How to Get Rid of Termites-Kill, Prevent + Cost

Termites can be bigger critters than they really are. They can lead to damage you can dare not fathom. People countrywide spend thousands of dollars and lose the same or more when termites damage their homes. Here is how to get rid, kill and prevent these insects

Why get rid of Termites? Damage & how much does it cost?

Pictures-What do Termites look like?

Below are photos of what termites look like

termites pictures
termites picture#1


pictures of what termites look like
Termites without wings



About termites, there are four major types of termites that exist in the US. These include the:

  1. Subterranean termites: these have nests beneath the ground. They normally emerge to attack your wood that is within reach and they are the most common
  2. Formosan termites: these feed on any of the structures regardless of the nature as opposed to other termites.
  3. Drywood termites: these do not reside beneath the ground and do not build connections within the soil. They are mostly found in dry wood such as utility poles and fences.
  4. Dampwood termites: these, as the name suggests are those that are found in areas that are humid and therefore the wood is damp. This is where they infest.
Get rid of termites-types-cost
Termite Types


Now that you know the types of termites and where they infest, it is easy to identify the losses that you can get when termites infest your home. Depending on the type, they:

  1. Lead to destructions of utility poles and fences
  2. Destroy furniture
  3. Lead to weakness of the walls of your house making it easy to crumble over time.
  4. Create hiding spots for rats and mice in walls.
  5. Reduce or totally destroy the aesthetic value of wooden stuff.
  6. Are irritating especially the flying termites

It is therefore important to eliminate termites regularly based on the destruction and losses it can cause. Note that termites do not only hit rural houses but hit houses indiscriminately. As long as there is wood for their nourishment, that’s a hot spot.

A true story told of a house in Melbourne’s CBD confirms that especially during the damp nature of their spring and summer, termites have a real treat. In one of the residents, Mr. Lynn, the termites they discovered, though late, had started turning the wood on the floor to dust. The lounge room had been damage beyond repair and the wood would thus have to be replaced.

How much does it cost to get rid of termites?

Eliminating termites can be costly to some. If you are a home owner who has an infestation by termites then it would be prudent for you to research widely for the available best options. You obviously have myriad questions as this ordeal is not expected. This material will avail some information on the considerations you need to make so as to make a reasonable estimate.

Going forward, the total amount of expense depends on the factors below:

Location of the infestation

there are areas that make it difficult to access and this may increase the expenses involved. If the termites have damaged the walls, and you have a double wall, then this means that it has to be separated then constructed right back. The same applies to infestations in the ceiling that have to be cleaned out. Basically, the service costs much higher with areas that require further technique to access.

The extent of the damage

This is rather obvious. The higher the extent of damage, then the more you will spend. Simply directly proportional.

The type of termites you are dealing with

As described in the previous section, the type of termite determines where it is located. This means that if the termite is subterranean type, then methods need to be instituted to deal with the termites underneath the ground.

The type of treatment to exterminate the termites

There are a variety of methods depending on whether chemicals or natural means are used. Further into this, consideration needs to be made concerning the coverage of the treatment. It could be spot or whole structure treatment in which the whole structure affected, is removed or treated. The latter is expensive.

The type of service

Whether you choose a DIY, local or an international service provide depends on the amount of money you are willing to spend.

How to get rid of termites naturally without Chemicals

If you want to save costs and get rid of termites yourself, then you could do without the chemicals. Further, chemicals could contaminate the soil you are treating or even lead to toxicity when unintentionally ingested.

Here are some methods that you can use:

1.     Trap methods

Such include the cardboard trap method which is considered the most natural ways of eliminating termites. Since this material contains cellulose, female termites would be attracted.

What attracts the termites is the woody smell it produces and the termites find this irresistible. Then execute your plan by removing this cardboard from where it is inside the house and dispose it. Sprinkling the cardboard with a small amount of water will help increase the intensity of the smell.

2.     Drying

Since termites thrive best in areas with moisture, then this method would deprive them of the comfort they are used to. Make sure that any water spilled on a wooden floor is dried off immediately to reduce the risks.

When you are constructing a home, ensure that you do this on a sunny day so that there is not entrapment of water that would attract termites. Further, ensure that there are no pools of water or water leakages close to a foundation or woody structure.

3.     Herbal treatments

There are a variety of natural herbals that could work. The orange olive oil is considered effective owing to the active compound it contains, D-limonene. Dry wood termites are best got rid of using this method. Another type of oil, the Neem oil is also effective. The latter oil is however slower and you would be required to apply more frequently so as to completely eliminate the colony.

