There is nothing worse than sharing your home with uninvited, unwanted and unwelcome pests. One such pest that wreaks the most havoc on our homes and furniture is the tiny termite.
Today we’ll be teaching you how to tell if you have a termite problem in your home, as well as giving you the rundown on the different termite treatment options available to you.
What are the Signs of Termites in Your Home?
It can be difficult to tell whether you have termites in your home if you don’t know what evidence to be on the lookout for. Here are the main tell-tale signs that you may be sharing your home with them:
- Audible clicking sound: If you suspect you have a termite problem, press your ear against the surface you think they are hiding in. You can actually hear a soft clicking noise—that’s the sound of a worker termite chomping down on your woodwork.
- Termite droppings: Termite droppings, called frass, are an indicator of termites. Frass is a powdery, sawdust-like substance that resembles a mound of ground pepper. You’ll find frass near the entrance of a termite nest.
- Papery timber: Because termites feast on wood from the inside out, timber within your home will become papery in texture. When you gently knock on this wood, your hand will either go straight through it or will produce a hollow noise.
- Pin pricks: Another common signs of termite presence are small, pin prick holes in drywall. These holes are exit holes that drywood termites come out of when they swarm.
- Mud tubes: Mud tubes are created by Subterranean termites and act as a bridge that connects their underground homes to their above-ground feasts. Mud tubes will typically be found climbing up your home’s foundation.
How to Get Rid of Termites
Now that you know how to tell if you have a termite problem, you may be certain that you’re sharing your home or garden with these little eusocial insects. If so, you’re probably very keen on sorting it out as soon as possible. Here are the different termite treatment options.
Physical Termite Barrier
If you have an issue with Subterranean termites in particular, a physical termite barrier won’t just solve your current problem but will prevent future infestations. This is the most expensive but effective termite treatment. Barriers such as the Kordon termite barrier form a perimeter around your home that termites—try as they might—won’t be able to penetrate.
A termiticide is similar in theory to a physical termite barrier, except termiticides create a chemical barrier as opposed to a physical one. You can get all sorts of termiticides, from baiting systems to indoor foams. These days termiticides come in many formats so you can pick the one that works best for you. While all termiticides act as a termite exterminator, some also act as a repellent.
Direct Exposure to Sunlight
Termites avoid the sun because they can die from too much exposure to the sun’s heat and rays. The sunlight solution works well if you have a particular piece of furniture that is infested with termites. Simply place the piece of furniture in direct sunlight and let the sun act as a natural termite treatment. If you don’t live in a sunny climate, a UV lamp will work just as well.
Most kitchen cupboards have a bottle of vinegar in it, which is great if you need a quick termite solution. All you need to do is whip up a concoction of half a cup of vinegar and the juice of two lemons & you’re ready to solve your termite problem. Pour your mixture into a spray bottle and generously spritz the contents wherever you suspect termites are.
If you happen to have a bottle of orange essential oil handy, you have a ready-made termite killer at your disposal. This is because of the high d-limonene content found in orange peels, which will dissolve the exoskeleton of the termite. Simply spray the oil onto the termites directly, or on the areas you suspect them to be.
Feast and Fire
It’s a well-known fact that termites just love chowing down on cardboard. Spritz a piece of cardboard with water and place it near the spot you think the termites are. This is known as baiting. The termites won’t be able to resist the cardboard and before you know it, they’ll have amassed on top of it. Once the carboard is full of termites, remove the cardboard and set it alight.
Termites are to nematodes what cardboard is to termites—the most scrumptious of snacks! Nematodes, also called roundworms, are parasitic worms that love killing and eating termites. The best part about this termite treatment option is that there is no clean up for you. Nematodes completely devour the termites and then die & biodegrade in your soil.
If you’re in the planning or building stage of your home, we wholeheartedly recommend investigating a physical termite barrier as your termite solution. But if your home is already built, you’ll be better of with the other termite treatment options we shared with you today.
Which of these termite treatments will you be using to solve your termite problem? Natural or chemical? Let us know in the comments section below.