You’re relaxing in your living room when you notice something odd in the corner of the room. A small pile of dust and crumbling wood litter the area where the wall and the wood floor meet. Upon closer inspection, you notice small maze-like patterns and more small piles throughout your house.
Your stomach drops as you realize you have a termite infestation. The next question is how to get rid of termites before they destroy the rest of your home.
Termites can live in your home undetected for a long period of time. They can wreak havoc on your home, can destroy entire buildings, and can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Fortunately, having termites isn’t a permanent problem. There are several ways to rid your home of these pesky bugs before they cause irreplaceable damage.
Do you want to learn how to get rid of termites in your home? These facts and tips will help you protect your home.
What Causes Termites
Termites love wood but there are many aspects of your home that may attract termites. Termites eat and thrive on wood and you can find them in both dry and moist wood in your home.
Moist soil offers water that prevents the termites from dying of dehydration. The wet soil allows the termites to efficiently build mud tubes to create byways to travel throughout your home. Termites also love warm dark places that aren’t regularly disturbed.
Knowing what attracts termites can help you prevent them from entering your home in the future. Being proactive will reduce your chances of attracting termites.
How to Get Rid of Termites
If you found telltale signs of termites, you need to act fast to exterminate them. Most termite treatments require the use of termite-killing products, chemicals, and organisms. There’s a range of treatments that are safe for indoor and outdoor use along with more progressive extermination such as termiticide and fumigation.
If the termite damage and infestation are relatively mild, DIY termite extermination can work well. If the termite infestation is severe, it’s best to contact a professional exterminator.
Exterminating Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites are more destructive than their drywood counterparts and can cause buildings to completely collapse. This termite lives in your foundation wood, soil, and compost piles. They make mud tubes as byways to travel throughout your home.
There are several options for exterminating subterranean termites including conventional treatments and organic options.
Direct chemicals are an immediate solution that you spray directly into cracks, crevices, and voids where termites are likely to live.
Exterminating foams will expand where you spray them and evaporate. When dried, they leave behind a poisonous residue that kills the termites upon contact. This treatment can last for about a month before reapplication.
Carefully read the safety warnings for any pest control chemical you use. Some are relatively safe and odorless while others may require you to vacate your home for a short period of time.
Termiticide barriers are professional-grade termite extermination chemicals available in some states. Apply termiticide barriers to the exterior of your home, paying extra attention to any exterior wood trim.
Termites won’t be able to detect the areas of your home treated with termiticide. When termites eat any wood treated with termiticide, they will die.
The termiticide also works similar to a virus and can spread from one termite to the next. This quickly and effectively kills the termites.
Termite baits install around your home’s foundation and are a proven way to exterminate termites. The bait attracts the termites to the poison. When consumed, the poison slowly kills the termite.
Similar to termiticide, an infected termite can bring the termite bait poison back to the colony and pass it on to other termites.
Beneficial nematodes are microscopic roundworms and a natural parasite to many pests, including termites. They burrow deep within their host release a poisonous bacteria that slowly kills the host in as little as a few days.
Mix the nematodes with fresh potting soil and cold water. Apply the mixture to infested areas along the exterior of your foundation, garden, and lawn.
Exterminating Drywood Termites
While subterranean termites require soil to live, drywood termites can thrive in only wood. This termite is most common along the coasts and ranges from 1/8 to 1/2 an inch in size. They don’t create mud tubes but rather mazes directly on and in the wood.
This type of termite isn’t as damaging as subterranean termites but they can still cause serious damage to any wood features in your home.
Many termite extermination treatments contain boric acid, a common and efficient termiticide. When termites consume the boric acid, it’ll dehydrate them and shut down the termite’s nervous system. Apply boric acid inside and outside your home in cracks, crevices, and other areas where termites might inhabit.
Cardboard traps are not the most effective treatment but they will help you know if you have termites. Create a trap by wetting two pieces of cardboard and stacking them together. Place the wet cardboard near the termite site.
The wet cellulose in the cardboard will attract the termites and trap them between the two pieces of cardboard. Once the cardboard fills, you check for termites and can burn it.
Diatomaceous earth is a powder consisting of fossilized organisms with exoskeletons containing silica. The powder will perforate the termite’s exoskeleton and dehydrate them to death. Sprinkle the powder in areas where you notice termite damage.
Neem oil and orange oil kill termites by preventing them from laying eggs and shedding their skin. Mix ten drops of oil with two cups of water and a few drops of dish soap. Spray the solution onto the infested wood and other termite-infested areas of your home.
Exterminate Termites the Right Way
Learning how to get rid of termites and prevent them will keep your home in great shape. Should you find termites, you must act quickly to exterminate them to prevent irreversible and expensive damage. Follow the tips above to exterminate and prevent termite infestations in your home.
Are you unsure of the severity of your termite infestation? Contact our professionals, we’re happy to help you with any of your pest control needs.