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16 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Termites

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16 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Termites

In this post, we’ll be discussing the most popular natural ways to get rid of termites. These pests can cause a lot of damage to the structural wood of your home if they’re not dealt with quickly.

And while there are a number of commercial termite treatments available, they can be expensive and full of harmful chemicals.

Here, we’ll share a few helpful tips on how to eliminate termites naturally, using home remedies and non-toxic products.

Identification

Termites are small, soft-bodied insects that live in colonies. Their color varies (white, dark brown, yellowish-tan, etc.), depending on the species.

They feed on wood, dying plants, paper, and more, and can cause plenty of damage to the structural wood of buildings and furniture. Winged termites mostly show up in homes.

How to Get Rid of Termites Naturally

Termites can be expensive to deal with using conventional methods, which is why many people are now turning to home remedies and other natural DIY solutions.

1. Neem Oil

Neem oil is often used to get rid of bad insects because of its ability to kill them.

You can use it to eliminate termites in two ways: by spraying it directly on them, or by applying it to the areas where they’re nesting.

If you’re doing it yourself, we recommend using a neem oil concentrate and mixing it with water before spraying. However, this organic pesticide can be a little smelly, so make sure you’re prepared for that before you start using it.

2. Orange Oil

Orange oil is another great all-natural remedy to treat termites at home. It’s affordable, easy to find, and most importantly, it’s effective.

To use orange oil, you’ll want to dilute 2 ounces with a gallon of water.

Once you’ve done that, simply spray or pour the solution directly onto the termites and their nests. The oil will kill them on contact.

3. Essential Oils

There are a few different essential oils that work well against pests such as termites, but the most popular one is cinnamon oil. Other effective oils include citrus oils, tea tree oil, and cedarwood oil.

Use essential oils to make a DIY termite spray. For the recipe, you’ll need to mix them (15 to 20 drops of each) with 12 ounces of water and spray it on wood, walls, or other affected areas.

However, be sure to follow up with a regular inspection to ensure that all the termites have been eliminated.

4. Hot Pepper

Hot pepper spray is one of the best home remedies for certain insect pests. It’s a strong irritant and can cause them to flee the area.

To use it as a termite protection remedy, you’ll need to finely chop one large hot pepper and soak it in 4 cups of water.

Let it rest for a little while, strain, and then pour it into a spray bottle. Finally, spray the mixture directly onto the critters and their nests.

However, avoid spraying it directly onto your skin, as it can be quite irritating. You’ll also need to re-apply this home remedy every few days until the termites are gone.

5. Sunlight

This is another safe method to get rid of drywood termites on your own.

The sun’s UV rays kill the termites, so leaving your furniture out in the sun is one of the best ways to kill the critters.

However, be sure to rotate your furniture every few days so that all sides are exposed to the sun.

6. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

This natural product consists of the remains of fossilized diatoms. The edges of DE are sharp and can pierce the exoskeleton of insects [1], causing them to die.

You can buy diatomaceous earth at most hardware stores or online.

It usually comes in powder form, and you can use it as a natural termite killer by spreading it around the perimeter of your home, in cracks, or in other affected areas.

The powder will kill any termites that come into contact with it.

7. Clove Oil

Clove oil is a powerful essential oil. It has been used as a natural insecticide throughout generations worldwide to kill certain pests in the home and garden.

To use clove oil as a termite infestation treatment, you’ll need a few things:

  • Clove oil
  • Sprayer bottle (like a spray bottle for cleaning)
  • Paper Towels
  • Mask (optional)

First, pour some clove oil into the spray bottle. You don’t need a lot – 10 to 15 drops is enough. Add water to fill the bottle the rest of the way. Shake well to combine.

Next, put on your mask and spray it around the areas where you’ve seen termites. However, be sure to avoid any areas where there are electrical cords or other items that could be damaged by moisture or contact with the solution.

Let the mixture sit for about an hour, then wipe up the excess (spill-offs) with paper towels. Repeat as necessary.

8. Parasitic Nematodes

In parasitism, one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of another organism, the host [2]. Beneficial nematodes are parasites that live in the soil and feed on most insect pests living there.

