Termites in soil


Our house had termites and so they were obviously in the soil. They were treated every year for over 10 years and we have been certified termiteless. And now we are moving to a different town. If I dump out the soil and wash out my clay pots may I take them with me or will the termited soil still be on them. I.e., I have a little pine tree about 6 years old in a pot with some soil from the garden and I’d like to take it.  Have you any advice?


Usually potting soil (not soil from your yard) is used for plants in clay pots.  However, from your question, you indicate that at least one of your pots contains soil from your garden.

As your yard was treated for over 10 years for termites, it sounds as though the garden soil may still have contained termites when you potted up the pine tree 6 years ago.  You do not say how your house or the soil were treated to get rid of the termites, or who certified these areas termite-free.  A number of unanswered questions remain.  Please note that our expertise relates to gardening, not pest control.

The best advice I located is from the City of Guelph, which has a rigorous termite management plan in place to control the insects and prevent damage to structures.  In order to prevent spread of termites, the City advises that wood or soil should not be moved from termite zones.   See Termites in Guelph.

The fact that you are asking this question makes me suspect that you remain concerned that there may still be termites lurking in the soil in your pots.  I suggest that you start fresh (and worry-free) in your new town, and that you not bring any soil from the old property.  This includes discarding any clay pots that have held the  garden soil, and leaving your little pine behind.

You may also want to check whether termites are a concern in your new town.