I received this email from a gentleman that needs help identifying termites eating a swamp mahogany gum tree in his property.
I have read your article and would like help identifying termites eating a couple of swamp mahogany gum tree on our property.
They are mainly in the bark but have entered the tree through a broken branch. They seem to be mainly in the sapwood. I cannot find a mound.
They became evident after recent rains. The base of the tree was underwater.
I am concerned for two reasons: I don’t want them in the house and one of the trees is near the house. If weakened and fell in a storm it could reach the house.
One is showing dying branches and some are falling. I have contacted a pest contractor who is recommending chlorfluzuron termite baits.
In your article, you say this is of limited performance. I would like your opinion. I hope the attached picture quality is good enough.
Thank you, I have your second email with the Uki area and the Pic of the nest in the branches of the tree.
These are Nasutes and they are coming from the nest up in the tree (no surprises there). They will be travelling down the outside of the tree to forage for dead grass and leaf litter.
They also will get their moisture and some food from the decaying pipe area inside the tree. The IGR baits including chlorfluazuron take a long time to kill (if it ever happens) but most of all, baits are unnecessary as the tree Nasutes are not much interested in solid wood.
There are other Nasute species that build mounds around your district but as you’ve said there are no mounds to physically destroy, no bait again.
If you wish to do something about preventing the tree falling on your house, then you may consider getting an arborist to assess the tree health and prognosis and maybe at least cut-off suss branches, remove the nest physically and soak some bifethrin solution down into the hollow and then seal the openings to prevent the next lot of colonizing termites finding their way into the tree. (Of course, the bifenthrin inside the hollow would prevent the establishment of a new colony anyway).
Hoping this helps,Ion Staunton