Return to the Soil Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Why are termites in my raised bed?

Posted by bibbus 7b (My Page) on
Thu, May 29, 14 at 21:22

I was planting a tomato plant in a raised bed tonight and found a lot of termites in the soil. There are walnut hulls in this bed that still haven't decomposed after two years (thankfully they lost their juglone). Could walnut hulls be attracting the termites? The bed is a former compost pile that I expanded and added soil to it. I already had lettuce growing in it and didn't see any termites when I planted them several months ago.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

please post a picture of the critters.

Also, where do you live?

This post was edited by jean001a on Fri, May 30, 14 at 1:25


 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

Whatever you have is there because they like the environment that has been created. Quite often what is reported here as termites is really ant larva.


 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

I don't have a camera that can take pictures that close up. But I went online to look at pictures of termites and I am pretty sure they are. They look exactly like the pictures. I live in East Tennessee.


 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

As was said, ants are often thought to be termites.

Perhaps a friend, family member, or neighbor can take a picture for you.


 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

If they're ant larvae, you'll also see a ants in your bed, and if you disturb them, the ants start moving the larvae - not the larvae moving themselves. If they're termites, they move by themselves - usually along a trail(s) of some kind back to the main nest.

If they are termites, you might want to start researching ways of keeping them out of you buildings, because thats a nightmare.

A professional termite exterminator told me that ants and termites are incompatible - that if you have ants, you won't have termites in the same vicinity.

Here is a link that might be useful: short utube of ants moving larvae.


 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

Well, I wish there were ants but no ants. I have wooden stakes in the bed next to this one and a stake I pulled up in another part of my yard was full of termites but this bed isn't close to them and the 2x12's are brand new. Again, is there a possiblity the walnut hulls are what they are feeding on? I dug up a big hole and put the dirt aside and most of the termites were gone the next day. The only ones that were intact were in a small plastic bag I put them in to see what would happen.


 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

So, there you go, get a big ole shovel of ants, throw 'em in there and let God sort out the mess. You learn a new one all the time... M


 o
RE: Why are termites in my raised bed?

Well, they're termites then - is there any sign of damage on any of the walnut shells? Otherwise, I'd think they were attracted to some sort of wood, maybe framing the raised bed? They sure do that here.

There are termites, and then there are other termites, and the two species we have out here are probably not the ones you deal with there. I have termites around. I mulch heavily with pine bark, but they don't seem to touch that. Leave a piece of wood half-buried, or use untreated wood delineating a raised bed, or an old tree stump, and they show up within a year or two.

Anyway, I don't think they do much damage to an annual garden - some species do attack the roots of some trees. I've got some now working on the roots of an old willow tree that blew down 10 years ago, and every now and again, I walk by where it used to be and the ground gives way to some foot deep sinkhole where they've eaten out the roots.

This post was edited by david52 on Sat, May 31, 14 at 21:33


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Soil Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here