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How to Control Termites Naturally

How To Control Termites Naturally

Although this post is about how to control termites naturally, the word ‘Termite” is enough to strike fear in the heart of any homeowner and consequently, the reaction of many people will be to immediately reach for poison.

How to Control Termites Naturally
Termites can quickly undermine any wooden or related materials

Can Termites be dealt with merely by the homeowner or is professional help required?
You are at the right place. Read on to find out.

What Are Termites?

Before we start, it’s important to define what Termites are. Some people use the name ants and Termites interchangeably. They are not the same thing.

The most important thing you need to know about Termites is that they feed off wood, but besides that, they are small insects that look similar to ants. Surprisingly, of the more than 2,000 different species that exist worldwide, about 40 of them are to be found regularly within the USA.

The common belief is that all termites feed off wood, whether dry & hot or cool & moist. In reality, there are different species that have differing preferences. In other words, there are some species that prefer damp wood in damp environments and other species that prefer dry wood in dry environments. In short, regardless of the climate, there’s a species of termite who thrives there.
Termites are, in most instances, less than a half-inch long. They have long wings and two small antennae.
Termites are frequently confused with flying ants and the way to distinguish them is by their color. Termites are predominantly white. Additionally, ants have longer wings – both in the front and back.

Indications Of A Termite Nest In Your Home

Fortunately for us, unlike a lot of other pests, Termites are relatively visible, as the workers travel together in swarms. If you see white, winged insects in your home, take note!!
If they are swarming around any wood or wooden structures, or books, or your home’s foundation, take EXTRA NOTE – you are probably dealing with Termites!!
Other telltale signs of an infestation, are the presence of mud ‘tubes’ that may run alongside the exterior of your house – these structures are commonly made by termites.

How to Control Termites Naturally
Mud ‘tubes’ made by termites

You may find the odd stray wing lying around, and if your eyesight is good, even trace amounts of termite excrement.
Once you find evidence of an infestation, try to pinpoint where the nest is. To do this, try tapping on the walls of your home. Listen carefully for the different sounds that come from your tapping and listen carefully for a hollow sound – that’s where the termite nest probably is.

How to Control Termites Naturally

In the majority of instances, chemical pesticides are used as a method to control a termite population. Although this method of termite control is usually effective, the homeowner needs to be extremely careful as exposure to the chemicals can pose a health risk for your family and pets.
For those of you that would prefer to make use of a more natural method of termite control termites, here are a few options:

  • Orange essential oil smells lovely to us but is poisonous to termites. Use the oil mixing several droplets with water or olive oil and pouring the contents into a spray bottle. Share the mixture vigorously immediately before use and spray liberally anywhere you’ve seen termites or evidence of termites.
  • A less well-known oil is Neem oil. It is equally poisonous for termites and consequently great for termite control. The methodology for mixing and application is the same as for the Orange essential oil described above.
    • A tip for either type of oil is to keep small children away and lock up pets so they are not directly exposed to the oils which may themselves be quite strong and cause some discomfort.
  • Borax is lethal to termites. Borax is a derivative of Boric acid. Mix with water as directed on the bottle and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray wherever you see termites.
    Unfortunately, natural forms of termite control will not eradicate the termite colony or nest entirely as the procedure only exposes the worker termites to the poisonous substances.
    In order for a termite nest to be thoroughly eradicated, the termite queen and any eggs must be destroyed. It is for this reason that it is often necessary to call in a professional termite control service for problematic hard-to-reach nests and infestations.

Prevention of termite infestations

A practical, effective and cheap solution is to pre-treat all wood with borax. This is particularly important if it is new construction or you’re in the process of self-building your own home. This treatment not only deters termites but kills any termites that do get in. As an added precaution for termite control (as well as many other pests), you should seal entry points to your home. Do this methodically by:

  • Placing screens on any vents and windows, and,
  • Removing clutter and especially wood debris from near your home.

These measures do not guarantee absolute termites termite control, but will drastically reduce the risk of termite infestation.

In Conclusion

Termites can become a real problem if not dealt with early and decisively. Use the suggested ‘natural’ methods contained in this article and if you still have a problem, consult a professional termite control service.

Sven Welsh

What started out as an intention to economically protect my family and property from the ravages (and some dangers) of pests, has turned into a quest to share my research and findings with others.
Despite the cost and potential dangers of some eradication techniques, there are cost-effective and ethical ways of dealing with pests.
Knowledge is power.

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