Termites are a common pest that can cause significant damage to homes and other structures. They feed on wood, paper, and other cellulose materials, which can weaken the structural integrity of buildings over time. If left untreated, a termite infestation can lead to costly repairs and even compromise the safety of a structure.
Therefore, it is essential to take action as soon as you suspect a termite problem. In this guide, we will explore different methods for getting rid of termites, from DIY solutions to professional treatments. We will also discuss prevention measures to keep termites from returning.
Termites are winged insects that live in colonies and feed on wood and plant matter. Termites live in large social groups called colonies. These colonies are hungry, too, eating 24 hours a day, every day.
Termites aren’t just abundant; they are also varied as there are about 2,000 known species on Earth. In the United States alone there are over 40 different species.
They live and grow in foundations, windows, and door frames in your home without any visible side outside. Termites in the house are survived by eating wood found around your home from furniture to skirting boards.
It is necessary to look for signs of termites in your home otherwise they will destroy your home’s wooden furniture silently.
How Do Termites Get In House?
The Entry of Subterranean Termites in House
1. Mud Tube
Subterranean termites in house eat wood as food and they access your home by building mud tubes that provide them a moist, protective shield to move from one location to another. Drywood termites are not constructed in any mud tube.
2. Drop Tube
Drop Tubes Termite workers are generally available in your home crawl space and they may also construct free-hanging mud tubes, also called drop tubes. These drop tubes can also extend from the ground level to wooden floor joists vertically and the floor above ground.
Other Sources of Entry
Other likely termite entry points are the crack and gaps available in patios, dirt-filled porches, sidewalks, steps, and chimneys are which are built adjacent to the foundation wall.
Besides the above major source, Termites also built mud tubes on supporting piers of houses with crawl spaces. There are risks of termite attacks in almost for types of foundations, slab-on-ground construction is the most likely to be susceptible to termites entry.
b) The Entry of Termite through Siding
Siding, which is built partly beneath the soil, creates another way to termites to get access to your home. In case siding is extended below the soil, termites workers enter in house from the backside of the siding and do so without mud tubes. They get access to your home without coming to the notice of any house owner.
Termites in-house also get access from any outside sources of wood such as a trellis or a planter box. In these cases, termites attack an outside source of wood and build mud tubes throughout the wood source, and with time they get access inside through a crack, gap, or suitable hole.
Drywood termites as the name indicate they survive in live in dry, sound wood, and also they do not have a connection with soil since the moisture they need comes from the wood they infest.
Therefore, dry wood termite does not construct any mud tube, unlike the subterranean termites. Drywood termites in the house entered when dry wood termite swarmers fly directly to the wood near or inside your home and infect it.
Some of their usual routes of entry include:
- Attic or foundation vents that are not screened.
- Cracks around window frames, door frames, soffits, and roof sheathing.
- Wood or Furniture infested with termites in the house.
c) Dampwood Termite
Dampwood termites by nature infect or damage wood that has very high moisture content or dampness.
Dampwood termites attack is likely to happen where there is damp wood in constant contact with the ground or if a water leak constantly keeps wood wet.
Dampwood termites are getting access to the house through infested lumber and at times in mulch. Termites swarmers are get attracted to light and at times will be attracted to porch lights left on at night.
Sometimes dry wood termites swarmers get inside, they create a small chamber in damp wood, mate, and begin a new colony.
Signs of Termites In House
1. Hollow Sounding Wood
Drywood termites generally eat timber from inside to outside, leaving a thin veneer of timber or just the paint. When you try to knock the area of wood that has termite damage, it will sound hollow or papery. This hollow sound is because partly or full inside wood has been eaten away and is the signs of termites in the house.
Termite attack the house is only come to notice when the vacuum cleaner goes through a skirting board or a finger pressed into a door frame goes through.
2. Tiny Tunnels in Wood
Termites built a tunnel in wood which is difficult to see due to their tiny size, but if you have seen any broken timber piece near or in your house it is a confirmed indication that termites attacked your home.
