By the time you need to get rid of termites, you may already be dealing with termite damage. Unfortunately, termites can cause serious structural decay to our homes, the foundation around the perimeter of our property, and even wreak havoc on our lawns and gardens.
Do you have a termite problem? If so, you’re likely on the hunt for some of the best termite treatment options available. And the more we learn about insect treatments and insecticides, the more it seems homeowners are looking for other, safer methods to handle the pests in and around their homes.
But do natural termite treatment remedies really work against these ravenous insects? And what are some other options for termite treatment you should know about?
That’s what we’re here to find out. Keep reading as we learn more about termites, the best termite treatment options, and discover how you can prevent termites from returning to your home in the future.
What Are Termites?
Termites are insects that famously feed on wood and can cause serious structural damage to homes.
Termites are a type of insect that is (very) distantly related to ants. Termites are natural decomposers and they play an important role in keeping our ecosystem healthy and thriving. Their diet consists of organic matter, dead plants, decaying wood, logs and dead trees, leaves, soil and more.
It is estimated that there are at least 50 different species of termites in the United States, and while termites are technically a beneficial insect, they are often seen as pests by many property owners. This is likely due to the fact that termites have ravenous appetites of wood materials and the fact that they can live in such large colonies.
While there are 50 species of termites in the US, there are three groups that most people should be aware of who can cause serious structural damage. These groups include the following:
- Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites are the most common types of termite pests and typically the main reason people wind up looking for the best types of termite control available. These insects feed on dead wood and soil, often building their tunnels underground and in the foundations of our homes.
They enter homes through cracks and crevices and have a ravenous appetite, eating wood, soil, books, plants, and even furniture.
- Drywood Termites
Drywood termites feast on dry wood, burrowing tunnels throughout entire homes and causing serious structural damage if an infestation is left to get out of control.
- Dampwood Termites
While dampwood termites are less common than drywood termitesand, they are no less destructive. These types of termites are attracted to damp wood and often attack homes that have experienced some kind of water leak or water damage that has been left unattended.
Dampwood termites are perhaps the most devastating to homes because they tend to target support structures, which can be both expensive and dangerous.
Along with the above termite groups, each group has three different types of termites who play different roles in the colony. These types of termites are listed below.
- Soldier Termites
Soldier termites play the role of protector for their colony. They have large mandibles, no wings, and their role is to watch over the colony like “soldiers” and keep their colony safe.
- Working Termites
Workers are slightly larger than soldier termites, growing to be about 1/4th of an inch long. They also don’t have wings and are responsible for finding and storing food and doing the overall labor for their colony.
- Alates Termites (Also known as Swarmers)
Alates or swarmers, as they are often called, are the only termites you will see with wings. They are known as swarmers because they often “swarm” during their reproductive state.
Their main job in the colony is to reproduce. Once they do so, they land and shed their wings.
Because termites can reproduce so rapidly and destroy your home and landscaping quickly if left unattended, it’s important to keep an eye out for termite damage and look for termite treatment as soon as you recognize a problem.
The below video does a great job of describing how to tell the difference between termite damage and typical wood damage around your home.
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While recognizing termite damage and finding termite treatment is important, for those of us with children and pets in the home, looking for natural termite remedies may be just as important as getting rid of the termites plaguing us.
But do natural termite control products really work as effectively as insecticides? Let’s find out.
Natural Termite Treatment Vs Insecticides – Pros And Cons
Natural repellents can be effective to get rid of termites, but sometimes insecticides are needed for termite control.
The more we learn about the impact of harsh chemicals on our homes, families, pets, and the environment, the more we realize the importance of picking pest control products carefully.
That said, termite control is not something that should be taken lightly, especially considering the expensive and even dangerous structural damages termites can cause to our homes.
So, when it comes to picking between natural termite management and insecticides, which is the most effective form of treatment? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons between the different options of termite control below.
Natural Termite Treatment:
Natural termite removal products usually involve the use of natural ingredients that are safe for people, pets, and the environment. These ingredients sometimes come in the forms of essential oils, spray repellents, traps, and ultrasonic sound repellents.
- Natural termite control products are safe for people, pets and the environment
- They usually don’t leave behind harsh odors
- Natural termite products can typically be applied as often as necessary
- Natural treatments are often easy to find and simple to use
- Natural treatments can also get rid of other pests
- Natural termite control products may require more maintenance
- Natural treatments can be more expensive than traditional treatment methods
- Some natural treatments may not be as effective or as quick acting as insecticides
Chemical Termite Treatment:
Chemical termite control options usually involve insecticides. Insecticides use harsh chemicals that can be toxic to people, pets, and the environment if not used as directed.
