Termites are the most common problem of homeowners. Everyone wants to get rid of them. No one wants their wooden furniture to get attacked by termites. But how can we prevent this? What are the termite treatments available for us?
With the help of this article, I am going to tell you the most suitable and effective techniques to get rid of termites. All these techniques are based on the size of the termite infestation you are having.
Not only the cure, how to prevent this problem in the future, is also covered in this article.
We will begin with how to identify a termite infestation and then will move forward with its treatments.
Identifying the Infestation
Before looking for any solution, it is better to properly understand the problem. The same goes for using techniques to get rid of termites. If you can figure out what kind of infestation you are having, you can choose the most suitable technique for the treatment of termites.
For that, we need to learn to identify the infestation first. Below mentioned are the most common signs of a termite infestation. If these things are present in your house then you may be having a termite infestation.
- Mud tubes
- Wood damage signs
- Stuck doors and windows
- Mounds of termites
- Swarmers (termites who can fly)
We would do almost anything to keep our wooden furniture away from termites. Whether it’s chemicals or termiticides, we are ready to go for it. These products promise the destruction of termites but at the same time provide a risk to our health too.
We cannot ignore the termites, we have to eliminate them from our house. Having some natural treatments which not only kill the termites but at the same time don’t compromise our health is a blessing.
These natural treatments can be carried out by yourself without requiring any professional assistance.
Below is the list of some DIY techniques for the removal of termites:
- Neem Oil- It has been used as a pest controller for years. It is derived from the evergreen neem tree through its seeds. This tree is found in the Indian sub-continent.
The working of this oil is simple. After inhaling this, termites forget to eat and mate. The ones who don’t eat die and since they have forgotten to mate, the chances of having newborn termites become very less.
It changes the working of their hormones, which results in the interruption of their reproductive cycle. Also, termites don’t like the smell of this oil, so you can use this oil as a protective layer for areas having a risk of termite infestation.
This oil is easily available at any store. For using this as a termite killer, we have to make a mixture of it with water and milk liquid soap. Emulsify the oil by mixing it with mild liquid soap and then adding some water to it. Here you are with your termite killer.
You can pour it into a spraying bottle and can spray it whenever you see a termite or an infestation.
- Orange Oil– Just like neem oil, orange oil is also considered an effective termite killer. It is made up of d-limonene, a solvent proven to be deadly for termites.
This oil causes the exoskeleton of termites to dissolve thus making them lose their proteins and moisture. All this results in their death at the end. Spraying bottles can be used here as well.
Although it is low in toxicity and simple in usage, this option only works for the early stages of infestation and for termites who are found above the ground. For an infestation under the ground, you have to look for an alternative.
- Salt- Salt, a termite killer? Seriously? Most of us wouldn’t believe it. But the fact is, this harmless ingredient which we use daily for our food purposes can easily strike fear in termites’ bodies.
It makes them dehydrated, eventually killing them. We have to do nothing to make salt a termite killer, just mix it up with warm water. The more salt, the better the result.
- White Vinegar- Two lemons with a half cup of white vinegar, this is what it takes to get a termite killer out of white vinegar. Mix it up and pour it into the targeted areas. A spraying bottle is a great option for this purpose.
The reason why it is termed as a successful method to get rid of termites is that it can sink deeply into the grooves and crevasses for the killing purpose.
The distribution of white vinegar should be done in areas like wooden furniture, fences, corners, and entrances.
- Boric Acid– The first thing that must be known about this termite killer is that it doesn’t kill termites on contact. After tasting and digesting it, termites lose the ability to attain nutrients.
No matter how much they eat, they won’t get any nutrients from it. Ultimately they die from the lack of nutrition.
Boric acid is a wood preservative and a natural pesticide. We have to dilute it in water for its usage as it usually comes in powder form.
Some precautions have to be taken while using it, such as wearing masks and gloves. When using inside, make sure boric acid is completely dissolved in the warm water. Use it for a week for better results.
Usage of Termiticides
What are termiticides? Why do we have to use it if we have already got natural treatments?
Termiticides are products made up of chemicals used for killing termites and preventing their infestations.
Most of the natural treatments are not effective when it comes to the prevention of future infestation or removing the infestation from the root level. We have to use them again and again, also they are most effective against small infestations only.
Due to these drawbacks, we have to opt for termiticides. There are many termiticides available in the market, making it difficult for homeowners to choose the best one.
So to solve this problem we are here with the list of termiticides that are tested and come among the top-ranked termiticides.
- Premise Termiticide– The main component of this termiticide is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used chemicals for killing termites. We have to mix it with water for its usage. It can be injected into holes drilled in walls or surfaces. It can be used for trees as well.
