Ways of Killing Termites

If you’ve never encountered termites, they are termed as social insects which mean you’re likely to find them in groups known as colonies. They eat wood and they do it non-stop! Normally they need a lot of moisture, hence you will find some termites in dying wood, wood that is damp or in houses with leaky pipes which dampen the wood.

There are two general types of termites likely to have infested your house: Drywood and Subterranean, which are notably destructive to buildings.

Drywood termites need no soil contact for survival and can survive in wood only, thus any crevices or cracks in wood can become an entrance for them. Subterranean termites may be found in both the soil around your house and your house’s wood as well, not to mention foundational wood and compost piles. They thrive via protection from small spaces and require moisture to survive. They are more harmful to your house as compared to drywood termites.

Drywood Termites

  • Orange oil, which is an extract from orange peels is very irritating once it comes into contact with the skin, thus adequate precautions should be taken when handling it. Its active ingredient, D-Limonene, has proved fatal to many insect varieties by dissolution of their exoskeleton followed by the destruction of the cell membranes resulting in the insects’ death. Injection of the orange oil in hollow spaces where the insects feed will give you results within 3 weeks or less.
  • They can be electrocuted with the assistance of conveyable electric devices. You do not need to drill holes, but when done, the elimination may be slightly more effective.
  • Sunlight kills them as well due to their affinity to darkness. If possible, remove the item that is affected from the house and expose it to sunlight. It should be left outside for 2 to 3 days.
  • You may also use a microwave though the efficiency of this method is 91%, depending on detection accuracy and treatment time. Wood that is 1-2 feet needs 10-30 minutes of treatment. Drilling of holes is not necessary.

Subterranean Termites

  • You can use beneficial nematodes which are minute species of worms without segments that look for hosts, i.e. termites, tunnel into them inducing death in approximately 48 hours. Spray them in the infested areas in the house and the yard and let them do the rest.
  • Another effective method to kill them is Boric acid. It is a natural insecticide and it dehydrates them after shutting down their nervous systems. Spray the wood with it or place bait stations of it in the garden and in your home. Take precaution when handling it as it is toxic if ingested or inhaled. Use gloves and a face mask and keep children and pets at bay when working with it.
  • Cardboard traps- seeing as termites also feed on anything with cellulose like cardboard and paper; this is great bait for them. Dampen about 3-5 cardboard sheets and stack them near the most affected area. When it becomes infested with the insects, put gloves on and take the traps out and burn them. Repeat this process several times if necessary. It is recommended to use this method in conjunction with others to achieve better results.

Termite bombs also are known as pesticide foggers and consist of liquid insecticide (termiticide) in high-pressure aerosol cans, which disperse a pesticide fog into the air that falls on exposed surfaces and on the ground after some time. The bugs come into contact with the toxic substance and die.

Home Remedies

  1. Essential oils such as clove bud oil are quite effective in killing termites. Put the oil into a mist sprayer and spray any suspect affected areas. To prevent their reappearance, Vetiver oil can be used
  2. Soak cotton balls with an organic compound such as sodium chloride coupled with a cleaning agent and fill the balls in a plastic cover and place them in all affected areas. This kills the insects while preventing their reappearance altogether.
  3. Aloe is another home remedy that kills the bugs that come into contact with it only. Crush the plant in a container and put enough water to cover it. Strain the liquid after several hours and mix water with the aloe in the ratio 5:1. Spray directly onto the bugs.