With so many kinds of pests, insects, rodents and other creatures that could take residence and infest a home, the most annoying and dangerous ever is the termite. Though small, these pests could ruin not just cabinets and walls but the very foundation on which a house stands.
At first, termite damage might be insignificant, short of a few knocked up cupboards and ceiling. Oftentimes, it could be years before one notice the damage and by then it would be too late. Given that your home is probably one of the biggest and most important investment you could ever make, necessary care and protection from all kinds of pests, most especially termites, must be taken. So if you have ever noticed those small pests burrowing in your walls, then it’s time to get rid of them permanently.
First things first, you must look for the area that has been infested. If you have detected it early, then it’s likely that the affected area is still small. However, that is not a reason to be complacent. If you do not know where to find termites, there are some tell-tale signs such as holes in any woodwork, hollow walls and doors and even sagging floors.
Get a flashlight and screwdriver and start inspecting your home. Begin checking the foundation beams starting from the basement up. With the use of the screwdriver, knock up the walls to check for any hollowness. If the woodwork breaks down easily of falls apart, then it could be a sign for a termite infestation.
Another sign that termites have taken residence in your walls is their excrement droppings. Termite waste is dark brown in color and if you found many of these dirt pellets near a sagging or weak wall, it could mean termites have invaded.
Once you have found its nest, you must determine what kind they are. There are two known types of termites – the dry wood and subterranean. Dry wood termites reside in wood only while subterranean ones could thrive in both wood and soil, such as a compost pit, found near your house. The latter type also lives in coastal areas and warm regions like Florida, Texas and California. Subterranean termites also often cause more damage than dry wood.
There are different methods you could employ to remove termites in your home. Some are natural and temporary while others are artificial and could last longer.
1. Make a Cardboard Trap – Termites feed on cellulose such as cardboard so one way you could trap it is to place strips of cardboard, wet with water in strategic places near walls and beams. This would attract the termites and once you have collected the mites in the board, take it out and burn it so that no pest could escape to return in the nearby soil and woodworks. This however, is only a temporary solution and could be used for a small population of termites.
2. If the infestation is not in the foundation of your home and was contained in walls or a piece of furniture, you could air it out and place it under direct sunlight to kill the termites. These pests thrive in darkness and the light and heat from the sun would be harmful for them.
3. Use beneficial nematodes to get rid of the mites. Beneficial nematodes are types of unsegmented worm that act as natural parasites to house pests such as termites. Nematodes kill its host within 48 hours after it burrows itself into it.
4. You could also try freezing small furniture for two to three days so that the cool temperature kill any termites caught in it. This is a good alternative for when the season is rainy and you could not dry out your furniture under the sunlight.
5. If these other methods do not work, you could probably spray some boric acid in strategic areas around your home especially where the infestation is located. This chemical is normally added in termite sprays. Just be sure to let the spray diffuse first as it could be harmful to people without any protective gear.
6. Should the infestation be too much for a DIY action, you could hire the services of a professional termite exterminator to properly clean and rid your home of these pests.