With consideration to all of the other pests that we encounter, termites are one of the worst to deal with. In some cases, you can get away with vacuuming them up before the infestation gets too bad, but in most situations, you’ll see your home getting badly damaged and several expensive home repairs piling up on your desk – making termites undoubtedly one of the most stressful insects to deal with. In order to protect your home, you need to take a termite problem seriously and understand how to get rid of termites.
What Are Termites?
Termites are insects who live off of something known as cellulose – a compound that is found in wood, one of the materials that termites typically target. Aside from living in the wooden foundations of your home and furniture, you might also find these pests in your garden if you don’t take care of it or it’s overgrown.
Even though termites are uncommon in some countries, regardless of where you live then there’s a chance of a termite infestation. On top of that, how badly the infestation becomes and how it affects you depends on factors such as the type of wood used to make your home, the type of termite, and where you live.
Different Types of Termites
The type of termite that you find yourself dealing with depends, again, on a range of different factors. There are five types of termites that you’re most likely to encounter in your home:
- Drywood termite
- Dampwood termite
- Conehead termite
- Formosan termite
- Subterranean termite
From this list, the most common type of termite in homes is the drywood termite but regardless of the type of termite, you can get rid of them on your own using a range of different methods.
Why Termites Are Harmful
Not all termites are harmful to us although, from the list above, subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites are the “troublemakers” and each cause harm in different ways.
Both drywood and dampwood termites will eat away at the foundations of your home which not only causes awful property damage and expensive repairs, but it puts you and anyone else living there at risk of the property’s foundations being extremely weakened. This is only one of the many risks that there are to a termite infestation.
On the other hand, subterranean termites aren’t as fond of your home’s foundations and prefer soil and trees. However, many researchers have deemed that subterranean termites are more harmful to your property than the other termites as they travel in much bigger colonies.
Signs of a Termite Infestation
It’s always a good idea to do a self-inspection of your home if you believe there’s a chance of termites or any other pest causing you trouble. Below are a few of the things which indicate that there is a termite infestation living in your home’s foundations, or near your home.
Solid Wood Sounding Hollow
Termites eat their way through your home’s foundations and will eat the wood from the inside-out. If you knock on a piece of wood that should be solid, but instead it sounds like it’s hollow, then there’s a good chance of termites being there.
Holes in Wood
This is the most obvious sign that there is a termite infestation and is usually the one which alerts people. That being said, other things (such as woodworm) can cause these small holes in the wood so you shouldn’t base your findings on this sign alone.
Termites try their best to stay hidden and to do this, they travel from A to B using dirt tunnels. Following this, if you notice that there is dirt around the wood, it probably isn’t dirt. Take a screwdriver, or any metal tool, and scrape at the dirt-like substance. Assuming that it isn’t actually dirt, the substance will crumble and you’ll see large numbers of termites falling.
These aren’t the only signs of a termite infestation so unless you are certain, it might be worth getting a second opinion from a professional. After doing an inspection, if you decide that the problem has gotten out of hand or that it has been there for a while, your best bet would be pest control – although this isn’t always necessary, and we will be showing you how to get rid of termites on your own.
How to Get Rid of Termites without an Exterminator
Getting rid of termites doesn’t always have to include a pest control service, there are plenty of things that you can do to get rid of them on your own. We have listed some of the most effective methods for doing this.
Liquid insecticides are very effective at eliminating termites although the downside to using this is that it can take a while for it to have its full effect and kill the entire colony of termites. Some insecticides can be harmful to your health so make sure that you do some research and either use a non-harmful insecticide or clear out of your house will it kills the termites.
Termites are attracted to cardboard similar to wood, and thus you can create a cardboard trap. To create this trap, set down a flat piece of cardboard near the infestation and pour enough water on the cardboard to make it damp (but not soaked, or it will crumble when you pick it up). After a few hours, you should see the colony of termites eating away at the cardboard at which point, using gloves, remove it and get rid of it in a thick plastic bag or burn it in your yard to kill them.
Not many people are aware of this, but sunlight is a termite’s worst enemy. If the termites have infested your furniture, then you can take the piece of furniture outside and leave it there for a few hours to let the sunlight do its job. If you live in a part of the world where the miserable weather is inevitable, you can try using a UV light instead.
If you’re dealing with subterranean termites that you’ve spotted under your home or in your garden, try flooding them. Termites are very weak swimmers and within minutes of flooding the area that they’ve chosen to feed off of, they will start to drown.
Certain chemicals can also be used to get rid of termites. Many of these are available on Amazon or your local hardware supply store. Bait is the most common type of chemical solution to get rid of termites. Below are our picks for the best termite control solutions.
While pest control isn’t necessary, know where to draw the line. Remember, termites can do a lot of damage over time and if you don’t have any luck with them, it’s in your best interest to contact pest control before the infestation gets too out of hand and you have hefty property repairs to pay for.
