How To Get Rid Of Termites Yourself And Professionally
If you are looking for help and an effective guide on how to get rid of termites then you have certainly come to the right place, here we cover everything you need to know about termites and most importantly how to efficiently treat your termite problem yourself.[table “2” not found /]
Before diving into the best available do it yourself treatments it is very important to be sure that the pest troubling you is actually a termite, if you are already sure then feel free to skip the overview and go straight through to the treatment section.
How Can You Tell If You Have Termites?
Having termites in your home is definitely not a fun experience because they can end up costing you a lot of money. Thankfully, identifying the signs of a termite infestation is not very difficult. This is in part because the signs are very apparent and when you have a substantial amount of them, they are quite hard to miss. There are a few different tell-tale signs that you may have a termite problem.
- Hollowed-Out Wood: One of the biggest and most apparent signs of a termite infestation is hollowed out wood throughout your home. Termites use wood to build their nests, as nourishment, and they can even live inside that very same wood as well. Termites love to use wood, and if you have hollowed out boards, beams, or any other hollowed out wood fixtures, then chances are that you have a termite infestation.
- Cracked or Bubbling Paint: The next sign that you may have termites is if you have cracked or bubbling paint in your home. The paint cracks and bubbles due to the feces that the termites deposit which contains a chemical that reacts poorly with most types of paint.
- Tunnels: Another clear sign of having a termite infestation in your home is the appearance of tunnels along the exterior walls of your home. These tunnels will generally be the size of a pencil and will be covered in mud. These are the tunnels that termites use to get from their food source back to their nest.
- Swarms and Wings: The final sign that you may be dealing with termites is the appearance of swarm of winged termites. Termites grow wings during mating seasons and will converge in large swarms in order to find a mate. They often do this in the lower floors and the basements of home. This can be quite scary to witness, but as these events usually only last a few minutes, people often never see it. What people may see more often is a room filled with discarded wings (the wings fall off after the mating swarm is complete). If you see evidence of this then you most likely have termites.
Types of Termites
There are several different types of termites which exist, all of which can pose a serious threat to the structure and integrity of your home.
One of the most common types of termites found in homes is the subterranean termite. These termites prefer to live under ground or around the foundations of homes, they are generally brown in the front and a whitish/cream color in the back, and can be anywhere from ¼ inch to a ½ inch in length.
The soldier subterranean termite does not have wings but has large mandibles, while the swarmers do have wings but far smaller teeth. As well the queen is known to be much larger than the rest, being up to 1 inch in length.
There are also several other different kinds of termites which are commonly found in homes. Two of these termite types are dry wood termites and damp wood termites, and as the name suggests, they prefer either a dry or a damp climate.
Damp wood termites can grow up to ¾ of an inch long. These types of termites have the same characteristics as the subterranean termites, but they are all brown colored from front to back, and have no workers (the immature termites do the work that the worker termites of other species would do). Finally, dry wood termites are similar in their size and structure to those of subterranean termites, and they do in fact have a worker class.
All of the different termite species look quite similar in size and in color with slight variations, usually being brown and cream colored and being anywhere from 1/4 to ¾ inches in length. The soldiers are usually always the largest, with exception of the queen which in some cases can grow over 1 inch long. Also, the only termites with wings are those tasked with reproduction, otherwise known as the swarmers. However, those are the 3 most common types of termite found; the subterranean, the dry wood, and the damp wood.
Are Termites Dangerous?
Termites are in fact very dangerous because they can do some real damage on your home. Termites and their love for consuming wood for their own purposes will hollow out the foundations, walls, and floors, of your house if left unchecked. These animals multiply very quickly, and if the infestation isn’t caught in time, it can grow to massive proportions and start tearing apart your home from the inside out.
This can become very dangerous because if you step on or lean against a piece of wood that has been hollowed out by terminates, you could break that wood and cause it to collapse and injuring yourself in the process. Termites can make the wood very brittle and fragile; falling through a step can mean breaking your leg, or even worse.
Termites are usually not very dangerous to human health. They can bite or sting but those effects are non-lethal and go away pretty quickly. Also, they aren’t known to carry diseases dangerous to human health. The only real risk comes in when there is a large infestation because their fecal matter can cause allergic reactions, and for people with asthma it can cause an asthma attack to occur. Other than that, there isn’t much to be worried about in terms of harboring viruses or diseases.
How to get rid of termites yourself with chemical products
There are four really great chemicals and foams or spray products out there that are really well-known for their termite killing power, all of which are great choices for you to use around the house and can be purchased online in a just few clicks.
This termite killing foam will kill termites on contact and comes in a 16 ounce can. It kills all types of termites discussed earlier including subterranean, dry wood, and damp wood termites. The foam will expand after being sprayed to get into cracks or damaged areas with ease. It can be used indoors and outdoors because it does not stain. And it is very easy to use, just insert the nozzle into the whole at the front and pull the trigger. Overall this is a good option to consider among the termite treatment products.
This product item is a really great choice to go with. However it is a little bit more on the expensive side compared to the other options. This is a termiticide, or in other words a pesticide that kills termites. On a side note, not all pesticides will kill termites. This item is quite easy to use because all you have to do is hook one end of the bottle up to the front of your hose, and the water/termiticide mixture sprays out the front. Just spray the surroundings of your home as well as any afflicted areas to get rid of any termites. This is of course a product that is only meant for outdoor use.
