What do you know about the termites? Perhaps you’ve heard that in Africa these insects build termite mounds, resembling entire cities. Have you ever thought that termites in the house could bring it down?
To find out how to get rid of termites and select an appropriate home remedy for termites, you need to learn more about what termites prefer and how they live.
Best Termite Treatment
What termites are: looks, lifespan, habitat and food preferences
Often called ants, termites actually belong to the cockroach insects family. It is an ancient order of insects, whose fossils date to the Paleozoic era. It is difficult to call them pests because they cause no damage to the ecosystem. Sometimes you can find termites in house, but usually, you can see them outdoors. Mostly, termites are confused with flying ants.
Wood termite does not harm living trees and only recycle rotten wood and dry foliage, as well as participate in soil formation. Besides, the termites in trees serve as food for many animals, birds, and in some African and South American countries – as a delicacy for humans.
What Does Termite Larvae Look Like?
The appearance of termite larvae is similar to that of small white ants, ranging in size from 0.5 cm to 1.5 cm. Because termites live in the burrows all their life, their exoskeleton plates are soft and contain no pigments. The termite larvae appearance depends on which caste it belongs to: worker termites are completely blind, “soldiers” have highly developed powerful jaws they use to protect their colony.
Once a year during the spring, termite larvae capable of reproduction (also referred to as alate) grow wings, so they could leave and create new colonies. In the tropics, swarming termites are an excellent food source for birds, animals, and amphibians. The termite swarms are so numerous that after they shed their wings, the earth is covered with a layer of these discarded elements.
Do Termites Live in The Ground?
As we already mentioned, termite larvae live in underground burrows all its life. These insects can be found on all continents except Antarctica. However, most of the species are found in tropics, subtropics, and sometimes in warm temperate regions.
There are more than 2000 different termite species, some of them live only in certain places, are protected by the government and are on the IUCN Red List. There are only 10 species of termites in Europe, while Africa has more than 1,000. The northernmost areas where termites can be found are in the south of Canada, in central France, Korea, and Central Asia.
Mediterranean termites, which do not cause any severe damage, live in temperate climates of the Mediterranean Sea region.
Wood termites colonies live and develop similarly to colonies of ants and bees. There is a strict hierarchy among the insects: workers, soldiers, and the reproductive caste. At the heart of the colony is the termite queen, who is responsible for egg production. Termite larvae can lay over a thousand eggs in a single day.
There are species of termites in Africa whose queen lays an egg every 2-3 seconds. This amounts to 30-35 thousand eggs a day. The queen’s size reaches 10 cm, which is several times the size of a regular termite. She can not move by herself, and if necessary she is moved to a new location by several dozens of worker termites.
The mound itself has from several hundred up to several million members. It becomes clear that the arrival of these insects will soon lead to their catastrophically rapid reproduction.
You can find termite mounds in yard that are like entire cities, with a height of about 2-3 meters. Termites build walls so strong they cannot be broken even with crowbars. And there are many passages and tunnels constructed underground, spanning dozens of meters.
What’s on Termites Menu
The main source of food for termites is cellulose contained in the wood. These insects are able to consume dry leaves, tree stumps, and paper.
This is why in South American cities you can rarely find books over 50 years of age — they are all damaged by wood termites. However, these insects rarely touch living trees. Therefore, wood termites cause no damage to the ecosystem.
Some species of termites can eat linen, wool, and cotton fabrics, as well as leather products, although they do so rarely and unenthusiastically.
The most interesting part is that only the workers actually feed themselves. They dig tunnels in wood, partially digest the cellulose and feed termite soldiers and the queen with digested substance. As a result, termites have a system of waste-less food recycling.
Termites inside house can be found in cellars with wooden beams, in wooden furniture, and in firewood. The worst part is that it is almost impossible to detect them immediately, so the process of getting rid of termites is postponed indeterminately. Wood termites can stay hidden and live in wooden structures without revealing their presence for several years.
