How to Get Rid of Ground Termites

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Ground Termite
Ground Termite (Image: iStock Photo)

Ground termites are also known as subterranean termites, and they are the most destructive termites in the United States. These bugs can cause a great amount of damage and need to be controlled as soon as they are discovered.

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Identify the termites. Make sure that you are indeed dealing with ground termites, as different insecticides are effective for different types of termites. Ground termites build mud tubes that they can travel through so that they can get to their desired food sources. If you find these mud tubes, then you can be certain that the type of termite that you are dealing with is a ground termite.

Get a second opinion. Once ground termites have been identified, you should have a professional inspect your home once you are aware that ground termites are a problem. Simply knowing that you have termites is not enough, as a professional ground termite inspection can pinpoint every area in your home where termites are or have been, which will ensure that you get rid of all of them and not just some.

Dig a trench. The first step to wiping out your ground termite population is to treat the soil around your home, creating a barrier. Another commonly used method of control is poison, which can be used in the soil surrounding your home. This will prevent future ground termite infestations by killing termites that are already active in your home and preventing other ground termites from entering your home. The termites that are active in your home will be unable to return to their nests. Dig a trench between 4 and 6 inches deep and around 12 inches in width around the entire foundation of your home to achieve this.

Saturate the soil. Take the soil treatment even further by completely saturating the soil all the way down to your foundation with your termiticide or termite poison product.

Treat the wood. The next step in the process is to use surface spray products to treat any wood in the area. This will help to create a secondary barrier for preventing ground termites. You are going to want to choose a product capable of penetrating into the wood in order to create a residual and long-lasting effect. Boron-based products come especially recommended for protecting the wood for the entire life of the structure.

Treat crawl spaces. Use injectible foams and sprays in areas where you cannot easily treat the soil, such as under a slab foundation or within a hollow block support, or under the flooring where a crawl space is present. Drill holes into the concrete or other surface and inject the termiticide to saturate the hole or void. This should never be considered as a replacement for the trenching method, but can be used in conjunction with it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not remove the mud tubes until the pests have been eliminated because you can use the mud tubes to check for termite activity to determine whether all of the termites are gone.
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