Want to learn how to get rid of termites? So in this post you will discover top 22 easy ways to get rid of termites.
Termites are small persistent insects that thrive in wet and damp areas. They feed on cellulose, therefore sources such as wood and cardboard make up ideal feeding grounds for them. It is important to know solutions on how to get rid of termites and stop them from forming a colony.
There are numerous types of termites including conehead termites, drywood termites, dampwood termites, subterranean termites, and Formosan termites. Most commonly termite infestations are caused by drywood and subterranean termites.
Termites can enter our homes in various ways and may go undetected for years.
They can enter through the wooden parts of the buildings, through openings and cracks, and even through damaged roofs. Termites normally emerge from the soil during spring as the winter temperatures become mild.
The damage that the termites cause can be severe. They have no problem with increasing their population which allows them to easily survive and spread.
As they constantly feed on their food sources without a break, the more there are the more damage they cause. Furthermore, the more areas get infested by termites, the harder it becomes to get rid of them.
Before you can get rid of them, you have to identify what their locations are.
Check all wooden parts in and around your house and look for holes or bubbles in the wood and walls paint. Hollow sounds and spaces in the wood usually also indicate the presence of termites.
Luckily, there are numerous solutions on how to get rid of termites that you can implement at your home.
- How to Get Rid of Termites on Your Own
- 1. Sunlight Exposure
- 2. Cardboard trap
- 3. Diatomaceous Earth
- 4. Soapy Water
- 5. Cayenne Pepper
- 6. Salt Water
- 7. White Vinegar and Lemons Solution
- 8. Orange Oil
- 9. Borax
- 10. Neem Oil
- 11. Homemade Termite Pesticide
- 12. Kerosene
- 13. Aloe Vera
- 14. Beneficial Nematodes
- 15. Freezing
- 16. Baiting
- 17. Boric Acid
- 18. Chemical Treatment
- 19. Fumigation
- 20. Flooding
- 21. Replacement
- 22. Combinations
- Tips for Preventing Termites
How to Get Rid of Termites on Your Own
Keep in mind that getting rid of termites takes time and patience, but is perfectly doable. There is no need to worry about spending a lot of money on companies anymore.
Here are some of the best and long-proven solutions that will help you get rid of termites yourself.
1. Sunlight Exposure
One of the best solutions on how to get rid of termites in furniture is sunlight exposure. Termites are exceptionally susceptible to the ultraviolet rays present in sunlight.
Why this method works best for furniture is because you have to move the infested object under direct sunlight. If bigger areas or unmovable objects are affected, this method cannot be applied.
- Expose the infested piece of furniture under direct sunlight. Choose the location that will be exposed to sunlight throughout the day.
- Keep the furniture outside for around 3 days.
2. Cardboard trap
Preparing a cardboard trap is a great way to get rid of hundreds or thousands of termites at once. Termites are attracted to cardboard, especially if it is wet.
This method alone, however, will not solve the problem completely. It works best when used in conjunction with other techniques.
To prepare a cardboard trap, first cut a few pieces of cardboard and make them wet. Proceed to stack the pieces on one another. Place the trap near the areas infested with termites.
The trap will attract the termites and they will soon begin colonizing it. Once you see that they’ve gathered in large numbers, remove the trap from the house and safely burn it.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
If you’re wondering how to get rid of termites naturally, diatomaceous earth might ease your mind. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock.
It is effective at getting rid of various pests such as different types of worms. Termites are no exception. It is also available in food grade form and is often added to grain-containing food to prevent the pests from eating it.
- Purchase diatomaceous earth, preferably in food grade form.
- Sprinkle it on the areas suspected of termite infestation. Repeat the process up to two times daily until the termites are dead.
- Additionally, you may sprinkle diatomaceous earth around or under the house as well.
4. Soapy Water
Soapy water presents a simple answer to the question how do you get rid of termites.
This method is cheap and easy to perform. Luckily, it is also quite effective. A solution of water and soap forms an impermeable coat on the termites’ shells that suffocates them.
Simply mix a few tablespoons of dishwashing soap with a few cups water and pour it into a spray bottle. Use the bottle to spray the solution on the affected areas. Repeat multiple times per day.