- Termidor Termiticide– Termidor is non-toxic but inhaling or ingesting it is harmful to humans. So be very cautious while using it. The main chemical used in this is fipronil. Mix 10 ml of Termidor in 2 liters of water, and here you are ready with your termite killer.
- Phantom Termiticide– Chlorfenapyr is the active ingredient of this termiticide. It kills termites along with some other pests such as ants, cockroaches, bugs, etc. it is non-toxic but better keep the children and pets outside of the house till it gets dried up.
- Fuse Termiticide– It is made up of 2 chemicals, imidacloprid, and fipronil. Its usage is very common during the construction of a new structure. It is meant to be used outdoors but you can use it for indoor purposes too.
Just like the Phantom termiticide, it too can kill bugs, ants, and other pests. Children and pets shouldn’t be allowed near it till it gets dry.
- Taurus Sc Termiticide– With Fipronil as its active ingredient, Taurus is effective against many other pests along with termites. These pests include spiders, ants, bugs, millipedes, and centipedes.
To get desired results, we have to wait for three months. It is non-toxic and non-repellent.
Treatments For Large Infestations
We can’t use chemicals or natural treatments all over the house. For larger infestations, we need a proper team with their professional techniques.
Following methods of eliminating termites fulfills both of these requirements.
- Bait Treatments– This treatment requires the drilling of holes around the house and the targeted areas. Bait stations are installed over these holes. Termites first feed on the poison and then carry it to their colonies.
This method works very well for subterranean and drywood termites. One point to remember is that it requires multiple visits.
- Tenting Treatments– Having an infestation that has been spread all over the house is not a problem anymore as we have got tenting treatment. In this treatment, the whole structure or the house is covered with a tent, the chemicals are then released into the enclosed environment.
This method is best for larger infestations and covers more area than bait treatment or chemical treatments.
- Fumigation Treatment– It is similar to tenting treatment but more aggressive as it involves the usage of gas. Just like the tenting treatment, the entire targeted area is covered with a tent. The only difference is that instead of chemicals, lethal gases are released inside the structure.
Several hours are required for its completion. Residents along with their pets are not permitted to enter the house for at least 3-5 days till the neutralization of the gas is being done.
- Heat Tenting Treatments– If you do not want chemicals or gases to be released inside your house, then you can give this technique a go. It is a chemical-free, organic treatment not just for the entire house but also can be used for small areas too.
Firstly the targeted area is covered with tents. Hot air is then released inside the area till the overall temperature becomes 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature for wood structures is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This hot temperature can kill termites and finish their colonies.
The process takes around 8 hours to get completed, and the tent is removed only when the temperature goes back to normal. After this, the homeowners are finally allowed to enter their houses.
How to Prevent Future Infestations?
There are various methods we have discussed here which will help you to get rid of termites. But we can avoid the need for these methods by following some prevention techniques.
As we say precaution is better than cure, here are the following steps that you must take to prevent a termite infestation in your house;
- Getting Rid of Moisture– Moisture is one of the key elements that attracts almost all kinds of pests. If you can get rid of excess moisture, it will help in keeping termites away from your house.
This can be done by investing in dehumidifiers. In summer, air conditioners can be used for reducing moisture.
- Fix Leaks– The roofs and walls laden with moisture act as an invitation for termites. The decayed roofs and walls are a result of leakage. Regular checking and fixing should be done to avoid such leakage.
Checking basement leakage should be a priority as it is a primary target for a termite attack.
- Maintaining Distance Between Soil and Wood– To protect your home foundation, make sure to have some distance between the soil of your garden and the wood.
Stones and cement can be used for this purpose. Physical barriers are required to prevent attacks from termites to any wooden structure present around the soil.
- Use of Borate– This is one of the most popular termite repellents used for protecting wooden structures from termite attacks.
The process involves applying borate to the wooden structure, then waiting for it to get dried. After the completion of drying, apply paint to the wooden furniture. This borate layer is strong enough to repel termites for years.
If you want to get rid of termites it is better to analyze what kind of infestation you are having. A small infestation can be treated with natural treatments but if you want to have more success and prevention from future infestations, you can opt for chemicals.
Larger infestation treatments require more money and effort but are very effective. Also, treating large infestations with chemical and natural methods is not at all easy.
While performing natural and chemical treatments take necessary precautions and while opting for tenting treatments, always check the pest control team. Their experience, techniques, etc are some of the factors which must be looked into before hiring them.
Overall you can get rid of termites, but don’t stop yourself there, take necessary precautions, always look for signs of termite infestation and treat them as quickly as you can.