How to Kill Termites Without Damaging the Home

Despite their appearance and Australian nickname, “white ants,” termites are not ants. They are more closely related to cockroaches – and equally unwanted. Termites literally eat your house and furniture. By the time you spot them, the damage is usually already severe and pretty hard to reverse. A professional pest control company can tell you how to kill termites without further damage to your home.

There are 40,000 different kinds of termites, but only three affect homes in the U.S: subterranean, drywood and dampwood. They enter through cracks in the foundation and eat their way in through any wood parts. They usually strike within ten to twenty years after construction then keep coming back. Prevention and treatment by a pest control company can prevent the first strike.

Spotting Termites

  • Too often the first sign of termites is their damage. If wood looks honeycombed, rotted or like layers of paper, termite infestation is likely to blame.
  • Check the ground around your home, including landscape and gardens, for small raised tunnels. These are called shelter tubes. They are termite paths to water, and also functions as a highway to your foundation. Shelter tubes can also be seen on tree trunks, limbs and branches.
  • Look for swarms of insects that appear to be winged ants inside or outside your home. The swarming is how they mate, and that means eggs and a new generation of termites are in the making.

If you see swarming, shelter tubes or other signs of termites, drop everything and call a reputable pest control company immediately. With queens laying 2,000 eggs a day, you can’t afford to wait.

Natural Termite Control Options

Integrated pest management uses less toxic pest control with spot treatments of traditional chemicals. Orange oil works well on drywood termites. Boric acid, available as a laundry detergent, can be used dry or mixed in water on subterranean termites. Hot and cold treatments can cause their own damage. Ask a pest control professional which option is best for your situation.

Termite Prevention

Ideally, prevention should have begun during the design phase of your home’s construction. But older homes may not have this advantage. Even brand new homes that included modern pest prevention know-how in their plans can still suffer a massive termite attack. Homeowners can begin preventing termites before or after an infestation occurs.

  • Bait systems prevent termites and tell you when termites are present.
  • When remodeling a home with crawl spaces, add foundation wall vents and moisture barrier film.
  • If landscaping touches outer walls, move it just out of reach, keeping future plant growth in mind.
  • Make sure all wood that could get wet, indoors or outdoors, is perfectly sealed against moisture.

In treating termite infestations, professional intervention is key. Because termites are more than just unpleasant, they should be dealt with quickly and severely. Pest control companies are equipped with the most potent eradication chemicals and methods. Exterminators can also find any previously installed termite prevention and treatment systems. Professionals can determine whether these systems are still working effectively or need upgrading. Most pros offer great deals for new customers. In any case, call a professional pest exterminator today for peace of mind and to preserve your property value.

Related Articles