Termites, often known as white ants, are insects that tunnel through dead wood. While carpenter bees and carpenter ants only build their nests in wooden structures, these insects feed on all wooden fixtures in walls, doors, shelves, racks, windows, furniture, and flooring. Once a termite infestation at work or home takes hold, the damage is permanent. A single colony can consume about 15 pounds of wood in a week and can quickly destroy a home or office. The insects prefer warmer climates and houses with high moisture content are at risk. Once the termites have entered your house, fast treatment is essential. Fortunately, there are several natural termite treatments to prevent termites from entering your house permanently. If you want to know how to get rid of termites, then don’t worry. Our home remedies for termites will treat the infestation
1. Orange Oil
In a laboratory experiment, it was found that Orange Oil Extract was highly effective at killing termites, showing between 68-96% mortality in the experiment.
What is more, those insects that did not die from the oil were found to be significantly less productive in consuming wood. It is a fantastic natural termite treatment option.
The active ingredient in the oil is d-limonene, which has long been known to be toxic to insects, but particularly against termites.
Termites exposed to the vapor also showed high mortality rates. Orange Oil Extract can be efficiently used to get rid of subterranean termites (1).
Simply, drill small holes at the places infested by the termites and inject the orange oil into the hole. This will help you get rid of termites in 3 days to a maximum of 3 weeks, depending on the severity.
Note: Do not consume this orange oil, as it is injurious to health.
An electric shock is applied to the wood infested by termites. The device used has a high voltage (90,000 volts) and low current (less than 0.5 amps).
These electrocution devices are available in the market.
3. Hot and Cold Treatment
Heat the wooden structure at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more for at least 33 minutes (7).
You can also place the wooden object/piece or any other infested item under the sun. It will lead to evaporation of the moisture content.
Either they will die or abandon the wood. Heat is a non-chemical method for the treatment of termites (8).
Alternatively, use liquid nitrogen to create a freezing environment for termite control.
Special equipment is available which help inject the nitrogen into pre-drilled holes. The temperature of wood is then maintained at -29 degrees C for 5 minutes. Termites cannot bear this temperature. (9).
4. Boric Acid
Mix water and boric acid powder and apply it on the wooden surface using a paintbrush to get rid of these creepy creatures.
If you want to know how to get rid of termites in furniture, this is one of the best remedies. You can also treat your garden and rooms with this solution.
You can also spray or paint products containing Borate on bare wood surfaces, where they are soaked up depositing crystallized boric acid within the wood.
Note: It is advisable to wear masks and gloves while handling boric acid as intake or inhale of boric acid is dangerous for human beings.
5. Cardboard Traps
The cardboard can be used as a trap to control termites. Wet the cardboard and place it near the affected areas to attract termites.
When the cardboard is full of termites, then dispose of the box and termites, preferably by burning. If required, then repeat the process several times (15).
This home remedy for termites will only ever contain the infestation. You will need to use termite insecticide treatment alongside this remedy.
6. Essential Oils
A number of essential oils eradicate termites effectively. For instance, clove bud oil and vetiver oil just to name a few. Both of them eventually kill the termites and assure no re-infestation in future.
Simply pour oil (any) in a mist sprayer and use it on the infested wood and other affected places.
7. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera kills termites on contact.
Crush an entire plant of aloe and store it in an air-tight container for a few days submerged in water, allowing the juice to infuse.
Put the Aloe Vera mixture in a blender, then strain the mixture to remove any large bits. Use this solution as a spray for infested wood (18).
8. Table Salt
Sodium chloride is an insecticide (19).
To kill these tiny creatures, spray a sodium chloride/table salt solution directly onto the affected areas or soak some cotton balls in the solution and place it near the affected area.
Due to the presence of cellulose (a plant-based material) in table salt, termites get attracted towards the cotton balls.
This remedy not only kills the termites but also prevents them from recurring.
9. Petroleum Jelly
Rub petroleum jelly on the dried wooden furniture.
Leave it for a day or two and afterward use a soft cloth to polish your fixtures.
10. White Vinegar
It was found that after eight days termites were killed. Vinegar can repel termites but it is not a very efficient method (20).
Portable microwave devices are available in the market, which can be used to eradicate the termites from your house completely (21).
The treatment must continue for 10-20 minutes while treating a wooden piece of 1 to 2 feet.
12. Beneficial Nematodes
There are two types of nematodes: cruisers and ambushers.
- Cruisers like ‘Heterorhabditis bacteriophora’ and ‘S. glaseri’ search for insect prey
- Ambushers like ‘Steinernema carpocapsae’ and ‘S. scapterisici’ wait for prey to pass by.
Nematodes enter host body through openings such as respiratory spiracles and they release bacteria which liquefy the innards of the insect.
After consuming their host, nematodes split up to infect other insects (24).
13. Garlic oil
An analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry proved that the compounds of garlic oil showed insecticidal activities against Japanese termites (25).
According to one study, solutions with different concentrations (20%, 10%, 5%) of garlic, neem, and tobacco were used in hot and cold water.
The solution having the higher concentration of garlic in both hot and cold water resulted in 100% mortality of termite species (26).
14. Clove Oil
Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis also proved that clove oil possesses anti-termite activity (27).
15. Beauveria Bassiana
Beauveria Bassiana is a soil borne fungus that lives on insects like ants, termites, beetles, caterpillars, etc.
The fungus is applied directly to the target pest as a spore. Once it comes in the contact with the termite, it feeds on nutrients present in host’s body and produces toxins.
It is a slow process as it takes up to seven days for the insect to die. The fungus spores can be purchased from gardening and hardware stores.
Beauveria Bassiana is sensitive to sunlight, therefore perform this remedy in the evening (28).
16. Canola oil
Termites were also placed in this container and it was found that termites were killed in canola oil environment (29).
17. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is another natural insecticide that kills termites by scorching and desiccating.
The powder can be sprinkled liberally across the home (as you would use boric acid) as it is harmless to pets and humans.
It can be added to water to make a paste that can then be ‘painted’ onto wooden structures.
It is a great home remedy to get rid of termites from furniture. (30)
- Try to protect your house before a termite infestation takes hold. So, check for termites in and around the home constantly (31, 32).
- Cut down the branches that are touching the boundaries of your house (33, 34).
- Maintain the right moisture level inside your house. Keep out damp and mold
- Wipe away all the dead plant products around your house as it increases the chances of termites (34).
- Ensure proper drainage with a grading system (35, 36).
- Firewood should be kept in dry places (37).
- Don’t have any openings in your house unless it is required. Fill the cracks or holes in the foundation (39).
- Avoid using unauthorized products to control termites as they can cause damage to your wood.
- Do not store wood logs or wood debris near the house (40, 41).
- Don’t confuse termites with carpenter ants. The treatment for carpenter ants is different.