Tips & Warnings:

Termites are a real problem for home owners. While these preventative measures do work, it's best to have a professional termite exterminating service inspect your home every couple of years.

When consulting a professional, be aware that many of the products used are extremely poisonous and leave toxic residues in your walls, carpets, furniture and so on for years. Find a service that uses nontoxic remedies such as electrogunning, heat, microwave and deep freeze to rid your home of existing termite infestations.

Termite Prevention Tips

Repair any roof or plumbing leaks as soon as possible. These leaks can allow termites to survive above ground in a house.

Eliminate any wood-to-soil contact around your foundation and remove wood debris near your home.

Prevent mulch and soil from touching the siding of your home. They make it much easier for termites to enter.

Store firewood away from your home.

Use mesh screens on all windows and doors, as well as in ventilation openings for attics and crawl spaces.

Seal nail holes and cracks in exposed wood to help prevent easy access by drywood termites.

Contract with a professional pest control company to regularly inspect your home. This will help detect termite activity and allow for prompt and proper treatment.

Termite Inspection Resources

Preventing Termite Infestations

Since termites are most active in the soil, the basement is often the place termites infest. When we build homes with basements, we keep them warm in the wintertime.

by University of Nebraska, Department of Entomology


How to Prevent Termites Naturally

Step 1: Inspect your property annually, using a plan of each structure to ensure consistent and thorough monitoring. Keep yearly records and track insect damage.

Step 2: Identify infestations and type of termites (subterranean, dry wood and so on). Look for the characteristic mud tunnels of burrowing termites and for termite "dirt" piles under wood ceilings and structures, the telltale signs of dry wood termites.

Step 3: Use termite-resistant building materials whenever possible. Redwood, cedar and juniper are all wood species that are less favorable to termites.

Step 4: Eliminate standing water and chronically moist soil near your home. Termites need moist soil to survive and are attracted to wet areas.

Step 5: Lay films of 6mm polyethylene in crawl spaces under foundations as a moisture barrier between the soil and subfloor framing.

Step 6: Create and maintain good cross-ventilation through foundation wall vents to keep those crawl spaces as dry as possible.

Step 7: Slope all exterior grades away from wood structures to maintain good drainage.

Step 8: Prune back plants close to your home to prevent moisture and mold buildup on wood walls.

Step 9: Water away from your home and adjust sprinklers to keep them from spraying directly onto wood walls and siding.

Step 10: Seal all wood exposed to moisture using a weather sealer, especially exterior window frames and the bottom of wall edges.

Step 11: Move all wood scraps and debris away from wood structures.

Step 12: Create sand barriers in crawl spaces and under fence posts, patios and steps to deter subterranean termites. These termites cannot tunnel through sand.

Step 13: Dig trenches 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide around wood structures. Fill the ditch with 16-grit sand (granules that are too large to be carried away and too small to be used to construct tunnels).

Step 14: Fill cracks and repair broken seals in foundations and patios with 16-grit sand. This is especially helpful after foundation settling and earthquake damage.

How to Repel Termites:

Repel termites by using either a repellent or non-repellent insecticide around the perimeter of a house that has been infected with termites. Consult a professional exterminator about the best way to get rid of termites with advice from a pest control specialist in this free video on termites.


How to Kill Termites Without Chemicals

The most common methods of getting rid of termites are chemical, but there are organic alternatives that don't pollute the environment or hurt other, beneficial insects. Most indoor termite treatment is best left to professionals. Anyone can do outdoor treatments. Here are some chemical-free alternatives.

Introduce other insects that prey on termites like flies, spiders, wasps and ants. Reptiles, birds and bats are also termite predators.

Add organic material like compost or manure to your soil. Some termites like to eat dead plants. Increasing the organic material will leave the termites with no food source.

Outdoor Treatment

Avoid using non-organic fertilizers. They encourage fast growth which creates more soft tissue in plants for the termites to eat.

Provide an alternative food source. Mulch made from manure and hay are more attractive to some termite species than living plants.

Place strong magnets in the ground around new termite nests. The magnets will disturb certain species and keep them from building a bigger mound.

Indoor Treatment

Have a professional heat treat your house. The temperature of the house and contents is brought to 120 degrees F and kept there for 33 minutes. This is most effective in smaller homes and apartments because it is difficult to heat some materials like concrete. It also can damage the contents of the home.

Find a company that offers microwave spot treatments for termite infestations. Microwaves cause the fluids in termite's cells to boil.

Hire a company that uses high-voltage electricity to kill termites. The insects are electrocuted.

Drill holes into infested areas and apply orange oil, or d-limonene. Orange oil has very low toxicity but will kill termites in the immediate area.

Prevent future infestations by creating a barrier the insects can't burrow through. Dig a trench around the slab of the house and fill it with uniform sized pebbles.


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