- Insecticides are often proven effective in getting rid of and controlling a termite infestation
- Insecticides can often take care of other home pests
- Insecticides are usually inexpensive and quick-acting
- These products are easy to come by and often simple to use
- Insecticide termite control can be toxic to people, pets and the environment
- Insecticides use harsh chemicals that may require clean up and leave behind strong odors
- Insecticides may require you and your family to vacate the property for a certain period of time
Now that we know the pros and cons of using natural termite treatment products versus chemical treatments, let’s go over a list of some of our favorite natural termite control products available.
Best Natural Termite Treatment Products We Like
Many natural repellents use citrus blends, essential oils, or organic dusts to control termites infestations.
As we mentioned above, natural termite control products are easy to come by and can be effective in getting rid of and preventing termites and other insects when used correctly.
That said, keep in mind that some termite control methods will need to be repeated or reapplied in order to continue working, and you may need to use a few different methods together in order to control termite problems in or around your property.
Are you wondering which types of natural termite control products are right for you? Let’s look at some of the best natural termite control products available to buy according to consumers.
Diatomaceous Earth uses fossilized algae to penetrate the exoskeleton of termites and other insects which kills them by dehydrating them from the inside out. This is an effective and widely used insect killer that does not require the use of harsh chemicals and is people, pet, and environmentally friendly.
What we like best about using Diatomaceous Earth as a natural termite control product is that you can use it both indoors and outdoors and even in your garden. That said, this is a powder termite control and requires termites to crawl through it in order to die by it. Plus, it works best when dry so it will need to be reapplied if it gets wet.
Sometimes called sodium borate or borates, Borax powder can kill and control termite infestations. Like Diatomaceous Earth, Borax Powder is a dust treatment that requires termites to come into contact with it in order to die.
However, unlike Diatomaceous Earth, Borax Powder must be ingested by insects, at which point it expands in the stomach and kills them. This is an effective termite control product that not only works on termites, but can also help control other pests in the home like ants and roaches.
Orange Guard Pest Control
We like Orange Guard for termite control products because it is an organic product that kills termites on contact. This is ideal for those of you with a large termite infestation that are looking to get rid of and control termites as you see them but who are also willing to use other methods of termite control as well.
If you choose to use Orange Guard as a form of termite control treatment, we suggest using it alongside Diatomaceous Earth or Borax Powder in order to control and kill termites at the source.
Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
We like ultrasonic pest repellers as a natural form of termite treatment because they are safe, easy to use, and require absolutely no harsh chemicals or clean up in order to work.
There are many types of ultrasonic pest repeller products you can choose from when it comes to your specific termite control needs, but we like the one above because it not only works on termites but also rodents, spiders, roaches, mosquitoes, ants, and more.
WahooArt Ultrasonic Pest Repeller For Insects
It comes in a pack of four so you can use it in different rooms and the ultrasonic sound waves can reach up to 2,000 feet and even penetrate walls.
Orange Oil All Purpose Cleaner
Many people don’t realize that orange oil is a natural form of termite control you can use at home. The product above is designed as an all purpose cleaner, but it can also kill and repel termites using d-limonene, which is derived from orange peels and penetrates termite’s exoskeleton, killing them.
While orange oil can work as an all around termite control treatment, it is especially useful if you are dealing with drywood termites in your home.
Bora Care Natural Borate Termite Control
Bora Care uses the same active ingredients as Borax Powder in order to kill and control termites. It is specifically designed to naturally eradicate subterranean termites and formosan termites, as well as other wood-eating pests like fungi and beetles.
This product is safe for people, pets and the environment and can be used along with other forms of termite treatment to control a large infestation or on its own as a form of pest management.
BioLogic Beneficial Nematodes
Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic parasites that many people find useful as a natural and safe form of termite control. These parasites are completely harmless to people, pets, and the environment and specifically target pests like burrowing insects, including termites.
Best Natural Termite Treatment – Home Remedies
A natural chemical known as d-limonene that is derived from orange peels can kill termites on contact.
Along with looking for commercial products you can use for natural termite control, have you ever considered using home remedies?
You may be surprised to learn that there are plenty of ingredients you already have around your home that can work to repel and kill the termites causing damage to your property.
- Vinegar And Lemon Juice
All you need is half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of lemon juice or two freshly squeezed lemons and you have yourself a homemade termite treatment. You can put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it anywhere you notice termite activity around your home or you can spray it directly on pesky termites to kill them on contact.
- Use Neem Oil, Garlic Oil, or Clove Oil
Essential oils for pest control are becoming more and more popular. When it comes to using essential oils for termite control, we recommend using either neem oil, garlic oil, or clove oil.
The above three oils are highly effective against not only termites, but a number of other insects like roaches, spiders, and ants. To use this termite treatment most effectively, experts recommend pouring the oil of your choice directly on the termite nest.
That said, using essential oils as a form of termite control is best if you know where the termites are nesting. Furthermore, these oils must be ingested by the termites in order to work and may require multiple applications at a time.
