Get rid of termites


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Termite infestation can be a real problem for homeowners as some cause significant, permanent damage. These pests colonize a house, feed on the wood of the house and destroy it.
If not treated in a timely and appropriate manner, termites can cause extensive, and often permanent, structural damage to a home. Homeowners can use DIY methods to control small pests and prevent future ones, but for the most part, hiring an exterminator is your best bet.

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Find licensed termite experts in your area and get free, no-obligation estimates for your project.

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Needed time: Several hours to a few days
Difficulty: expert
Estimated costs: $ 8 and up, $ 800-4,000 for professional service

Tools & materials

Before you start…

Here's how to get rid of termites before you start

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Before a homeowner begins treating their home for termites, they should first determine where the colony is and how severe the damage is. Since termites can live within the walls of a house, it is best to call an exterminator to assess the damage, find the colony, and make an offer. Large termite infestations should always be handled by a professional exterminator as they have the experience, knowledge and commercially available products to control them.

Termites vs. ants

Homeowners should determine if they have a termite or ant infestation. Flying ants are often mistaken for termites because they both have wings and antennae. However, the damage caused by flying ants is nowhere near as destructive as that of termites. Flying ants are also easier to care for and most homeowners can get the job done.

Tips to get rid of termites

  • The best way to get rid of termites is to prevent an infestation. Homeowners should regularly take steps to prevent termites, such as regulating the amount of moisture in the home.
  • Once the initial extermination is complete, homeowners should continue to treat their homes regularly for termites.

Security aspects

  • Wear suitable protective glasses and masks when using hazardous chemicals.
  • Termites can hide in gutters and pipes, so make sure their ladders are safe when examining high spaces.

Get rid of termites, determine termite infestation

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STEP 1: Determine the type of termite infestation.

The first step for any homeowner who thinks they may have a termite infestation is to look for the signs. Examine sagging floors, holes in woodwork, and any hollow parts in the house’s foundation. If the wood falls apart easily, it could be a sign of a termite problem.

Homeowners also need to determine what type of termites are affecting their home. The most common types are underground, dry and moist wood. Subterranean termites are found throughout the United States and thrive in both soil and wood. Drywood termites are primarily found in coastal states such as California, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida and live exclusively in wood. Dampwood termites live in the west and the Pacific Northwest, but are occasionally found in Florida.

Don’t let termites take over your home.

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STEP 2: Destroy underground termites with termite barriers, termite bait, and beneficial nematodes.

Underground termites can be eradicated by a variety of methods. Termicide barriers and termite bait are professional grade products that form a perimeter around a home. When a termite eats treated material and returns to its colony, the termite dies and transfers the venom to other termites. Beneficial nematodes are natural parasites that, as another method of eradication, can be used to poison and destroy a colony.

STEP 3: Destroy drywood termites with essential oils and termiticides.

Termite stain treatment involves drilling holes in the wood for termites to nest in, filling the holes with termiticide, and sealing the holes. Drywood termites can also be eradicated using household items such as essential oils. Orange and neem oils inhibit termites’ ability to lose skin or lay eggs. Mix two cups of water with 10 drops of oil and a splash of dish soap, then spray on the infected area.

How to get rid of termites Spray boric acid on wood

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STEP 4: Spray boric acid on wood, in the garden, and any infestation area.

Boric acid is a component of most termite insecticides and is a reliable way to get rid of colonies. It can be found at any hardware store and works by drying out and killing the termites. Spray it on any areas where termites are present.

STEP 5: Make a DIY trap out of wet cardboard.

Another do-it-yourself solution is to create a cardboard trap. This simple method involves stacking two pieces of wet cardboard on top of each other. The cellulose in the box attracts the termites and they get stuck in the pieces. You can then take the box outside and burn it. However, this is not an efficient method as it may not kill all of the termites or the colony.

Completely banish termites from your home.

An exterminator can get it right the first time. Get free, no-obligation estimates from exterminators in your area.

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STEP 6: Use Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Termites.

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring rock that is processed into powder. As with other treatments, sprinkling the powder around the infected area will dehydrate and kill the termites.

How to Get Rid of Termites Hire a professional

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STEP 7: Get a professional if you need help or the infestation is too large to handle DIY methods.

Due to their size, it can be difficult to completely eradicate a termite infestation. Unless the infestation is limited to just one area, it is in the homeowner’s best interest to hire a professional exterminator.

STEP 8: Establish preventive measures.

The best way to get rid of termites is not to have to start. There are simple preventative measures that any homeowner can buy and easily apply to prevent termite infestation.

Termites can be a difficult pest to control, especially in warmer weather. For smaller infestations, there are many DIY solutions homeowners can use and apply to get rid of termites. However, if the infestation is severe, homeowners should call a professional exterminator to resolve the problem.

Get professional advice

Find licensed termite experts in your area and get free, no-obligation estimates for your project.

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