Termites – Planting Too Close to Foundation

Q: I have planted a vine close to the foundation of our house. I want to train the limbs into a pattern against the blank brick wall like I’ve seen done in garden design magazines. Now that it is in place I’m worried about whether my digging might have made an untreated area through which termites could attack my house. Can I termite-proof the soil myself?

A: You are correct to worry about disturbing the termiticide barrier around your home. However, if you dug the planting hole more than twelve inches from the foundation, the chance of having broken the chemical barrier is slim. According to Dan Suiter, Extension Service termite specialist, homeowner insecticides that contain the chemicals cypermethrin or cyfluthrin are effective termite killers. Prepare five gallons of chemical, diluted according to label directions, and pour it generously alongside your foundation. Allow it to soak in deeply. In this way the chemical barrier will be repaired and unbroken.

You’ll have to read insecticide labels thoroughly to find the products you need. Call your local Extension office (404-897-6261) for more guidance. You can use the same technique to treat around the base of wooden deck piers and the stringers that support deck stairs. Carefully read and follow all label directions.

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