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Tips to Help You Prevent & Get Rid of a Home Termite Infestation

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Discovering part of your home has a termite infestation can be a stressful experience. Fortunately, there are many prevention treatments and remedies to get rid of termites and keep them from re-infesting your home. Signs of an infestation can include a visible scattering of termite wings on your floor, brown cylindrical tunnels through the wood in your home, and cracked or bubbling paint on your walls, and need to be remedied as soon as possible to prevent wood damage to your home's structure. Here are some prevention methods and options to get rid of your termite infestation.

Eliminate Food Sources

When you have discovered a termite infestation in the wood of your home's structure, it is a good idea to get rid of any excess food sources that are around your home that can lead to and aid your termite infestation. Mulch wood chips, dried leaves, and old tree branches around the exterior of your home can all provide the perfect home and food source for termites to live and survive.

Remove all the mulch wood chips from around your yard and replace it with another landscape material, such as peat moss or gravel, or plant a ground cover vegetation, such as periwinkle or goutweed, also known as bishop's weed. Then, burn or bag up and discard any dead leaves in your yard and burn or discard any fallen tree branches. As termites feed on dead plant materials, remove all dead vegetation from around the exterior of your home to help lower the chance that you will experience any future termite infestations in your home's wood structure.

Place a Termite Trap

Once you have discovered where the termites have infested within your home and you have eliminated any excess outside food sources, there is a simple trap you can use to trap and kill a large amount of the termites infesting your home. This method is safe to use around children and pets that may be susceptable to harm from poisons and pesticides. 

Get an empty cardboard box and spray its surface lightly with a spray bottle of water and place the box next to where the termite infestation is located. Cardboard contains cellulose, which gives off an aroma that attracts female termites and moistening the box increases the smell of the cardboard's cellulose.

Check the box later in the day or the next day to see it has become infested with a large amount of termites eating the cardboard. Build a fire in your backyard fire pit and carefully carry the termite-filled box to the fire and burn it to kill the termites. Repeat this process with a new box every few days until the number of termites decreases and no more termites remain in your home infestation.

Use Repellents and Treatments

Orange oil contains the compound d-limonene, which kills many types of termites and is safe to use it in your home. Apply orange oil onto the structures in your home where you know termites are living. You can even inject a small amount of the oil into any visible termites tubes throughout the wood in your home's structure. Repeat this process of applying the oil every few days to help eliminate the termites.

You can also make your own termite bait by combining four tablespoons of grape jelly, three tablespoons of canned cat food, and one tablespoon of boric acid. Place one teaspoon of the bait at a location of a termite infestation and the termites will be attracted to the smell of the bait. The worker termites will carry the bait back to the colony where it will be eaten by the queen and any new termite offspring, thus killing them off. 

It is recommended to repeat the placement of this bait each spring to continue to remedy your termite infestation. Be careful that you don't place this bait anywhere accessible to your pets or children, as the boric acid can harm them if they ingest it. Also, wear gloves and a face mask to protect you from the acid when mixing and using the bait.

If you are still struggling to get rid of a termite problem after using these tips, you can hire a company like Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control to eliminate the problem for you.