However, some homeowners find them effective to remove termites. Beneficial nematodes are available at some garden stores and online.

To use them, you just mix them with water according to the instructions that come with your order. Next, pour the mixture into termite-infested wood in your basement, around your house, and in your garden.

They are also your best bet to get rid of termites in garden soil naturally. The nematodes will enter the termite’s body and kill it.

9. White Vinegar

Termites can be a huge problem, but one of the favorite home remedies to stop them is white vinegar.

To use vinegar to kill termites, simply mix a cup with a gallon of water and pour it on their mounds or in holes. You can also spray it directly on the termites themselves.

If you have a severe infestation, you might have to do this once a week for a few months, but for light infestations, doing it once a month should be enough.

10. Remove Old Tree Stump

One of the most common ways to avoid a termite attack is to remove the tree stump they’re living in.

An old stump is usually home to termites, so once you remove it, they’ll have no choice but to move on.

There are a few ways to go about removing a stump. You can use a chainsaw or an ax. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try using a manual chainsaw or an angle grinder.

Whatever method you choose, take caution and wear proper safety gear. Always read the instructions carefully and exercise caution when using any type of power tool.

11. Garlic Oil

Another great home remedy to repel termites is garlic oil. To make a homemade termite repellent spray with garlic oil, you will need:

  • 1 cup of food-grade oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped garlic
  • A glass jar with a lid

In a pan, heat the oil until it is hot. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and add the garlic.

Let the garlic soak in the oil for about 24 hours. Strain the oil and pour it into the glass jar. Store in a cool, dark place.

To use, combine 2 tablespoons of the homemade garlic oil with a pint of water. Shake thoroughly to mix well and apply around the foundation of your house or areas where there are termites.

Reapply every few weeks as needed.

12. Salt

Salt is also excellent for making a DIY termite treatment. Just mix it with borax and water. You can then pour it into a spray bottle and spritz it directly on the termites.

Another way to use it is by creating a salt barrier.

To do this, pour salt around the outside of your home, making sure to keep it away from the foundation. You can also pour salt in the holes and crevices where you’ve seen evidence of termites.

The critters will become dehydrated and eventually die.

13. Beauveria bassiana

Beauveria bassiana is another widely used natural termite control agent.

It works by infecting termites, eventually killing them. You can also use it for controlling garden pests such as aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and more.

There are a few ways you can use it. One way is to apply it to the soil around your home where you’ll likely find termites. You can also spray it in the area where you’ve seen the critters and in any cracks or crevices in your home where they may be hiding.

It is available as a ready-to-use spray or you can buy it in powder form and mix it according to instructions. However, it may take several days to start working, so most people use it for preventing termites, rather than curing the problem.

14. Borax

Borax is a natural mineral that is perfect for making a homemade termite killer. It is toxic to termites, so they will die almost instantly, not long after contact.

You can buy borax at most home and garden stores, and it’s easy to use for termite extermination.

Just sprinkle a little borax at the affected area or dissolve a teaspoon of it in 8 ounces of water and spray. It is also safe to use to get rid of termites in clothes.

15. Wet Cardboard

Wet cardboard will create an environment that is hospitable for termites, so it’s a good way to trap them.

To use this method, simply place 2 pieces of wet cardboard on top of each other. Once they crawl between the cardboards, you will know what to do next.

And since they love moist places, keeping your home moisture-free and maintaining good airflow will keep them from coming back.

16. Canola Oil

Canola oil is often used in cooking, but you can also use it as an insecticide for termites.

Mix 2 cups of the oil with 2 tablespoons of liquid soap. To use as a pesticide, combine 2 teaspoons of this concentrate with a cup of warm water.

Shake well and use it in areas where it’s needed. The oil will suffocate termites.

Takeaway

If you have a termite infestation, the best thing to do is call in a professional exterminator. However, as you can see, there are a few things that you can do to control them naturally.

Some of these methods may take a little longer than others, but they are all effective in their own way. Try out a few and see which works best for you to achieve permanent results.

Image via Flickr/Edward Rooks

Andre Campbell

Organic farmer and co-founder of Dre Campbell Farm. He appreciates everything in nature -- sunshine, plants, animals, and human life.

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