4.     UV exposure

Since termites are susceptible to sunlight, then this would be a good method that would kill them. This is especially efficient for the Mediterranean termites. Dig up the area you are targeting and expose them to sunlight. For other types of termites, then you could remove the furniture infested to the sun.

5.     Parasitic nematodes

Parasites that feed on insects termites included, is one form of a biological control that really works. Types of beneficial entomopathogenic nematodes that can be used for this purpose include: Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Heterorhabditis indica, Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae and Steinernema riobrave (Ibrahim, S.A.M. and Abd El-Latif, N.A. 2008)[1].

6.     Heat and cold treatments

How to get rid of termites in wall and soil

Removing in walls

If there is an infestation in your walls, then you could use a variety of methods. These methods however have their advantages and setbacks. Thus, there needs to be a careful selection of the method so as to land on the best method.

1.      Replace the walls

this depends on the extent. Instead of treating the walls and leaving them unsatisfactorily handled, then you could opt to remove the whole wall especially if it is made of sheetrock.  This is much easier to replace. It is considered faster but removal would make repair difficult especially if the termites damaged the wall studs or the ceiling joists.

2.      Starvation method/baiting station

This method is meant for those you are not able to remove the wall since it is built of rock or brick. In this technique, you introduce a bait that contains cellulose as in the cardboard trap method and sprinkle it with water to increase the aroma.

It may also contain sulflurimid which is fed to the termites.This starves the termites and kills them. Since these are the worker termites, then it would mean that the colony would die of starvation.

The good about this method is that you do not need to use any chemical. However, you need to exercise some patience waiting for the termites to feed on the cellulose and starve. To add, it is not a guarantee that the termites will have starved. There might be a few survivors enough to revamp the economy.

3.      Fumigate

You could use gas or heat fumigation. This is particularly effective when dealing with flying termites and those that are hard to reach like those in crevices, ceiling, attics and in-between walls.

This method would also work on other irritable insects in the house and therefore a multipurpose though this is a difficult method to execute. You will need a professional to do the fumigation and deal with persistency.

4.      Apply chemicals to the walls

This method targets the voids, crevices and breaks in the walls. It also involve s drilling holes to apply the chemical. You could use Termidor to do this. When termites get into contact with this chemical, then they die within a day or half a day.

This method however does not target the termites that are out of sight and would only reduce the infestation. You need to do this for longer keeping in mind that these chemicals could cause potential harm to you.

5.      Combinatorial

You could use a combo of the methods and target all areas. Some people combine the Termidor and the cardboard trap method. It is very effective.

Getting rid in soil

This require a bit of remembering that in a garden setting, you plant food. When you use chemicals in the garden, then it could contaminate the plants and your food.

When the soil is meant for your food, then you could opt for an alternative such as using wood that is resistant to termites. Such wood includes redwood and the cedar.

If you use normal wood, susceptible to damage by termites, then you could apply tar to the bottom or whole of the wood. A penetrating oil finish to the wood would also work.

You might want to use the following:

  1. Investigate the type of termite: this avails information on the aggressiveness and location of the colony. Some termites are residents beneath the ground while others prefer to stay on the surface. Therefore, this would be a good starting point to determine if you will need certain methods that are more invasive.
  2. Locate the colony and ensure it is safe for you to apply the chemicals there. Then find the main nest and mark it with a metal post.
  3. Now lay the bait. This may be wooden stations that may be treated or not.
  4. Apply termiticide: if the spot is safe for your food, then apply the chemical directly to the soil. You can dig up the soil then apply and mix the soil so that there is a vast distribution of the chemical. Make sure that you apply this chemical away from drainage canals or when there is no rain. Rain could wash way the chemical and this could be a potential toxin to you and others.

How to get rid of flying termites with Wings in House

Watch out for the warning bells including wings shed around the house, decayed wood and fecal matter that look like pellets. Getting rid of termites in the house could be done through two methods.

Flying Termite (with wings)
Termite with wings

The spot treatment

This treatment saves the rest of the affected area of chemicals. Some methods that you can use under this include the cardboard trap, soil and colony poisoning. Poisoning could be done using substances such as liquid pyrethroids, natural oils, silica gel dust, borate dust, liquid organophosphates and liquid nitrogen.

Whole-structure treatment

Fumigation is the preferred whole structure treatment. Fumigation uses chemicals such as sulfuryl fluoride and methyl bromide.  The use of gas or heat is another method under this.

