In today's digital age, the first place many people take concerns about their homes is to the internet. And with good reason — there are a multitude of DIY instructions on topics ranging from building a deck to remodeling a bathroom.
Type "how to get rid of termites" and "DIY termite treatment" into a search engine, and you'll get more results than you can count. But that doesn't mean you should make termite control a DIY mission.
Termites are notorious for damaging houses. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites alone cause over $5 billion in property damage annually, a cost not covered by most homeowners' insurance plans.
When it comes to termite facts, people may know that these insects eat wood. What they may not know is that, depending on the species, a single termite is only about one-fourth to one-half of an inch long, so one won't cause too much damage on its own. However, termites live in colonies that can contain hundreds of thousands of insects, and in some cases millions.
Can I Do Termite Treatment Myself?
Termite treatment is really not a DIY job. If you see termites, or signs of termites in your home, it may be tempting to try to get rid of them yourself. However, even if you stop the termites you see, there are possibly others behind the scene continuing to damage your home's structure. And who will be standing behind a DIY job that doesn't perform as intended? You. When termite damage to your house is the risk, it's just not worth it.
Many people don't realize they have a termite problem for weeks, months or even years. That means termites could be chowing down on the structure of your home for a long time before you start to notice the signs. And most of the termites in a subterranean termite colony live in an underground nest. The longer the termites are left untreated, or not treated properly, the more damage they can do.
Is DIY Termite Treatment Effective?
DIY termite treatment is not likely to be effective. There are different species of termites that can invade U.S. homes. A trained professional will know which species of termites are present in your area, as well as which signs to look for when inspecting your home for activity and where to look for them. And because of that, the professional will know which treatment to use to effectively get rid of termites.
Will DIY Termite Treatment Save Me Money?
You may think DIY treatments can save you some cash. That's one of the reasons that people like them. But you don't want to play fast and loose with a termite infestation, as failed attempts are not a fast and easy fix. The damage that could be taking place in your home while you try to treat the problem yourself could cost you more money to repair than a professional treatment. And that's on top of the money you would have already paid for the DIY treatments. In the long run, professional termite control could save you a lot of headaches ... and money. Additionally, an initial termite inspection from Terminix® is FREE.
Is DIY Termite Treatment Easy?
No matter which DIY termite treatment is being used, it has to be done correctly or it will likely result in ineffective control, or worse. There is a label that has to be followed, and it can be difficult to understand. Termite control professionals have been trained on how to properly read labels and use products, and properly apply termite control products. Just purchasing the equipment to perform a termite treatment correctly can cost more than a professional's fees.
What Kills Termites Naturally?
There's really nothing that kills termites naturally. If you look online, you can find certain DIY natural termite treatment methods. These treatment methods include nematodes, boric acid, vinegar and more. However, while some of these may work in certain perfect conditions, these treatment methods are largely ineffective, or at the very least won't give you the quick and thorough treatment your home needs in the event of a termite infestation.
The best natural method for getting rid of termites is to prevent them from infesting your home in the first place. Here are some suggestions on how to prevent termites and to control future infestations.
Keep shrubbery short
If you have shrubbery around the exterior of your home, keep it trimmed to where it's at least a foot from your home's exterior structure. This will help create air flow, allowing damp areas around your home's foundation to dry quicker. Plus, it'll be easier to spot termite mud tubes quicker, thus allowing you to act to treat potential termite activity quicker.
Keep your crawl space dry
If your home has a crawl space, be sure to keep it as dry as possible. Moisture not only creates conducive conditions for termite activity, but it can also cause other wood-destroying fungus to grow. If you're having issues keeping your crawl space dry, Terminix has services to help.
Use pine needles instead of mulch
Subterranean termites find pine needles less attractive than they find mulch because they don't hold moisture. Pea gravel and synthetic mulch are also good alternatives if you can't find pine needles in your area. Mulch should be level to your home's siding to allow potential termite activity to be visible.
Point sprinkler heads and downspouts away from your home
By keeping water from your sprinklers away from your home, you'll help keep the ground touching your home's foundation dry. Termites won't find that dry area as attractive.
How Do I Get Rid of Termites in My House?
In a world that relies so heavily on technology, it's nice to see people getting their hands dirty with DIY projects. However, it's important to know the limits of your capabilities and expertise. When it comes to a problem as large and potentially damaging as a termite infestation, your best bet is to contact the termite control professionals at Terminix. Let a trained technician thoroughly inspect your home for termite activity and recommend a customized plan that fits your needs.
And you don't have to wait until you think you have termites. Terminix can help you prevent a termite infestation from ever happening in the first place. Ask about our preventive services and protection plan. Get started today with a FREE inspection.