Various devices and technology are developed to detect termite tunnels and the activity of termites when there are no visible signs. The device includes borescopes, electronic odor detectors, microwaves, sound detectors, infrared detectors, X-rays, and even dogs, but only a few have laboratory-proven testes-certified devices.
3. Termite Frass
The most important clue left by dry wood termites is frass which termites drop out from the wood they eat. This is major and confirms the sign of a termite attack on wood which is always looked for during a termite inspection.
Drywood termites are never using their feces to build their tunnels. Unlike subterranean termites. Instead, they push it out of small holes near the entrances to their nest. These results in small black marks and a dark powdery substance around the area they are infesting.
4. Doors and Windows Becomes Tight in Space
Sometimes, the window which has become stiff suddenly, and warped doors can also mean termites! These expansions are happening when termites inside continuously eat and tunnel through door and window frames causing the wood to warp, making it tough to open doors and windows.
5. White Ants
A common mistake people make is confusing termites in a house with white ants. This misconception is an easy one to make as ants and termites are very similar in both shape, size, and some cases behavior.
How can we differentiate between ants and termites?
- Termites are light in color. They are usually a white/creamy color and can sometimes look quite translucent.
- Compared to ant’s termite antennae are completely straight rather than bent.
How to Get Rid of Termite?
If you feel that hiring a professional for Termite treatment is costly and wants to do it yourself (DIY). The following are some DIY tips to Get Rid of Termites in the House.
1. Expose Damaged Furniture or Wood in Sunlight
Termites are by nature like moist and dark conditions to live. So, if you put your damaged or termite-infected furniture in sunlight, it will die from the heat of the sun. This method removes moisture from wood furniture and makes them dry so it creates an unfavorable condition for the growth of termites in the house.
2. Wooden Box Trap
You can also use the trap to catch the termites in the house who are hiding deep in the wood. Take one box made of cellulose that has a woody smell. Apply extra water to make it moist which is a favorable condition for termites.
Termites like cellulose and woody smell that termites can’t resist. Within a few hours, termites will run into deep holes and enter the wooden box. Once all termites came out lift the box and take it outside and then burn it to kill termites in the house.
3. By Spraying Boric Acid (diy termite treatment)
Termites in the house don’t like the boric acid smell. Prepare borax acid and water solution and spray it on termite affected are of wood. Multiple applications can be done to treat all termites in the wood. This method is non-toxic to humans.
4. By Using Parasitic Nematodes
Parasitic nematodes are like small worms that enter into termite larvae and kill them within 2 days. It is generally available in a local nursery or you can buy them from online stores. This is an effective way of termite in-house treatment.
5. By Giving Oil Treatment to Wood
Orange and neem oil are very effective in termite in-house treatment. Orange is a proven termite killer because they have a compound called d-limonene and can easily kill termites when they come in contact. On the other hand, neem oil also works well when termite eats it. Apply the number of spray-on affect areas to see satisfactory results.
Best Termite Treatment Spray Available Online
- Bifen I/T Insecticide – Kills ground termites plus over 75 types of other pests.
- Martin’s IGR Concentrate – Recommended mostly for use indoors.
- Eco-Friendly Living Essentria IC3 Pro Insect Killer – Ideal natural option.
- Talstar Pro Insecticide – Well-known relief and protection against termite infestation.
- Permethrin SFR – Eliminates termites with the natural extract.
What are some signs of a termite infestation?
Signs of termite infestation include mud tubes, termite droppings, discarded wings, and hollow-sounding wood.
Can I get rid of termites myself?
DIY termite treatments can be effective in some cases, but severe infestations may require professional treatment.
What are some natural remedies for getting rid of termites?
Orange oil, neem oil, and vinegar are some natural remedies that can help to repel or kill termites.
How can I prevent termites from infesting my home?
Regular inspections, reducing moisture in and around your home, and keeping woodpiles and debris away from your home can help prevent termite infestations.
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