Termite Control Tips and Tricks

Termites can cause a lot of damage if they are left to populate. They are active all year round so it’s important to have a strategy in place to control them. There are some DIY termite prevention tricks to help you before the problem gets out of hand.

If the termites are out of hand and the following methods aren’t quite cutting it, consider hiring a professional pest control company. These tricks are only suitable for minor termite infestations. For bigger problems, you’ll want to call in the professionals.

In today’s article, we are going to look at tips and tricks on how to handle these critters.

Termites Defined

Termites are tiny creatures that live and nest together underground. The colony consists of workers, soldiers and reproductive members, each with a specific purpose.

  • The workers: These termites are wingless, blind and have a soft creamy white body. They spend their lives collecting food for the colony and are very small.
  • Soldiers: They are larger than workers and have an elongated yellow head, very strong jaws and short legs. Their job is to defend the colony against attacks.
  • Reproductive members: These termites are the largest of the lot and have wings to fly off and find a new mate. They are normally dark brown or black.  

Inspection is Key

To get rid of the problem, you first need to find it. Take a slow walk around your property foundation and check for any signs of damage. Look for mud tubes which is a clear indication that termites are trying to scale up your foundation.

Use a flashlight to check for visible termites in the crawlspace or basement. If you spot damaged wood, test for termite damage by pressing it hard using your thumb. If the wood crumbles, there is a high probability that you have a termite infestation.

Other indicators are piles of grass and crumbling wood.

Ventilation and Moisture Control

If your foundation isn’t sealed correctly this is an invitation for termites and other pests to enter. Proper ventilation is essential as condensation can build up very quickly and seep into the wood. Termites love these moist conditions and will thrive.

Sealing openings and having sufficient ventilation will help control this problem.

Consider Using Bait

If you find termites in your garden, it’s best to eliminate them before they find your house. The easiest way to do this is by using bait stations. This method attracts the termite towards the bait station.

Once the termite takes the bait, they bring it back to their nests. The bait is poison and will kill off the entire colony. 

Move Wood Piles and Mulch Away From the Home

On cold winter nights, a warm fire is the ultimate indulgence, but the woodpile should be kept far away from your home. Termites can easily travel from external wood and straight into your house. Wood piles should be kept at least 20 feet away to combat this problem.

Mulch and tree stumps should be removed as this is the perfect breeding ground for termites.

Dig a Protection Barrier

If you have limited space or trees and wood that can’t be relocated dig an 18-inch barrier between the wood and the area that you need to protect. Concentrate on areas such as decks and sidings.

If you don’t want visible holes, you can use a gravel bed to fill in the area. The termites won’t be interested in crossing the barrier and it doubles as an excellent drainage solution at the same time.

Non-Repellent Termiticide

Once you have located the termite mound. Dig a trench around the entire area. Then call your pest control services to fill the trenches with non-repellent termite insecticide. This will attract the termites into the trench, and they will drown or be killed by the poison.

Repellent Termiticide  

Using a repellent termiticide will protect wooden surfaces by chasing the termites away. These treatments are normally sprayed around fences, decks, sheds and other wooden areas by professional pest control services. The spray will make the termites vacate the area.

Eco-friendly Approach

Some people may not want to use harsh chemicals and insecticides to kill termites. A more friendly approach is to use heat to repel them. Heat the infected area to 120 degrees F for at least half an hour. The termites that don’t run away will be killed.

This is a cost-effective DIY solution that is eco-friendly and won’t harm the surrounding environment. Be safety conscious when using this method and stay away from heating plastics or wiring.

Other Solutions 

Consider buying wood that has already been treated when building something for your yard. Termites hate the taste of wood that has been pressure treated or combined with chemicals. Other solutions include:

  • Plastic storage: Don’t store items in cardboard boxes. Instead, replace them with plastic storage containers. Termites won’t be attracted to plastic.
  • Protect your air conditioner: This is the perfect habitat for termites as there is both heat and moisture present. Ensure that your AC unit is difficult to find and that the moisture drainage system remains clear at all times. The openings should be cleaned and inspected regularly.  

Final Thoughts

Termites are moisture seeking and can be very destructive if left unattended. If you notice them, it’s best to treat the problem immediately before it gets out of hand. Try one of these solutions but if the problem persists then it’s best to contact the professionals.