How to Kill Termites: 15 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Termites
Don’t know how to kill termites effectively? If so, you should read this post to the end to discover 15 most effective ways to get rid of termites naturally and fast.
In this post, you’ll find out all you need to know about how to kill termites yourself. Read on to discover the best way you can do to kill termites effectively.
Warning: This post guide on how to get rid of termites contains over 5,259 words (plus 3 videos), so grab a cup of coffee before continue reading.
Out of the umpteen insects, critters, rodents and other pests, termites seem to be the most dangerous ones. They are one such pest that can ruin your house’s foundation in just a few years.
The worst part is that they are not even noticeable in the first few years. This means that they don’t come with a warning. It can be too late once you realize that your house has been infested by termites.
Your home is precious and in no way you can take a chance to re-invest because of the mere pest. It becomes crucial that you take steps and precautions to protect your home from termites.
Before we directly dive into the ways to control the termites, we should have some knowledge about them.
Hint: Want to quickly get rid of termites? Then you definitely need to use the best termite killer products.
Types of Termites
1. Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites live in the soil and build one of the largest nests. They are connected via trees and structural timbers in houses.
These termites are found highly in the U.S. and are considered one of the most destructive species. They destroy woods and home at a fast pace.
2. Dampwood Termites
They belong to the families Kalotermitidae and Hodotermitidae. These species are mostly found in woods that has high moisture content.
These termites are seldom found in homes. This is because homes have wood that do not have moisture content in it. They also do not require contact with the soil and are mostly found in damp woods.
3. Drywood Termites
Drywood Termites belong to the family Kalotermitidae and are typically found in wood, hardwood floors and timber. They do not require contact with the soil.
These species are responsible for damage to homes. Drywood termites cause damage at a slower as compared to the subterranean termites.
Hence, it is seen that the subterranean termites does more damage as compared to other termites and require different treatment methods.
Signs of Termites
How will you know that your house has been attacked by termites?
You need to be proactive about preventing your home from termites. Here are few signs that will help you know that termites have infested your home.
1. Wood Damage
If your home is mostly made out of wood then beware.
Wood damage is usually found behind and below surfaces like floors and walls.
Most of the houses have wooden floors and it is crucial that you take a look at your floors or other wooden structures once a week to know if there is any damage caused.
As you know that termites basically damage the woods, they chew it in search of cellulose. As years pass by, the wood weakens and creates structural damage.
Always look below the surface of the wood. If you are doubtful then take the help of the specialist as they have proper tools to test termite damage.
Termites have wings. You may find discarded wings near windows, door or other home access points.
When termites find the right place to dig through the wood, they twist their wings off as they know that they won’t need the wings again.
Termite wings are of the same size unlike ant wings.
Take a closer look at every corner of your house. If you find wings then an immediate action needs to be taken.
3. Mud Tubes
Mud-tubes can be found near trees or sheds or where the ground connects your house.
As you know, termites require certain temperature to survive. They will thrive at places where there is moisture content.
The tubes or tunnels they make blocks cool or dry air to retain enough moisture.
You may remove a section of the tube to see if any termites crawl out. Termites can be fast in rebuilding their new nest.
Action needs to be taken before they destroy your house.
4. Flashlight and Screwdriver
You need to go to the basement of any part of your house to check the hollowness of your wood.
Woods are not hollow until it is eaten up from inside. You need to push the wood with the screwdriver and test for its strength. If the wood falls out easily it is a sign of termite problem.
5. Brown Pellets of Eexcrement
Take your flashlight and look for termite excrement. Termite droppings may be dark brown pellets or wood coloured. These droppings are found near weakened wood that indicates termite infestation.
What Kills Termites: 6 Ways to Get Rid of Termites
There are many things that kill termites.
There are certain chemicals that can immediately kill the termite population of a particular colony. However, there may be restrictions on using certain chemicals in your locality. It might be against the law.
