Termites are tiny bugs that mainly feed on the cellulose present in wood. They are silent and if left to their own devices, can cause us a lot of damage which includes structural damage to our houses.
Professional treatment can be expensive and using chemicals cannot be termed as the best choice. So is there any natural way to eliminate them? A natural pesticide?
You may have heard of boric acid as a natural pesticide but does it kill termites? Let’s find it out.
Does Boric Acid Kill Termites?
It doesn’t kill termites on contact but it is a natural pesticide and wood preservative.
When termites swallow boric acid, it inhibits their absorption of nutrients. They will starve no matter how much they have eaten. It works by dehydrating them and shutting down their nervous system.
How to Use Boric Acid?
Boric acid generally comes in powder form so it can be sprinkled as it is or sprayed after diluting it with water.
For outdoor use, spray the powder in areas where you suspect termites are nesting. While for indoor use, mix boric acid with warm water in a clean spray bottle. Shake the bottle until the powder gets dissolved. Soak all suspected areas with it and repeat the process every day for 3-4 days.
There are two ways how boric acid acts:
Apply boric acid to the areas where termites frequently travel. The granules present there, will stick to the exoskeleton of the insect.
Boric acid is abrasive. The sticking will abrade the exoskeleton, eventually killing the termite. After moving back to their colony, they spread the boric acid to other members too.
When termites eat boric acid, its abrasive powders damage their digestive tract and thus kill them. Their nervous system also gets damaged.
However, it doesn’t happen immediately. If you leave the boric solution out for termites to eat, they will take it back to the colony to share, ultimately killing the entire colony.
Precautions to Take While Using Boric Acid
Boric acid is considered less toxic than other chemicals, but still, there are some precautions we have to take while using it.
- Do not use boric acid in areas where children and pets may get into it. Eaten in high doses, it can cause liver, kidney, endocrine issues in dogs, rabbits, rats.
- Its abrasive nature can cause skin and eye irritation. Eye protection glasses, long sleeve gloves, and pants should be worn when using boring acid pesticide products.
Alternative Ways to Deal With Termites
In case you don’t want to use Boric acid, here are two alternatives that are just as easily available:
Vinegar – This acidic substance kills the termites on contact. All we have to do is just mix up a half cup of vinegar with lemon juice, and here you got your termite killer. Spray it to the suspected areas.
Orange oil – it is derived from orange peels and is made up of d-limonene which is deadly to termites. It dissolves the exoskeleton of termites which causes them to lose moisture and proteins. This results in their death.
Though like every other method, using boric acid has its own pros and cons, it’s still one of the more convenient ways to deal with termites.
Easy to use. Less expensive. Chemicals free. Boric acid checks all the boxes and thus can be termed as one of the ideal ways of eliminating termites.
We hope this article helped you clear some doubts. Thanks for reading!