The United States sees more than $5 billion in termite-caused damages every year. Of this figure, $2 billion results from a single termite species. That’s the Eastern Subterranean Termite.
That’s only one of the 28 other invasive termite species in the world though. In U.S. homes, the other common species is the Formosan Subterranean Termite. These two cause much of the damage to over 600,000 homes in the country each year.
Repairing termite damage is also a financial nightmare. One structure alone can already set you back $339 to $740.
This said, learning how to get rid of termites ASAP should be on the top of your priorities. Because the longer they stay in your home, the harder it will be to put a stop to their destructive power.
We’ll let you in on the secrets to dealing with termites, so make sure you keep reading!
1. Know How to Spot Termites
The first step on how to kill termites is to know if you’ve got an actual termite problem. That’s because the swarm you see may actually be flying ants. So, start by knowing where termites most often hide and enjoy their feasts.
Their favorite spots include the foundation of homes, especially in a wood near or on the soil. That makes your basement and garage a good place to begin.
To start your search, get a flashlight and something to probe potential hiding places with. A long stick or a screwdriver will do the trick.
With these tools, start tapping on any wooden construction or structure. From support beams to floor beams, pillars, and even furniture – make sure you inspect all these. If your tapping produces a hollow sound, that’s a surefire sign of termite infestation.
Next, check for mud trails. These soft-bodied insects often leave mud trails in their wake as well as discarded wings. If you find such in and around your home, then you do have a termite issue.
It’s important to locate all termite colonies before you start treatment. To increase your chances of getting rid of termites, you need to kill all colonies at once.
2. How to Get Rid of Termites with Cardboard Traps
Termites love wood, so the wood fiber composition of cardboards makes for a great meal. Use that to your advantage to trap these insects.
Gather some of these boxes and spray water on them until damp. Next, place them near the spots you discovered in step 1.
As soon as you see termites gathering on the boxes, dispose of them right away. Leaving them there even for only a few days gives them time to breed and multiply.
3. Get Rid of Termites Using Essential Oil Sprays
Another way on how to deal with termites is by spraying essential oils on them. Orange oil kills termites without leaving any toxic residue behind.
The same is true for neem oil, an extract from an Indian evergreen tree. You may find the orange variant easier to find in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Either way, you can create a spray using these essential oils to rid your home of termites. They kill these voracious wood eaters by inhibiting the insects’ ability to lay eggs.
To make the spray, mix 10 drops of either essential oil with two cups of water. A few drops of dish soap will help keep the oil bound to the water for easier use. That way, you don’t have to keep shaking the solution every time you’re about to use it.
Transfer the solution in a spray bottle and shake well. Direct the nozzle on the infested areas. Be sure to cover these spots with a good amount of the solution.
4. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around Your Home’s Foundation
Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized diatoms (microscopic algae skeletons). It’s a naturally-occurring sand material containing a large amount of silica.
Scientific research found DE to have insecticidal activity against termites. DE can kill termites by damaging their exoskeletons. Once this happens, they die of dehydration.
To rid your home of existing colonies, sprinkle the sand on all infected areas. Make sure you cover your home’s foundation with a good amount of DE too. This will kill your unwanted tenants and even help prevent future infestations.
Pro Tip: Invest in the food-grade kind of diatomaceous earth. It’s the same grade as the DE they use in dietary supplements. This way, you can rest easy knowing that direct exposure to it won’t be harmful.
5. Keep in Mind the Don’ts of Dealing with Termites
If there are effective ways to kill termites, there are also things you should never do.
One of these is setting fire to spots you believe house termite colonies. Never try to burn or smoke out the insects you find dwelling inside trees or any part of your home. Why?
Because fires are too difficult to control and contain. Keep in mind that all it takes for a fire to become life-threatening is two minutes. Add three more minutes to that, and it can cover an entire building in flames.
Neither will motor oil and household chemicals help you get rid of termites. Not only are they ineffective against termites; they can even put you and your loved ones in harm’s way.
6. Get Rid of Termites the Professional Way
Still, having trouble even after trying out these DIY methods? In that case, then it may be best to turn to professional pest exterminators for help. They have the skills, know-how, and equipment that can rid your home of termites the fastest, safest way.
Prompt Termite Control Increases Chances of Complete Elimination
The most important thing when dealing with termites is to get rid of them ASAP. Once you see signs like insect swarms and mud trails, try the above strategies right away.
If you find a lot of half-eaten wooden structures, better to call pro exterminators. In case you find yourself in this situation, ring us up as soon as you can. We’ll help you determine the best course of action on how to get rid of termites – permanently.