How to treat a termite nest outside

You’re doing some gardening and come across a strange mound that wasn’t there six months ago, or you glance up into a tree in the backyard and see this brown appendage protruding out the side of the tree trunk and you wonder, what is that?!

Why you should treat the termites in your garden

It’s normal to have termites foraging in your garden all year round, particularly here in South-East Queensland where we have warm temperatures and ample moisture. Should you do something about it – absolutely. Don’t buy into the “urban myth” that if you leave the termites alone, they’ve politely not visit your home. It’s just not that convenient. Actually, if you don’t kill the termites in your garden, you’ll just be allowing the colonies to build up numbers to the optimal size so when they do find a conceal point of entry into your home, they will cause maximum damage.

What does a termite nest look like?

There are five types of termite nest you can find in the garden:

  1. Arboreal nest








2. Tree trunk nest

Termite nest red gum








3. Tree stump nest







4. Mound nest

Termite Nest










4. Embedded nest in landscape timbers

Arboreal termite nest

How you treat a termite nest on the outside of a tree depends on how high it is located. If it is low then one of our Technicians can inject a non-repellent transfer chemical (Termidor) directly into the nest. If the nest is located up high, then the safest and most appropriate treatment is to rod the non-repellent transfer chemical into the soil continuously around the base of the tree and also to drill and inject into the trunk of the tree if there is a cavity. More information

Tree trunk termite nest

Trees are a favorite nesting spot for termites. If the tree has a good girth there will be ample deadwood in the middle for the termites to establish their home, completely conceal and secret from you. To treat live termites in a tree our Technicians need to drill several holes right into the middle searching for a hollow area. We can insert a borescope to get visual confirmation of termites. More information

Once we can confirm there are termites inside the tree, our Technician will inject a liquid non-repellent transfer chemical (Termidor). This is completely safe for the health of the tree (actually greatly improves by stopping the termites eating the heart of the tree), plus we seal the drill holes with plugs or sealant.

Tree stumps termite nest

Tree stumps eventually become an ideal place for termites to establish their nest. Once a stump “ages” the timbers become susceptible and desirable to foraging termites. For a young termite colony, stumps provide an ample source of food and a safe haven. The best way not to have termites in your tree stumps is not to have tree stumps! Once you have a tree cut down, get it ground out. If you have live termites or a termite nest in the stump, get it treated by booking one of our Technician to inject a liquid non-repellent transfer chemical (Termidor), then get it ground out. More information

Mound termite nest

A mound nest is basically a rounded mass of hard mud protruding above the ground with the Queen termites and her nursery in the middle. As the termite colony increases in size, the size of the mound grows. As the mound nest is easy to access, one of our Technicians can inject directly a non-repellent transfer chemical (Termidor).

Embedded termite nest in timber

Most gardens have retaining walls, plant boxes or some other substantive timbers embedded in the soil. These timbers, like tree stumps, can be an ideal nesting place for termites. If you see termite workings (mud packing) or feel that the timbers are hollow, get one of our Termite Inspectors to check and treat.

  1. Never have timber in contact with the ground. Even treated timber eventually becomes susceptible to termites as the protection deteriorates with time.
  2. Ensure posts are concrete or steel and if they are timber, make sure they are separated from the ground by stirrups.
  3. Use non-edible material when you landscape – why give the foraging termites a restaurant?
  4. Get any large tree checked by one of our Technicians.
  5. Remove tree stumps
  6. Prevent any excessive and continuous moisture in your garden (leaking tap, broken pipe). Termites need to “gas up” on water before eating timbers.

As mentioned, there will always be termites foraging through your garden, you can’t stop them coming from neighboring properties but you can reduce and even eradicate the nest by installing a baiting program.