The damage caused by termites creates the need to kill these insects as soon as they are identified. This article covers the best ways of getting rid of termites; both the natural (DIY) and the chemical ways, and the cost of treating the termites on walls, in soil, furniture and other places.
Why Control or Get rid of Termites?
Termites are very destructive and they cause a lot of damage which is very expensive to correct. Depending on the extent of the termite damage, a solution can be offered. Termites weaken the structural foundations of most wood-based homes.
In some cases, termites may even cause trees to fall as they feed on all the timber making up the trees leaving a hollow space in the tree. While some trees which have faced termite damage can be filled, some of them are damaged beyond repair.
Termite treatment Cost & Duration
Termite treatment cost is approximately $2000 to $5000. Where treatment involves repair of damage cost, you may incur up to $8644 as quoted by Terminix Company which is a national extermination company. This however varies based on a number of factors as discussed below;
Size of infestation
If your entire home or property is highly infested with termites, it is very likely that you will incur a very high cost. Treatment cost for termite infestation on a small portion of your home is definitely lower.
Age of infestation
A newly infested house is easier to treat and does not require you to spend so much since not much damage has been done yet.
However an old infestation not only means that there are numerous termites hiding in every corner of your house but it also means that the damage caused is more.
This explains why you are advised to seek treatment when the infestation is first discovered.
Complexity of the job to be done
The simpler the job of termite elimination from your house is, the less is the amount of money you are likely to spend. If the treatment involves going up to the basement, for instance, you will expect that so much work to be done.
The job of treating termites is also likely to be more complex based on the foundation of your house. Some types of foundations require specialized treatment and consequently additional costs.
Type of treatment used
If you choose a way of treating termites which involves use of expensive equipment, the process will definitely be more costly.
Type of termites present
Different types of termites cause different levels of damage. More destructive termites will therefore be more expensive to treat. This difference also comes since different methods are used to treat the different types of termites with some methods being more expensive than others.
Some cities are generally expensive when it comes to termite treatment. For instance, New York and Los Angeles are found to be relatively expensive when compared to smaller towns or cities.
Type of service used
You may decide to use national, local or do it yourself methods. Whichever choice you make, you will realize a difference in the amount of money you will pay for the treatment process. Do It Yourself is always cheaper and you are always advised to try it before involving professionals.
Size of your home
If you have a very big house, so much time will be taken in treating the termites and this will translate to higher costs. A small house takes a very short time to be treated and as such the charges are relatively low.
Since you are now aware of what factors influence the cost of termite treatment, it is also important to know how long termite treatment lasts. In most cases, this will depend on the method of treatment opted for.
- With liquid treatments, the treatment may last for a few years. This will depend on how effective the liquid treatment is in killing termites. You must also inspect your house frequently to prevent any new infestations.
- In the case of baiting stations, it may last for a year but you will need to keep on repairing and maintaining the baiting station in good order.
How to kill Termites-DIY Homemade Killers
What should you consider before killing
Before killing termites, you need to consider a number of things. To begin with, you must be sure that the pests in your home are termites and not any other similar insects such as ants.
It would be a waste of time to treat the wrong pest just because you did not take your time to be sure.
In addition to that, you need to identify which type of termites has infested your home. This is necessary because, different termites have different treatment requirements.
Moreover, it is advisable that you consider carrying out an inspection or asking a professional to do that for you. This is so that you can be sure about the extent of infestation and adjust your budget.
Which Chemicals Kill termites
Where you opt to kill termites using chemicals, it is good to familiarize yourself with the various chemicals that have been found to effectively eliminate termites. Some of the best chemical options for termite treatment are discussed below;
Most liquid termite control products have this as the most active ingredient. It is specially structured to disrupt the normal functioning of the termite’s central nervous system. When a termite comes in contact with high concentrations of fipronil, it dies immediately.
Fipronil can be used both to treat already existing infestations and to prevent the likelihood of new infestations. You simply need to dissolve this product in water them apply it around the foundation of your home and underground.
It is a termiticide used mostly in sentricon and other baiting systems. It is a chemical that terminates termite colonies by inhibiting their abilities to shed their exoskeleton. The result is that growth of termites is deterred. Once one termite is exposed to this termiticide, it eventually carries it to the rest of the colony and in no time, the queen is exposed to it and dies.
This is a deadly chemical that kills termites as soon they come into contact with it. It also kills termites by contact. It causes binding of the nicotinic receptors of the termite’s nervous system. The receptors keep on signaling continuously and that prevents breakdown of the chemical by the termites’ immune system.
Since the chemical acts very slowly, it gives time for transfer of the toxin from one termite to another. This will lead to death of the entire colony including the queen. The binding process of this chemical is irreversible and a termite which is exposed to it cannot escape death.
Homemade termite killer
The damage caused by termites could leave you bankrupt and you should therefore try eliminating termites by all means. For instance, you can kill termites by coming up with a homemade termite killer. This termite killer is made using natural ingredients such as borax. Borax is found to occur naturally as a powder.
- Take two parts of borax, one part of cornmeal, and two parts of confectioner’s sugar.
