They lurk round the corners, unnoticed, slowly increasing in numbers right under your nose…until one day you find half eaten books and holes on the woodwork. No they’re not ghosts or some sci-fi monsters in fact it is something you come across frequently-termites, tiny white creatures that can shake the very foundation of your home. Creaking floors and sagging furniture are all signs that your house has been infested by a colony of termites. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to spend a fortune hiring professionals for pest control, mentioned below are some effective home remedies for getting rid of termites. Check them out-
What causes termites?
It is no secret that termites can be a big nuisance for your property. But before you start applying any of the home remedies for getting rid of them, you first need to identify the causes that lead to these infestations. This will help you take necessary precautions to prevent termites. They are-
- Use of Scrap wood in construction
- Warm weather and humidity
- Cracks and hollow in-between the stairs
- Scarcity of sunlight
- Damp walls and wood in and around the property
- Piling up of mulch etc.
Other factors include dirty clogged gutters, damp drainage pipes, etc.
Signs to look out for-
For killing termites you need to locate them first and that is no easy feat! As a property owner your first concern is the sturdiness and aesthetic value of your property. And termites are the last things you need at your home. Here are certain symptoms you should be looking out for-
- Hollow sounding wood;
- Cracked paint on wooden surfaces
- Discarded wings lying around
- Mud trails on exterior walls; etc.
If you find any of these symptoms, take necessary termite control measures immediately.
Home Remedies to get rid of termites:
Before you start formulating strategies for finishing off termite colonies, it is practical that you know more about the enemy. Termites are of two types, the subterranean termite and the dry wood termite. Both feed on wood, while the subterranean thrives underground and latches onto moist trees, the dry wood termites are commonly found at homes and are known to feast on wood. Getting rid of termites the natural way is not a one day job, you need proper planning. Try out these few home remedies to get rid of them permanently-
1. Orange oil
Orange oil is a very affordable and practical way of getting rid of termite colonies. This oil is extracted from the orange peel, and is an effective biological pest control agent. Mix a few drops of orange oil with water and spray this mixture on the termites infected area.
2. Foams and insecticides
Foam and insecticides are a popular choice for getting rid of termites. For best results spray it twice every week on the infested area. A quick and effective solution for termites, these insecticides not only destroys the colonies but also prevents any infestation in the future. Just ensure that you take proper precautionary measures when using these sprays. The foams and liquid splashes contain many toxic substances that are dangerous when inhaled. It is best that you evacuate the building before spraying it to prevent unpleasant consequences.
If you want a permanent solution for termites then electrocution is the best option available. You will find a variety of products in the market that allow you to electrocute the termite colony. This means passing high voltage electric current on the infested area, killing all the termites at once. But remember to take appropriate measures when you use these electrodes. Wear safety gloves to protect yourself from electric shocks and accidents.
4. Destroying Wooden Mulch
Another effective method for killing termite colonies is throwing away the wooden mulch. If you have faced termite problems before or suspect an infestation, then immediately remove all the wooden mulch from your property right away. Termites breed on mulch and gradually would spread on to the furniture as well. If you cannot do away with the mulch at least keep it far away from the main house.
5. Hot and Cold Treatment
Termites thrive best in moderately warm and humid climate they cannot survive the extreme hot or cold, therefore temperatures such as 120 degree or above and -20 degree or below is fatal for them. Place the infested piece of furniture or wood under scorching sun. The termites will flee for shade in no time! Similarly cleaning the wood with ice cold water would also result in quick evacuation.
6. Flooding the soil
In case the infestation is caused by subterranean termites, the best solution is to flood the soil in and around the infested area, for although the termites need water, an excess of it is fatal for them. Flooding the soil would instantly kill termite colonies or cause them to scatter and run away. It destroys their habitat and leaves them no choice but to evacuate.
7. Using Boric Acid
Want an instant and reliable method to get rid of termites? Use boric acid it works wonders at terminating the termite colonies. Boric acid can severely affect the nervous system of the termite, a quick and hassle free solution for destroying termite permanently. Spray some boric acid on the infected area for effective results.
8. Installing Cardboard traps
The termites are big time fans of cellulose, plenty of which is found in paper and card boards. All you have to do is set up cardboard traps to lure the termites and then use an insecticide to kill them, later dispose the box somewhere far off. The trick is to collect the entire colony at one place and then killing them at once, kind of like a concentration camp just the intentions aren’t very evil this time!
9. Removing stumps and branches
The dead leaves, broken branches and tree stumps in the garden are the ideal breeding grounds for termites. But they won’t be confined to just the garden, they’ll gradually move towards the main house in search of more wood. To avoid this you must regularly clean your backyard or gardens. Remove the broken twigs and branches to prevent termite infestation.
10. Using termite bombs
Termite bombs or more commonly known as pesticide fogger can destroy the entire termite colonies over a large area. Just bomb the infested area with these pesticide foggers and you will have the end to the infestation in one go! Termite bomb is a very practical and time saving method for mass killing of the termites.
11. Using Aloe Vera gel
Aloe Vera is known for its many medicinal and healing properties but it is also one of the best and easiest home remedies for getting rid of termites. A very common plant found almost everywhere Aloe Vera is replete with many useful properties. Add some crushed Aloe Vera to a cup of water and apply this mixture to the infested area. The termites, on coming in contact with this aloe liquid, instantly die.
12. Using Nematodes
Nematodes are actually parasites that feed on pests for survival; they are nature’s way of controlling the termite population. Introduce a bunch of nematodes to the termite colony and they’ll do the job for you. These nematodes attack the colony and feeds on the termite larvae, thus bringing down the termite population drastically.
13. Using Essential Oils
A natural and safe home remedy for getting rid of termites is using clove oil. Sprinkle a mixture of clove oil and water on the termite colonies for best results. You may even use vetiver oil, another organic remedy that prevents re infestation for a considerably long time.
14. Using Petroleum jelly
A reliable way to prevent the termites from destroying a piece of furniture is to coat them with petroleum jelly. After applying the jelly on the piece of wood put it out under the sun. The termites would leave the woodwork immediately.
15. Using Sodium Chloride
Sodium chloride or more commonly known as salt is perhaps the easiest and quickest way to get rid of termite infestation. Spray a mixture of sodium chloride and water, or simply sprinkle some salt on to the furniture for effective results.
Though technically not a “home” remedy, Termidor is really helpful to get rid of termites. Termidor, a commercial product easily available is pretty reasonably priced and offers instant results.
17. White Vinegar
White vinegar, a very common item found in the kitchens can come in handy for destroying termite colonies. Spray some white vinegar on the termite nest to get rid of them permanently.
18. Granulated salt
One of the easiest home remedies for getting rid of termite is spreading granulated salt in and around the termite nest. This not only kills the termite, but also prevents more termites from entering the area.
Precautions to ensure no more termite infestations:
Other than the home remedies, you can also take these precautionary measures to prevent the termites from infecting your property:
- Put the furniture out in the sun from time to timePolish the furniture regularly
- Polish the furniture regularly
- Keep the soil around the house dry
- Ensure that the wood is not too close to damp soil
- Keep the windows open for lots of air and sunlight etc.