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termite problems in the bush

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#1
bush buggered

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hey all. i been growing in bush since ummmmmmmm i fricken forget. i can keep most pests at bay but not termites. i have tried everything to beat em. but it's termites "hundreds" and me "nil". i can use containers but its to much watering. iv'e even tried burying a wheelie bin with the bottom cut out. the bastards tunneled under it. has someone got a magic potion that i don't know about, otherwise it's back to the pots. and i'm over lugging that much water. :peace:
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#2
Skyhigh-64

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Hey mate

had the same probs myself, even in pots in the bush. Tried a million things like u, even garlic added to tthe water but as u say ...

the only thing that's worked for me so far (which is a bit bodgy) is putting a natural pyrethrum barrier down under/around ur plants - the termites hate it, kills them straight up.

Spraying around teh hole worksfor a while strangely enough - I think the smell of it soaks into the earth and even when diluted wit hwatering, the smell/effect remains for a while.

but last time I soaked paperbark (mulch would work etc) in diluted pyrethhrum for a couple of days and lined the hole. The plant/roots didnt mind it and I didnt have any probs that grow.

Will have to try it again a few times to prove it, but u could give it a go

Good luck wit the little bastards anyway

:peace:
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#3
67Special

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Hey guys,

I've only ever encountered termites once, on my very first grow. I blamed it on too much woody material and dry leaves under and around the pots.
Ever since, i've buried my pots at least a few inches and removed any woody matter from in or around the hole.
The theory is, if there's no food for them, they'd prefer to be somewhere else.

:peace: Maybe you could try luring them away by placing some nice tasty softwood/sawdust away from your pots.


:doh:
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#4
Budman2012

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:peace:
Hey Bush Buggered ,
Termites aye ... Never had termites .. Wouldn't think They'd be Interested , But obviously somethings attracting them aye ...

What parts of plant do they eat? The Roots? the main Stem? Do they eat the leaves?
Curious ...
Could It Be a certain material in your medium that is attracting them? like maybe the Woody Stuff In Some Potting Mixes or something like that?
I thought They didn't like water tho , But are they Using The plants/pots for a home to feed on other materials around the area or actually Eating your plants as an energy Source ?
:doh:
Sorry to pose So many Questions and give no Answers ... But Hey , It's interesting subject ...

And yeah the only thing I could say Is to try to Move as much of the material they eat away from the area. lol

Good luck with It o.k. ...


Budman lol
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#5
Skyhigh-64

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the termites are after the moisture. I'm not sure if they damage the plant but I think their waste is toxic to the roots.
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#6
Bundy

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they eat away at the plant/tree from the inside hollowing it out

generally they eat wood, give them something more appealing to eat

has someone got a magic potion that i don't know about, otherwise it's back to the pots. and i'm over lugging that much water.

if you want to save on water mix up some seasol and water and fill with water saver crystals untill it's like a thick sludge

when you put the plant in the ground, suround the plant in the mixture

Edited by Bundy, 28 September 2006 - 10:38 AM.

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#7
bush buggered

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hey all. thanks for replies. still none the wiser though. ..... couple of facts-. they are attracted to moisture, they need it to survive. think they use it to build nests. .... they eat the roots and proceed up into the stems, and hollow them out. there are products you can buy to get rid of them. but the girls are'nt fussed on the shit. in the dry sandstone country where i am, they are attracted to any moisture in the soil. i have tried every thing but nothing deters them. there is some new stuff called termi-????. but you can only get a pest exterminator to apply it.. not an option. they are attracted to it and carry it back on there bodies and accordingly poisen the nest...does anyone know a dodgy place where i could aquire it. its a new product.. exterminators will not supply it if they apply it.. or else i'm back to the pots, and that badly lessons my yield.. thanks guys :peace:
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#8
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Termidor is simply Confidor under a different name. The active chemical is Imidacloprid. This works against termites in a way that they are unaware of. The dead termites are taken back to the nest as food, therefore killing off the lot of them.

An anticholinesterase chemical used to be the preferred anti-termite solution, called chlorpyrifos. It was used as a barrier against them. It was a deterrent as well as an exterminant. Its use has been discontinued for termite control because of its toxicity, but is still available.

How do I know this? Because of 20 years experience growing outdoors, and then the associated research, after catastrophic losses to termites. I have used both of these with success.
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#9
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"Study the enemy ... Google the enemy" - Sun Tzu, The Ancient Art Of War (2007 Revised Edition)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Termite

Avoiding termite troubles
Precautions:
Avoiding contact of susceptible timber with ground by using termite-resistant concrete, steel or masonry foundation with appropriate barriers. Even so, termites are able to bridge these with shelter tubes, and it has been known for termites to chew through piping made of soft plastics and even lead to exploit moisture. In general, new buildings should be constructed with embedded physical termite barriers so that there are no easy means for termites to gain concealed entry. While barriers of poisoned soil have been in general use since the 1970s, it is preferable that these be used only for existing buildings without effective physical barriers.

The intent of termite barriers (whether physical, poisoned soil or some of the new poisoned plastics)is to prevent the termites from gaining unseen access to structures. In most instances, termites attempting to enter a barriered building will be forced into the less favourable approach of building shelter tubes up the outside walls and thus they be clearly visible both to the building occupants and a range of predators. Regular inspection by a competent person is the best defense.

