On the popular DIY shows where people buy cheap houses to flip, one can say a big roadblock often faced is discovering termites have been lurking behind walls. According to Pest World, termites cause more than $5 million in property damages annually. If you find you’ve been targeted by these pesky creatures, there are alternatives to chemical laden pest control treatments.
In laboratory experiments, orange oil was proven as a fumigant, killing termites on contact. To use orange oil as a treatment method, holes must be drilled in the walls every five inches around the infestation. Then, orange oil can be injected into the holes where the termites are located.
Termites cannot withstand extreme temperatures, so another way to remove termites is to cover the infested structure and raise the temperature. The temperature must reach at least 130 degrees which can be achieved by placing propane burners near air ducts to move the air towards the area affected.
This method is extremely effective, and a study from Berkeley showed that this method allowed 90-99% of termites to be eradicated through this treatment.
This method requires a bit more elbow grease as you will have to personally remove the pieces of wood that are infested with termites. You can wash the pieces of wood with warm soapy water to kill the termites.
The removal method is perhaps best suitable in conditions where the area containing termites is quite small, and pieces of wood are within easy reach. For larger infestations, refer to the other mentioned methods.
Cardboard can be used to deter termites away from the wood in your house. Place a piece of wet cardboard near affected areas, and when the cardboard is full, remove it from your the location. Dispose of the piece of cardboard or, for extra measure, burn the infested cardboard.
Clove oil has proven to be highly effective in killing termites. In a 2001 study, clove oil was shown to kill 100% of termites within 2 days. The oil can be placed in a spray bottle; spray the pieces of wood that contain termites.
You can spray wood with cinnamon oil to not only kill existing termites but also to prevent further infestations. Cinnamon oil will also repel other pests such as roaches and silverfish.
A commonly used, non-toxic insecticide is neem oil. Neem oil is derived from the Neem tree’s seeds. Neem trees are popular ornamental shade trees in South Asia and India.
Termites will die after coming in contact with the oil. You can use a cotton ball to apply the oil directly to the wood or place some oil in a spray bottle with water. Treat the area daily until all the termites are gone.
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When you need a non-toxic way to remove termites, use any of the above home remedies. These seven methods are perfect for those who are looking to avoid harmful pesticides. Keep in mind that while these remedies are natural, they are not always 100% pet or kid safe. Be cautious when applying any of the oils and block off sections of your home during treatment to safeguard children and pets.
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Sources: [Beyond Pesticides, Bio-Integral Resource Center, Gardening Know How, Grandma’s Wisdom, Home Remedy Hacks, Home Remedies For Life, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Pest World, SF Gate, the Termite Solutions]