Get Rid of Termites with these Best Termite Killers
1. Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection & Killing Stakes 2 (HG-96115) (15 ct)
Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection & Killing Stakes 2 are DIY termite bait stakes available to consumers who want added protection for the homes and other wood structures against the wood-destroying termites. The stakes have a popup and an easy to find locator shields that make it easier for regular inspection. The kit also included a digging tool, for faster installation and complete instruction booklet.
This works as the termites that eat the bait will carry it back to the nest where the other termites eat the poison and die.
How many do I need?
- One-story home up to 1,200 sq ft – 10 Stakes.
- Two-story home up to 1,500 sq ft – 10 Stakes.
- One-story home 1,200 to 2,500 sq ft or more – 20 Stakes.
- Two-story home 1,500 to 3,000 sq ft or more – 20 Stakes.
- Install in minutes
- Kills foraging termites
- Includes popup termite indicators with easy-to-find locator shields
- Should not be used as sole protection against termites. Professional inspection is recommended for active infestations.
- Excessive rain or underground water can dissolve the bait/poison causing the indicator to pop-up. New one needed after that.
2. Bayer DIY Termite Killer 9Lb
This product is in the form of granules. It requires no digging, trenching, drilling, or staking. It can be applied directly to areas subject to termite attack such as building surroundings, wooden fence posts or poles, and other wooden structures. Areas that can be treated include bare soils, landscaped planting areas, mulched areas and turf grass. This termite killer is so powerful that it can kill termites in one application. The 9lb bag can treat up to 200 linear feet. You just need to sprinkle granules around perimeter of your home or the areas you want to protect.
- It has excellent reviews. Most customer said it worked for them.
- It’s made in US
- Easy to use: just sprinkle the granules, water in and you’re done
- Fast releasing termite killing granules
- Poisonous, use with care
3. Bayer Advanced 700310 Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer Plus Concentrate, 32 Ounce
Bayer Advanced 700310 Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer will kill a wide range of climbing and flying wood-inesting insects such as termites and Carpenter ants plus 75 other tough-to-control pests on contact. It provides a long residual protection and can be used on lawn, landscape, foundation, trench, deck and patio, wood piles, and home structures.
- Excellent reviews. Worked well for most customers.
- Kills many types of wood-infecting insects
- Broad spectrum outdoor use.
- Poisonous, use with care
4. Ortho Home Defense MAX Termite and Destructive Bug Killer Concentrate, 16-Ounce
Ortho Home Defense MAX Termite and Destructive Bug Killer Concentrate is designed to control and provide protection against destructive pests and home invading insects. This formulation contains 2.4$ Bifenthrin as its active ingredient and is considered to be Ortho’s most powerful inecticide. It is effective against termites including Subterranean, Carpenter ants, wood infesting beetles and other wood destroying insects, as well as home and lawn pests like beetles, crickets, earwigs, fleas, German cockroaches, house flies, spiders, ticks, wasps, and more. It may be used as a trench treatment on lawns, around foundations, fences, outside buildings, and wooden piles. It guarantees to protect treated areas for up to 5 years.
Note: Not sold in MA, NY, RI
- Orthos’ most powerful insect killer
- Controls subterranean termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and other listed wood-destroying pests
- Keeps termites away up to 5 years in areas treated
- Do not treat structures that contain cisterns, wells, french drains or sump systems.
5. Termidor SC Termiticide 20 oz. by Termidor
Termidor termiticde/insecticide is a professional defense product effective on ants, native subterranean termites, Formosan termites, and dry wood termites. It utilizes an advanced nonrepellent, or “undetectable,” liquid technology that insects cannot see, smell, taste, or avoid. Instead, they contact, ingest, and share Termidor, completely unaware that doing so will inevitably kill them.
Termidor will protect your home and eliminate almost any termite problem in less than 90 days. In addition, when used as an in-ground barrier treatment, Termidor will protect your hone or business for over 10 years. Termidor is completely undetectable by termites and once termites touch it they contact, ingest and spread the termiticide until it eliminates the entire colony. Termidor controls all types of termites including subterranean, Formosan, and drywood termites. Termidor SC is also one of the best outdoor ant control products that money can buy.
Note: Not sold in NY.
- America’s Termite control product
- Kills termites, ants, and their colonies.
- Residul effct on termites in soil over 10 years
- Non-repellent, kills colonies through contact and translocation (domino effect)
- Easy to mix and apply.
- Excelent for use a a perimeter spray for many nuisance pest
- Highly toxic. Kills other pests that come in contact with it including useful ones like bees.
- More pricey than other products.
Contrary to what most people believe, you do not always have to call an exterminator to get rid of termites and while it depends on the specific situation, there is plenty of things that you can attempt to get rid of them on your own. After trying a few of the methods that we discussed above you should quickly see improvements and will know which of them have been effective and which of them haven’t for any future encounters that you have with termites.