How to Get Rid of Subterranean Termites in Your Home

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Have you discovered a subterranean termite infestation in your home? While it may be one of the worst things to happen to a homeowner, there’s good news. Due to the fact that subterranean termites do not live inside the home, they are typically easier to treat and conquer.

They also tend to cost less to exterminate.

So, while discovering termites isn’t ideal, with a subterranean termite infestation, there’s still hope. If you are looking to get rid of termites on your own, here are a few tried and true methods.

Understanding Subterranean Termites

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Subterranean termites live longer than other subtypes of termites. Their colonies can grow tremendously, and they are attracted to areas with large concentrations of wood or metal, i.e., your home.

If left untreated or undetected for too long, the damage they can do to your home’s foundation and frame can be catastrophic.

Termite prevention and treatment most often come down to chemical treatments applied in various ways.

Treat Your Wood

Ideally, this step should occur before termites are ever a problem. It’s a preventative measure that should take place during your home’s construction.

Simple wood curers deter termites just by strengthening the wood. You can also opt to purchase pressure-treated wood for construction.

Wood that’s been treated or pressure-treated is stronger. The harder and stronger the wood, the more difficult it becomes for termites to take up residence there.

Untreated wood is far more vulnerable to termite infestation and as wood ages, it softens, also making it more vulnerable to termites.

Apply Termiticide Barriers

Some states allow homeowners to purchase professional-grade termiticide Tauras SC and Termidor SC are examples of professional termite killing products.

Using a spot treatment, products like these should be applied to your exterior perimeter to create a barrier against termite invasions.

With termiticide treatments, termites cannot detect the chemical. This is effective as they do not try and avoid it getting to your home. Not only will the termites that eat materials treated with termiticide die, but they will infect other termites.

Similar to a virus, termiticide travels from one infected bug to the next, killing more than the originally infected termite. Eventually, the termiticide will spread throughout the entire colony and wipe them out.

If after applying termiticide barriers, you find that you still have a termite infestation, contact this pest exterminator for professional advice. Sometimes it takes an experienced professional to understand the best way to apply the chemicals to have the greatest impact.

Apply Direct Chemicals

Unlike termiticide, direct chemicals are used inside your home. These are effective if you can see termites. If you find one, direct chemicals are a termite treatment sprayed right on the bug itself.

Termidor foam can be shot into any crevices, cracks, or holes that might make for a good termite hiding spot.

One of the perks of direct chemicals that come in foam spray is that they are odorless. They expand to fill the shape and size of the crevice then evaporate.

This leaves behind a poisonous residue that kills termites as soon as they touch it. It’s an effective method if you can spot where the termites are inside your home and if you are ready immediately to kill them.

Be aware that this residue is effective for about a month after its application. It’s more of spot treatment and may not be as effective in wiping out entire colonies as some other termite control methods.

Purchase Beneficial Nematodes

If you’re less keen on chemical treatments, beneficial nematodes may be an excellent alternative. These segmented roundworms are natural parasites to termites.

Beneficial nematodes can be purchased easily from most home improvement or gardening stores or even online.

These tiny creatures should be mixed with gardening or potting soil and cold water. Once they are well mixed with the soil, spread the soil around your yard, home, and garden focusing on the infested area.

Once the beneficial nematodes come into contact with termites, they burrow inside of them. Inside, the beneficial nematodes release a symbiotic gut bacteria that poisons the termite blood.

Within a matter of days, the termites are dead. Not a bad method if you prefer a more natural way to eliminate pests from your yard.

Use Boric Acid

Perhaps one of the most effective termite killers of all-time, boric acid is a tried-and-true method. In fact, most store-bought termite insecticides have boric acid as their main ingredient.

This simple method and ingredients dehydrate the termites. Eventually, the termite nervous system shuts down and they are killed.

Spray the acid, as you would other chemical treatments, inside any cracks, holes, crevices, in your walls or flooring. If in doubt, be sure and speak with a professional to make sure the chemical or form of boric acid you are using is, in fact, safe for indoor use.

Set Up Termite Baits

Another extremely effective method for getting rid of subterranean termites is by setting up termite baits. You can purchase bait in the store or online as well and they should be placed around the outer perimeter of your home.

These baits draw foraging termites and once they consume the bait, they are poisoned.

Because the poison is slow-acting, it inhibits the termite’s development. As they attempt to molt, they are killed. Additionally, the delay in death leads infected termites back to the colony where the toxins are easily transferred to the rest of the colony.

Spread Diatomaceous Earth

Another more “natural” method for termite control is the use of diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a powder sprinkled over infested areas.

It also works to dehydrate the termites as it seeps through their exoskeletons on contact.

When All Else Fails

Getting rid of subterranean termites on your own is definitely possible. One or more of these methods should work well if your termite infestation is detected early on.

However, if you have attempted one or more of these strategies to no avail, it may be time to contact a professional. For more helpful articles related to home ownership, browse our blog.