In part one of this exciting series, we took a look at composting and how termites are helpful in breaking down a compost pile, if they’re harmful to the pile, and the specific type of compost termites are drawn to. In today’s post, we’ll wrap up the conversation and explore what happens if the compost pile becomes overrun by termites and what to do should this occur.
At Hi-Tech Termite Control, we know that a termite population is fine until it isn’t, and having any kind of termite in your compost can be a cause for alarm, mainly because you don’t want them moving from the pile to your home. Find out more information on how to address termites in your compost pile, and remain vigilant if you live here in Southern California, where termites are a serious threat!
What happens if termites begin to increase as my compost pile grows?
If you think you’re watching an infestation evolve right before your eyes, don’t panic! Because there are different species of termites, some only exist in compost piles to feed on the damp and decaying wood, and tend to avoid building materials, such as your home. If you’re worried and can’t identify the species of termite, always consult with the termite professionals!
If you’d rather not have termites in your compost…
Some people don’t want to run the risk of attracting termites into their compost and possibly into their home, so if you too want to avoid the situation, you can do the following:
- Create an actual compost bin – Instead of just having a pile, buy or construct a compost bin (with a bottom) out of plastic or bricks — anything but wood! A bin complete with a bottom (so the termites can’t surface) will keep everything contained and the termites out.
- Minimize your wood-based materials – If you don’t want to attract termites, don’t throw wood or mulch in your compost pile!
- Create heat in the compost pile – Termites can’t survive a hot compost pile — anything above 140 degrees fahrenheit — so there are measures you can take to create a hotter compost environment.
- Begin to vigorously aerate your compost and increase your green matter, which is spurs rapid decomposition.
- Keep adding green matter until it is almost one-third to one-half of the total pile.
- Slightly moisten the compost and continue to add green matter.
- Repeat at least three times and monitor the internal temperature of your compost.
- Keep a termite-free yard – To keep termites away and deter them from your compost pile, ensure your yard isn’t naturally attracting them.
- Maintain your yard – Take care of any dead and decaying plant life, trees, and stumps. Be sure to remove any old wood-based building materials and firewood propped up against your home and in direct contact with the ground.
- Check your water sources – Whether you have a water feature or a handful of spigots, safeguard them against termites by checking them for leaks.
- Keep your landscaping away from your home’s foundation – Keep wooden structures and landscaping far enough away from the foundation so termites can’t hide out in mulch or flower beds and eventually make their move into your home!
- Get a termite treatment around your home’s foundation – For the ultimate termite protection, a termite control layer can be put around the perimeter of your foundation to keep termites out for good!
Termite infestations are common here in San Diego, and they crop up when the weather is warm and where food and water are abundant. They can be advantageous for your compost, but without proper identification, they can become a big nuisance. Since termites are a potential in the region, it’s critical to keep them out by keeping wood out of your compost pile and consider constructing a compost bin to help keep them out. It’s also vitally important to keep termites clear from your yard by maintaining the landscaping, checking for any outdoor water leaks, and getting a termite treatment around your home’s foundation.
To keep termites at bay, take the proper precautions listed above and always consult a termite professional if you have questions. Termite control is possible and preventable, and you’ll always find a solution at Hi-Tech Termite Control.