How Guelph deals with termites and Emerald Ash Borer

Preventing damage caused by invasive insects

The City monitors both termite and Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) populations. Guelph’s insect control programs vary due to key differences between the two species, and the different objectives for each program.

Termites can do more damage than EAB

Termites attack houses and other wooden structures, while EAB attacks one species of tree. While we are working to minimize the damage to Guelph’s urban forest, the potential for damage caused by EAB is not as detrimental as that of termites. Left unchecked, a termite population could have a significant impact on the overall infrastructure in Guelph.

Dealing with termites: control the spread

Guelph seeks to prevent the spread of termites and control their population, perhaps eliminate them altogether. Termites move slowly, and people can unintentionally cause termite spread. By offering free inspections and proper disposal of infested materials, the City reduces the risk of people moving termites to different parts of the city. Because they are social insects, the City can use an area-wide trap-treat-release approach; termites transmit the control agent through their own population. The City covers the cost of the area-wide program, but if a private property requires chemical treatment, the property owner covers the cost. The cost of tree and stump removals, yard wood clean up, and any structural renovations required due to termite damage would also be covered by the property owner.

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Dealing with EAB: maintain Guelph’s trees

EAB moves quickly and it’s spread cannot be easily controlled so the City’s focus is on tree maintenance; extending the lives of Guelph’s healthy Ash trees. The City is investing $90,000 to use TreeAzin to treat 500 trees on City property.

To get professional advice regarding privately-owned trees, landowners are encouraged to consult a certified arborist or forester. The owner could choose to treat a tree on private property and cover the cost, or pay to remove the tree. A landowner may be exempt from the City’s Tree By-law if the City is satisfied that EAB is present, and the tree must be removed.

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Overall, the differences between the two insect species, and the potential economic impact of each species, require the City to apply different management and control strategies.

For more information

Tim Myles
Termite Control Officer, Building Services
[email protected]

Timea Filer A.Sc.T., H.B.Sc.F.
Urban Forestry Field Technologist
Parks and Recreation
519-822-1260 extension 3352
[email protected]