Does Composting Attract Termites? (Part One)

May 13, 2018by

Composting is highly advantageous for the environment in reducing methane emissions, in addition to enriching the soil and reducing the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Both food scraps and yard waste can be added to your compost pile, including dead branches, twigs, leaves, grass clippings fruit and veggies scraps, and coffee grounds.

If you love composting and yielding beautiful and abundant soil to then tend to your garden with, but are seeing little, pesky termites poke up, could the compost pile be responsible?

Termites are nature’s composting insects because they love to munch on dead and rotting plant waste, trees, and stumps. If you enjoy composting, but not the kind from termites, consider a termite treatment by Hi-Tech Termite Control for your San Diego home. Follow along in today’s post as we explore the compost pile and termites!

Are You Finding Termites in Your Compost?

If you live in the San Diego area, you inhabit a climate that termites flock to — damp, warm, and full of delectable delicacies — so if you do compost, chances are, you may have termites trying to colonize. While termites have landed a bad reputation in the insect world, when they’re away from cities and home and allowed to thrive in nature, they’re quite helpful for maintaining a flourishing ecosystem.

Are termites bad for the compost pile?

If you’re finding termites in your compost, they may actually be good for the health of the soil and managing your compost pile, but it’s always good to check with the termite professionals and get a little background information on the matter!

Termites may be beneficial to your compost pile because they were designed to find nourishment in decomposing plants, so naturally, they can assist your compost pile by breaking down large branches and twigs and other decaying plant life you throw in. They work together with other insect decomposers commonly found in compost, such as earthworms, centipedes, and ants, to break down large organic matter that can then be further decomposed by smaller microorganisms to consume, to finally be turned into a nutrient-rich soil.

What kind of compost are termites drawn to?

If you’re keeping a traditional compost with equal parts brown (outdoor plants and shrubs) and green (indoors scraps) matter, you typically won’t find termites when you turn your pile. However, if you’re throwing an abundance of dead wood, firewood, boards, and wood chips into the pile, the termites will begin to show up.

When will the termites show up?

Termites don’t generally appear; they’ll begin to surface as the compost matures, roughly two to three weeks out from when you first put in the wood materials. The caveat with mulch or wood chips is to not throw them in the pile that has already been exposed to the ground that have been in your yard in a previous location, as you run the risk of introducing them to another area of your yard and can result in a home infestation.

Composting is a lovely way to give back to our ecosystem and improve the environment here on Earth by reducing the harmful impacts of methane emissions. While termites are an insect that was designed for just that — decomposition — and are actually great for your compost, some people don’t want to have to stress about a termite infestation.

We’ll unravel more of this discussion in part two, and cover how to avoid termites in your compost and how to avoid them altogether, so stay tuned!

At Hi-Tech Termite Control, we never want you to stress about termites in San Diego, so take a moment and call us today!