A licensed professional can do this job for you. You need to be careful before using the chemical treatments.
1. Permethrin Dust
This chemical gives immediate results. It is a natural insecticide that remains effective for a longer period of time. It is not only effective for termites but also for ants, ticks, wasps, bagworms, ground beetles, etc.
This is one of the favourite chemicals of the homeowners and professionals.
2. Arsenic Dust
This is again an effective chemical to wash off termites. If one termite comes in contact with arsenic dust then probably other termites of the same colony will become a prey.
Arsenic dust is of cannibalistic nature. This means that the chemical will be transmitted from the dead termites to other insects who feed on them.
Warning: Keep the wood maintained that doesn’t catch damp.
Damp wood can be the biggest cause of termite infestation. Termites require an environment that has the right temperature and humidity level.
Always check if your wooden floor and doors to avoid termite attack. Dry wood will usually not have termite infestation.
3. Low Temperature
Low temperature will terminate termites from your house. Low temperature would mean-20 degree Fahrenheit.
You would need liquid nitrogen to bring the down the temperature.
4. Flooding Kills Termites
Simply drown the termites to get rid of them.
If you have a garden and you see small mud-tubes created then dig through it and flood that area. In this way you can naturally get rid of them.
Sunlight plays an important role in killing the termites naturally. If there is not enough sunlight penetrating your home then it is likely that termites will destroy your house.
Do not keep the windows close during the daytime. Let enough sunlight come in.
6. Salt Kills Termites
Salt can be an effective and natural method to kill termites.
You just have to fill a jar with equal part of salt and warm water. Yes, it should be very salty.
Take a syringe and fill in with salty water. Inject it into all the affected areas. Termites will die out of dehydration.
How to Kill Termites Yourself: The 3 Best Methods (Step by Step Guide with Videos)
There is no doubt that professional termite control is a bit expensive. You cannot help but wonder whether then you can kill termites yourself and the best method to use.
Would it be effective enough or not?
The great news is that there is a chance of dealing with the problem yourself if you detect the termite infestation early.
We have ranked the best methods to kill termites yourself below starting with the strongest to the relatively weaker methods. You don't need to start with or use method one.
Depending on the degree of your infestation, one of the lower methods may work well also. You can combine two or more methods to a great effect as some may be more suited to outdoors.
1. Using Liquid Termite Barrier to Kill Termites
This method kills the termites already present and acts as a good preventative measure against new infestation.
This barrier method basically surrounds your house with a pesticide barrier poisonous to the termites upon contact.
The pesticide barrier is common around entire foundations though it can be used to surround specific wooden structures, tree stumps or wood piles.
A flexible method indeed!
This method uses a pesticide as a termite killer which than poses a challenging question. Which pesticide should I use?
We highly recommend the Taurus SC which is a leader in this field (also cheaper).
Most pest control professionals exterminate termites using this method and not without reason. Here is why.
1. The termites have no chance of detecting the solution and thus can't avoid it.
2. The amazing thing about this solution is its multiplier effect.
Once a termite comes into contact with the solution it will affect other termites in the colony if they come into contact. The chances of a termite affecting many others are high due to their much movement out and around the colony.
What's more, the pesticide is slow acting which gives affected termites enough time to spread the poison around the colony.
3. Non-repellent nature of the liquid barrier increases its effectiveness.
Some liquid termite barriers are designed to repel termites which means termites avoid the barrier and can find another way into your house.
Repellents are less effective and do not boast the multiplier effect.
How to Use Liquid Termite Barrier to Kill Termites
Warning: Do not allow your pets or children in the treated areas until the treatment fully dries.
The first step is creating a solution of Taurus SC and water in the ratio of 0.8oz to 1 gallon of water.
A bottle has 20oz of Taurus SC and is enough to make 25 gallons of the solution. You can trust this concentration to get the job done.
