Home Bugs & Bites How to get rid of Termites-Kill, Prevent, Damages & Cost

How to get rid of Termites-Kill, Prevent, Damages & Cost

Termites live in colonies. Each member of the colony reproduces creating new members. Their large numbers explain why they are small yet very destructive. Termites can be found all over the world. Herein, find ways to get rid, kill and prevent them.

Why get rid of Termites- Damages

Termites have negative effects when they find a home near you or in your house. According to National Pest Management Association, termites cause approximately $5 billion in a year.

Further, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture explains that the damage caused by termites each year is worth billions of dollars.

termites appearance-picture
Photo of termite
Termites picture

The disadvantages of having termites around you include the following;

Damage of electrical wiring

Termites chew electrical wiring and this is usually because they have strong and powerful jaws. This more especially associated with damp wood termites. Termites chew these wires so that they get more digestible cellulose.

When these termites chew the electrical wiring in your house, they expose you to the possibility of a short circuit. A short circuit in the electrical system is likely to result to fires or more dangerous accidents. You will therefore have to incur expenses in attempt to correct the electrical system.

Destruction of structural integrity

If your home is overwhelmed with termites, you are likely to experience structural integrity. This simply means destruction of the foundation of your building. This is particularly for those living in houses that are made of wood.

Termites feed on the wood’s cellulose making your house unfit. The termites go on making hollows on any part of your house that is made of this wood. This is very dangerous as your whole house becomes brittle and once it is weakened completely, it could even collapse.

Even that, it would take so many years for termites to cause a collapse of your house and you will definitely note the damage before it goes too far. Additionally, termites after feeding on the wood go on to feed on paper, books, drywall and other installations.

Termites spread molds

Molds grow in dark environments and these are the same areas termites thrive in; the dark and damp areas. Termites chew and crawl through the wood dispersing molds. Molds dispersed into the air cause a lot of harm. The spores land on your skin or you may also inhale the same.

Molds cause skin diseases, allergies, and fungal infections. The risk of each of these increase when the molds are in the air and this mostly occurs in mold areas where termites invade. [1]

Termites bite and sting

Even though wounds that come from a bite or sting by termites are not toxic, it may make you very uncomfortable or even cause irritation on your skin. If you ae living in a house which is infested with termites, you will likely have asthma or other allergic reactions.

How much does it cost to get rid of termites?

The cost of getting rid of termites varies depending on several factors. This explains why it is difficult to give a standard cost of getting rid of termites. These factors include the following;

Type of termites

There are different types of termites. They include;

  • Drywood termites
  • Subterranean termites
  • Formosan termites
  • Damp-wood termites

    types of Termite determines treatment cost
    Termite Types

The cost of getting rid of the various types of termites varies since they both cause a different extent of damage. The most common types are subterranean and drywood termites.

Formosans, grouped under subterranean termites, are very expensive to eliminate. Drywood termites are as well expensive as they are equally very destructive. The more destructive a type of termite is, the greater the cost incurred in treating it.

Apart from that, subterranean termites are considered very costly since they prefer to stay underground unlike drywood termites which construct on the surface.

Method used

Over many years now, several methods of eliminating termites have come up. The cost of these different methods vary depending on the complexity of the method. Their cost also varies depending on the nature of the property invaded by termites.

To minimize costs, you are advised to choose the appropriate method depending on the type of termites as well as the extent of destruction and location of termites. For example, if you use chemical extermination for termites in hard to reach places, you will end up incurring very high costs.


Termites can be inside the house, outside the house, or in the soil. Getting rid of termites that have already gotten into the house will require more rather measures since they can be very difficult to eliminate. This is because, they can hide in place in your house that are hard to reach. The cost of eliminating termites outside the house is therefore relatively lower.[2]

Chemical used

There are different types of chemicals that can be used in getting rid of termites. These chemicals vary in cost from the most effective to the least effective. If you wish to eliminate termites within the shortest time possible, you may have to go for the most effective chemicals which translates to higher costs as well.

