Termite Damage

Symptoms

Small-diameter galleries found throughout palm roots, trunks, and leaves accompanied by fine granular frass are typical signs of termite damage (Figs. 1 and 2). Young and weak palms can be killed, while trunks of large specimens can become structurally unsound.

May be confused with

Banana moth (Opogona sacchari) also creates feeding galleries within the trunks and leaf bases of living palms.

Cause

A number of species of termites feed within the trunks, roots, and leaves of palms. Termites are particularly problematic on palms in Hawaii.

Occurrence

"Live wood" termites occur throughout the world's humid tropics.

Last updated May 2015

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