DIY Guide to Removing Termites
There are quite a few dangerous household pests; they can spread disease, lead to damage, and create a lot of discomfort and frustration. Out of all of the possible insect interlopers you may share your home with, termites might be the worst. These creatures can destroy the foundation to your home years before you even know they are there. By the time you discover them, termites may have completely infested, leading to expensive and time-consuming repairs.
Before your home is put at risk, you need to know how to get rid of termites and fast! You don’t need to rely on an exterminator. Use four simple steps to remove these pesky creatures from your home.
- Recognize Signs of an Infestation
If you have sagging floors, hollow areas in your foundation, or holes in any of your woodwork, then your home is already at risk. Look for more proof by performing some other inspections:
- Look for termite droppings, little pellets of wood-colored excrement. These may be found near infected wood.
- Examine exposed wood in the basement in crawlspaces and foundation beams. Look for hollow wood or beams that fall apart easily.
- Test the soil and any piles of wood around the exterior of your home, looking for systems of tunnels or tubes of mud.
- Set Up a Cardboard Trap
This is a simple way to get rid of many termites at once. Use several flat strips of moist cardboard. Stack them on top of each other and leave them overnight in an area where you have seen signs of the termites. After the strips are infested, you can take them out and burn them. If you are able to coax them out of their hiding spots into the cardboard, please be aware that a large colony may still exist in your walls.
- Eliminate Insects Without Chemicals
The cardboard trap is a quick fix, but isn’t a long-term solution. Combine the trap with other tactics to permanently protect your home.
- Move any exposed furniture into the sun. Termites are creatures of darkness and will die in high temperatures of sunlight. Be prepared to leave the furniture outside for several days to be effective. Although you my kill many termites this way, for heat treats to be 100% effective they must be exposed to temperatures of 140 degrees for several hours.
- You could also freeze some species of termites, such as drywood termites. If sunshine isn’t an option, you could place pieces of your wooden belongings in the freezer for 2 or 3 days. Freezing is not 100% effective on all species though since temperatures must reach 15 degrees Fahrenheit for four days to kill them; and yet may termites will dig deep in the earth to escape the cold weather.
- More Aggressive Tactics
Boric acid is a powerful ally when it comes to pest extermination. The powder is sold commonly in grocery and department stores. Spread boric bait around the garden and create a spray to use on exposed wood inside your home. Finally, work hard to keep your home and property free of standing water, decaying wood, fallen trees and moist areas. If your home has areas where wood touches the soils these are key places where termites like to enter your home. You should install metal flashings between your stucco home and fence or anywhere you have wood touching the soil.