Termites eating my garden!

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by Jimbo, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Jimbo

    Jimbo Member

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    You read that right. I have a small veg. garden in the backyard that actually has done much better than expected. I've never been able to grown corn and not have worms get to it before I did until this year.

    However, after pulling ever ear that was still good today, I pulled every corn stalk out of the ground. Each ones stalk at the ground was infested with termites and several stalks they had gutted up to as far as 1'. They are also taking out sunflower plants, the latest one being about 4' tall with blooms just opening.

    I also pulled out what's left of my yellow squash plants after they buried us in absolutly beautiful squash until the squash bores finally got to them, but when I pulled them out, I also found termites at the ground, along with ants that seemed to have liked what was left of the spongy plant stems.

    I've never heard of such a thing so naturally I'm worried about everything else. I have cucumbers that are absolutly taking over, okra that is just coming in doing great, and a few pepper plants including a habanero that's really looking great right now and has it's first 2 peppers. I also have a monster grape tomato plant that's yielding 15-20 great tomatos a day now.

    I haven't used anything on the garden except some Mirical Grow when the plants were very small. No pesticides at all.

    Is there something I can do to get rid of the termites without the chance of getting anything in/on the plants? It also seems as these must be Formosan since they are eating healthy, semi woody plants. This is the first time to have a garden in this spot in about 7-8 years and for the last few years, it's had some old RR ties stacked up in it, one of which I noticed some termites in when I got rid of them. They were installed in our landscape by the original owner of the house so they'd been around for 12-14 years.

    HELP! I don't want to share my small crop with these ^%&#*@ termites!!
     
  2. L.plant

    L.plant Active Member

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    Here's a Texas A&M site about termites that may help: http://termite.tamu.edu/
    Check out the FAQ and publications sections.
     
  3. threedogpm

    threedogpm Member

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    I went to plant 6 new tomato plants today. When I started turning the soil in the areas we've planted them before, it was infested with termites. I don't know it they were feeding on the dead root systems from last years plants or what. I called a friend who went to school for botany with a specialization in disease, and pests. He confirmed my guess of termites, and after checking out pictures on line that's indeed what the little buggers are. He said to remove any wood from the area, which you did. Our tomato plants back up to a fence but very little of it is underground. He also said to turn the soil explaining that they don't like to be disturbed. I guess you don't have that option since yours are established plants. He also said companion gardening wasn't really an option because termites aren't picky, and like all plant stalks equally. The Texas A&M site was great but I really just don't have the time to figure out whether these critters are workers etc. etc. They are yellowish white termites, and that's all I know. I just turned the soil extremely well, crossed my fingers, and planted the tomato plants. Good luck, and keep me posted.
     
  4. PhillyPalms

    PhillyPalms Active Member

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    Do NOT use Termidor (Fipronil) or Premise 75 (Imidacloprid), they are systemic chemicals, and they expand in the soil. Try a baiting system and maintain it. Monitor the stations every month. If done properly, it may work.
     
  5. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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  6. PhillyPalms

    PhillyPalms Active Member

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    Whoops !! double post.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
  7. PhillyPalms

    PhillyPalms Active Member

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    The same. Here we get Eastern subterranean termites, Drywood termites, and Formosan termites. The first is the most widespread in the U.S.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I wouldn't plant vegetables where railroad ties had been stacked for years anyway, unless these happened to have not been treated.
     
  9. Glenn Gordon

    Glenn Gordon New Member

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    Termites are a bigger problem in living crops than you think. The Formosan termite attacks live plants first and love corn. Please send me your photographs of termites attacking your food crop plants. I'm trying to put together a study group on this subject. Thanks for any help in making people understand that termites don't just eat dead plant stocks. my email is glenngordon@gmail.com
     
  10. mayflower381

    mayflower381 New Member

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    My husband built be 3 raised beds this Spring with treated lumber and we got soil from a landscaping yard. I white insects a few weeks ago in one of beds that wasn't producing much, but didn't know they could be termites. The gardens are next to the house and deck! How do I get rid of them? I don't care if it's humane or not. I'd rather not lose my gardens, but I'm worried for my home!
     
  11. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If the risk is your home, get a professional consult. You can also use a local extension service to identify if the insect is an issue.
     
  12. DarrenSiemsen

    DarrenSiemsen New Member

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    Most of the termites look alike and they depend on moisture for survival but Formosan termites build structures that retain moisture. You can get rid of termites naturally as well as through chemical ways. Beneficial nematodes can be used to kill termites from your garden naturally that you can easily purchase from local garden supply store. Cardboard trap is another method to get rid of termites by attracting them towards trap and burn them off once maximum collected.
     

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