These structures may look undamaged, but inside they will be hollowed out by termite tunnels. And under any stress, the damaged structures may collapse, even before you have an intention of getting rid of termites.
How Long Termites Live
The lifespan of termites depends on their species and their caste. Worker termites live for 1-2 years. Meanwhile, under the right conditions, the queen can live for about 10 years. During this time, the colony’s numbers are increased hundred times over, and new colonies may emerge from it.
This happens when colony members capable of reproduction develop wings and fly out of their mound. After starting a new colony and beginning to mate, the termites shed their wings, which never grow back.
Termites Inside House
Over a couple of years, termites can damage or completely destroy house’s wooden bearing structures. Getting rid of termites is a question of your house safety. DIY termite treatment is a necessary measure.
By the time the house owner discovers the presence of termites, most of the wooden structures will be completely destroyed by house termites and DIY termite treatment will be unnecessary. That’s why it’s very important to discover the insects’ presence as soon as possible in order to start getting rid of termites immediately. What should you do to perform an appropriate DIY termite treatment?
- Look for the signs of house termites infestation: Even if you haven’t found any signs of the insects the first time, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. There may be indirect signs of their presence: sagging floors, small holes in wooden elements. These signs should make you think about getting rid of termites directly.
- Inspect the basement: Take a flashlight and a screwdriver and check the integrity of the wooden supports and beams. Tap on the wood. If it sounds hollow and some dust (which is apparently termite dust) pours out of it, that means it’s already hollowed out by termite tunnels. Another telltale sign is if you can easily pierce the wood with a screwdriver. It’s the right signal to start getting rid of termites urgently.
- Traces of Feces: House termites feces look like small granules colored slightly darker than wood. You can find them under wooden objects.
- Find the house termites nest: Found in the ground or inside wooden structures a branching tunnel system will lead to the nest.
- Determine the type: subterranean or drywood. Subterranean termites live underground, inside woodpiles, wood and manure heaps, while drywood termites live in wood exclusively. Subterranean and drywood termites treatment are performed in different ways, so it’s important to determine exactly what type has infested your home.
How To Get Rid of Termites In Your House
If you discover signs of termite presence, you should start with termite treatment immediately. Most likely, they have moved in a long time ago and caused some serious damage.
Do it yourself termite treatment gives no guarantee of complete termites extermination. It all depends on the severity of infestation, the skill of the person conducting the DIY termite treatment, and on the termite killer chemicals used.
Choosing Best Termite Treatment
Termites can cause serious damage to your property. Luckily, you can find many special termite treatments on the market that can help you to protect your home. However, there are so many products available that it may be difficult to choose the best one right away.
The main idea is that you need to select the insecticides that have a lot of positive reviews and high ratings. If you want to save your time on research, you can choose one of the products described in this short review. Be sure that each of them will provide you with the best customer experience, and you’ll forget about importunate termites forever.
1. BioAdvanced Termite Infestation Treatment– The Best Termite Insecticide Overall
- Active Ingredient: Imidacloprid 0.37%
- Item Form: Granules
- Item Weight: 9 pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 6 x 9.9 x 12 inches
- Target Species: Ants, Termites
If you are looking for a top-quality product that will help you to protect your home from termites, you certainly need to have a look at this termite killer.
First of all, this solution is produced by a well-known brand that is popular with gardeners all over the world. The BioAdvanced company offers a wide variety of insect killers that will protect your property against the possible damage.
This termite killer is an excellent combination of an affordable price and efficiency. Also, you’ll certainly like the easy-to-use container designed with a built-in shaker applicator. To use it, sprinkle the product on the necessary area and water the ground until it becomes moist. The treatment will get rid of termites once and for all time.
Take into consideration that one bottle is enough to treat an average-size house. You can also use this BioAdvanced product to protect your garden, yard, garage, or woodpiles.
