termite eating wood

Many homeowners, when faced with a termite infestation, choose to try to handle the problem on their own. Some attempt to use natural home remedies prescribed by experts on the internet, not taking into account that the majority of these experts don't have a degree in entomology or pest control. Some attempt to use chemicals prescribed by manufacturers. While many of these products are developed by actual experts, they often fall short due to improper application. Today, we're going to take a moment to look at a few ways you might consider dealing with termites around your West Palm Beach property and why they are likely to fall short of your expectations.

termite on rotten wood
termite crawling on wood

Natural Sprays

There are many natural concoctions that can kill termites. It doesn't really take all that much effort to kill lots and lots of termites. If you lift up a log and see termite workers crawling around by the hundreds, and you spray those termites with a vinegar and water solution, you can come back and find lots of dead termites. But don't celebrate too soon. Here are two things you should understand:

  • Sprays are topical. They don't eliminate the termites that are under the ground.

  • Many sprays kill termites by drying them out. It has to be applied to the termites.

  • Most sprays are detectable. If a spray is able to kill termites that pass over a surface that has the product applied, termite workers will simply avoid the area.

  • Natural sprays aren't residual. If you spray vinegar and water or soap and water, these will dry up on the surface and have no impact on workers that emerge later.

Residual Products

There are some products that have a residual effect. If you use borates, diatomaceous earth, routine applications of orange oil, or some other products in a residual way, you need to understand that you're not striking at the heart of the colony. You're only killing termites that emerge. Termites spend most of their lives inside the ground, or inside the wood they are feeding on. They rarely come out where you can see them. Residual spray treatments do not attack the problem at the core.

The Old Wet Cardboard Trick

This termite control method is interesting; and entirely ineffective. The idea is that you can lay wet cardboard down in your home and lure termites out to feed on the cardboard. When you find a bunch of termites feeding, you take the cardboard outside and burn it. While you can kill a few termites this way, it does absolutely nothing to eliminate your infestation. Consider these facts:

  • The queen isn't going to come out to feed on that cardboard. She's going to continue to stay hidden in the heart of her colony, making more termites.

  • Termites don't feed on one food source at a time. While termites come out to feed on the cardboard, others will be hard at work feeding on your home.

  • It is likely that the termite colony isn't inside your home. It is probably in the ground outside. Cardboard is only likely to inspire even more activity within your home.

Termite Prevention

Okay. There are lots of ways DIY termite treatments can fail. Does that mean you can't do anything to protect your home from termites? Not at all. If termites have not gotten into your home yet, there are a few helpful prevention tips that can reduce your chances of an infestation.

  • Remove dead wood from your yard.

  • Refrain from burying wood on your property.

  • Reduce moisture around your home.

  • Address any areas of your home where there is wood-to-soil contact.

  • If you have campfire wood near your home, move it to at least 20 feet away.

  • Repair or replace any moisture-damaged wood on your home.

  • Do routine inspections for shelter tubes, shed wings, wood damage, termite swarmers, or the shed wings of termite swarmers.

The Best Way To Protect Your Property

Termite control is a science. It is best to have an educated professional perform inspections and apply termite control products and treatments. Reach out to Native Pest Management today and get your termite protection in place. You don't get a second chance to protect your property from termite damage.

 

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