An educational guide to help you get rid of unwanted termites.
How To Get Rid Of Termites
Termites can do a great deal of damage to your wood pile, shed, house, or other building in a very short amount of time, particularly if a large group of them is present. To minimize the damage due to termites, the smart action is to get rid of them as quickly as possible and stop them from returning.
Hire A Professional
The smartest, most effective, and quickest way to get rid of termites is to hire a professional to take care of them for you. They will have the experience necessary to spot the signs of termites and know the removal methods that are most likely to deliver results. They will even be able to confirm that all termites are gone at the end, possibly offering a guarantee of some sort to save you time and money. Additionally, a professional will know which chemical treatments are legal to use in your area and be able to apply them safely. If you don’t want to hire a professional or are simply curious about the methods they may use to get rid of the termites, then keep reading.
Finding The Infestation
The first step to getting rid of termites is knowing exactly where they are and being aware of what type you are dealing with. Some major warning signs of termites you may not be aware of include sagging floors, hollow foundation, and holes in the woodwork. Try tapping on wood to see if it is hollow then pressing a screwdriver into it to see if it is strong. If the wood falls apart right away, termites are likely to blame. You may also see termite waste, which is darker brown or wood-colored and in a pellet shape. Sometimes, you will find a nest. In the case of dry wood termites, this will be inside wood while subterranean termites will create tubes and tunnels in mud.
Reduce The Numbers With Cardboard
Although this method won’t get all the termites, you can use cardboard to start to reduce the quantity you have left to remove. Since termites feed on the cellulose found in cardboard, they are attracted to this. Wet several flat strips of some cardboard and stack them. Once it is infested, burn it in a safe area.
Use Beneficial Nematodes
If the termites you are dealing with are outside, buy some beneficial nematodes to take care of them naturally. These are small and unsegmented worms that are actually natural parasites to termites as well as other garden pests. The nematodes search for a host, like the termite larvae, and then burrow into them. They will typically kill the termite within 48 hours and then use the host’s carcass to spawn.
Use Permethrin Dust
One of the most common chemicals used to kill termites, permethrin dust is completely natural and will deliver immediate results. As a bonus, it not only works on termites, but is also effective against other insects, including ground beetles, bagworms, wasps, ants, and ticks.
Use Arsenic Dust
Another effective chemical dust a professional may use to get rid of termites is arsenic dust. This treatment works well because it is referred to as cannibalistic. In other words, the termites will transfer the chemicals to other insects that feed on the termites, helping solve more than just your termite issues.
Lower The Temperature
Termites cannot survive in lower temperatures so dropping that of your home can also help kill them. Unfortunately, it needs to be 20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Because of this, most homeowners won’t simply turn down their thermostat. An alternative is using liquid nitrogen in key areas where the termites congregate to lower the temperature there.
Let Sunlight Do The Work
Additionally, sunlight can kill termites naturally. Because of this, you may see some results simply by opening up the windows and letting more sunlight in.
Use Water Or Salt
Termites can drown, so depending on where they are, you can use water to take care of them. This works best in outdoor areas where you can just flood it. Obviously, it will be less effective inside your home as you don’t want to cause water damage. You can target termites with a very concentrated solution of salt water. This will lead to the termites dying from dehydration.
Try Boric Acid
If you look at the ingredient lists for termite insecticides, you will notice that boric acid is a common ingredient. This substance will dehydrate the termite and shut down its nervous system. Use the boric acid in bait stations by spraying wood or cardboard with it.
Prevent More Termites
After getting rid of your termites, a professional can give you advice as to how to prevent future infestations. They will likely suggest you keep your home dry as termites like damp areas due to their need for water. You should also get rid of any standing wood that could attract the insects and seal cracks in the house that could serve as entry points.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.