A termite infestation could be really nasty and could render a number of your furniture useless. Termites are not seasonal pests. As such, the could invade your home or garden at any time of the year.
There are basically five types of termites; drywood, conehead, dampwood, subterranean, and formosan termites. The most common being drywood termite that feeds on our furniture.
Solid wood sounding hollow when you hit it, mud trails on exterior walls, and seeing dry bubbled paint on your furniture are warning signs of termite infestation.
Termites basically feed on dead plant materials and wooden fixtures as wood has cellulose (sap) which termites love. Once you notice a termite infestation in your house or in your garden, you need to take immediate action to forestall their spread.
Here are some good practices, to keep in mind, when dealing with termite infestation;
- Cut off branches that are in contact with your house as termites to use this as a bridge to your home.
- Remove dead plant trunks, such as stumps, from your home as these attract termites.
- If possible, store firewood outside your home, in dry places, and ensure to inspect them before you bring them into your home.
- Seal all holes, crevices, and cracks in your home.
- Be careful what you use in your quest to control termites as some chemicals could damage your home furniture.
Below are 19 home remedies and natural ways to get rid of termites from your home, yard or garden;
1. Spray Soapy Water
Soapy water helps in killing the termites by making their outer shell impermeable. Thus, they are not able to breathe and eventually die.
Mix 2-3 tablespoon of liquid soap in about 4 cups of water. Fill this solution in a spray bottle and apply it to the affected area. As soon as the effect of the soapy water fades off, reapply it to kill all the termites successfully.
2. Use Orange Oil
If the infestation is limited to a certain area, applying orange oil can effectively eliminate the termites. This oil is obtained from the peels of orange fruit and is an affordable way to ward off the insects. The active ingredient in orange oil, d-limonene, is well known to be toxic to insects especially termites.
Put a few drops of orange oil in a cloth and wipe out the affected surface with it. Depending on the severity of infestation, you may also inject a few drops of orange oil by drilling small holes in the infested area.
A study, published in June 2007 by the Journal Of Economic Entomology, concluded that orange oil extract can effectively be used to control subterranean termites with a suitable application and in combination with other control methods. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17598551)
3. Trap Them In Cardboard
Using a wet cardboard box to trap termites is an easy and effective process. Since they are fond of cellulose, which is present in cardboard boxes, they get attracted to the cardboard and start festering on the box when placed the box is placed near an infested area. Once you see a high concentration of termites in the cardboard, use an insecticide to kill them and dispose of the bodies carefully.
4. Clove Oil Spray
Clove oil is a natural and harmless remedy that helps in eradicating termites and other insects. Make a solution by mixing a few drops of clove oil with water and fill it in a spray bottle. Spray it on the affected areas to get rid of the termites.
5. Microwave The Termites
If the infested item is small enough to fit your microwave oven, you can use it to kill the termites in an efficient way. Just put it in the oven and put it on for at least 15-20 minutes. The electromagnetic radiation will boil the internal fluids of the termites. Thus, instantly killing them.
6. Canola Oil Trap
Canola oil is another effective way to eliminate termites from your house. During a study, it was found that when termites were put in a solution of canola oil and water, they were not able to survive after 2-3 days. Therefore, canola oil is a proven herbal insecticide that helps in killing termites in a short time.
7. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth works by damaging the outer shell of the termites. When termites come in contact with diatomaceous earth, their bodies get dehydrated causing death.
Sprinkle the white powder liberally on the infested area. If you still see any live termite, reapply it once daily until you get rid of all of them.
8. Use Garlic Oil
Garlic has great insecticidal properties and can be used effectively to kill severe termite infestation.
Make a solution by mixing a few drops of garlic oil with water and spray it on the affected area. You can also mix neem oil and tobacco in it to make sure no termite is left out.
9. Electrocute Them
Electrocution is an effective way to eliminate severe termite infestation that is spread in a large woody area. It works by passing electric voltage high enough (about 90000 Volts) to kill an entire wood infested colony. You can purchase or rent this electrocution device from a specialty shop for electrocution of the termites and you are free from all the termites in no time.
10. Flood The Soil
If the termite colony is present in the soil, the best remedy to get rid of them is to flood the soil. As their habitat gets destroyed, they will get frustrated and leave the place.
Furthermore, most of the termites get drowned in the water and die off. Make sure you clear the surrounding area before flooding so that the termites do not get a chance to hide and survive.
11. Use Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera has great medicinal value and is often used in herbal skin and hair care products. But did you know that it can also be used to kill termites? Just squeeze some fresh aloe vera gel by crushing their leaves and apply it to the infested area.
12. Use Boric Acid / Borax
There is nothing better than boric acid when it comes to eliminating insects. It directly affects their nervous system and kills them. Since it is non-toxic to humans, you can use them without any concern in the affected area.
Sprinkle boric acid over the entire infestation and watch the termites vanish from your home. (http://erbc.vassar.edu/erbc/movingforward/practicalsuggestions/pesticides/home_pest_control.html)
13. Get Rid Of Stumps
Tree stumps lying in the garden for a long time is a great place for termites to thrive. It won’t take much time before they migrate from the stump to your home. To prevent an infestation, get rid of stumps, dead leaves and even broken branches of large trees as soon as possible.
14. Petroleum Jelly
Coating your furniture with a thin layer of petroleum jelly can help you keep the termites away. It contains phenol which repels the insects, thus, controlling infestation to some extent.
Rub petroleum jelly on the affected area and let it stay for a day. Now use a soft cloth to wipe off the excess petroleum from the surface.
15. Spray White Vinegar
If the colony of termites has affected a small area, you may spray a mixture of white vinegar and lemon. It will effectively destroy the entire colony and help you get rid of them easily.
16. Apply Beauveria Bassiana
Beauveria bassania is nothing but a soil fungus that helps in keeping some bugs away from your home. Once the termites come in contact with it, it becomes a host for the fungus. Soon, the fungus starts feeding on the termite’s body, slowly killing it.
17. Avoid Wooden Mulch
Mulching your garden soil and pot soil with wood chips may increase termite infestation. Since these are a perfect place for termites to breed, they grow rapidly affecting a large portion of your home.
18. Spray Salt Solution
A solution made of salt and water can be used to spray on the infestation and directly on their bodies. It helps in killing them without causing any damage to your items and furniture. Respray the mixture several times to completely get rid of the termites.
19. Sunlight Exposure
Exposing the infested items to the sun is an age-old technique to get rid of termites. Termites can’t stand a high temperature and are aversed to heat.
Keeping your items in the sun will effectively heat them making the termites die or run away. Make sure to allow enough sunlight for about 3-5 days on the infested items.
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