The use of whole structure method require professionals or specialists to execute as it requires extra caution, expertise and expensive gear.

How to get rid of drywood termites in Furniture

You need Boracare to get rid of drywood termites. This is a product that has borate combined with a glycol base. The glycol is an excipient that facilitates the penetration of the product into the wood. This avails the chemical for consumption by the termites and cause them to die.

To do this:

  1. Prepare the wood by removing paint, stains and seals on woods. This is because Boracare works on bare wood. Use a sand paper to do this.
  2. Prepare the Boracare by mixing it with water by a dilution factor. It is recommended that you use 1 part of Boracare with an equal part of hot water to make it easy to mix. Mix in a 5 gallon bucket.
  3. Apply to wood by spraying on it. Apply two coats to make this method effective.

How to make a homemade termite killer

You can use natural ingredients to do this. Borax is naturally occurring and could be combined with other compounds to make it more effective. This is how you do it:

  1. Measure out two parts of borax and an equal part of confectioner’s sugar.
  2. Measure out one part of cornmeal and mix the borax, sugar and cornmeal.
  3. Sprinkle the mixture on areas that you have identified as hot spot. You can spread the mixture along the walls or floor.

This method is equally effective on other insects such as cockroaches and ants. However make sure that you are careful while using it as it may also be effective on you!

Using Chemicals-what chemical kills termites

Chemicals that kill termites are known as termiticides. There are many termiticides and their respective methods include[2]:

  1. Trap method: sulfluramid, fipronil, hydramethylnon,
  2. Fumigation method: Sulfuryl fluoride,
  3. Liquid application method: Fipronil, chlorfenapyr, borate and imidacloprid.

There are many other chemicals that are in the market. All you need to do is search the internet for information concerning the best treatment you can use. This decision can be made against the pricing, frequency and the duration you need to apply to sight improvements.

Tips and Ideas Prevent termites

  1. Clean the gutters and drainage lines of your house as these could lead to accumulation of water and would invite termites.
  2. Dry areas in your compound with standing water in pools. This could lead to colonization of termites underneath the ground.
  3. Fix water leaks that are present in the house or outside. This could save the wood in the house that would get moistened and thereafter damaged by termites.
  4. Avoid mulching and brush away growth in your compound. This forms breeding points for termites and accumulation of water.
  5. Avoid burying lumber or wood chunks that are not being used. Avoid doing this in your compound. You know very well that termites love wood and doing this gives them a more comfortable place to breed on.
  6. Ensure that there is enough ventilation in certain areas of your house. This will enable drying of moisture especially in the ceiling and attic.
  7. Access points of termites such as crevices in the walls of your house should be filled or repaired to avoid further colonization.
  8. Barrier methods could be used whether physical or chemical to prevent termites from invading your house. Barrier methods that are chemical include the use of those stated in the previous section. You can also add tar to the list of chemical methods. Physical methods involves the use of a rubber fenced around your wood.
  9. Dead trees and wood lying aimlessly around should be got rid of as these are areas where termites could breed and infest your home thereafter.
  10. Avoid the accumulation of excess building materials that are of wood in nature in your house or against its walls. This is potential for spread of termites from the wood to the walls. Make sure that you have them about 10 feet from the walls of your house. If you do not have the space to do this then you could have them stored in a brick walled building. You could also build a physical barrier to prevent the spread of termites to your house. Other methods that would work include stacking them on a concrete floor or one that is metallic. Raise this portion off the ground. At least these methods should be able to help you prevent termites from invading your house. In addition, make sure that the wood you stack is completely dried in the sun.
  11. Invite inspection regularly to screen your house of termites. This would help prevent a time bomb from detonation and further institute prevention techniques.
  12. Build your house of few wooden structures to save you the cost of eliminating termites and replacing damaged parts.
  13. Use termite resistant wood such as cedar and heartwoods. Even if you have a termite-resistant wood, it would be prudent that you have concrete first built as a foundation when mounting poles then stick them into the concreted. At least this would provide a gap and reduce the risks of termite damage. However, according to constructors and eradication experts, using treated wood or timber is far more rewarding than using timber that is naturally resistant to termites.



[1] Ibrahim, S.A.M. and Abd El-Latif, N.A. 2008.   A laboratory study to control subterranean termites, Psammotermes hybostoma (Desn.) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) using entomopathogenic nematodes. Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control 18: 99-103.


Pestbugs: Termite Control

One Comment

  1. Termites are terrible to have. They are also so destructive in terms of my peace of mind. I am glad I came across this article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button