Next, dig a 6 x 6-inch trench to surround your home foundation. Where the ground is covered by concrete, drill a hole measuring half by 18 inches and 2 inches away from the foundation wall. The rate of making holes should be a hole per foot.
The last step will be to spray the prepared solution into the holes or trenches with a high-quality sprayer.
A gallons should be enough to cover 10 feet. You than just need to wait for the results.
The method described above is very effective when Taurus SC is used.
Trenches allow the solution to create a bond with the soil that can last up to 10 years when applied correctly. Nonetheless, reapplying every one or two years is a great idea.
Why not spray the solution directly to the ground? Some may ask.
Well, that is entirely possible and may get you the results which you are craving for but not as effective.
- This method increases the chances of destroying the entire termite colony as the poisons transference effect makes this method very effective.
- A single application can work and last for several years.
- Most pest control specialists prefer using this method when hired to treat homes.
- This is the most effective method against subterranean termites.
- The method may be costly and time-consuming as you may need to prepare and use several gallons, up to hundreds, of the solution to cover the entire area of your home.
- The pesticide used is fipronil that poses minor health risks such as skin irritation when it comes into contact with the skin. This is common to all pesticides though.
- Dry wood termites may prove hard to beat using this method.
2. Using Poisoned Bait Method to Kill Termites
The liquid barrier method is very effective without a doubt. However, it just may be too radical for some people viewing it as excessively laborious.
They also might not see the termite problem being a serious as this method calls for. You, on the other hand, may not feel too comfortable knowing that gallons of pesticide surround your home where you walk around every day.
You may think; what if my children play around there?
There also may be practical limitations to this method such as limited space and inaccessibility of the house if trenches are to be dug.
If you feel you are among such individuals, we would recommend you use the poisoned bait method that is almost equally effective. In this method, you wont need to spray pesticides all over your home which is a welcome idea.
A poisoned bait is used on a part of the property which will attract foraging termites. The termites can also be trapped using the bait. The poisoned termites will carry the poison back to the colony and spread it to the others.
The best termite detecting and baiting system in the market now is the Spectracides Termite Detection and Killing Stakes. It is among the best we have seen so far among the many in the market.
We recommend you use it and expect the best results. After all, that's what you're looking for.
The bait stakes are easily installed around your house in the ground. The entire perimeter of the house should be considered for termite infestation.
The termites will unknowingly consume the poisoned bait which makes the stakes pop out. This will serve as a detection mechanism to tell you that termites are in the area.
The poison additionally kills the termites and is carried back to the colony by the affected ones.
How to Use Poisoned Bait Method to Kill Termites
First, determine the number of stakes you need to use on your property precisely. We recommend between 10 to 20 stakes all depending on your home and property size.
Plot and sketch out a drawing or plan of your property to a graph paper while locating the most likely areas that will support termite activity. You can use a map that you already have of the property.
Install the selected stakes using an enclosed auger at the locations earlier predetermined around your property. We recommend that you install the stakes about 2 or 3 feet away from foundations and at the same time not exceeding 10 feet apart from each other.
Next, you will need to inspect the stakes frequently to determine the ones that have popped up to see if the bait has trapped some termites in stakes or has been eaten away. This is where the method is a bit laborious but its worth the energy.
The infested stakes that you find should be replaced with an active stake. Additionally, install 3 or more stakes within a foot of the area where the infested stake is. This will trap more termites in that area.
Replace all stakes every 12 months or remove them if there is no sign of termite activity. You could also leave them in place as a way of determining when a termite infestation occurs.
- The method still ranks a high efficacy rate of 85% compared to liquid barriers 90% giving it a very high chance of wiping out the entire colony just like the liquid barrier method. Still adequately effective you could say.
- It is less time consuming and costly when compared to the earlier method of liquid barrier treatment.
- Bait systems are also common among pest control specialists and especially as supplements to the liquid barrier method.
- Subterranean termites are very susceptible to this method which makes it very effective.
