The presence of flying termites in your home usually means that there’s a colony nearby. These are not a specific species of termite; they are a part of the insect’s caste system and are responsible for mating.
If you’re experiencing a flying termite home invasion, you don’t need to call for professional help right away. There are several do-it-yourself methods for getting rid of the pesky and destructive bugs. Follow this guide to getting rid of these pests before you call in the exterminators.
Perform a detailed inspection
Spraying a pesticide on stray termites kills them, but it doesn’t kill the colony. This is why your first step needs to be a thorough inspection of the inside and outside of your house.
Flying termites tend to feed close to their colonies, so spraying infested colony areas is more effective at eliminating the root of the problem.
Check all wood surfaces in your home such as pillars, cabinets, bookcases and furniture. Scan the supports, floor boards and other household items made of wood. Take a flashlight with you for looking into dark corners or underneath large pieces of furniture.
While you’re inspecting the wood for visible signs of an infestation such as holes, mud trails or fallen wings, you also need to tap on the surfaces to check for any hollow areas.
Go around the outside of your house an inspect any outdoor pillars. Look closely at your foundation for signs of termite damage, and inspect the soil around your house for the critters.
Determine what type of termite it is
After you’ve discovered the key infestation sites, inspect them further to determine which type of insect you’re working with The two most common types of termites in the United States are drywood and subterranean.
Drywood termites have the ability to live in wood without the need for soil. They enter any wood piece through cracks, joints and crevices. Their nests are cultivated in dry wood that’s above ground and not decayed.
This type of termite tunnels through the wood to create big chambers within it Piles of wood pellets or termite droppings are tell-tale signs of a home invasion.
Subterranean flying termites live in wood and the soil surrounding your house. They also thrive in compost piles and wood foundations.
These termites require moisture to survive, and the mud-like substance they leave behind is a product of their colony construction method.
Natural methods for killing drywood termites
These are three of the most effective home treatments for flying termites. Employing these methods helps you avoid the use of toxic chemicals in your home. You can repeat any of these methods as needed to keep a re-infestation from happening.
– Orange oil: This is a compound that’s extracted from orange peels, and it has a strong citrus aroma. If you use orange oil, be sure to take cautionary measures as it has the potential to irritate your skin.
The active ingredient in orange oil is D-Limonene which works by dissolving the exoskeleton of the termite.
To use the treatment, you must drill tiny holes into the infested areas and spray the oil directly into the drilled holes. This method takes three days to three weeks to yield results, depending on the severity of the invasion.
– Electrocution: Portable electrocution devices are available to rent for the purpose of eliminating insects. With this method, drilling holes into the infested area isn’t necessary, but it increases the effectiveness of the treatment.
– Sunshine: This method only works if the invasion is confined to a moveable object. Take the object outside during a sunny week and leave it out there for a few days. Drywood termites need darkness and coolness to survive, so the heat and light from the sun is a cost-free eradication method.
Natural methods for killing subterranean termites
As with the methods for killing drywood termites, these treatments can be used as needed.
– Beneficial nematodes: These are a type of tiny worm species that burrow into other host insects, effectively killing them in 48 hours or less. Beneficial nematodes are not dangerous to humans, pets or plants.
They are also capable of taking out entire colonies. All you need to do is spray down the infested areas.
You can purchase these nematodes from just about any home and garden supply store. However, if you don’t plan on using them immediately, store the container in the refrigerator.
In order to get the best results, spray in the evening or early in the morning as sunlight is harmful to the worms.
– Boric acid: This is a natural pesticide that shuts down the nervous system of flying termites. There are two ways to use boric acid, the first being to coat infested wood with it.
You can also set up boric acid traps in and around your home. The one takeaway of this method is that boric acid is toxic to humans and pets so make sure you wear protective clothing while working with it and keep your kids and pets away from the treated areas for a few hours.
– Cardboard trap: Termites feed on just about anything that contains cellulose which includes paper and cardboard. Take several sheets of cardboard and get them a little wet.
Stack three to five sheets on top of one another near the areas with the most damage. The bugs will migrate into the cardboard, so keep an eye on it When it’s full of the pests, remove it from your home and burn it This method is best done in conjunction with another treatment.
Preventive methods for keeping flying termites out of your house
After you have eliminated the original infestation, it’s a good idea to take some preventive measures to make sure they don’t come back. Try these at home methods for eliminating termite invasions altogether.
Essential oil spray: Clove and vetiver essential oils are incredibly effective at killing termites and keeping them away. Create a solution with either oil and pour it in a spray bottle.
Spray all previously infested areas as well as any cracks, joints and crevices in your house. Repeat this process every once a while to ensure effectiveness.
Wood treatments: There are tons of wood treatment products on the market that contain borate salt which is an effective pesticide. These products penetrate deeply into wood to kill insects and protect the wood from further infestation.
These natural treatments are highly effective, but they may require multiple applications. The upside to this is that you’re protecting your family, pets and plants from toxic fumigants used by termite exterminators.
However, serious infestations may require heavy duty treatment. If you’ve used these natural treatments without any lasting results. call in a professional.