How can I protect my home from Termites?
Prevention is key to keeping insects out of your home. Keeping the area clean, sealing cracks and keeping moisture out is the best way to protect your home.
Types of Termites
Dry wood Termites do not need soil contact or a water source. Instead they extract moisture from cellulose found in untreated wood as they digest it, and live directly in the wood. Colonies can extend 150 feet from the nest.
Subterranean Termites however need to draw moisture from the soil and they create extensive tunnels and tubes that run between the soil and untreated wood. Both types have swarmers and can be very destructive to the home. These differences make them unique in how treatment is applied.
Ways to help prevent an infestation
What can I do to defend my home against Termites?
Proper landscaping and drainage along with keeping crawlspaces and the perimeter of the home free from wood ,cardboard, untreated mulch or anything that has cellulose can reduce the chances of infestation. By increasing ventilation in crawl spaces and basements, dryer conditions can be maintained. Making an unfavorable atmosphere for termites.
Some newer homes are treated during construction to help prevent termites while existing homes can be treated by a professional pesticide applicator technician or an exterminator. This method of treatment involves digging a trench around the perimeter of the home and applying the appropriate materials to the area excavated which may involve drilling through the concrete slabs and in the voids of walls which can be labor intensive. However this can be the best protection as Some applications can last for years. Yearly inspections should be considered to make sure a reinfestation hasn't occurred. Borax can be used as a powder or as a liquid solution that is mixed with water that can be sprayed around the infested area. Reapplication may be needed to be effective.
Some ways to defend your home against termites are by baiting, spraying natural or synthetic pesticides such as termidor Sc, Bora care and other chemicals using proven methods of spraying mist, spray foam or liquid solutions injected into the voids in walls and trenching around the perimeter to create a barrier around the home by drilling beneath the slab. Baits require periodic checks at least 4 times a year and treated homes should be inspected yearly for new infestations.
Natural ways to defend against termites,
Nematodes; Nematodes are parasitic worms that love to munch on termites. Nematodes will reproduce if enough of them are introduced to the colony and continue to consume the termites until they are gone.
Vinegar; Vinegar can be used with lemon juice mixed to create an acidic solution that will kill termites on contact. Retreatments may be needed.
Orange oil; Orange oil is made by extracting d-limonene from the peel of oranges, this is deadly to termites. The acidity can dissolve their exoskeleton causing them to lose moisture and proteins and die. Treat infested areas directly and the surrounding area to ensure proper coverage. Reapplication should be sprayed regularly for better protection.
Wet cardboard; Wet cardboard can be an attractive buffet for termites. Pieces of wet cardboard can be left out as bait. Once termites take up residency in the cardboard it can be properly discarded by burning the cardboard or spaying a natural insecticide to eliminate any termites. Repeat this process as needed.
Termites will die if exposed to a lot of sunlight or extreme heat. By setting up ultraviolet lights a similar effect can be achieved making an unsuitable environment.
Where Can Termites be found in my home?
Termites can be found in the basement, crawlspace, along the foundation, in siding, eaves, cornices, walls and can even be found in wood furniture and interior wood. Termite Swarmers can be seen once the colony numbers reach an excess of 700 individuals or when the colony matures. This is usually after 4 years or more have passed. Colony numbers can reach 3000 or more in a few more years.