2. Spectracide Terminate for Termite Control – A Powerful Solution
- Active Ingredient: Hexaflumuron 0.50%
- Material: Plastic
- Number of Pieces: 15
- Item Weight: 2 pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 4 x 12 x 16 inches
- Target Species: Ants, Termites
Spectracide company knows how to get rid of termites. Its products help to determine the wood infested with termites and get rid of these annoying insects. Furthermore, the manufacturer constantly provides its customers with useful tips they need to follow to prevent the infestation in the future. And, of course, to cope with this task as soon as possible, you definitely should purchase this amazing pop-up termite indicator.
First of all, you’ll need to install the stakes in the ground. Take into account that it’ll take up to ten minutes to do it. Also, it is important to ensure there are no more than ten feet between them.
The indicators are designed with special locator shields that detect the termite activity. And the great fact is that this pack includes fifteen stakes to ensure that you’ll protect each corner of your yard.
You’ll get a user manual containing the necessary instructions you need to follow so that you could get rid of termites. Also, you will receive a nice bonus of a money-back guarantee provided by the manufacturer.
3. TERRO Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer
- Item Form: Spray
- Item Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Duration of action: up to 1 month
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 2.7 x 8 x 9.4 inches
- Target Species: Ants, Termite
It is a cheap but reliable way to protect your home from termites. Its formula makes this foam an ideal choice to get rid of the insects. It’ll start working after the first usage. The BASF Termidor foam will eliminate the termite population within the shortest possible time.
The manufacturer uses revolutionary technologies in the production of this Termidor solution. The pests are unable to see, smell, taste, or avoid this foam. There is no doubt that this termiticide is a must-have item for any person who wants to get rid of these species without any difficulties.
3. Taurus SC – Professional Termite Killer
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Control Solution is a US-based company that focuses on the production of top-quality products for pest management. Its experts constantly work on the development of cost-effective insecticides to provide their clients with a good chance to stop pests in their tracks.
This Taurus SC professional termite treatment is great evidence of the company’s reliability. Containing 9.1% Fipronil, it’s effective against not only termites but cockroaches and other pests. What is more, you’ll see the desired results just within three days after the first usage.
It is a non-repellent insecticide that can’t be detected by termites. That’s why they’ll ingest and spread this insecticide throughout the colony that will accelerate its destruction.
Long story short, if you call a professional extermination team, they will probably use this insecticide.
Termite Treatment Chemicals
The best way to get rid of termites is to use termite treatment chemicals. They are selected depending on how they act and which is more suitable for the situation.
- Liquid insecticide fipronil: the most common of the termite treatment chemicals. This is a professional chemical. It is mixed with water according to the instructions and then used to treat wooden structures or fill the moat around the house foundation. Soaking in the ground, this kind of termite treatment chemicals repels house termites and creates a barrier against pests. Fipronil is the main ingredient of Taurus SC Termiticide.
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- Imidacloprid Granules is a popular and easy-to-use termite killer, efficient in the process of getting rid of termites. You can spread them around wooden structures or the foundation. 4 kg of chemicals is enough for a 60-meter strip around the property. This chemical termite treatment is two times cheaper than the liquid one. There are many imidacloprid-based products on the market that directly answers the question how to get rid of termites.
- Termidor fipronil foam is a slow-acting of termite treatment chemicals. The foam is pumped into hard to reach places through a long nozzle of a pressurized can, sealing the entrances to the termite nest in house. This one of termite treatment chemicals causes a paralyzing effect on house termites after 8-10 hours. 80% of users prefer to use foam because of how convenient it is, as well as because of it’s long-lasting effect on pests. It gives a sure result in the getting rid of termites mission.
- Spray can with a nozzle: a fast-acting termite killer agent based on permethrin and tetramethrin. This kind of termite treatment chemicals is effective for up to 4 weeks. It is the best termite killer spray nebulized on wooden surfaces. This is the cheapest chemical on this list.
- Item Form: Spray
- Item Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Duration of action: up to 1 month
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 2.7 x 8 x 9.4 inches
- Target Species: Ants, Termite
Terro Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer has a special formula for eliminating wood-eating insects. Besides termites, it kills carpenter bees, wood wasps, and beetles. There’s a precision tube that allows you to spray it into any crack and crevice there is.
