Saturday, June 5, 2010

termites attacking papaya plant.

We plucked 4 papaya.

 nest at papaya lower stem

 nest at papaya lower stem



little holes at the stem
I suspect termites has got into the stem. Papaya has hollow stem.

 The plant is very tall, almost to the roof.

Papaya and Termites
I have seen termites nest at the lower part of papaya stem. The nest was fresh and it was easy to scrape them off using stick. Then there were termites running about. I sprayed them with shelltox, the ordinary mosquito repellent.  The next day, the nest would be built again. After a couple of hide and seek game, i went over the hardware shop and ask for termite poison. A medium sized bottle at RM13.00. The next day, We did a final hide and seek game with the termites as shown in the photographs.

I dont think the plant will last for much longer. Termites are just agents for death. The plant is really changing now, a general weakening process is taking place... That morning we plucked 4 mature papaya. That would probably be the last mature papaya we could harvest. The death is imminent.

Some info about termites
 There are about 3,000 species of termites. Termites are small, pale, soft-bodied insects that live in a nest or colony system. They feed primarily on wood. They have numerous castes which are relatively undifferentiated and perform much of the colony work. There is a specialized soldier caste with stronger head and jaw features and often with mouthparts that are more suited to defense than to feeding. The reproductive caste is produced when nymphs mature to develop wings and generally have a darker coloring. Termites are very weak fliers, and their wings are shed shortly after nuptial flight. Their heads are rounded, their antennae are beaded, and they generally do not have eyes, except those in the reproductive caste. (click here for full: Termite Control)



  1. That's too bad. Hope you still get high-quality fruits.

  2. Sad to lose a mature tree like that, do you plan on replanting a new one?

  3. Luckily, I haven't had that problem yet!

  4. patah tumbuh
    hilang berganti

    dont feel too sad, u will get a new plant soon i guess.

  5. Hi Bangchik, hope you enjoy the four papaya!

  6. oh, that's too bad. Poor tree.

    Honestly, I wasn't sure what termites looked like, and especially what nests looked like. Thanks for the info. And too bad about the tree - you tried!!

  7. I think a visit by the pest control for your entire house is imminent too. Trees can always be re-planted, to rebuild a house is another story....

  8. Ewww, sorry to hear about the loss of your tree. But good that you got to harvest that last fruit!

    Termites are no joke. Carpenter ants are even worse. We had to have some exterminated earlier this year. Best to nip it in the bud as soon as you can!

  9. that's such a shame. If those termites are as destructive as they are to timbers in our houses that's bad news for your papaya tree. Perhaps if you expose them then your local birds might enjoy a meal?

  10. AaronVFT
    I am not too sure there are more fruits for us..

    Yes, a new plant 3 feet away.

    You are lucky then..

    of course a new plant waiting... but the wait will be long for fruits.

    Thanks.. the four is like a feast over the last four papaya...

    I probably have wiped out the colony, but the trunk has been damaged with holes and tunnels.

    KL Vegetable Garden
    The house is under full control. The pest control people came a few months ago.

    They live in the ground, that makes it difficult to battle with them...

    Termites are no where to be seen now, but the papaya tree is weakening and yellowing... a sure sign of imminent death.

    Have a nice day.

  11. Termites are our problem also in the province and your experience is also ours with other trees like avocado, pommelo, etc. I will open your link for control later, i am sure i will learn a lot from it. Thank you for that.

  12. ~Andrea
    The house we are living in were treated with termite control during construction stage, and perimeter termites spray are done once a year. Its fine with building. But the whole big piece of land is the living room of termites. They can be anywhere they like. Once we interact with them then they have to go.... I will update on the fate of termites problem soon.

  13. I feel sorry that no more papaya - a fruit that I do love to eat.

    We have ants inside our house now and do try to get them away.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog, have not forgot you only short of time,
    Maria Berg

  14. If only that papaya tree could talk, it can express the pain it feels every time the termites bite its stem. Well, it's been 2 years since then; did you cut the papaya tree down, or you left it just like that on the picture?

  15. Seeing termites makes me feel itchy! It was a good idea to treat it and and get the infestation under control on your own, but it’d be much better if you had it serviced by a professional pest control company. Next time, to save your papaya tree, let the experts do the pest control for you.

  16. Termites destroy every types of trees. Wooden material are cruel victim of termites. They destroy woods for moth food and nest. Getting rid of them is really very difficult and time consuming. Good termite baiting system can protect our properties from those devils.


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