Termites in Palms

Asked March 18, 2013, 4:10 PM EDT

My brother has two large California palms. He recently noticed termite tunnels on the outer bark along the lower 3-4 feet of the trunks. Upon closer inspection, we saw that the bark was loosening, and we found termite grubs underneath it. A Google search provided two contradictory solutions. One solution was to kill the termites by injecting the trees with pesticide and treating a trench around the base of the tree. The other solution said palms naturally shed their lower bark and we shouldn't worry.

Pima County Arizona

1 Response

Hi,

I suspect these are what we call true desert termites. Their habit is to build earthen coatings on plants like palms and scrape off the dead wood. I would not treat the trees or worry about them. If you want a positive identification you can capture a few, put them in a jar with rubbing alcohol and bring them to my office.

Peter