- Orange Oil
As we mentioned above, orange oil is a powerful and effective form of natural termite control. It works using a chemical naturally derived in orange peels that penetrates the exoskeleton of termites and kills them on contact.
Best of all, orange oil leaves behind a delightful scent and is harmless for people, pets and the environment. You can use orange oil both inside and outside and you can make your own termite repellent from the peels of oranges or purchase it pre-made at most gardening stores.
- Make A Wet Cardboard Trap
Termites are attracted to decaying wood and you can use this to your advantage by soaking cardboard to make your own termite trap. Simply set the wet cardboard around your home where you suspect termites in order to entice them and dispose of the cardboard as it fills with these hungry insects.
This is a great way to identify if you have a termite problem in the early stages and can also help you determine if you are getting rid of termites effectively. That said, you should not rely solely on this form of termite control to completely erase a termite infestation in your home.
When Natural Termite Treatments Don’t Work – Popular Insecticides
Insecticides may be needed to eradicate some larger infestations of termites.
If you’re dealing with a very large infestation of termites and are worried a natural termite treatment may not be enough, don’t worry. There are some strong and effective termite control products we have listed below for you to consider.
Taurus SC Termiticide
Let’s begin with Taurus SC. This is an insecticide that works not only as a termite control product, but also as an all around insect treatment, killing ants, spiders, beetles, roaches, and more.
What makes this termite control treatment so effective against eradicating termites is that it is undetectable to the insects. This means that when a termite crawls through it, it doesn’t know and will often carry the poison back to the colony.
Termidor Foam Insecticide
Another insecticide that works well as a termite treatment is called Termidor. It is a foaming termite treatment that is meant to help target affected areas around your home and works best if you already know where termites are actively living.
Spectracide Terminate Foam
Last on our list of termite control treatment insecticides is an aerosol insecticide. It is similar to the above foaming termite product and works by targeting and killing termites at the source. This is best used as a spot treatment to treat termites, but you can also use it as an all over aerosol. It also works both inside and outside your home.
Like some of the other termite treatments on this list, this product can also kill a number of other household pests like ants, spiders, roaches, and earwigs.
When To Call A Professional For Termite Treatment
A very large termite infestation may require the help from a professional pest control expert
For most people, catching termites early is key to eradicating a termite problem before it gets out of control. That said, there are some cases that professionals are needed, especially if you have already tried different forms of termite treatment and none seem to be working.
Professional termite treatment experts in your area will be able to help you eradicate termites by using different methods like natural treatments and insecticides.
Sometimes, very large termite infestations require fumigation and tenting. On average, home owners spend between $200 and $1000 for professional termite treatment, with extensive termite infestations costing upwards of $2,500 in some cases.
While termite treatment and control can be costly, it is important to implement due to the extensive damage termites can cause to your home. That said, once you have gotten rid of the termites wreaking havoc on your property, your next step should be taking preventive measures to ensure they never return.
How To Prevent A Future Termite Infestation In Your Home
Prevent termites by removing debris on your property like decaying wood that they may be attracted to.
Preventing termites is a form of termite treatment that can not only save you thousands of dollars, but also time, energy, and a big headache in the future.
Taking preventive measures to prevent termites may be simpler than you think. Furthermore, these steps can also help protect your home from other invading pests like spiders, ants, roaches, carpenter bees and rodents.
Some of these steps include:
Landscaping is an important form of termite treatment and overall pest control, especially considering most pest infestations begin from the outside of our homes. Keep your lawn cut short and keep foliage at least one to three feet away from the perimeter of your home to help keep termites and other pests from gaining easy access inside.
- Use Pine Needles As Opposed to Mulch On Your Property
Because termites are attracted to wood, sprinkling mulch around your property is basically offering them a buffet of their favorite meal. Instead of using mulch in your landscaping try using pine needles. Pine needles naturally repel a number of pests, including termites.
- Maintain The Exterior And Interior Of Your Home
Home maintenance will not only prevent future termites, but can also help with any current termite treatment you are doing. Take care of leaky pipes and water damage as soon as possible to help prevent decaying wood that may attract pests like dampwood termites.
We also suggest you declutter, sweep, vacuum, and caulk and seal any entry and exit points along the perimeter of your home to help repel unwanted visitors.
- Remove Excess Wood and Debris Around Your Home
Rake up dead leaves and remove old wood piles from around your home. Clear out old garden sheds and get rid of any unused wooden furniture or old books. Keep in mind that termites are attracted to paper, soil, wood, and other organic or decaying matter. You can help keep them from finding your home and property an ideal living space by removing their food sources.
And remember, termite treatment is nothing to take lightly. If you have a termite problem that you believe requires the assistance of a professional, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Have you tried any of the natural pest control products on this list? What are your thoughts on natural termite treatment and other remedies for termite control? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.