This is also a great termite killing product, it is however a little bit more expensive than other options. It can be used indoors as long as you keep it away from pets and children. It is simply a set that you can install in your house in minutes and it will attract foraging termites and kill them when they enter the trap using a poison. They are also quite useful because the traps have little pop-up termite action indicators, meaning that it you can see whether or not there are termites in the trap. All you have to do is place the traps in the afflicted areas and wait for the action to start!
The final product to be covered is this granule version of termite killer. It is only to be used outdoors. It is generally a little cheaper than spray poisons, however it does take a little longer to disperse. All you have to do is pour the quick releasing granules over the ground, soil, and afflicted wooden areas on the outside of your home. The granules dissolve quickly when watered with the hose and will kill all termites in the area.
How to Kill Termites Yourself Naturally
One really great way to kill termites naturally is to use sunlight. It is a well-known fact that termites are not very sunlight resistant. In fact, if you leave them in the sun for a long time, they will actually die. Clear out any vegetation around your house where termites might be so that the sun can get to the infested areas. If you have any infested wood furniture, you can place that out in the sunlight as well.
Another great way to get rid of these pesky little creatures is by eliminating all forms of moisture that you can find. Most termites do very well in moist environments, so keeping your house dry and sealing up old leaks, as well as getting rid of damp wood, will really help with keeping the termites away.
The next good natural way to kill termites is to use orange oil because it has a compound in it called d-limonene which kills termites on contact. It’s a good way to start, however keep in mind, orange oil is very expensive, very smelly, and it’s hard to clean away. Not to mention that you can’t soak your whole house in orange oil if the whole house is infested.
Some kinds of termites are very susceptible to either heat or cold, so if you can do a heat or cold treatment on your home, you might stand a chance of getting rid of them naturally. To get rid of them using a heat treatment you will have to get it done professionally, because unless you have the equipment yourself it will be nearly impossible.
The professionals will heat up your house to up to 140 degrees and keep it that way for several hours. On the other hand if you want to do a cold treatment, you have to find a ways to get your house down to 15 degrees, which means you need a freezer strong enough to cool down the whole house. Once again, this is probably best left to the professionals. Also, keep in mind that this method is on the more expensive side.
Another great natural way to kill termites is actually one the simplest and nontoxic ways too. All you have to do is get some cardboard and dampen it because it gives off a certain odor that is irresistible to termites. They will group on it and all you have to do is dispose of the cardboard and burn it. To get them to stick if you don’t feel like watching, you could apply something sticky like honey or some kind of slow drying glue; sticky fly traps could do the trick as well.
How to Prevent Termites from Coming Back
There are quite a few things that you can do to prevent termites from ever coming back, keeping in mind that some of them are a little easier than others. One of the things you can do is to always keep your plumbing up to date and keep the leaks away. This goes for your roof too, because leaks from a rainy day can make their way down to ground level pretty quickly.
And along with making sure that you don’t have any leaky pipes, if you have had a recent leak or burst pipe, make sure that everything has been dried properly. If it hasn’t been dried properly then it should be replaced.
Another big thing to do is to limit the wood on your house that actually touches the ground. This is because termites are attracted to wood and will eat anything with cellulose. Creating a good distance between the ground and the wooden part of your house will keep the termites away.
To do this you can either build a higher foundation with concrete, or even use special stilts that are sold in home renovation stores. Both of these things will have to be done by professionals of course. Another really important thing to do is to use only treated wood, this will limit the smell it gives off and will not attract as many termites. And if you are in the stages of home repair, just make sure there are no cracks in the wood anywhere where the termites could possibly get inside.
As for the outside of your property there are also a few things you can do, because after all that is where termites come from. First of all, if you have a garden, don’t use mulch because that creates great food for termites. Also, keep your lawn green and alive, but don’t keep it soaked because termites love the damp and wet condition.
Also, leave as little decaying waste such as yard waste or food waste lying around, this will also attract termites. Next, remove brush and vegetation from the immediate surroundings of your house because that will allow the sunlight to penetrate, and termites do not at all like the sun. Finally, don’t leave any waste lumber lying around your yard, like discussed, earlier, termites love wood!
When to Call In Professional Help
Sometimes it’s better to just give up and find professional help, because of you have tried everything that we have mentioned, and it still hasn’t worked, then you’re really out of options. A professional will be able to give you the help you need if you think the problem has just gotten out of hand and there is nothing left that you can do on your own.
Termites are really stubborn creatures and they can be really hard to get rid of, so don’t be ashamed to call in the professionals. Don’t let your house be ruined before you decide to call in the heavy guns. It’s not very hard to find a professional exterminator that can handle termites. All you gave to do is look up a local exterminator in the yellow pages or on the internet using a search engine such as Google. You can also simply go to an online directory and search for an exterminator and you will be given a whole list of options.
Getting a termite exterminator may not be the hard part, but they certainly are quite expensive. They will usually charge over a hundred dollars just to come out and inspect. And then, depending on the type of treatment that you choose, this can cost up to fifty cents per square foot. So, if you own a 2000 square foot home, that can cost up to $1500. The good thing about the professional is that they will guarantee their work and they really know how to get rid of termites quickly and efficiently.
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