Termites are highly destructive pests. They eat every piece of wood they can find and jeopardize the integrity of the structure. Millions of dollars go to waste as large establishments and typical households struggle to eradicate the pest. Knowing what kills termites is a challenge especially if the infestation is advancing into an uncontrollable phase.
But the sure thing is this: termites can be exterminated. There are home remedies that can be utilized in the absence of professional help. Nevertheless, it’s always best to let the pros do the job for a higher success rate and guaranteed elimination of the whole termite population. For a reference, here are eight of the effective ways to kill the pest.
1. Set up traps
Termites could be purchased commercially, but to save money, there are some DIY traps and baits that you can use. Some are easy to do while others require a longer period of use together with continuous monitoring. Here are some of the traps that can be used for termites:
–Cardboard trap. Wet a corrugated cardboard box without melting its structure. Place this where the colony is foraging and wait until you observe a large population feeding on it. Once the mites are on the cardboard, you can take it outside and burn it. You can place multiple cardboard traps in the house to eradicate as many termites as possible.
–Baits. This one is usually placed by professionals but you can create a DIY version by purchasing a commercial bait and putting it on your yard. First, place clean wood on the bait so the termites can establish a consistent food source. You can add a toxicant like Trelona so the workers would ingest the treated wood and die in the process. Poison masked as wood is what kills termites!
2. Administer chemicals
The common method in households is to use commercial pesticides. This is fast-killing and the choices in the market are enough to suit almost every household. Termiticides, or the pest-specific choice for the mites, is the best find. Most of the time these are concentrates that have to be mixed with water to produce gallons of potent chemicals. Here are some of the commonly used termiticides:
–Imidacloprid. This substance is a potent pesticide extracted from nicotine. When the termites come in contact with it, their nicotine receptors would receive a lethal kick that will cause their death.
–Fipronil. As a generic chemical, Fipronil is a common ingredient in other pesticides like the Termidor. This disrupts the central nervous system of the termites to deliver guaranteed results. Most of the time, this is applied to the foundations of the house.
3. Maximize all-natural means
Some households would opt for an all-natural solution to cut the risk of poisoning and the harms harsh pesticides could bring. Although these are what kills termites, all-natural termiticides are safe and can guarantee the eradication of a massive part of the pest’s population. There are commercial options that you can use like the Cedar Bug-Free Spray that promises to kill almost all types of termites. This doesn’t have a repulsive smell and safe to use even on food preparation places like the kitchen and the dining area.
However, the common downside to organic pesticides is its inability to wipe out every single mite in the house. It can do a good job in controlling the population but it has to be paired with another method to be effective.
4. Use temperature
Termites, like other insect pests, can’t stand temperature extremes. Heat treatment is a popular choice as the temperature can seep through the deepest hiding places of the mites and it will yield almost 100% success rate. However, for it to work, professional exterminators should handle the treatment. These people also have the right equipment for the job and the knowledge to avoid any untoward incident like fires and explosions.
Termites would die at a minimum of 100F and it will succumb to death in cold temperatures of as low as 25F. Leaving the room in any of these temperature settings would kill mites in just a few minutes.
5. Simply sunlight
Sometimes, you just have to let nature work its wonders on the infestation. Most termite types like the Subterranean and Formosan have to maintain the moisture of their bodies in order to survive. Therefore, any source of heat is their enemy. Bringing out the infested furniture or object in the open would be an effortless method. However, it’s advisable to seal it with a transparent plastic first to prevent the mites from escaping and seeking a safer abode. So what kills termites? The sun is the answer!
Let the piece of furniture sit under the sun for a few hours until you see dead bodies of termites. Just be careful in doing this as some soft furniture could be damaged by intense heat. If this is the case, you can maximize other methods listed here.
6. Utilize household ingredients
It’s surprising to know that many household stuff could actually be lethal if used against the termite infestation. Pouring or spraying laundry bleach on the infested area could help in managing the population of the pest as long as you proceed with enough precautions. Different essential oils like neem, tea tree, clove, orange, and rosemary are potent if mixed and smeared on the affected wood. This can also work as a repellent on other wood materials that could be the next target of the pest.
Cayenne pepper, tiger balm, and boric acid are also abrasive chemicals that will eradicate the termites. Keep in mind that as much as these are household items, it could be dangerous to be in contact with the skin or eyes. Always wear mask and gloves when applying this. Use cayenne sparingly as this can sting the eyes and skin.
7. Releasing nematodes
Believe or not, but you can already purchase commercially available nematodes! Some products have microscopic parasitic worms in it that will munch the termites and kill it. So what kills termites of all the available nematodes? Basically, there are two types:
Ambushers. These are nematodes that wait until the termite pass by before they attack. They don’t wander on the infected area, instead, they stay still and ambush the prey once it’s in sight. Some examples of these are S. scapterisici and Steinernema carpocapsae.
Cruisers. Unlike ambushers, cruisers continuously lurk in the affected area looking for possible preys. This option is fast acting as they search for the termites instead of waiting for it to get close. Some examples of cruiser nematodes are S. glaseri and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.
You have to be careful in deploying such organisms as some could trigger allergies or become the next pest. If you want this non-chemical approach, it’s always best to seek the help of a professional.
8. Hire a professional exterminator
Contrary to most beliefs, hiring a professional exterminator won’t cost you more than using DIY methods. Most home remedies fail because of improper use and after buying several pesticides, the homeowners have pay more than they expected because of the advanced damage they fail to contain by their own.
Pest control experts can inspect and assess the damage to the property before applying necessary treatments. The advantage of letting a pro do the job is the subsequent check-ups to guarantee the efficiency of the approach.
Knowing what kills termites is like having a weapon for its mass destruction. You can utilize each one to either control or eradicate the population. The longer you let the termites sitting and munching on your property, the more damage you’ll have to deal with in the future. It’s always best to act at the earliest possible time to cut the expenses, resources, and time you have to allot for the extermination.