Termites can be infuriating to deal with. Not only is it unpleasant to find them around your house, but they can cause serious harm to your home and your furniture. If you're trying to control termites in your house, there are a few natural remedies you can try before you call in the big guns.
Dust With Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth will kill practically any type of bug, including fleas, ticks, bed bugs, and -- yes -- termites. Diatomaceous earth is not a poison. Instead, it's made of microscopic particles, which cut into the outer shells of insects and slowly dry them out. Always look for food grade diatomaceous earth, which is labelled as such because it is safe enough that you can eat it and won't harm pets or children who come in contact with it.
Place Parasitic Nematodes
Parasitic nematodes can be purchased at any gardening store. When mixed with soil, parasitic nematodes will fight against many pests, including termites. If you do a lot of gardening, it's usually a good idea to have these critters handy regardless. Parasitic nematodes are completely safe. Even better, since they feed and replicate, you only need a single treatment to start being effective.
Treat With Orange Oil
Any wood outside can be treated with orange oil, which can kill termites on contact. Another type of oil that is commonly used is neem oil. Both of these oils may need to be repeatedly applied to surfaces in order to kill your termite infestation, as an infestation is usually the result of a complete colony -- the oil kills on contact, so it won't be carried back to the nest, the way nematodes or diatomaceous earth might be.
Clean Up Your Yard
Finally, one of the easiest ways of discouraging termites is to keep your yard neat and tidy. Remove any brush and bramble, especially anything near your house, and keep your lawn clipped. Termites thrive in areas that have dense underbrush, and they will generally go after the wood products that are closest and easiest to access. They also need both warmth and moisture, which can be provided by an overgrown lawn or garden.
Cardboard traps are an effective, poison-free way to reduce the amount of termites in your yard, though they aren't exactly a way to remove them entirely. By placing cardboard around your home, you'll be able to lure what existing termites there are. You can then dispose of them as desired. Termites are particularly attracted to cardboard because it is composed almost completely out of cellulose.
When all else fails, it's better to call a company like Kirkland's Pest Control than let termites into your home. The moment you see termites inside your house is the moment you know that there are probably dozens, if not hundreds. Acting fast is the only way to avoid potential structural damage.