Extent of infestation

The area of your home that is infested with termites is another factor that determines the cost. If the area is heavily infested, you will not only require more time to get rid of them but you will also need more thorough treatments. This explains why you need to keep inspecting your house time and again so as to terminate the termite infestation as soon as you notice their presence.

Age of termite infestation

If you leave a termite infestation untreated for long periods, you will end up incurring hire costs.  This is because, a termite that stays in a place for a long time becomes more destructive with time. The termite will also have grown larger as time passes by. To avoid extended destruction due to age of termite, you are advised not to leave termites unhandled for long periods.

Type of pest Control Company selected

The cost incurred if you choose a national pest control company is different compared to the cost of going for a local company. You need to compare the costs of the two companies as well as the services offered by each the go for the relatively cheaper one. Even that, quality of service should not be compromised.

How to get rid of termites naturally without Chemicals

Once located, termites are very easy to treat. Traditionally, the methods used to get rid of termites involved use of chemicals which turned out to be toxic. Good news is, several ways of getting rid of termites that do not involve use of chemicals have been devised and you can try them comfortably in your home. They include the following;

1.     Freezing

This is a natural method of getting rid of termites which involves use of a refrigerator. It works best if you are dealing with termites attacking a small piece of furniture.


  • Prepare a garbage bag that is sealable
  • Place the furniture infested with termites into the bag and seal it.
  • For about two weeks, leave this bag in the freezer for about 2 weeks
  • After getting the bag out of the freezer, do not remove the furniture in it yet. Allow the furniture to stay in the bag for two days or until it returns to room temperature

If the furniture infested with termites is too large to fit into your refrigerator, you will need to freeze the furniture in pieces. This may not work for permanently fixed furniture.

2.     Eliminating moisture problems

Termites thrive so well in a moist environment. You will find that furniture placed in humid areas tends to be attacked more easily by termites. To narrow down the living potential of these termites, you will need to get rid of all the moisture around your furniture or rather, any moisture in the area of your house that is infested with termites.

3.     Wet cardboard trap

A cardboard trap contains cellulose. This is a compound has an irresistible smell that will keep the termites trapped.


  • Take one or two cardboard boxes that are corrugated and wet them
  • Place the wet cardboards in the termite infested area
  • The termites will start feeding on the cardboard boxes and that is how you burn the termites to death.

4.     Use nematodes

Nematodes are a type of worm that is trusted in killing termites. These worms are very active and they will search for the termites and then burrow into them. In most cases, nematodes target termite larvae. When nematodes get into the area with termites, they release a bacteria that is deadly to termites.

Beneficial nematodes can be located in your garden store or even in your local home. All the same, this method is not very effective when used alone and will therefore require you to use it in conjunction with other methods.

5.     Use microwave

Microwaves are portable and they are ninety percent effective. They work by spreading out light from the termites. This method is however dependent on treatment time and accuracy. Treating termites using this method will take about thirty minutes.

6.     Orange oil

This is oil which is got from an orange peel usually insoluble in water. You need to be very cautious when using this method since it can be very irritating. D-Limonene contained in orange oil explains its ability to eliminate termites.

Orange oil works best for drywood termites. When termites come into contact with orange oil, their skeletons are dissolved and this is how the termites lose their moisture and proteins and eventually die. In addition to that, orange oil is known to disrupt the pheromones of termites which is what they use to communicate.

You will be required to make holes in the objected that is infested with termites then inject the oil. In about a week, you will realize the results but this is also dependent on the severity of infestation.

7.     Electrocution method

Here, you use portable electric devices to electrocute termites. You do not have to necessarily drill holes on the infested surface. Even that, drilling holes increases the efficiency of this method.

8.     Vinegar

The acidity levels in vinegar explain its ability to kill termites. This levels are usually extreme for termite survival. As well. Vinegar solution is an effective deterrent. This is because termites will avoid going to areas that have vinegar so this is a perfect way to keep the termites away.


  • Make a mixture of half cup vinegar with 2 fresh lemon juices
  • Spray the mixture in the area infested with termites. Ensure that you spray the hive itself or rather, ensure you spray as close to the hive as possible


9.     Sunlight

It is the nature of termites to avoid sunlight and therefore, you can use that to your advantage. Direct exposure of sunlight to the termites automatically kills termites which are known to thrive best in humid or rather moist areas.

