While they’re less common than your average insect, termites can devastate and even threaten the structural integrity of your home. This is because they feed on cellulose, the organic fibrous material in wood and plants, meaning they can chew through wood, flooring, and structural beams without you even noticing.
Statistics from the National Pest Management Association show that termites cause damage worth more than $5billion every year. Homeowners often contribute to this figure as they are forced to replace damaged furniture and wooden structures within their homes.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat a termite infestation. Here’s how you can get rid of termites at your home.
1. Expose Your Wood to Sunlight
Termites thrive in dark and moist areas and the heat and light from the sun will kill them. If you suspect or have noticed termite activities in your furniture, expose that piece of furniture to sunlight. If you’ve already located the hive of termites, remove the clutter around it and let the place get some sunlight. Be sure to leave the furniture outside for as long as possible, preferably 2 to 3 days.
2. Freeze The Termites
Just like heat, cold can be used to control termites. These insects have a very low tolerance to extreme temperatures and freezing the affected object can kill them. To prevent further damage, freeze the piece of furniture or parts of the furniture for 2-3 days. For furniture that’s too large to get into the freezer, try removing the infested pieces such as chair legs and drawers and giving them cold treatment separately.
3. Set Up a Cardboard Trap
Termites feed on cellulose and cardboard being full of cellulose makes it an excellent spot trap. To set the trap up, take a couple of cardboard boxes, wet them, and place them on wooden furniture that’s infested by termites. Moistening the cardboard makes the smell more distinct.
When the cardboard is infested with the insects, take it away and burn it. Repeat the process as often as necessary to eliminate the termites.
It is important to note that the spot trap will not solve all your termite problems. It’s a quick fix to remove hundreds of termites at once. Try combining it with other elimination methods to deliver a more powerful punch.
4. Try Parasitic Nematodes
Parasitic or beneficial nematodes are microscopic, non-segmented worms that can kill pests within 24 to 48 hours. These worms are becoming more popular for pest and insect control as they feed on more than 200 pests from up to 100 insect families. They work by searching for hosts, such as ants, fleas, moths and termites, and burrowing into them. Nematodes then use the host’s carcass as a place to spawn.
You can purchase the worms online or at your local garden supply store.
5. Use Boric Acid
Boric acid is one of the most common and effective ways to get rid of termites. This solution works by shutting down the termite’s nervous system while dehydrating them.
There are two ways of using boric acid. The first is to use a bait station. Spray or coat wood furniture evenly with boric acid. Take the boric acid bait in the garden near the house or an open infestation. Then check it regularly and replenish it with boric acid as needed. You will see termite carcasses nearby as they die from the acid. The second way is to mix borax powder with hot water. Spray it in the infested piece of furniture or if possible, inside the hive to kill the insects.
If you think your infestation is too big, you should call a professional exterminator. Professional pest control companies like pest control NJ will detect the infestation, assess its severity, and apply an effective treatment that’ll get rid of the termites.