How to Kill Termites With Heat

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You know you need to get rid of your termites, but you don't want your children or pets around harsh chemicals. Killing termites with heat is an option for you to consider. At temperatures above 130 degrees F, drywood termites will die in less than a minute. This method of pest control can become a large project that may be best left to termite specialists.

Things You'll Need

  • Mylar ducts Heater/generator Ladders Oversized nylon tarps
  • Install mylar ducts into the mulched areas that need to be treated for termites. The ducts will deliver the hot air directly to the termite galleries.

  • Remove any items from your home (furniture, clothing or toys) that are heat-sensitive and will become damaged if exposed to temperatures higher than 140 degrees F.

  • Round up some volunteers to help you encase your house in large nylon tarps. Nylon withstands heat well and isolates the areas you need to treat with heat. Home improvement stores or pest control companies may allow you to rent these materials.

  • Power up your heating source, a heater that uses propane will allow you freedom from needing to be near an electrical outlet. The heater has a hose to attach to the tarps or ducts so that the hot air will be directed to the termite-infested areas.

  • Allow the temperature to climb to 120 degrees F and hold it steady for about 30 minutes. Then turn it higher so that the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. Keep the heat at 130 degrees for an hour to ensure all termites will be killed.

  • After the specified times have elapsed, turn off the heat source and dismantle the tarp and mylar ducts. You can now return to your termite-free home.

Tips & Warnings

  • Call a termite control company if you want to use heat to kill the termites that are invading your house and don't feel comfortable undertaking this project yourself. The Pest Control Directory US provides a list of companies in every state (see Resources).
  • All people and animals should vacate the home before the thermo-treatment is used to kill termites.

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