You are required too clear the area infested with termites until the termites are fully exposed to the heat from the sun. You can also dig into the hive for the termites to be exposed. As much as sunlight exposure may not ill all the termites, it is an effective way to reduce the number of termites infesting your home.

10.  Neem oil

Although neem oil takes some time before producing satisfactory results, Neem oil is a potential way of getting rid of termites. Neem oil prevents developments of termites and that way, it kills them with time. Neem oil stops termites from laying eggs or even eating. For the best results, ensure the insects are into direct contact with the oil.


  • Get a cotton ball ready then soak it into neem oil
  • Using this cotton ball, now containing neem oil, apply the oil onto the furniture containing termites
  • Give time for the termites to absorb the oil since that is how they end up dying
  • In order to get rid of the termites completely, reapply the above procedure severally


11.  Diatomaceous earth

This is a rock which is very effective in destroying termites. Diatomaceous earth, when applied on the termites, destroys their outer shell and hence causes them to die by drying them up.

This rock absorbs fats and oils from the exoskeletons of the termites’ cuticles. Additionally, the edges of this rock are abrasive and this increases the efficiency of diatomaceous earth in killing termites.


  • Take your diatomaceous earth and scatter it such that you create a thin layer on the area that is infected
  • You are required to repeat this procedure one time each day until the termites disappear completely. Remember to wear a mask and use gloves too for your safety

How to get rid of termites in wall and soil

Removing termites from walls

When termites are on walls, you can try the methods above. More specifically, you should prioritize on the methods below;

Step1: Set a cardboard trap

Place several flat strips of cardboards on the wall area suspected to have termites. The cardboard is made of cellulose on which termites feed. When the cardboard has sop may termites on it, take it off the wall and burn in.

Step2: Spray the termites

Boric acid spray is very effective and once sprayed on termites, they fall off the wall and die. You can either spray the termites directly on the wall or spray a cardboard and place it on the wall. Boric acid dehydrates the termites leaving them dead.

Getting rid of termites in soil

When the termites are in the soil, you may need to apply specific practices in order to get termites. Below are some of those practices;

Step1: Dig into the soil

Some types of termites such as subterranean termites like underground. Once you dig into the soil where the termites are, they will be exposed to the surface and they end up dying. In case the termites do not die after digging them, you will be required to spray them with boric acid.

Step2: Pour large amounts of water

You will be required to determine which specific area in the soil has termites then pour a lot of water into that soil. Termites are unable to swim and they will therefore drown in that water and end up dying. The amount of water you will pour into the soil will best be determined by the level of termite infestation in that area.

Step3: Lay the bait

Baiting is applicable where you have a new area infested with termites. It works best if the number of termites is not large. You are required to lay down layers of bait all through the soil area with termites. Baiting stations will involve use of treated monitor and a wooden monitor to bait the termites in the soil.

Step4: Use termiticide

Termiticide is applied directly into the soil. It works by bonding with the outer lay of the soil. Termiticide is camouflaged as normal soil and this makes it hard for the termites to realize that toxicity has been introduced into the soil.

Termites get into contact with the poison and without quick realization, they carry it to the rest of their colony. In the end, the whole colony of termites in the soil is poisoned and they end up dying.

How to get rid of flying termites with Wings in House

Termites develop with time to a stage where they can fly. Winged termites come in groups but they resemble the normal termites.

How to get rid, kill and prevent termites flying and without wings
Termite with wings

If you see any of the winged termites in your house, this is evidence that they have a colony in a place you may need to find out soon. There are several ways through which you could get rid of flying termites as discussed below;

Peppermint spray

Peppermint oil suffocates termites.  You will need to spray the winged termites with the oil by following the guidelines below.


  1. Make a mixture of two parts water and one part liquid soap.
  2. Into the bottle containing the mixture above, add a few drops of peppermint oil. Ensure all the elements mix evenly
  3. Spray this mixture on any winged termites that you come across either when they are resting or flying.


