Termites can cause a lot of pain. They have the potential to destroy your pricey furniture as well as pose a serious threat to your home’s timber framework. Fortunately, getting rid of them is not too difficult.
Spraying vinegar or orange oil on your raised bed garden will get rid of termites. Additionally, to ensure that the soil has sufficient drainage, you can build your raised bed using termite-resistant materials like treated wood, plastic, or metal sideboards and posts.
But being aware of this is insufficient. To help you better understand how to deal with your termite problem, I have succinctly described what you need to know about termites.
Type of Soil Termites Are Attracted To
Similar to common ants, termites are subterranean, meaning they live and work deep within the soil.
Termite infestation is a widespread issue around the globe. These pests can be broadly split into three groups:
- Termites in dry wood,
- Underground termites
- Termites in wet wood.
They eat cellulose, which is present in all varieties of trees and plants, in order to exist.
The soil affects how bad a termite infestation is. A garden may contain sand, potting soil, topsoil, clay, peat soil, etc. as well as other types of soil.
As a result, termite activity and behavior will be greatly influenced by the type of soil in your raised bed. Particularly the underground ones, as they build their nests below ground.
On compact soils like topsoil or clay, subterranean termites have an extremely difficult time surviving. They can, however, move through sand with ease. Because of this, sands may exhibit higher termite activity than clay or topsoil.
Subterranean termites will also build tunnels and shelter tubes when the soil is too difficult for them to move through.
You may have observed this in your garden’s sideboards if your raised bed garden is termite-infested.
Subterranean termites need moisture to survive. They enjoy moist ground. For them to survive and develop, the moisture content offers the perfect atmosphere.
The necessity to consistently water your garden is another factor in termite infestation of gardens.
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Types of wood:
Termites consume cellulose, as was previously established. Additionally, this is present on all varieties of plants and trees. They build their nest close to a food source, such as a garden or another damp, dark area with wood that has decomposed.
A favorite food of underground termites is springwood. In the early summer and the spring, this kind of wood grows. The broad, thin-walled cells and the delicate fibers of this wood define it. Soft, rotting wood is a favorite food source for subterranean termites.
They begin consuming springwood that is nearby the ground. The amount of moisture in the woods is typically higher in areas closer to the ground. And underground termites adore it.
Soft, wet timbers are very attractive to damp wood termites. Typically, they create their colonies in wooded buildings with a lot of moisture. Additionally, they primarily eat decaying stumps, logs, and dead trees.
When it comes to dry wood termites, moisture is not a big deal. They primarily eat structural timbers, hardwood furniture, etc.
There isn’t a lot of moisture in this kind of wood. However, Drywood termites have the capacity to draw water from wood in order to survive.
However, some woods, such as redwood, cypress, Laotian teak, and yellow cedar, have a built-in resistance to termites.
Additionally, termites stay away from all pressure-treated wood. To keep wood from rotting, it is pressure treated with a preservative. Additionally, termites are unable to tolerate these compounds.
Additionally termite-resistant are composite woods. They are harmful to them and are found in this sort of wood. Consequently, termites stay away from composite wood.
Can Termites Harm Plants and Vegetables?
On cellulose, termites feed. They mostly consume fungal-infested, rotting wood. The fact that they won’t hurt your plants and vegetables doesn’t negate that fact, either.
Your raised bed garden’s crops are susceptible to root damage from termites.
If the conditions are right, termites will eat the wooden roots and stems of plants in your garden including tomatoes, okra, peppers, and other plants.
The majority of your garden’s vegetable plants do not serve as food for termites.
Safe Pesticides to Use Against Termites
It is never a good idea to use chemical pesticides to eradicate termites if you have an infestation in your yard.
While these chemical insecticides can eliminate termites, they will also contaminate all plants and vegetables. Additionally, it will eliminate every insect in your garden, both beneficial and harmful.
This is why I’ve listed a few inexpensive, safe insecticides that you can buy locally or quickly manufacture using items that are typically found in kitchens.
- VinegarEvery household contains vinegar. Termites can be promptly eliminated with this acidic substance. Combine two freshly squeezed lemon juices with half a cup of vinegar to create a termite repellent spray. Once combined, your termite repellent spray is prepared. Now pour the mixture into a spray bottle, and mist your garden with it. The spray is so powerful that termites will be killed immediately upon contact. Additionally, there is no chance of polluting the plants and veggies in your garden with hazardous pesticides. Use this spray consistently until your termite infestation is resolved.
- Citrus OilAnother pesticide that can eliminate your termite infestation while posing no risk to the plants in your garden is orange oil. Orange peels are used to make orange oil. You can purchase it from your neighborhood garden store or online. Orange oil dissolves termites’ exoskeleton when it comes into touch with it. They will consequently lose moisture, which will cause them to pass away. Your raised bed garden’s termite-infested portions should be sprayed with it. It can also be used to stop termites from returning. Simply give your garden frequent spraying.
- Positive NematodesThese tiny, worm-like parasites actively search, infiltrate, and destroy pests that are present in damp, dark environments. They operate by hunting down termites and other insects, invading them, and then feeding parasitically on them until they perish.
Changing Sideboards Without Damaging the Raised Bed
The sideboards, posts, and stakes of a raised bed garden are typically damaged by termite infestation since they are frequently built of wood. Additionally, you might wish to replace them with new ones if they are seriously damaged.
To replace the sideboards without damaging your garden
- Remove soils that are close to the damaged board with a shovel.
- When the board and post are separated by about an inch, hammer the board from the inside.
- To make the nail protrude from the damaged board, hammer the board from the outside.
- To remove the nail, use the hammer’s claw.
- Once all the nails have been taken out, carefully remove the broken board and level the ground.
- After that, install the new board and secure it with a post.
- Remove the sideboards next to the post before you may remove it.
- Then, to get the earth loose, dig a hole close by.
- Pull it out after the dirt is sufficiently loose. After that, put the new in and cover the hole with dirt.
- The boards are now attached to the post.
A raised bed garden that has been grown should have enough roots and other substrates to keep the soil together even after the sideboards are removed.
Raised Beds That are Resistant to Termites
You must choose termite-resistant woods to make your raised bed garden resistant to them.
You can create sideboards and posts for your garden out of cedar, redwood, Laotian teak, and cypress wood. Additionally, pressure-treated or composite woods are options. They also offer protection against termite infestation.
Concrete walls, sideboards made of galvanized steel, and plastic boards are alternatives to wood.
These sturdy constructions are impervious to termites. As a result, they won’t be in your garden. Additionally, you can frequently spray orange oil in your yard to provide additional termite protection.
How Can Termites Be Beneficial in Soil?
Termites are fantastic allies for the environment. Termites consume wood and other cellulose products, as was previously established. Years will pass after a tree falls to the ground before it completely rots.
However, termites hasten the process of degradation and eventually consume them. so adding their dung to the soil to nourish it.
They create nutrient-rich new soil and break down the lignin, a strong fiber found in trees and other plants that other plants can use.
Additionally, as termites complete their life cycle in the soil, they themselves will contribute nutrients to the soil after they die. Some termites do not, however, finish their life cycle in soil.
By moving around in the soil, they can also aid in soil aeration.
Construct Raised bed gardens away from the home
Any home can suffer damage from a termite infestation, and the cost of resolving the issue is high. To keep them from stumbling into your home and attacking it, raised bed gardens should be built a way away.
While you may believe your home is safe from termites, the likelihood is that they have already constructed a vast network of hidden mud galleries or mud tunnels across your property. Termites can migrate up to 50 meters from the main nest. (Source)
Soil testing and attention should be made before building a raised bed around the house.