Is your house constructed mainly from wood? Do you have a lot of wooden furniture and fixtures at home? If so, you might be facing one huge problem: termite infestation. Termites make a meal of any wooden structure; thus causing extreme damage until it has reached the point of needing expensive repairs. These bugs can gradually destroy your house structure and you might not know they exist until major repairs are needed. Thankfully, there are natural remedies that can help protect your house and everything in it from the destruction caused by termites.
How To Identify Termite Infestation
Termites are small, soft-bodied insects that mainly feed on wood and other materials that have cellulose. There are over 40 species of termites; however, the subterranean termites are the most widespread species in the United States. These insects usually build their nest underground, and they can grow and house as many as 5 million termites in a nest which is built around 5 to 20 feet below the ground.
These insects are once considered as beneficial insects since they help in getting rid of rotting stumps and fallen trees. Unfortunately, termites can also ravage your wooden house structure as well as your furniture. If you start noticing termite infestation in some of your furniture, you must immediately deal with them to avoid further damages which might lead to the complete loss of your priced possessions. Here are some tips on how to identify termite infestation at home:
- You must check the ground floor of your property for any structural wood damages.
- Pay close attention to areas below your exterior doors, and where the foundation and walls meet.
- If you do not find any visible or obvious damage, try to take a big screw driver and hit the wood with its heel. You can also tap the wood. If it sounds hollow, it is a sign that termites have done some damage inside the wood.
- Look for any small droppings that are tan or reddish-brown in color.
- Inspect your wall foundations- both inside and out; if there are any mud tubes which might be used as a passageway for subterranean termites from the soil to the wood.
Natural Methods To Get Rid Of Termites
One of the best methods to avoid termite problems is to use termite-resistant building materials when constructing your home. You can also use lumber which is treated with environmentally safe processes to avoid termite infestation. However, if you have failed to make your home termite-resistant, you can consider using safe, natural, and organic treatment methods to address your termite problems.
Botanical Treatment: One of the best natural pest control method for termites is orange oil. Orange oil contains d-limonene that can kill dry wood termites when they come in contact with the substance. This treatment method is very effective on drywood termites. Another effective botanical treatment is neem oil which came from the Neem tree. This treatment must be applied to the affected wood. The termites will ingest the oil and it will slowly kill them. Neem and orange oils are harmless and nontoxic to humans and animals; thus, they are safe to use.
Boric Acid: Sodium borate, also known as boric acid, is a salt of the element boron. If you mix boric acid powder with water, it can effectively kill subterranean termites. This solution is nontoxic to humans and animals; thus, you can use it to treat termite infestation without any worries about its side effects. You can spray the boric acid solution onto the affected wood surfaces to eliminate termites, or you can also use it as a prevention method.
Parasitic Nematodes: You can also use parasitic nematodes which are small worms that feed on microscopic bacteria and fungi. These nematodes are beneficial since they prey on certain insects, including termites. To use this method, you can mix parasitic nematodes with water, and spray the mixture on termite-infested wood or on their nests. This mixture will infect the workers as well as the queen.
Kris Lim is a homeowner who has had termite infestation problems in the past. After applying organic pest control solutions, her termite problems were alleviated; however, she still advises homeowners to consider the services of professional pest control companies to effectively eradicate these insects. She also regularly contributes to pest control websites, such as InsightPest.com.