Termites are one of the most dangerous pests as they can create structural damage and completely collapse your home in just a short time. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), subterranean termites cost American homeowners an estimated $5 billion annually – costs that aren’t covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
Your home is probably the largest investment you have ever made and the most important. Therefore, it is essential to take the proper steps to protect your home from termites, and to rid your house of them immediately if you already have an infestation.
Getting rid of bed bugs should include the following:
Non-Repellant Termiticides. Non-repellant termiticide can be trenched around the perimeter of your home, foam injected into wall voids, sprayed as a perimeter barrier treatment, and injected under foundations and concrete slabs. Soil that has been treated with non-repellent termiticides is not easily detected by termites, so they don’t know to avoid the treated area. Termites come in contact with the non-repellent termiticide, which is then shared with the rest of the colony during feeding and grooming, resulting in a gradual decline in termite colony.
Note: Many termiticides are highly toxic, making it critical to follow label directions with added care. In most cases, termiticide application can only be properly performed by a trained pest management professional.
Termite Baiting. Place bait stations in infested areas and into the ground around the perimeter of your home. Termites discover the bait inside the station, feed on it and then share its slow-acting chemistry to the colony during feeding and grooming, resulting in a gradual decline in termite colony. The bait must be appealing enough that termites will consume it, even in the presence of competing woodpiles, structural wood, and other cellulose based material. And it must have a delayed reaction slow enough to allow termites to return to their colony. If the bait kills too quickly, other termites may avoid it all together.
Boric Acid. Boric acid is the main ingredient used in many store-bought termite insecticides. Boric acid shuts down the termite’s nervous system while dehydrating it. Coat or spray wood and other cellulose material.
Wood Treatment. A mixture of borate and water can be sprayed or painted onto wood. Apply it liberally and allow it to permeate the wood. Once the wood is dry, apply a water-repellant finish to seal in the borate. This creates a barrier through which termites cannot pass as they poisoned when they eat the treated wood.
Heat Infested Items. Heat infested articles (e.g., furniture, decor, and other cellulose based material) to at least 140°F for 60 minutes to ensure that termites are killed. This is often done using a heat-generating device or in a specially constructed heating unit, some of which are portable.
Freeze Infested Items. Place all infested articles (e.g., furniture, decor, and other cellulose based material) in a freezer set to 15°F for at least 4 days. Bulky items require more time. Wood subjected to freezing should be wrapped in plastic. After removing it from the freezer, leave the item wrapped until it reaches room temperature. This protects the wood from water marks due to condensation as the item warms. Also, handle the item carefully since glue joints are very fragile when frozen.
Seal Cracks & Crevices. Seal up all cracks and crevices with caulk. This includes sealing both inside and outside of your home. Termites are so small, they can get in just about any little crack or crevice. Pay attention to cracks in the wall, ceiling, floor, and baseboards.
Properly Store Wood. Termites feed heavily on cellulose based material (e.g. wood, books, boxes, furniture, drywall coverings, etc.) so keep large amounts unnecessary firewood and other loose tree trunks and branches away from your home. If you must keep wood near your home, store it’s at least 20 feet away from the home, and cover it completely to keep it dry; this will minimize the attraction for the termites. Keep mulch at least 15 inches from your home’s foundation.
Control Water. Subterranean termites are naturally drawn to damp and moist habitats because they need water to survive. So make sure all leaks and standing water, both inside and outside of your home are secured and dry. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks, if possible.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Company. Using the above do-it-yourself methods will be helpful in controlling termites and a necessary part of a comprehensive plan, but to completely get rid of termites, treatment usually requires professional services. Experienced companies know where to look for termites, and have an assortment of safe, professional-grade treatment and prevention options.