It kills on contact and provides long-time control of your termite infestation for up to four months. Can be used indoors and outdoors. Terro active formula is based Deltamethrin, a harmful ingredient killing termites on the first touch.
If you want to reach the further spots of the wood where the insects hide, drill small holes in every 10 inches of the structure and spray the product deep into the holes and tunnels with the nozzle tip. If you need to scatter Terro across a large area as a means for infestation prevention and control, use wide spraying instead.
The spray doesn’t leave any stains or unpleasant odors, but it may be dangerous to your health and the health of your pets and children. Please leave the room after spraying it and don’t re-enter until the substance is dry. It is also recommended to keep Terro substance away from food.
- Hexaflumuron and diflubenzuron termite baits sterilize the queen. This termite killer is very effective, but the result takes long. Over time, the queen stops laying eggs, and new house termites stop being born. It must be applied 2 times a year in conjunction with the other means of termites extermination.
- Does not include termite bait
- Material: Plastic
- Item Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 19 x 11.3 x 7.9 inches
- Target Species: Subterranean Termites
Termite station is probably the most professional and efficient tool for reducing termite infestation in your house. BASF makes ammunition for professional pest controllers, and this termite bait station requires basic knowledge of what’s what in pest extermination. It works as a bait system, a piece of extermination equipment, and a monitoring tool.
Install them close (2 to 4 feet) to your house structures or other places that attract termites. The first installation is made with attractive wooden bait only so that you could monitor the stations for termite infestation every three months.
If one of the stations indicates an infestation, replace the monitor cartridge with the bait+poison cartridge. Among this system components you will find the station with minimalistic design; termite inspection cartridge that contains especially created Puri-Cell monitoring matrix; termite monitoring base of preferred food species that easily allow termite access, this is the point where termites enter the station; concrete bait station that may be used when you need to monitor and exterminate termites where soil is inaccessible; quick-lock cap that makes openings and lockings easy; the spider access tool which is a unique tool that opens the stations.
You can mix and match the elements of the BASF system as you like to make up the very order you need. Handling the stations with so many details may seem confusing but the paper instruction provided and even more thorough instructions on the website you won’t get lost.
- Boric acid: an effective substance that is included in many termite treatment chemicals. It destroys termites’ nervous system, dehydrates the pests and leads to their death. Boric acid is a termite killer applied to wooden surfaces, spread across the garden, near the house, and around the basement.
The use of termite pesticides is dangerous to other people and pets. During termites extermination process it’s mandatory for homeowners, their children and their pets to leave the house. All termite treatment chemicals must be used according to the instructions and adhering to all safety measures.
How To Get Rid of Termites Without Chemicals
For those who do not want to deal with toxic termite treatment chemicals, organic substances or repellent scents can be employed.
- Diatomaceous earth (dust and powder). This natural termite killer cuts into the termites’ chitinous cover and penetrates it, causing their death. The termite dust is safe for humans, as long as you don’t inhale it. It is necessary to use protective mask and safety goggles while applying this termite treatment agent. The major disadvantage of diatomaceous earth is that it works only in dry wood. It stops being effective if there is even the slightest moisture.
- Cardboard trap. To make a DIY termite killer wet the two cardboards, place them on top of one another, and put it next to the supposed house termites habitat. Since these insects feed on cellulose, they will be attracted to cardboard, and they will fill the space between the cardboard sheets. The cardboard must then be taken out and burned. This manipulation with a DIY termite killer can be repeated several times. However, it is not an effective way of getting rid of termites, because house termites reproduce very quickly and not all will fall into the trap. Complex actions must be taken, employing additional measures to kill termites.
- Sunlight is a natural termite killer. So you can use heat in the process of getting rid of termites. If wooden furniture is infested, place it in the direct sunlight for 2-3 days and house termites will die. They also can not survive the heat of over 50°C for 30 minutes or 1-2 days of freezing. However, such conditions are difficult to achieve for basements or large wooden structures.