- Drywood termites mostly attack wood and it may be tricky to set up a bait system for such termites making it less effective.
- Health risks are a concern though minor when using the pesticide. Hexaflumuron is the active ingredient which poses a risk if you areaccidentally exposed to it It is a reduced risk pesticide.
- Stakes set up may pop up on contact with excessive rain, worms or moisture. This is termed as a false positive phenomenon.
3. Using Direct Chemical Treatment to Kill Termites
The poisoned bait method, as well as the liquid barrier method, have proved themselves very effective outside your house. Nonetheless, it is impossible for you to use them in the house.
Don't quote us wrong as the two methods are very lethal to termites and entire colonies due to their poison transference effect. Just that using them in the house is insane if not impossible.
So, what do you use inside your house?
When you spot some termites in the wall through a crevice, on the rafters and attic among others you need another method to stop them in their tracks.
It needs to be a reliable method you can look up to and trust to get the job done inside your house. We can assure you the Termidor Foam is no more than you need.
The Termidor Foam is a dry spray from the leading company in the industry and like other Termidor products is a great choice for eradicating termites.
Sprays may not be effective against termites due to lack of exposure in the open but the Termidor Foam has a trick down its sleeve. Curious?
Instead, the Termidor foam, unlike other pesticide sprays, expands its volume by up to 30 times more instantly after leaving the can.
A single can give as much as 5 gallons of foam to spray. Cans come with a nozzle to shoot and jet the foam into areas that are hard to reach such as voids an crevices.
This is where any termites like to hide but the jets of foam and the expanding foam will surely take care of them. Moreso, the foam slowly and eventually evaporates after being applied leaving an invisible residue that poisons termites on contact.
The residue will last and be effective for at least a month or so.
The advantage of this foam is that it is odorless and will not smell in the house. This really comes in handy as the foam is mostly for indoor use.
Fipronil is the active ingredient in the Termidor foam just like in the Termidor concentrate for liquid barriers. It is in lower concentrations though.
How to Use Direct Chemical Treatment to Kill Termites
First, you will need to locate the termites in crevice areas and voids. Whichever method you use to locate the termites is entirely up to you.
Make the crevices and void areas by drilling holes among other techniques if necessary.
Fire the chemical into the area by inserting the cans nozzle through the hole or whichever access you have to the area Be sure to be well protected against the chemicals using measures such as eye protection and protective gloves.
We best advise that you reseal the hole after treatment is complete though not permanently. You may need access again so its wise to keep the area still accessible.
Give the chemical time, say one month, to work on the termites before checking again.
Repeat the treatment to an infested area if necessary after the one month period.
- This method is very effective with regards to time and cost. A fast and cheap method.
- The technique is excellent and effective at killing both drywood and subterranean termites. This method is not selective unlike the previous two.
- A single application will last for a period of up to one month.
- Complete destruction of the colony with this method is unlikely. The method just kills a few termites in the colony.
- The pesticide used is fipronil that poses minor health.
How to Kill Drywood and Subterranean Termites
There are innumerable ways to kill termites. Different termites will require different treatments.
You may either get the things from the local market or make your own DIY solutions. Here are some other ways to kill Drywood and Subterraneantermites.
How to Kill Drywood Termites
This may sound weird, but this is one of the most effective methods of eradication termites.
It is not necessary to drill holes but if you do so it will be more effective.
2. Orange oil
Orange oil is simply the extract from the orange peel. It is not soluble in water.
You should be very careful in handling this oil as it is dangerous for humans.
If you intake the oil by mistake you may suffer from stomach problems. Also, it will irritate your skin or eyes.
Orange oil is used to treat a variety of insects by destroying their cell membranes.
You need to drill a small hole in the infested wood and pour the oil into the hollow spaces. Results will be seen within a week or two.
As discussed earlier, sunlight is the most non-cost effective way to kill termites.
