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  • Do termites eat plants?

    Created by Mbartl1987@gmail.com on

    Hello all,

    New member here. South Texas resident… I have these little bugs crawling all over my vegetable plants and all throughout the soil… They almost look like ants, I thought they were spider mites at first but now I’m not so sure.

    I tried using Sevin Dust on the soil, has little to no effect on them… Or if it does, maybe they’re just coming back too quickly for me to notice!

    I’m not sure if you can tell by the picture, but the head is black with antenna, there is a small midsection and the thorax is brown/whitish brown.

    A few of my plants are starting to look a little stressed, Drooping leaves and whatnot. Following a regular feeding and watering schedule so I’m not sure if it’s the bugs doing this. Either way these things can’t be good for the plants.

    Does anybody know what these little insects are and how to get rid of them? My plants are in containers on my apartment porch, they seem to be crawling up the staircase, tunneling through the Wood banister and emerging on the other side and into my containers. Thank you for any help anyone can provide!

    20180602 154920

  • Author
  • #278032

    Eric Vinje


    There’s some good news and some bad news. It looks like your pest problem is a termite. The good part is that they won’t harm your plants, because they feed on decaying wood, not living plant material. The bad news is that your wood banister is probably being munched on. The best thing to do would be to check out our termite control page and see what works best for you.


    The Difference Between Termites and Ants
    • Termites have relatively straight antennae.
    • Ants have elbowed antennae.
    • The termite abdomen is broadly joined to the thorax — no waist.
    • Ants have a narrow waist and appear segmented.
    • Termites have two pair of wings (front and back) that are almost equal in length.
    • Ants have two pair of wings — the front wings are much larger than the back wings.

    Best of luck!



    There are different kinds of termites, I think the one that you are having trouble of was an agricultural termite. They are known to attack cellulose either on the roots of plants, or above ground. The agricultural termites prefer to eat decomposing grasses, but in times of drought, they will attack growing ground covers just like what Vinje mentioned above.

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