Termites are a socially advanced insect that live in colonies, have a division of labor between genders, take care of their offspring and possess an organized system of activity. These characteristics allow termites to be one of the most efficiently destructive pests on the planet, inflicting damages that total in the billions of dollars annually. Because of this capacity to cause massive structural devastation, it is advisable that you contact a professional if you suspect your home has been infested by termites. However, there are several do-it-yourself, environmentally safe methods of termite control available to those who wish to use them in tandem with professional treatment. One of these methods, in practice for hundreds of years, utilizes common table salt.
Things You'll Need
- 4 cups table salt
- 2-gallon plastic bucket
- Hot water
- Large syringe or turkey baster
Locate the termites. Look for mud tubes and signs of swarming (you will usually find detached wings). Also search for wood that sounds as if it is hollow when tapped with a hammer. Wood that has a thin, grayish-brown film on it, and/or that is soft and easily punctured, are also signs of termite infestation.
Mix the salt solution. Place the four cups of salt in the plastic bucket and begin slowly adding hot water. Only add enough water to completely dissolve the salt. Too much water will weaken the concentration and make it ineffective.
Fill your syringe or baster with the salt solution, or brine, and treat the areas you identified earlier as points of infestation. Inject the brine into open cracks or holes. If you found a colony outside, the mixture can be injected directly into the ground. If necessary, you can also drill small openings into the wood through which the saltwater may be introduced.
Use the solution as a preventative measure to treat areas you believe may be access points for termites into your home. Inspect your crawlspace or basement for open cracks or faults and infuse them with the brine.
Call a professional exterminator even though salt is lethal to termites. The colony, which can contain up to 10,000 termites, may survive the salt solution.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not rely solely on a salt treatment for your home if you suspect a termite infestation. Termites are capable of destroying vast amounts of wood in a short period of time, thereby affecting the structural integrity of your home.