Are There Plants That Repel Termites?

Termites are determined little insects, and it often requires professional help to keep them away from your home. In addition to treatments that can be used to deter them from using your home as a food source, you may also be wondering if there are plants that keep termites away?

Plants that repel termites There are a number of plants rumored to act as termite repellents, but more research is needed for most of them. However, it seems that two plants, catnip and vetiver grass, have shown promise in studies as termite repellents.

According to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter), research shows that vetiver grass contains compounds that repel Formosan subterranean termites.

More research is needed to determine just how effective vetiver grass is, but scientists at the LSU AgCenter are looking into whether or not planting it as a hedge around a home acts as enough of a barrier to discourage subterranean termites.

Another plant that repels termites – in lab studies at least – is catnip. Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) saw good results when using catnip oil as a termite repellent in sandy soil. According to Chris Peterson, a researcher with the SRS, tests using the essential oils distilled from catnip showed that the oils repelled termites, and in high enough concentrations, even killed them.

While his research shows promise, Peterson said catnip oil breaks down more quickly in soil than the termiticides used in conventional treatments. There has also not been enough testing done to determine whether or not the treatment is safe to use in the field, or whether planting catnip near your home would also act as a deterrent.

It does look like there may be plants that keep termites away, but there is not enough research to support the long-term efficacy of plants acting as termite repellents. A conventional termite treatment is still the best way to make sure your home is protected from these pests. Terminix® has more than 85 years of keeping termites under control – call today for a free termite inspection.