Natural Termite Control: Is It Possible?
Many homeowners want to use natural termite control, and the best way to do that is to prevent the termites from getting into your house. Termites live in colonies, and most people don’t realize that there are five different types.
Types of termites you might encounter can include:
They all feed on cellulose, such as from wood and plants, so any home can be victimized. Often, termites don’t leave indications that they are present. These pests often tear away tough materials, but they can eat books and cabinetry, as well as anything else.
Prevent Termites from Gaining Access
It’s often cheaper to control termites and keep them out of your house than to treat your home for them. Therefore, prevention is key here.
The first thing to do for natural termite control is to realize that termites like wood that is moist or soaked in water because it’s easier for them to eat. If you’ve ever turned over a decaying log and saw ‘white ants,’ you encountered termites.
Check your house periodically for leaks and make sure to get them fixed. Even a small drip from your pipe at the right spot could cause the wood to become moist.
If you’ve had wood that was wet, make sure to test the area. Tap it with a screwdriver. Do you hear any hollowness when you tap? That could indicate a termite infestation.
Get Rid of Mulch
While mulch can be great in the garden and around trees and other flowers, it doesn’t belong around your house. To a termite, mulch is a buffet of delicious food. Of course, it’s made of cellulose, which termites like. However, it retains moisture when it gets wet. Often, removing the mulch from around your home can completely eliminate the threat of termites.
Clean the Gutters
If your gutters are clogged, they are sure to leak. That water source is near to the foundation and is going to attract termites. Sometimes, it can help if the gutter system moves water out into the yard, but it can still cause termites to investigate. When they’ve got a water source, they are prone to staying nearby.
You can’t stop rain from coming down, but you can ensure that the water doesn’t pool around your foundation. When standing water pools after each rainfall, termites are likely to congregate. Make sure there’s no water around the home. If you notice anything like that, you may need to install a drainage system to carry the water away and into the street or to a community drain.
Natural Prevention Methods for Termites
You’ve got to make sure that termites don’t get into your house. To do that, consider these methods:
Create a Barrier
A preventative barrier is an excellent way to ensure that termites can’t get inside your home. Dig yourself a trench about 3 feet away and 3 feet deep from the house. Fill it with 9 parts of sand and 1 part of Diatomaceous Earth (mixed separately and added to the trench).
Another natural termite control method is to use an enemy of the termite. Nature can wage war on these pests for you. Nematodes eat termites and are a suitable alternative to harsh chemicals. Put them around your home in places you think you might have termites.
They are going to find and eradicate them for you. Plus, nematodes don’t do damage to your home.
Just make sure that you buy the right nematodes, as some of them only feed on particular termite species. Determine which termites you’ve got on the premises, research the type of nematode that can help, and buy those.
Exposure to Sunlight
Termites don’t like the sunlight and are highly sensitive to heat. If possible, let the sun shine on areas where termites are living for natural termite control. This works well in mobile wooded spaces. Move the piles of wood to a place that sees a lot of sun and let that ball of fire kill those termites for you.
Natural termite control can also include boric acid. Though it is a chemical and should be used carefully, it is much safer than the products used by exterminators to kill termites. Choose the liquid form and apply a coating to the wood so that termites can’t eat it.
Orange oil is another natural termite control method. Spray it onto the areas that are considered high-risk for termite infestation. Do this once a year, preferably in the spring. Make sure you pay close attention to attics and crawl spaces. Use it alone or mix it with boric acid or Diatomaceous Earth.
Other Options Available to You
Many times, professional exterminators also focus on natural termite control and treatment methods. If you have a termite infestation, now is the time to treat them and remove them. These bugs are designed to eat wood and can be just as dangerous as bed bugs.
If left untreated, you may find that a termite colony grows and structurally damages your home, which can be dangerous for you to live in anymore.
Consider asking a professional exterminator if they offer natural termite control as a solution. Options can include:
This solution requires liquid nitrogen to be sprayed inside the pinholes that the termites make. Then, the product can then go into the tunnels that termites leave behind. It’s highly effective, but it’s primarily a spot treatment for them. It cannot penetrate the whole house. If you catch the infestation early on, this might be a suitable solution for you.
Thermal Pest Eradication
Thermal pest eradication utilizes heat to kill the termites. For this option, the house has to be wrapped in a tarp and heated with propane to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any termites located in the wood. It’s sometimes called blanket pest control and is a great alternative to having to use chemicals for fumigation.
In fact, you can use thermal pest eradication and liquid nitrogen spot treatments at the same time for more effective natural termite control.
Electric Shock Treatment
With this solution, you are zapping the termites and getting them to submit to your will of getting out of your house. Minute pinholes have to be drilled in the wood, allowing the electro gun to get inside and shock the termites in their tunnels. Generally, this treatment works for about 1 to 2 inches of wood, so it’s only a spot treatment.