Timber treatment.
Use of timber that is naturally resistant to termites such as Canarium australianum known as the Turpentine Tree, Callitris glacophylla, the White Cypress or one of the Sequoias. Note that there is no tree species whose every individual tree yields timber that is immune to termite damage, so that even with well known termite-resistant timber types, there will occasionally be pieces that are attacked.

When termites have already penetrated a building, removing their means of access and destroying the colony with insecticides are usually effective means of stopping further damage. Feeder stations (baits) with small quantities of disruptive insect hormones or other very slow acting toxins have become the preferred least-toxic management tool in most western countries. This has replaced the dusting of toxins direct into termite tunnels which had been widely done since the early 1930s (originating in Australia). The main dust toxicant have been the inorganic metallic poison arsenic trioxide and, more recently, the insect growth regulator, Triflumuron. These slow-acting poisons can be distributed by the workers for considerable periods (hours to weeks) before any symptoms occur and are capable of destroying the entire colony. More modern variations include chlorfluazuron, Diflubenzuron, hexaflumuron and Novaflumuron as bait toxicants and fipronil and imidacloprid as soil poisons. Soil poisons are the least-preferred method of control as this requires much larger doses of toxin and results in uncontrollable release to the environment. They also creat huge problems because they eat your plants.

Plant defenses against termites
Many plants have developed effective defenses against termites and in most ecosystems there is an observable balance between the growth of plants and the feeding of termites. Typically defence is achieved by secreting into the woody cell walls, antifeedant chemicals (such as oils, resins and lignins) which reduce the ability of termites to efficiently digest the cellulose. Many of the strongly termite resistant tree species have heartwood timber that is extremely dense (such as Eucalyptus camaldulensis)due to accretion of these resins. Over the years there has been considerable research into these natural defensive chemicals with scientists seeking to add them to timbers from susceptible trees. A commercial product, "BlockaidTM", has been developed in Australia which uses a range of plant extracts to create a paint-on non-toxic termite barrier for buildings. In 2005, a group of Australian scientists "discovered" (announced) a treatment based on an extract of a species of Eremophila that repels termites. Tests have shown that termites are strongly repelled by the toxic material to the extent that they will starve rather than cross treated samples and when kept in close proximity to the extract become disoriented and eventually die. These scientists hope to use this toxic compound commercially to prevent termite feeding.


Edited by Dave The Nefarious, 04 April 2007 - 05:11 PM.

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#10
creature of the forest

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Bush Buggered,

I haven't grown directly in the ground for a few years but when I did I had problems with termites.

One thing that I identified with termites attacking the plants was that I was planting seedlings that had been grown in beer cups in potting mix. Potting mix contains a lot of pine bark which the termites love.
I think they were attracted to the potting mix and while they were there they also ate the plants; eating the roots and also hollowing out the stem.

I switched to growing in pots after that but now I want to start a new patch growing directly in soil so I too am interested in the termite issue.
To grow in pots you need a close by permanent water source, which is not always easy to find in the Australian bush.
To be able to grow away from a permanent water source gives more options in relation to available grow sites.

I have come across a number of other peoples grows which are not near any water source, with too many plants for them to be carrying water to the site; their plants seem to grow ok with just the natural rainfall, so it seems it is possible to grow like this.

One thing I will be doing is growing the seedlings/clones in an inorganic mix of probably perlite and vermiculite until they are ready to be planted out in the spot.
This will eliminate using the potting mix which the termites are attracted to.

Termites also need damp ground to survive; I'm thinking that if I don't water too often, thus letting the soil dry out for a time, this will eliminate the damp ground that attracts termites.

However not having had that much experience growing directly in the ground I don't know if this will completely stop them.

I have also thought of planting late in the season, say putting clones about 25cm high in the ground about start to middle of Feburary; this will reduce the amount of time that the termites will have to damage them.
I know from experience that you still can get good sized plants planting late as middle of February, they are ready to harvest about two weeks later than the ones planted November.
In my one year of growing in the ground I planted a spring crop; (planted indoor-veged. plants outdoors about start of September
and harvested last week of October to first week November, any that go later than this start to revert back to veg.)
None of these had termite problems between planting and harvest; I left the harvested plants in the ground and as the days got longer they re-vegged, however when they got about a meter tall and were nice and bushy the termites finally found them; one by one they just fell over, their roots eaten away.
So you see it seems that with a short season grow it is possible to dodge the termites.

This year I'm going to plant out the patch at the start of November and see what happens; if they get eaten then I will replant again later in the season and see if those ones make it through.
However I'm not going to be totally passive about the situation, and that's why I'm here, to find out if there is anything I can do to tip the odds in my favour.

To the person who said he had been growing in the bush for 20 years, sorry I forget your name, I'm new to this site and are unsure how to get back to the thread without losing my post here; could you advise what products you use on your garden for termites, where you can get them from and how to apply them.

Also has anyone here used bait stations and if so do they work and where can you get them from.

I have heard that Borax kills termites, but it can be toxic to plants.
I was thinking of burying a few containers of potting mix or pine bark soaked in a borax solution around the edges of the grow as home-made bait stations, see if this works.


Thanks,
creature of the forest.
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