Think you have a termite problem? Termites are not only a nuisance, but they can also do serious damage to the structure of your home. Termites love to feast on wood, espcecially damp, rotting wood. This is one home pest that is no joke, since they can be difficult to remove once they have made their way into your house.
Termite Damage Identification
Maybe you have started noticing bubbling or cracking paint on your walls, or you are starting to get the suspicion that some of the wood in your home is weak and hollow. Perhaps you have seen mud tubes leading into your walls. Or maybe you’ve actually spotted them—what looks like hundreds of little ants with wings throwing a party inside your house.
These are all signs you have a termite invasion. And three things are certain about any termite incursion:
• They are extremely annoying.
• They are actively damaging your house. Left unchecked, they can weaken the structural integrity of your entire home.
• If you do nothing to remove them, they will multiply and get worse. For this reason, you need to learn about termite damage identification, types of termites, and termite treatment options.
The Best DIY Ways For Getting Rid of Termites
There are a number of different moves you can take to get rid of termites and prevent them from moving back into your home. Here are a few of the popular do-it-yourself methods.
1. Create a Sand Barrier and Remove Excess Mulch
If you have a continuous, recurring problem with termites, you may want to consider installing a sand barrier around the foundation of your home. This is a good option if you are erecting a new structure. Can’t be bothered with creating a sand barrier? At the very least, one thing you can do is remove any mulch which you have close to the walls of your home. Termites love mulch; it is like an open invitation.
2. Create Wet Cardboard Traps
Termites love moisture, and it is relatively easy to attract them if you just set up a corrugated cardboard box close to where you think a colony is located. Setting up your own cardboard termite trap is very easy. Get the cardboard wet, and the termites will come and start trying to eat the box. What you do with them at that point is up to you. You can remove them back to nature somewhere or destroy them.
3. Use the Power of Sunlight
Termites do not cope well with direct sunlight. It doesn’t take much direct light and heat to kill them. If you have an item of furniture which is infested with termites, just place it outside in direct sunlight and wait. Many of the termites will flee; others will die.
4. Boric Acid
Boric acid is a very effective natural pesticide which you can use to kill a number of insects in your home, termites included. Simply create an exciting-looking trap and then add boric acid to the mix, or dust a wood surface with it that the termites are attracted to.
5. Flood a Colony
If you know where an outdoor termite colony is located in your yard, you may be able to kill the colony by simply flooding that part of the soil. Grab a garden hose and go at it.
6. Get Rid of Infested Old Tree Stumps
Getting a tree stump removed from your yard is a time consuming and expensive procedure, which is why you should generally avoid it unless you absolutely have to do it. But if you have an old stump which is home to a major termite colony, that may be exactly what you need to do in order to protect your home.
7. Liquid Nitrogen
Extreme cold can kill termites. One way you can make use of this is to pump liquid nitrogen into areas where you know termites are living. You need to get the temperature to -15 degrees Fahrenheit or lower if you want it to be effective. You will need around half an hour to treat each area of your home where you wish to use this method.
8. Discourage Termites with Essential Oils
There are a number of essential oils termites dislike. Some of these include orange oil, neem oil, clove bud oil, and vetiver oil. In fact, orange oil and clove bud oil can actually kill these pests. If you have dogs or cats, do not use clove bud oil in your home, as it may be toxic to your pets.
9. Buy Nematodes
Nematodes are parasitic worms which subject termites to a pretty gruesome death. They seek out termite larvae and burrow into them, killing them from the inside. You can actually buy these creepy critters from your a garden store, or you can purchase them off the internet if they are not available locally.
Termite Extermination Cost
Even taking all of these measures, you may still find that it is impossible to kill or remove all of the termites yourself. Once termites get a foothold, they multiply rapidly. You may have thousands of termites in the walls of your home. If you find yourself in this predicament, it may be time to take evasive action and call the exterminator. Termite damage can be extremely devastating to the structure of a home.
What will it cost you? Termite extermination isn’t cheap. Depending on the extent of the invasion and the method used to purge the termites from your home, the cost may range anywhere from $500-$5,000.
Still, if you are planning on using chemical methods, it may be well worth your while to bring in experts. For one thing, experts are more efficient and may get the job done faster. They are bound to be more thorough and know how to get at termites you cannot reach. For another, using chemicals to kill termites can pose a risk to your health, and it is generally better to leave that to the experts. You also can’t beat the convenience of professional extermination.
Once you have killed the termites that are infesting your home, be sure to take preventative measures to make sure that the termites do not get a foothold again in the future. Again, take a look around your yard and make sure that any outdoor colonies you can locate are also destroyed, if possible. Get mulch and wet wood piles away from your house, look for structural weaknesses in your walls, and consider putting essential oils around entrances to discourage termites from coming back inside.