Termites are fascinating creatures when you get to know them. On the other hand, they cost U.S. homeowners over $5 billion in damages each year. They may be fascinating to think about from afar, but you don’t want them anywhere near your home.
While there’s plenty of DIY treatments out there, homeowners end up achieving spotty success employing them. Then they come to us after the damage has gotten worse. Whether a specific DIY treatment will work or work thoroughly is nearly impossible to predict.
If you are considering DIY termite treatment, you may want to consider some of the roadblocks people face when trying to manage their termite problem on their own.
Startling Facts about Termites
There are three things that you should be aware of when dealing with termites. Firstly, a termite’s diet consists mainly of dead plant material. They feed on the cellulose in wood and other materials and consume it. Second, they spend 24 hours a day doing this as the worker termites are the only ones capable of feeding the reproductive and warrior termites. That’s right, 24 hours a day. Termites never sleep. They just keep eating and then bring the food back for others to keep the colony going.
Third, a termite queen can live up to 50 years and lay up to 30,000 eggs a day. Termite queens live longer than any other known insect on earth.
These are all reasons why dealing with a termite infestation is more difficult than most people give it credit for being. Nonetheless, there are a number of DIY ways to get rid of termites circulating around the internet.
Bait Monitoring Stations and Insecticides
Professional exterminators generally use some mix of both sprays and baits. The baits work on the premise that the worker termites consume the toxic material and then feed it to other members of the colony (including the queen). Hence, the poison takes out the entire colony with it.
One huge problem with baiting stations is that the termites must be able to find it. Since they already got a bunch of wood to feed on (or they wouldn’t be in your house), a baiting station alone might go ignored if not deployed correctly.
Additionally, not all members of the colony will be impacted by the poison giving the colony a chance to repopulate itself.
Orange Oil as a Termite Insecticide
You may be able to kill some individual termites with this solution (provided that they are drywood termites) but you won’t be able to get rid of the entire colony. In addition, orange oil can damage the wood that you’re trying to protect and if you leave any termites behind, it’s as good as not doing anything at all.
Some sites laughably suggest that you soak a bunch of cardboard with water and then wait for the termites to show up. Then you set the whole thing on fire and laugh in victory. Only you won’t be laughing when the termites come back.
Not all termites are tasked with the duty to chew up your house all day. Only the worker termites are. The worker termites then go back to the colony where they feed the warrior and reproductive termites. Meanwhile, the queen is producing 30,000 new eggs a day. See the problem?
Nematodes are tiny parasites that snack on termites. While nematodes will reduce the termite population, they won’t eliminate it. They can be killed by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and replenishing them can get expensive.
Why DIY Methods Fail
DIY Methods fail because they don’t respect or understand the termite. Termite societies are composed of castes. The only termites you are likely to see are the worker termites who are destroying your property. These termites then bring food back to their colonies and are, in fact, responsible for feeding the entire colony. Meanwhile, the queen is laying 30,000 new eggs a day. In other words, targeting the worker caste that is chewing up your home is only going to reduce their population for a short period of time.
Talk to the Professionals
Professionals employ a number of different techniques, including heat, to rid you of your termite problem. We ensure that the colony itself is destroyed in order to prevent them from coming back. We can also recommend ways to make your home less desirable to termites in the future.
Point Pest Control will ensure the job is done safely, efficiently, and effectively saving you money on pointless DIY methods. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up an appointment today.