5. Cayenne Pepper
Not an appropriate method for treating big areas, but works great when dealing with a localized infestation. Cayenne pepper is known to be very effective at killing termites.
- Scatter cayenne pepper powder on the areas populated by termites.
- Repeat the process on a daily basis until you reach the desired results.
Alternatively, you can mix a tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder with a tablespoon of vegetable oil to make a paste. Use the paste to fill up the holes and cracks in the wood.
6. Salt Water
When it comes to homemade remedies to get rid of termites, few can compare to salt water treatment.
Salt is not only efficient at killing termites but it also prevents them from spreading. Again, this technique works best when used in combination with other methods.
- Create a solution by mixing an equal amount of hot water and salt.
- Stir the solution well and wait for all of the salt to dissolve.
- Pour the solution on the infested areas. You can also use a spray bottle to help you spread the solution evenly.
- If you encounter deep holes, you are suggested to use a syringe and inject the solution as deep in the canals as possible.
- Repeat this home remedy multiple times per day. While the solution is drying, consider applying other methods.
7. White Vinegar and Lemons Solution
If you are still wondering how to get rid of termites yourself this solution might interest you.
White vinegar and lemons solution is yet another ingredient effective at controlling termites. This method works best for small, localized areas.
- Cut 2 lemons in half. Proceed to squeeze the juice out of them.
- Add half a cup of white vinegar to the lemon juice and mix well.
- Apply the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it onto the infested areas.
- Proceed to spray the affected areas two or three times per day and monitor the progress.
8. Orange Oil
Orange oil is rich in d-limonene, an active ingredient that is capable of killing drywood termites. It is a perfect remedy for those questioning how to get rid of termites without chemicals.
This remedy is popular for smaller applications and in the early stages of termites’ treatment. Take the orange oil and simply pour a few drops on the infested surfaces and into holes and cracks.
A small amount of orange oil is capable of taking out an entire colony of termites. Continue to reapply the oil onto the affected areas for several days.
If the surface of the infested areas doesn’t provide aesthetical values, consider drilling small holes in it. You can then pour orange oil directly in these holes and the oil will slowly spread throughout the wood.
Sodium borate, also known as Borax, is great at killing subterranean termites. The solution is capable of shutting down termites’ nervous system and causing them to dehydrate.
- Use borax in powdered form for coating the infested regions. Repeat on a daily basis for at least a week to ensure that the entire colony dies.
- Use borax in liquid form for spraying the areas where termites are present. You can create your own solution by mixing a teaspoon of powdered borax in a cup of hot water. You may also apply this technique for prevention purposes.
Get rid of termites without tenting with this affordable and effective solution.
10. Neem Oil
Neem oil home remedy is a great answer to those asking themselves “How do I get rid of termites?” Even though this remedy takes some time, it is quite effective at what it does.
It is also nontoxic, so you don’t have to worry if you have young children or pets.
Neem oil works as a growth regulator and prevents the molting of termites. This eventually leads to their death. What’s great about this method is that neem oil also causes termites to discontinue laying eggs and eating.
Pour a few drops of neem oil directly in the holes and cracks in the wood. If you need to cover a larger area, soak a cotton ball in the oil and use it to evenly spread the neem oil.
Keep in mind that you should repeat this treatment on a regular basis until all of the termites are gone.
11. Homemade Termite Pesticide
Even though it may sound like something dangerous, you can create a perfectly safe termite pesticide on your own right at your home. To do so, you will need garlic oil, tobacco, and neem oil.
Garlic is rich in insecticidal properties which make it effective at killing termites. Neem oil and tobacco, on the other hand, are great suppressants of termites’ growth and spreading.
- Mix garlic oil (20%), tobacco (5%), neem oil (10%), and hot water.
- Pour the solution in a spray bottle.
- Spray the mixture onto the affected areas.
- Repeat the treatment every second day for at least one week.
Kerosene is dangerous as it is flammable, so it has to be dealt with care. Nevertheless, it presents another effective solution on how to get rid of termites in house. Kerosene creates a toxic environment for the termites and limits their ability to breathe and feed.
You are suggested to pour some kerosene in a spray bottle and spray it on the areas infested with termites. Additionally, you can add in some citronella oil, orange oil, or neem oil. Repeat this process once per day.
13. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the mandatory ingredients for all lovers of the home remedies. It is extremely beneficial in treating numerous conditions.
Luckily, it is also very effective at eliminating termites. When termites get into direct contact with it, they are bound to die soon after.
- Cut open an aloe vera leaf and extract the gel.
- Apply the gel on the infested areas and seal up any holes and cracks with it.
- Repeat this treatment 2 times per day until all termites are dead.
Alternatively, you can mix aloe vera gel with some water and spray it over the affected areas.
14. Beneficial Nematodes
Beneficial nematodes have a wide range of use in organic pest control. When it comes to getting rid of termites, there is no exception.
Beneficial nematodes are microscopic non-segmented worm species. They attack soil-dwelling pests without posing any harm to plants. They are also not dangerous to humans, pets, or earthworms.
Beneficial nematodes have long been known as natural garden protectors. As the pests’ parasites, they burrow into their hosts, such as termite larvae, and cause quick death by releasing a special kind of bacteria.
This method can be extremely beneficial, especially when used together with other organic treatments. You can look for beneficial nematodes in any garden supply stores or even online.
All you have to do is read the labels carefully and follow the directions. Spray the nematodes around the house, garden, basement, and other affected places.
Note: Use nematodes immediately after purchasing them. If you don’t use them right away, store them in a refrigerator if so instructed. Spray the nematodes after the sun goes down or before it rises, as the UV rays may cause them harm.
Freezing the termites might sound a bit offhand, but it actually works. This technique is only applicable when only small objects or pieces of furniture have been exposed to termite infestation.
While you can’t freeze wooden beams, floor, or the whole house, you may find this method useful if you are dealing with multiple removable objects infested with termites. If you have a big freezer, this technique may be more convenient for you.
Put the infested pieces in a freezer for at least 2 days and up to 3 days. This should guarantee the death of the entire colony.
Sometimes, termites infest large areas or portions of the house and nearby land. In that case, baiting is one of the best solutions and can also help you get rid of swarming termites.
Baiting is an effective solution for termite infestation that bases on placing termite baits that contain termicide in multiple areas around the house.
Baits are slow-acting termicides to which the termites are attracted to. They will proceed to transport the bait to the rest of the colony. This causes gradual destruction of entire colonies.
Look for high quality baits at your local garden or pest control store. Some of the best baits implement Insect Growth Regulators (IGR). These are very effective at targeting entire colonies.
If you can’t get your hands on one of these, you can create your own baits using cardboard or decaying wood together with a termicide such as boric acid.
Note: Termicides may be harmful to humans and animals so use them deliberately.
17. Boric Acid
Boric acid, a refined version of borax, is another great way of getting rid of termites on your own with minimal costs. The good thing about this treatment is that it will also help you get rid of ants and roaches.
Boric acid destroys the termites by shutting down their nervous system and dehydrating them.
- Create multiple bait stations around the house. To prepare bait, use decaying wood or cardboard together with boric acid. Simply, spray the cellulose material with the boric acid. Keep in mind that you have to handle boric acid with care.
- Place the trap in multiple areas around the house. Prevent any human or animal from getting in touch with the trap.
- Monitor the baits on a regular basis.
- Replenish the baits with boric acid, especially those that are rich in termite carcasses.
18. Chemical Treatment
Chemical treatment may not be the most natural way to get rid of termites but it sure is effective. In general, there are two main types of termicides, including liquid repellents and liquid non-repellents.
Liquid repellents serve as a prevention method and should be used before the termite infestation happens. They are usually applied at the foundation and in the attic of homes.
Liquid repellents create a barrier that termites will not be able to pass for years. However, termites will always try to find a different entry point, as it is hard to completely seal off the whole house.
Liquid non-repellents, on the other hand, serve as a treatment for termite infestations. They don’t stop the termites from moving and eating. Instead, they contain chemicals lethal to termites and work similarly as baits.
When it comes to the use of such products, caution is advised, as they can also be dangerous to humans and animals. You can spray the termicides directly on the wooden parts of the house.
You can also create a termicide barrier in the ground. To do so, follow these instructions:
- Drill multiple holes through the slab foundation of your house.
- Inject termicide designed for foundation barrier purposes into the holes.
- Seal up to holes once sufficient amounts of termicide have been injected.
