Termites, tiny insects that feed on wood, can be a homeowner's worst nightmare. The most prevalent types of the about 2,800 species of termites create underground burrows. As they look for food, termites make their way into the cracks and holes in a home's foundation. Signs of termite infestation can take five years to show, but the results are devastating. While professional companies handle the insects, you can use certain products and methods to remove termites from your house.
The market is full of termiticides designed for killing termites. These pesticides come in a liquid or foam form. When sprayed around the base of the house, the termiticide forms a barrier that kills termites it comes in contact with and helps guard against future infestations. For best results, homeowners may have to inject the termiticide deep into the soil around the house, a process that can require specialized equipment. A termiticide treatment can last up to five years.
Boric acid serves as a multipurpose insect killer; one of its targets is termites. Boric acid is a white powder that can be sprinkled alone or combined with propylene glycol to form an effective termite killer. The glycol is added to help the solution better penetrate the wood paneling of your home. The appeal of using boric acid stems from its natural composition and safety to use around children.
Much like ant traps and roach motels, termite bait systems effectively rid your home of the insects. Baiting systems, typically a block of wood coated with a killing agent, are placed outside the home. Termites feed on the bait and bring the poisonous solution back to their colony. These systems generally cost more than termiticides and take a couple months to take action. However, the reported results usually are complete elimination of termites. There is also no peripheral damage to your yard, soil or home.
The best way to prevent termite damage to your home is to keep them from entering. Certain measures can be taken to ensure termites will not be attracted to your house. Caulking around the base of your home seals up any cracks and keeps termites from penetrating the foundation's wood. Keep any firewood or wooden supplies elevated so termites are not attracted. Termites require an ample water supply to avoid drying out and dying. Keep the inside and outside of your home dry by fixing any pipe leaks, cleaning gutters and properly ventilating your home.
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