Can You Treat a Tree for Termites?

Can you treat a tree for termites? Seeing these pesky bugs on or near your beloved specimen might feel disheartening, but don’t throw in the towel just yet.

As a master arborist consulting in Fort Walton Beach, FL, our Backridge Tree Service team has successfully eliminated widespread infestations with speed and precision. Read on as we break down the best steps you can take to restore your landscape’s health.

can you treat a tree for termites

Watch Out for Evidence of Termites

Fast action is the key to eradicating an infestation, and it starts by differentiating termite activity from other tree problems. Common indicators include:

  • Discarded wings
  • Wood dust or frass
  • Mud tubes that travel up and down the tree
  • Wood sounds hollow when knocked

Treating an Infected Tree

Can you treat a tree for termites? Before anything else, check if your specimen is still alive. Most termite species exclusively feed on dead trees, so their presence may mean that it’s too late.

One quick test you can do is to scrape one of the plant’s twigs. When you see a moist, greenish layer underneath, you might still have a shot.

Let’s go over some effective termite-removal strategies:

Boric Acid

Boric acid is a wildlife-safe product that works well for smaller infestations. Simply spray the affected area, focusing on the mud tube’s entryways and other places where the termites frequently come and go.


Powerful bifenthrin-based insecticides can quickly eliminate severe infestations, but they can harm you when improperly handled. Always wear gloves, long sleeves, safety goggles, and a dust mask, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter!

In general, you should apply the liquid in a three-foot radius around the tree’s base. It should kill every critter within 24 hours.

Foam Treatments

You can buy many over-the-counter foam-type treatments that often contain fipronil as the active ingredient. Inject them directly into the tree’s cavities, and the product will expand and fill the affected area.

Biological Control

Did you know that termites have natural predators? Microscopic parasites like nematodes release bacteria that can quickly kill most infestations within days. Simply mix them in water and spray the affected areas.


Termites love feeding on cellulose-based materials like wood, paper, and cardboard. You can use this to your advantage by laying out baits filled with these items and a slow-acting insecticide. The critters will feed on them, carry the bait back to their colonies, and eliminate themselves in the process.

Give Your Tree the Best Chance of Survival

Can you treat a tree for termites on your own? These light brown menaces are nothing to scoff at; they can rapidly spread throughout your landscape and eventually set up shop on your property. That’s why it pays to partner with expert arborists who can help you every step of the way.

The moment you spot termites in a tree, call our Backridge Tree Service team at (850) 240-2829 for an arborist consultation. We’ll provide an in-depth analysis and devise a customized plan that erases the problem for good.

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