- A mixture of naphthalene, creosote, tar, turpentine, and kerosene can ensure the termites extermination in a small area. But such termite killer mixtures can be used only in non-residential premises and structures. Otherwise, the smell of this termite killer will ruin all your household stuff.
As practice shows, there’s only 4% chance of successful DIY termite extermination methods use. This means that time spent trying to find a useful termite killer will lead to their even greater multiplication and even more property damage.
Professional Wood Treatment For Termites
In case of severe infestation, getting rid of termites is better left to professionals. But in this case, some caution is also necessary. There are lots of unscrupulous or unskilled “professionals” on the termite extermination market.
Before applying professional termite treatment services, you should familiarize yourself with the services offered by the company, check their qualification certificates, read the reviews.
You should pay special attention to quality warranty, free treatment result inspections scheduled after a specific time period, and free re-treatment in case of unsatisfactory results of the termite extermination.
Want to skip all the research and hire a licensed exterminator for your termite problem?
Well-established and trustworthy termite extermination companies issue a written warranty for 2 years. If you get no such warranties, this could mean the termite treatment company you’re dealing with may be somewhat shady. Pest control should be carried only out by certified pest control operators, who have the government permission for it.
During home termite treatment process it’s mandatory for homeowners and their pets to leave the house for a week.
DIY Termite Prevention
The struggle against these pests is long, difficult and expensive. Therefore, it is much cheaper and easier to conduct do it yourself termite prevention, take all necessary precautions during house construction, follow a simple set of rules and inspect wooden structures regularly.
The most effective measure for termite prevention is conducted during the construction of a wooden house or wooden structures. You need to treat all wooden parts with a 0.1% solution of permethrin.
This way, you will perform a good termite prevention and ensure that pests will never approach the building. If this wasn’t done initially, you can treat all wooden structures in the basement, as well as outside and around the house after the construction is finished.
To make a reliable termite prevention from invading your home, you should follow these rules:
- Keep the house and basement dry.
- Check for leaking pipes or a clogged gutter.
- When painting or constructing, add a 0.1% solution of permethrin to the varnish or paint. This concentration is safe for humans but repels house termites.
- Keep firewood away from the house.
- Seal the cracks in wooden structures with cement mortar.
- Seal all cracks and crevices in the house, install mosquito nets on basement ventilation.
- Check all wooden supports and beams for the signs of house termites.
Following these simple steps, you can prevent termites from getting inside your house, or detect them as early as possible.
How Much Damage Can House Termites Do?
The most dangerous thing about house termites is that they are almost impossible to detect at an early stage of infestation. Often called hidden invaders, they can eat away at your home for years, and you’ll never even know. Termites hollow out wooden structures and beams from inside out, leaving them with no visible damage on the outside. Their traces are not easy to spot, either. It takes house termites 2-3 years to completely devastate the house in which you were going to live for several decades. In different countries, these insects cause billions of dollars worth of property damage each year.
If you don’t refer to home termite control, take no steps of termite prevention, do nothing to protect your home in time or use an effective termite killer once you detected pests then one day it may become not just uninhabitable, but also dangerous. The beams consumed by house termites will become weak and may collapse at any moment, causing irreparable damage.
As the saying goes, a man’s home is his castle. And for this castle to remain impregnable for a long time, it is imperative to take immediate measures to combat the hidden enemy — house termites.
It’s a no-brainer that termites can make a hell of your life. And if you want to protect not only your property but also your family members and pets, you should take action. Choose one of the products described above to overcome this problem. Also, you may consult with professionals to ensure you purchase the right product, and the insects won’t disturb you anymore.
Have you used any of the termite treatments mentioned here? If yes, were you satisfied with the results? Let me know about your experience and tips on getting rid of these pests in the comments.
