Termites are responsible for billions of dollars in damage each year. These pests are attracted to areas where there is low light, poor ventilation, and a good supply of wood. A termite queen can lay hundreds of eggs per day, meaning an infestation can happen very quickly. There are many commercial insecticides available that can help to deter infestation or remove an infestation that has already occurred. However, these chemicals are often hazardous to the health of humans through repeated exposure. The poisonous effects can be even worse if small children or pets live in the home. However, there are some termite control methods that are just as effective and do not use chemicals that are harmful to humans or pets.
If an infestation has not yet occurred, there are some simple steps that can help to prevent the insects from invading the home. Fix any water leaks around the home (moist soil promotes breeding), keep all scrap/fire wood off the ground and away from the home, and use treated lumber for any structures with direct contact with the ground. Make sure the gutters are free of debris. A clogged gutter will leave pools of water near the home. Even the use of organic soil helps to make the area less appealing to the insects because the soil will promote robust growth. Poorly cared for soil usually promotes quick and weak growth that is more appealing to termites. These simple steps can help to minimize the chance that an infestation ever takes place.
If an insect problem already exists, the use of the following natural products can greatly reduce the chance of further infestation and mitigate the existing problem:
One of the most popular natural treatments is orange oil. The oil comes from the glands inside the rind of an orange. Specifically, the chemical D-limonene is found in the oil and is a natural insecticide that does not affect mammals adversely. This termite treatment will kill the insects on contact and can be sprayed directly onto infested areas. One drawback to using orange oil is that the chemical’s potency dissipates quickly and frequent re-application is required to remain effective. Due to this limitation, it is often recommended to use orange oil in conjunction with other natural treatments to eliminate infestations quickly.
Boric acid is a naturally occurring substance found throughout the world. Although it’s slightly more toxic to humans than orange oil, boric acid works by destroying enzymes needed by the insects to digest wood. Essentially, the application of this chemical to infested areas will starve the insects to death. Using boric acid and orange oil together can be an excellent way to eliminate your termite problem.
Most termite colonies live in the soil. Beneficial nematodes are small, round worms that eat termites and other ground dwelling pests. By adding these worms to the soil surrounding the home, soil quality will improve as parasitic insects are removed. This helps to keep the insects out of the home and can help to protect vegetable and flower crops being grown in the yard.
Whether just preventing the likelihood of a future problem or dealing with an infestation, these natural remedies will protect property while not hurting the environment or any members of your household.