Termites like darkness and once exposed to light and heat can help in sweeping them off. For example, if your table or chair is infested, you can take them out in sunlight and leave it for 2-3 days.
How to Kill Subterranean Termites
1. Boric acid
Boric acid is a natural insecticide that dehydrates the insects and stops their nervous system. You may coat or spray the wood with boric acid.
Please beware. This acid can be toxic if inhaled.
You need to use mask and gloves while using the acid. Keep your pets and children away from this substance.
Nematodes are worm species that look out for hosts like termites. It can be used in a spray form that will kill termites in approximately 48 hours.
Nematodes are not harmful to plants, humans or pets. They only concentrate on insects and destroy their colony in no time.
Remember that nematodes should be used immediately. If you are not using them immediately then store it in a refrigerator.
Use them either in the early morning or after sunset.
3. Bug bombs
Bug bombs consist of liquid insecticide and are available in pressurized aerosol cans. They are easily available at grocery stores.
When sprayed, it falls on the floor and other areas. After termites come in contact with this toxic substance, they die.
The bombs, however, do not penetrate the wood or reach termite nests. Wear a mask when you use the bug bomb.
DIY Termites Control
1. Cardboard Trap Method
You need flat strips of cardboard.
Wet the cardboard and stack them where termites are usually found. Termites feed on cellulose and cardboards have cellulose.
Once the cardboard gets infested by the termites, you may take it out and burn them. This process should be repeated multiple times to get the best results.
Understand that this is just a quick fix and might not solve the major termite problems. In that case you may require some other treatment methods.
2. Termite Baits
The market is flooded by termite baiting systems.
You do not require any chemicals to inject it into the soil. All you need is termite baits that you can directly place into the ground.
The termite will feed on it and will die. Baiting can be a great DIY tool to not only kill the termites but also monitor the places where termites might breed.
Baiting can be used at places where pesticides or chemicals might be dangerous for the soil or plants.
How to Kill Termites Naturally: 5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Termites
Here are the 5 simple ways to kill termites naturally:
1. Using a cardboard trap: The DIY section discusses on how to eradicate termites using cardboard trap. This cost involved in doing this DIY will be around $0.15.
2. Eliminating moisture: Keep all the wooden structures dry. Do not let moisture seep into the wood. The moment it seeps in, there is a possibility of termite infestation.
3. Using heat and cold methods: As already discussed, extreme heat or extreme cold can destroy the termites immediately. You may use the microwave technique or the liquid nitrogen technique to kill the termites.
4. Exposing to sunlight: Exposing the wood to sunlight can be very helpful. Although it can be a slow process, but termites will die as and when the day passes.
5. Nematodes: Nematodes feed on termites, bacteria, and other creatures. They do not harm the environment and are safe to use. It may cost you some money, but the treatment is effective enough to eradicate the termites.
Termite Treatment Cost
It totally depends on what type of treatment you are doing.
If you are doing DIYs then it will cost almost nothing as compared to buying things or getting professional help. Again, in certain cases you need to invest when termites are in huge population.
For example, if you are not taking a professional help and want to do things on your own then consider using the chemicals mentioned above.
When you use a boric acid, it may cost around $7/oz.
If you are using nematodes as a natural treatment then it would cost you approximately $20 per 1 million nematodes.
Electrocution cost will depend on where you live. Also, whether you are planning to buy or rent it will determine the cost.
To perform special wood treatments you need to buy chemicals. Take the example of products that have borate (like Bora-care).
Borate is basically a type of salt that is used to kill the termites.
It is a low toxicity wood preservative and doesn’t affect the environment much. It penetrates into the wood completely and destroys the termites immediately.
The cost of borate will be around $50-$280 depending on the size.
If the problem is big and you feel that professional help is required then consider shedding out $300-$400. It is always better to prevent and control the occurrence of termite to avoid paying huge sums.
Now you might know everything about how to kill termites. It’s time to take some action. Let’s kill termites and get rid of them for good.
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