- 1 What termites are: looks, lifespan, habitat and food preferences
- 2 Termites Inside House
- 3 How To Get Rid of Termites In Your House
- 4 Choosing Best Termite Treatment
- 4.1 1. BioAdvanced Termite Infestation Treatment– The Best Termite Insecticide Overall
- 4.2 2. Spectracide Terminate for Termite Control – A Powerful Solution
- 4.3 3. TERRO Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer
- 4.4 3. Taurus SC – Professional Termite Killer
- 4.5 Termite Treatment Chemicals
- 4.6 How To Get Rid of Termites Without Chemicals
- 4.7 Professional Wood Treatment For Termites
- 4.8 DIY Termite Prevention
- 4.9 How Much Damage Can House Termites Do?
- 5 Conclusion
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Thanks for giving me historical facts about termites. It’s interesting they are are very ancient since their fossils even date back from the Paleozoic era. The ad you’ve said they can damage or even destroy a house. My sister moved to an old house that’s termite infested. I’ll let her read your article so that she’ll know where to find them in case she hire a pest control service.
Can termites continue to grow the colony or stay on once you kill the queen?
Unfortunately, yes. The colony has secondary reproductives that will take its place.
Thanks for the wonderful post about how to get rid of termites! I hate them!
It’s good to know that exterminators will be able to know which specific chemical is best suited for your termite problem. My brother found some termites in his basement last week, but he doesn’t know which chemicals to use for his problem. I’ll pass this information along to him so that he can look into his options for termite treatment services.
It’s interesting how you said that wood termites colonies live and develop similarly to colonies of ants and bees. My mom told me that she saw some insect that she could no identify in her backyard tree. I will go check to see if they are termites and call pest control as soon as possible.
I immediately want to eliminate the presence of termites in our house so I did a DIY termite control. However, I’m really not satisfied with the result. I agree that the struggle against these pests is long, difficult and expensive. I’m looking for a professional provider that can help me to protect my property from nature’s most destructive creatures and insects. Cheers for your helpful tips!
My furniture has termites. I like how you mention if you have wooden furniture that is infested place it in the direct sunlight for 2-3 days and house termites will die. Thank you for the advice. I’ll try this and if I still have termites I’ll contact a professional for help.
I appreciate your tip to read reviews and check qualifications when you’re choosing a termite control professional. My wife told me that she noticed signs of termites in our basement and we want to get it treated. I’ll be sure to follow your tips so we can find a quality termite treatment professional.
The termites in our house are starting to build a colony in our house, but I couldn’t figure out where are they coming from. I’ll keep in mind to inspect the basement and check if you can pierce the wood with a screwdriver. I should probably start looking for a residential pest control service.
I did not know that termites can’t be found in Antarctica. My neighbor told me that he found a few termites in his attic and he tried to get rid of them but the next day, he saw more. I will suggest to him to contact a pest control company so that they can properly eliminate them.
Hello, Nicholas! Thank you for your article! It was extremely useful to me. Termite eradication has become a challenging task for me. Honestly, I thought they would still eat the barn because, for a long time, we could not find a tool that would help. Finally, I read this article and chose Taurus SC. This repellent is very effective. I think it starts to work immediately after the first applying. So now my barn is safe, and I highly recommend you to try this repellent if you have the same problem.
Do not let ignorance steer you towards the usual western “kill em all” mentality.
Look up the benefits of termites and their ecological NEED, and then look up how you can deal with the REASONS you have them. Then look at controlling their movements and using them to your benefits. Do not side with bigotry because you built your house over a natural area in the first place.
Pest control told me there was nothing they could do to get rid of the termites because my house is too close to the ground to get under and treat. I’m at a loss as to what I can do. Termites are destroying my house.
I’m thinking Bait stations around and under the house. You may have to remove and reinstall the floor in some areas. Might even consider installing access hatches for ease of future treatments. Treat liberally and treat at consistent intervals.
Call another exterminator or two and get more opinions and advice. If the first one had no solutions call until you find the one who does
termite infestation is the worst. your article definitely helped me out.
It’s staggering how much damage is caused by termites! A CSIRO survey in Australia suggests around 1 in 3 homes have termites within the property boundary.
What chemicals can I use to get rid of termites that I can drill into soil and pour in without killing the lawn