How to Kill Termites in Your House

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Termites cause structural damage if you leave an infestation unaddressed.
Termites cause structural damage if you leave an infestation unaddressed. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When you’ve found a termite infestation inside your home, it’s probably not a dampwood or subterranean termite infestation; those types are usually found in the home’s exterior wood components or living in nearby soil colonies. The good news is that a single drywood colony contains only a few hundred termites in a single section of wood. Drywood termites don’t travel far from their colony, either, increasing the likelihood that you’ll be able to kill all the termites in the colony you discovered.

Things You'll Need

  • Power drill with bit
  • Orange oil
  • Gardening or cooking syringe

Drill several holes in the wood section that hosts your infestation.

Open a gardening or cooking syringe and carefully pour orange oil into it.

Inject the orange oil into each hole you drilled. As termites come into the contact with the oil itself or the air around the oil, the pests either die immediately or later starve to death. Those that don’t immediately die bring the oil into other parts of the colony and spread its effects.

Tips & Warnings

  • As the old adage goes, the best cure is prevention. You're asking for termite trouble if you allow any of the wooden components attached to your home to touch the soil. You almost invite a termite infestation by leaning wood beside your home and storing wood against it. Regularly clean your gutters and paint your home's exterior before the current coat deteriorates.
  • If the infestation involves the other two types of termites, you can treate them yourself as well. Discourage any dampwood termites that you find near your home by repairing leaks and replacing damp wood, and inject nematodes into water sources near your home to kill both dampwood and subterranean termites.
  • Transport your nematodes in a cooler. The pack will be frozen when you purchase it, and it should remain cold. If you're not going to immediately apply them, store them in the refrigerator. Mix them with water in a watering can and apply the liquid to your yard at dust. Keep your lawn moist for a couple of days following this treatment.
  • If your treatments don't show progress after a few weeks of effort, you might have a serious infestation and you should call a professional exterminator. Professionals can employ special techniques such as liquid nitrogen pumping or heat tenting to destroy all the termites infesting your home's structure.

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References

  • “Home Enlightenment”; Annie Berthold-Bond; 2005
  • “Organic Housekeeping”; Ellen Sandbeck; 2006
  • “Life's Big Instruction Book: The Almanac of Indispensable Information”; Carol Orsag Madigan and Ann Elwood; 1995
  • Termite Web: Orange Oil Termite Treatment
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