Commercial aerosol

Any ant sprays are effective in killing flying termites. It is usually a collection of commercial bug toxins which are used against all types of termites. Ant sprays are also great when used to kill flying or winged termites.


  1. Take your spray and spray the termites as they hang around the house
  2. Select an aerosol spray which is easy to spray directly on the termites
  3. You are reminded to read the instructions in the spray bottle


Use dish soap spray

Dish soap works very well in killing termites. It does so by dehydrating the termites to death. You will need to follow some steps towards making the dish soap.


  1. Use water to dilute the dish soap
  2. Put this solution in a spray bottle. You can now use the solution in the bottle to spray the winged termites
  3. Alternatively, fill the bottle with water then add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Mix well to ensure the soap is evenly distributed in the water
  4. Spray the soap on winged termites as soon as you spot them


Try a Bug Zapper

A bug zipper is an electric insect killer. It works by attracting flying insects and then killing them. A bug zapper is also referred to as electrocutor trap or electric insect killer. You can buy a bug zapper online or hardware shops.


  1. Hang a bug zipper in the area which is infested with termites. Ensure the bug zipper is hang in an open place. This is so as to ensure termites fly into these zippers
  2. Give time for the machine to do away with the termite trouble for you
  3. To ensure more termites get into the zipper, switch of the lights. Termites will tend to fly away from well-lit areas


Track down flying termites’ nest

You can get rid of termites by following up to discover where their nest is. You will realize that killing the colony is likely to give you a long term solution. You will be required to monitor the movement of the flying termites. Once you discover the nest into which these termites fly into, you are required to use a disinfectant or chemical sprays to clear the nest.

Sugar trap and borax

You can easily get rid of flying termites by use of a borax. Borate solutions are liquid products made using sodium borate. Borax is very toxic to termites. It is usually combined with sweeteners so that the termites do not realize the presence of borax through the poisonous smell. This way, the termites end up carrying the bait food to their colony. This is you kill all members of the colony.


  1. Mix equal parts of borax and sugar. Add water and mix it well until you obtain a paste
  2. Apply the pest to a part of a cardboard
  3. Place that cardboard in the area where the termites hang in most times
  4. Repeat this for about seven days for the best results


Try an artificial sweetener

The sweet smell of most artificial sweeteners attract termites. The sweeteners however have high toxic levels which explains why, as soon as the sweeteners get into the stomach of the termites, they end up dying.


  1. Make a mixture of apple juice and the artificial sweetener then shake to make a paste
  2. Place this paste on a cardboard which you then take to the area that is infested with termites
  3. Termites eat part of the paste and they take back the remaining to the other termites in their colony
  4. Once they consume this paste, they will die. Even that, you will need to repeat this procedure for several days so as to get the best results

How to get rid of drywood termites in Furniture

When drywood termites are on your furniture, you should try getting rid of them yourself before calling a professional.  Below some ways of eliminating these termites as soon as you spot them on your furniture;


Exposing the furniture that is infested with termites to the sun should be the first method you try.  The hot sun kills the termites in no time. This is because, they are used to darkness and this new sunny environment is something they cannot stand. You are required to leave the furniture with termites in the sun for about three days so that all drywood termites are eliminated.


In case you lie in very cold areas where the sun is never that hot, heating will hardly kill the drywood termites. If you are in the cold areas, you will attain better results if you freeze the termites.  Where your furniture is separable, place pieces of the furniture that have termites in your freezer leaving them for about two days. This method is a challenge where your furniture is too large and cannot be put to pieces.

Use particular chemicals

An example of chemicals that effectively kill drywood termites on your furniture is boric acid. This acid dehydrates the termites killing their nervous system. Boric acid works best when used as bait.

You are required to apply boric acid on the furniture. As soon as the termites come into contact with the acid, they die. Keep on adding boric acid periodically until all the drywood termites cannot be traced on the furniture.

Use a repellant

H ere you are required to add 1 tablespoon of Permethrin for every 10 liters in the painting of the furniture that has termites. Permethrin is safe for use by humans and will therefore bring you no side effects when used to kill termites. You can get several chemicals from hardware stores to kill drywood termites on your furniture.

