of existence, may it be within your home and even in your garden. Since most do use deadwood material for raised garden beds, there really will be a tendency of attracting these pests in our garden if regular inspection 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 tree, clove, garlic, and nonchemical options to keep them at bay so as not to cause more problems.
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