Note: Performing this technique requires some experience. Sometimes it is also used as a solution on how to get rid of termites in walls.
If you’re not sure about it you can check some online videos in which the vendors explain how to use their products. If you’re still not sure, call a professional.
Fumigation can only be done by a professional and is relatively expensive. Nevertheless, if the infestation is too severe and beyond your control, consider fumigating your house immediately before the damage spreads.
Fumigation is one of the most efficient ways of destroying all of the termites in a building. Therefore, it is also the best solution on how to get rid of termites in your walls.
- Reach out to a professional company that focuses on performing home fumigations.
- Once the fumigation is planned, it is time for you to get prepared. You need to seal off all food completely, or even better remove it from the house. As the work will take around 3 – 5 days, be ready to stay somewhere else at that time. You will not be allowed to enter the house during their work.
- Your house will be covered with a large tent and gas will be pumped in. The gas will seep throughout the entire home and kill off termites.
- Unfortunately, fumigation doesn’t terminate termite eggs. The problem with termite infestation may occur again if proper prevention measures aren’t considered.
Flooding is another weird idea that works in practice. While you can’t flood your house, you may be able to flood the surrounding areas.
If the main sources of termites are located around the yard or garden, consider flooding it.
The termites can’t swim and flooding surely kills them in a short time after being applied to the right spot.
When termite infestation is limited to a few objects, consider replacing them. You can do the same with the walls or floor if the infestation is still limited.
The advantage of this method is that you don’t have to use any chemicals. Unfortunately, we can’t always know the extent of the damage caused by termites, so you may remove one wall just to figure out that the infestation has already spread to other areas as well.
When getting rid of termites, one method is almost never enough to eliminate the problem. Consider various treatments and see which ones work best at your home. At the same time, you have to ensure that proper termite prevention measures take place.
Some of the methods will gradually reduce termite population. If you do everything you can to prevent the new ones from coming in, it will increase your chances of complete termite elimination.
Tips for Preventing Termites
As you know by now, termites can be difficult to get rid of. The process is an unpleasant one and is also time consuming. If you don’t have termites or have just gotten rid of them, make sure you prevent them from coming back.
Here are some tips that will help you ensure a termite-free home in the future:
- Maintain a sufficient gap between wooden areas of your home and surrounding soil. Termites can easily enter wood and ensuring sufficient gap is mandatory to limit their ability to spread.
- Termites flourish in wet and damp areas. Try to eliminate moisture around and inside the home that attracts them.
- Repair leaking units that contribute to increased moisture. Leaking units may include air conditioning devices, pipes, faucets, etc.
- Keep an eye on the wooden parts in and around the house, including furniture and doors. Any noticeable changes that could signify the presence of termites have to be considered immediately.
- If you are storing logs for burning, make sure that they are not in close proximity to the house. Firewood stored outside the house is ideal place for termites to thrive as it easily becomes damp.
- Consider investing in an annual pest inspection of your home, especially if it is rich in wooden parts.
- Harvest rainwater or divert it away from your home. Make sure that gutters are effectively catching water from the roof and that the downspouts are taking it away from the house. You can extend the downspouts if needed.
- Inspect your roof on a regular basis and replace broken tiles to prevent termites from entering.
- Inspect wooden beams and cardboard boxes in the attic of your house. Hidden away and often damp, attic is a perfect hideout for termites as it is rich in their food.
Termites are nasty little pests that cause a lot of damage. They thrive in damp areas and feed on cellulose which is found mainly in wood.
Termites come in various types, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, there are many techniques that can help you deal with termite infestation.
Some of the methods are completely natural, while others include the use of toxic chemicals. The decision on which treatment you should choose mainly depends on the condition of the related infestation.
If the infestation is severe it is best to let the professionals do their job before damage spreads. On the other hand, you can perform numerous treatments by yourself at minimal costs. Some of the methods will also help you get rid of other pests.
When dealing with termites, it is important to keep in mind the value of prevention.
Do everything you can to ensure that the infestation never happens. If it does happen, try to identify it as soon as possible and use some of the solutions on how to get rid of termites.
The sooner you detect it, the easier and faster the treatment will be. Note that termites are very good at surviving but with a strong will and patience you can surely get rid of them.