Oil treatment

When termites are on your furniture, you could also use Neem and orange oil to eliminate them. Orange oil kills the termites and this is explained by the presence of the compound d-limonene. Neem oil on the other side will kill the termites as soon as they ingest it. You can either pour this oil on the termites on your furniture or simply spray them with the oils.


How to make a homemade termite killer (DIY)

Termites can be very destructive and you may need to prepare a termite killer while at home. The best part of it is that the homemade termite killer involves use of natural ingredients.  One of such ingredients is borax which is a powdery substance that occurs naturally.

To make the homemade termite killer, you are required to make a combination of one part cornmeal, two parts confectioner’s sugar, and two parts borax. While cornmeal and sugar attract termites, borax acts as a stomach poison. As soon as termites ingest borax, they are unable to digest any other foods and this causes their starvation to death. [3]

How to Kill Termites with Chemicals-What chemical kills termites?

You can also get rid of termites by use of some chemicals. Discussed below are some of the chemicals that will be helpful;

Arsenic dust

Trioxide when sprinkled on flying termites leaves them dead. You are required to use arsenic dust depending on the area where you live. All the same, arsenic dust does not spare any member of the flying termites’ colony.

Permethrin dust

This type of dust is sprinkled on the termites in the same way as the above arsenic dust. Permethrin dust is however very special as it kills termites instantly and is therefore considered the best for killing termites urgently.


Bio-Blast involves use of fungus with fungus spore which kills termites. Where Bio-Blast fails to kill the termites immediately, it leaves them highly weakened and they die with time.

Generally, you are asked to be extremely careful when using chemical method to kill termites since they may turn out harmful to your health. It is always important that you see a professional before embarking on use of these chemicals to kill the termites.

Termite bombs

Also referred to as pesticide fogger, termite bomb refers to a can that is pressurized and contains liquid pesticide. As soon as termites get into contact with this fogger which is usually very powerful, they die immediately.

This bomb is applied in form of fog so that it can settle on the surfaces easily. Apart from that, it is used in fog form to prevent it from penetrating into cellulose surfaces or wood. However, you must keep in mind that termite bomb works best as a method of controlling termites rather than a pesticide for termites.

Termite Bait Stations-how they do work, Reviews

What are termite bait stations?

These are stations that use cellulose material or wood; all of which are food for termites, to trap them. It involves use of baits in various ways. They are either installed to control infestations directly, or installed following an application of a liquid treatment.

How do termite bait stations work?

Termite baiting stations usually work by killing the very active termites in a colony, referred to as worker termites. Once you eliminate the worker termites, the colony gets into a phase of starvation due to lack of food and they end up dying.

Termites bait stations usually have cellulose material. Termites feed on this material which is combined with a slow acting toxic substance.

Pros and cons

Some of the advantages you will realize through use of termite bait stations include the following;

  • These stations are eco-friendly since they use a limited amount of insecticides. These insecticides target specific locations and that is why they may be used in situations that do not allow for liquid termiticide.
  • Stations used in early detections may be set up without use of any chemicals
  • Termite bait stations are easy to install in your house as compared to application of liquid soil treatment

There are some disadvantages that come with use of bait stations and they include the following;

  • Setting bait stations may be relatively expensive compared to other soil treatment methods
  • These stations use slow acting toxins. This means that it takes too long to completely get rid of the termites. During that period, they continue to damage property.
  • You must incur other expenses on inspecting for termites on a later date. This is because, the bait stations do not offer any control measures for the future. [4]

Advance Vs Sentricon Termite bait Stations Reviews

Advance bait stations

This is a non-invasive type of bait stations which has a dual stage process and mimics the natural feeding habits of termites. The advance termite station unlike other stations does not simply use wood but rather uses a special source of food preferred by termites.

Sentricon bait stations

This bait station uses Hexaflumuron which is an insect growth regulator. When termites feed on Hexaflumuron, their growth is inhibited and hence they end up dying in the next molting process.


While Sentricon bait stations use the insect growth regulator referred to as noviflumuron, advance bait stations use diflubenzuron.

