In the United States, termites cause five billion dollars of damage to homes and other wooden structures a year, according to the National Pest Management Association. You can prevent the prolific colonies from invading your dwelling in several ways. Eliminate the potential of moisture concentration around your foundation by diverting water flow and ensuring ventilation systems are working effectively. Remove any wooden debris near your home's four walls. Finally, certain plants can become your allies when it comes to repelling termites.
Garlic is a beneficial plant that repels termites, according to "The Organic Farmer" magazine. You can plant this crop to yield scapes and bulb edibles while keeping your home free of destruction. Not only does it deter termites, if you plant garlic in your garden and around fruit trees, it will fend off moles, aphids, fruit tree borers and other pests. Note that if you mix garlic into a homemade insecticidal spray, it might also destroy beneficial insects.
Vetiver grass is a perennial grass that grows in clumps. The blades are long, thin and hardy. It contains the chemical nootkatone, which effectively deters termites. Vetiver grass' strong, deep-growing roots also make the grass species ideal for preventing soil erosion. Since it is an introduced plant species from India, there is some concern, however, of its potential for displacing native flora.
In addition to planting beneficial plants, you can use parts of various plants as ingredients in homemade, natural sprays against termites, states the Community Technology Development Trust. Mix approximately 2 lbs. of aloe vera leaves with 1 gallon of water, filter the mixture and spray the liquid around your foundation and lawn to repel termites. Fruit from a tea plant soaked in water or seeds from a blackjack plant are also effective termiticides.
Attract Beneficial Insects
Attract beneficial insects to your yard that are natural predators of termites. Examples of these predatorial insects include flies, wasps, beetles, such as ladybugs, and spiders. Plant species such as yarrow, sunflowers, dill, daisies, mint, rosemary and thyme to attract these beneficial predators. Ants are the number one predator of termites and you can plant variableleaf yellowcress to attract them and other beneficial creatures.
- National Pest Management Association Inc.: Termite FAQ
- Infonet-Biovision: Termite Control Without Chemicals
- "The Organic Farmer"; Plants Can Solve Farmers' Problems
- Community Technology Development Trust: Integrated Pest Management
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Campus Gardening Tips for University of Florida Students
- "The Daily Puppy"; Perennials That Termites Hate; Kimberley Kilmer; 2011
- Beyond Pesticides Daily News Blog: Vetiver Grass Repels Termites, Prevents Flooding
- "Science Daily": Termites Repelled by Catnip Oil