Home Remedies for Termites: What You Should And Shouldn’t Do

Considering home remedies for termites? Make sure to read through this first. Termites are one pest that strikes fear into the hearts of many homeowners.

Left unchecked, termites can cause significant damage to a home. A subterranean termite colony (the most destructive type of termite and the one most common in Ohio) can eat a pound of wood a day—that’s a pound of wood gone that would otherwise be supporting the structure of a home! Repairs done to fix this damage can cost thousands of dollars.

If you’ve found evidence of termites, you know you’ve got to do something before termites destroy your home. But is it time to call in the professionals, or is there any way to deal with termites alone?

In this post, we’ll look at some of the most commonly cited termite home remedies. We’ll discuss which can be helpful and which are a complete bunk.

Let’s get started. 

termites eating wood inside house

Does Ammonia Kill Termites?

Yes, ammonia will kill termites; however, that doesn’t make ammonia a good remedy for homeowners looking to DIY termite control.

The problem with using Windex or another product containing ammonia to kill termites is that you can’t access the colony this way. The termite colony will be underground (in the case of subterranean termites) or inside wood (in the case of dry wood termites).

You might be able to kill a stray termite here or there around your home, but that won’t solve the problem. It’s like using a bandaid for a gushing wound. 

Termites reproduce quickly; for every termite you kill, ten more are hiding in your walls. It’s just impossible to solve a termite infestation using ammonia. 

Does Boric Acid Kill Termites?

Like ammonia, boric acid does kill termites (ants and cockroaches, too). However, this DIY solution suffers from the same problem as ammonia: boric acid alone can’t eliminate a termite colony. It can only kill termites that ingest the boric acid you sprinkle around your home.

In addition to being ineffective at killing termites en masse, boric acid can also be hazardous to your health. Many online articles encourage boric acid use because it is natural—but that doesn’t mean it is safe. Boric acid can be toxic if accidentally swallowed, so you should never use it around children or pets.

Does Orange Oil Kill Termites?

Whether or not orange oil effectively eliminates termites is still up for debate. Several studies have investigated orange oil’s effects on termites and concluded that it kills some termites: one study by UC Berkley showed a 77 percent success rate when applying the orange oil.

Orange oil might eventually be a useful part of a more comprehensive pest control strategy, but it’s not good enough. The problem with killing only 77 percent of a termite colony is that the colony will rebuild, making your efforts pointless. 

When treating your home for termites, it’s important to ensure every last termite is gone. 77% resolution is still 33% problematic…which will become 100% problematic very soon. 


Do Nematodes Kill Termites?

Nematodes have become a popular DIY termite remedy because they are eco-friendly. Nematodes are actually parasitic roundworms that enter and kill termites and other pests.

While nematodes do kill termites, they are not a great solution for a termite infestation. There are a myriad of problems with using nematodes, including:

  • Limited Species Compatibility. Nematodes are generally specific to certain termite species, so the effectiveness of nematode treatment depends on the type of termites infesting the area. Not all nematode species will work against all termite species, and you may not buy the type of nematode effective at killing termites in your home. 

  • Environmental Factors. The nematodes may not survive the shipment to your house. Nematodes are sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and soil type. If the conditions are not ideal, nematodes may not survive or be effective in controlling termites. Also, nematodes do not always take to the environment in which they are spread (making it a waste of money).
  • They’re Slow. Nematodes work relatively slowly compared to chemical treatments. It may take some time for nematodes to establish themselves, and by that time, your termite problem can be worse than when you got the nematodes. 

  • They Don’t Eliminate the Colony. It’s nearly impossible to apply nematodes to the actual termite colony (same problem with ammonia and boric acid above). Termite colonies can be underground (far underground in some cases), so the chances that the nematodes will venture that far in time are very slim. 

Using nematodes is a good idea in theory, but in practice, it’s not effective at eliminating a termite infestation.

Does sunlight kill termites?

Termites will eventually die if exposed to sunlight long enough, though it’s not really the sunlight itself that kills them. Subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel across the ground because they require moisture from the soil to stay alive.

Unfortunately, this DIY termite remedy is only somewhat effective if a single piece of furniture, like a chair or a table, is infested with termites. 

You might be able to kill some of the termites by leaving the chair in sunlight. If there is a termite colony attacking your home, however, this method will be completely useless for you.

Why You Need Expert Termite Remedies

While some DIY termite remedies may be minimally helpful in controlling termites, the best termite treatment comes from professionals. A termite expert will be able to inspect your home, determine the type of termite and the colony location, and develop a treatment plan that is guaranteed to be effective.

If you’ve found evidence of termites in your home, don’t wait to call the experts.

Concerned you might have an infestation on your hands? Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and Columbus. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.