Reviews of the stations

Jim, 2010

Jim praises the advance bait system. He explains that, it is an easy to install bait station and works well than any other stations.

Robert, 2014

Robert also explains that the advance bait system is so easy to install and for that he gives it a four starts rating.

Michael F. Potter

Michael explains that Sentricon bait stations are used widely and they have even been installed in white house and even in the National treasurers. [5]

Other types of bait stations

  1. Firstline system

This is another station that could be used to bait termites. It works just like Sentricon where toxic baits are set upon discovery of termites.

  1. Hex pro baiting system

This is the type of bait station that combines a termite bait toxicant and a termite monitoring station.

  1. Exterra bait stations

Exterra was established based on three concepts; exterminate, termite and terra. This bait station is set up on the ground on interval and inspected regularly just like the other types of bait station. [6]


Termite Fumigation Health Risks, Cost, Preparation, what to do after

Termite fumigation cost and preparation

Fumigation involves suffocating termites to death. The cost of termite fumigation varies depending on the size of the area infested with termites. For instance, a 1250 square foot house costs an average of $1200 to $2500.

You will need to do a number of things in preparation for termite fumigation. First of all, you are required to remove water proof covers on pillows and the mattresses. Next, ensure doors and drawers to closets, drawers or other appliances are open. For easy access to termites by the fumigator, you must ensure that drapes and open blinds are open. You must also remember to turn off all heat sources as well as pilot lights. [7]

Termite Fumigation Healthy Risk

The most common gas used by professionals in the United States in termite fumigation is sulfuryl fluoride. It is usually very toxic to humans once inhaled.

Stay away from your house until it is aerated if you have used this gas for fumigation. Otherwise, you should use a self-contained breathing apparatus to prevent inhalation of toxic gases.

What to do after termite fumigation

Once you are through with fumigating your house, you are advised to remove the tent covering so that the gases diffuse into air. After about six hours, call a professional to trace any sulfuryl fluoride left in your house.

United States Environmental Protection Agency advises that entering an area with sulfuryl fluoride is not allowed. Re-entry should only be once the levels of this gas are at most 1 part per million.

Tips and Ideas Prevent termites

You need to equip yourself with necessary tips of preventing termites from getting into your home. They include the following;

Fix any water leaks

As discussed above, termites find comfort in wet areas. You are therefore advised to do repair any water leaks and keep your house as dry as possible. You will realize that termites will hardly invade your house if you keep it dry since they cannot survive in such an environment.

More precisely, ensure all leaking water pipes are repaired, ensure water entry points are sealed and remember to divert water away from your surroundings.

Clear any heavy growth around your home

Vegetation growing around your house is likely to trap moisture which in turn supports the termite colony. Apart from that, this vegetation acts as a pathway for termites towards new wood. You should therefore clear all the vegetation around your home. Any shrubbery on the exterior walls of your home should be trimmed.

Establish termite barriers

To begin with, you should keep the soil around your house chemically treated. Even that, you must ensure that you use chemicals that are harmless to humans, animals and other pets as well. The most common chemicals are; fipronil, imidacloprid, and bifenthrin.

To keep termites at bay, you should also install a stainless steel mesh between your home and the soil. However, this barrier is not totally effective on its own and is best used alongside other preventive measures.

Avoid burying wood scraps or lumber in your yard

Any wood or lumber buried in the soil around your home is likely to serve as a hiding place of the termites just before they reach to the rest of your property.

Use termite resistant wood

In the case where the wooden structures in your house are to have direct contact with the ground, you are required to look for termite resistant wood. At least 90% of the termite infestations start when the wood is in contact with the soil.

Start a termite damage inspection annually

Even if you have not traced any termites in your compound, you are advised to ask the help of a professional in checking out if there are any signs of termite infestation;  at least once each year. A professional can identify things associated with termites that your preventive measures would not have noted.

Sources & References



[3] https://www.hunker.com/13406522/homemade-termite-killer

[4] https://www.termites.com/control/baits/termite-bait-systems/

[5] https://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/struct/ef644.htm

[6] http://www.ensystex.com/exterra.php

[7] http://www.networx.com/article/termite-fumigation-cost


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