Can Tree Stumps Invite Termite Infestations?
The fact that termites eat dead rotting wood and plant life is something to be happy about. There are three trillion trees on our planet, and this means that there are a whole lot of dead trees lying around. Termites are well known for their ability to remove dead plant life by feeding on cellulose. Without termites humans would likely be forced to remove dead trees from the environment. Plant life must continue to grow, but this cannot occur if dead trees are suffocating soil. Termites have existed for hundreds of millions of years in order to provide the natural environment with this litter-removal service. However, termites are better known for the damage they cause to people’s property. Sometimes, unsightly, dangerous and/or termite-infested dead trees are cut-down by humans, leaving only stumps in their place. But can these stumps attract termites to people’s property just as easily? Unfortunately the answer is “yes”.
Both subterranean and dampwood termite species are attracted to tree stumps. Unsurprisingly, subterranean termites pose a serious risk of infestation to homeowners that have tree stumps located within or near their properties. On the other hand, dampwood termites are much less of a concern. This is due to the fact that dampwood termites require environments with high moisture levels. As long as your home is sufficiently dry, dampwood termite infestations should not worry you. Subterranean termites are a different story, as these termites may very well find access to your home if you have a tree stump located nearby. Subterranean termites also require moisture, but this can be accessed by traveling underground, which dampwood termites can not do.
Subterranean termites will build mud tubes that connect the wood in tree stumps to water sources below the surface of soil. Subterranean termites can also remain underground in order to feed on a tree stump’s routes. In these cases, homeowners may not notice a heavy termite presence within their own yards. Termite infestations can often be noticed by digging around a tree stump. Termites are often found inhabiting shallow areas beneath the ground near tree stumps, or mud tubes may be present. If a home is within close proximity to a tree stump, then having the stump removed may be wise. In these circumstances, the routes are likely extending beneath a home, this makes an eventual home infestation likely.
Have you ever lived in a home that had been built on land that once forested? Did this home ever become infested with termites?