- Mix the three substances thoroughly.
- In the areas where you have seen the termites, sprinkle the powder you have just prepared.
- Ensure that the powder is well spread especially on the walls of your house.
- Reapply the mixture every week until no termite activity can be seen. Always keep children and pets away from areas where this powder has been used.
How it works
When termites ingest this powder, they die. This is because; the powder poisons their stomach and prevents any digestion from taking place. As a result the termites starve to death. The cornmeal and sugar used in making the powder have two roles;
- They attract termites
- They assist in ingestion of borax by the termite.
If the termite infestation in your home is severe or on a large scale, you may consider other methods since the homemade termite killer is found be most effective on small scale basis.
Natural Termite Control Ideas (without Chemicals)
Since some chemicals may end up being harmful to your health, or to the health of those around you, you are advised to try out home remedies. Below are some of the natural ways of eliminating termites;
Electro-Gun and Microwave
In the case of small infestations, this method can be used to control termites without involving use of chemicals. An electro-gun draws 180 000 volts up from end to end of a gallery. This piece of equipment kills termites by heating the wood both inside and outside. It is estimated to cost about $1100.
This method involves running hot air until the interior temperatures are about 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The timbers in this case will have been heated to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This method is very effective and can be applied to the specific part of your home which is infected.
These are worm species which are always looking for hosts such as termites. It can be found in form of a spray and it kills termites about two days.
Nematodes are neither harmful to humans, plants or pets. Nematodes can destroy a termite colony in a very short time. If you are not using the nematodes immediately, it is best to store them in a refrigerator.
In most cases, homes which are infested with termites are usually located in areas where sufficient light does not penetrate. If your furniture is exposed to sunlight, they will die. Keep your house exposed to as much sun as possible by ensuring the windows and doors are open.
Flood the termites
You can get rid of termites by simply drowning them. If the termites are in your garden, dig through the garden to allow for drowning of the termites in the mud tubes.
Use of salt
Make a mixture of warm water and salt in equal portions. When the mixture is injected to the affected area, the termite body becomes dehydrated.
Moisture encourages termite infestation. Moisture will accumulate in your home mostly if you have some leaking pipes. Repairing such pipes and keeping your home as dry as possible is one easy way to control termites.
If you wish to keep termites from your valuables, it is advisable to place a cardboard trap in a strategic place. Due to presence of cellulose, termites will be attracted to that cardboard away from your property.
Eliminate wooden mulch
Since mulch is a great source of cellulose for termites, doing away with such mulch around your home is a great way of controlling termites. You could replace your current mulch with coconut husk mulch which is found to have lower cellulose content.
Getting rid of termites-walls, Soil & Furniture
Walls are in most cases in direct contact with the soil. This gives a chance for termites to crawl up the walls of your house causing a lot of damage. Luckily, there are ways that have been found to be specifically effective in getting rid of termites from walls. They include the following;
- Use premise or termidor. This is a chemical which when applied on the infested walls as well as the soil that is in contact with the affected wall, it kills all the termites in no time.
- You can also fumigate the wall that is infested with termites. It basically uses heat and gas to kill termites.
- Baiting stations which involve baits made using cellulose material have also been found to be effective in eliminating termites from wall.
- You may also consider natural or organic methods such as spraying orange oil on the mud tubes that form on walls.
Most of the termites that are found in the soil are subterranean termites but you could also find other types of termites crawling on the ground. There are a few steps followed in order to eliminate termites from the soil;
- Identify the type of termite. This is very important since, also the treatment procedures used for all types of termites are the same, the products involved may vary.
- Locate the colony
- It is very necessary that you find the main nest of the termites. Dig through the soil or even examine any trees that are next to the soil infested with termites.
- Lay a baiting station if your discovery shows that you are dealing with a new infestation. The baits should be laid on the top of the soil and inside the soil.
- Apply the termiticide on the infested soil. Since most termiticides come in the color of the soil, the termites with brush through this toxic substance unknowingly and eventually die.
Drywood termites attack wood and leave wooden structures very weak. This necessitates the need to eliminate such termites from any wooden structures. Some of the easy ways of eliminating termites from wood include the following;
- Expose the termites to direct sunlight. Hot sun has been found to kill termites as they are not used to high temperatures.
- You can use a cardboard trap. It is usually made using cellulose material which attracts termites. You are always advised to pour some water on it as termites love moistures. Once the termites flood the cardboard, you can burn it or discard it in a way that ensures all the termites are left dead.
- Boric acid can also be sprayed on the termites. This acid kills termites effectively as will be explained on the article talking about termite sprays.
- Oil treatments such as use of neem oil and orange oil are also very effective in killing termites.
Walls, soil and wood are the main places where termites can be found. However, there are other places where termites can be found although on rare occasions.
Termites can be found under your sink in the kitchen or in the bathroom since these two places are moist in most cases. You can also find termites on edges of doors and windows.
Most of the ways of getting rid of termites discussed above can be used no matter the place the termites are located.
It is actually advisable that you combine most of the treatment options for 100% success in termite elimination.
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