Termites are one pest that strikes fear into the heart 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 that something has to be done before termites destroy your home. But is it time to call in the professionals, or is there any way to deal with termites on your own?
In this post, we’ll look at some of the most commonly cited termite home remedies. We’ll talk about which can be helpful and which are a complete bunk.
Let’s get started.
Common DIY Termite Remedies
Does ammonia kill termites?
It’s true that 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 drywood termites). You might be able to kill a stray termite here or there around your home, but that won’t solve the problem. Termites reproduce quickly, and for every termite you kill, there are 10 more hidden. It’s just impossible to solve a termite infestation using ammonia.
Does boric acid kill termites?
Like ammonia, boric acid will kill termites (and ants and cockroaches). However, this DIY solution suffers from the same problem as ammonia: boric acid alone can’t get rid of a termite colony. It can only kill any termites that happen to ingest the boric acid that you sprinkle around your home.
In addition to being ineffective, boric acid can also be hazardous to your health. Many articles online encourage the use of boric acid because it is natural—but that doesn’t mean that it is safe. Boric acid can be toxic if accidentally swallowed, so it should never be used 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 does kill some termites: one study done 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 by itself, 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 you treat your home for termites, it’s important to make sure that every last termite is gone.
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: you may not buy the type of nematodes effective at killing termites; the nematodes may not survive the shipment to your house; and nematodes do not always take to the environment in which they are spread (making it a waste of money). In addition to all of these problems, it’s near impossible to apply nematodes to the actual termite colony (see the problem with ammonia and boric acid, above).
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 really 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 the 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 now Columbus, OH. 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.