With straight antennae, soft bodies, and growing up to ½ inch long, a termite’s appearance can vary based on species and their position in the colony. Worker termites tend to have lighter coloring and smaller bodies, while flying reproductive termites are larger with prominent wings.
While they might look like any other pest at first glance, termites are far from ordinary. These pests cost homeowners around five billion dollars in property damage each year. As scary as it may be to find termites on your property, here’s what homeowners should know about why DIY solutions don’t work on termites, how you can prevent them, and what to do if you’ve got an active termite problem on your Houston property.
Can You Get Rid Of Termites On Your Own In Houston, TX?
When they first discover a termite problem, some homeowners may turn to DIY techniques and treatments to save a little money, but these home remedies usually aren’t very effective. Here’s why:
Bait monitoring stations: Bait monitoring stations work like poisonous bird feeders for termites. Termites find the toxic bait inside the station and then bring it back to the rest of the colony, which poisons the rest of the termite population. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with this solution. Termites don’t always find the bait stations, and even if they do, it’s unlikely that the toxic bait will kill every single termite, including larvae and eggs.
Orange oil: If you’re dealing with drywood termites, orange oil is supposed to break down their exoskeletons. While this may eliminate some of your problem, orange oil isn’t completely effective – and it’s useless against subterranean termites.
Cardboard traps: Termites are attracted to cellulose materials, so leaving out damp cardboard traps can lure these pests out of their colony. Once they’ve congregated in the trap, you can burn the cardboard and kill the termites inside. This DIY technique may be able to kill termites that come out to eat the cardboard, but it won’t do anything for the termites who don’t – especially larvae and termite eggs.
Sunlight: Some homeowners suggest leaving your termite-infested furniture out in the sun to kill the termites. The heat from the sun is supposed to dry out the wood, but also dehydrate the termites inside. Although heat can effectively eliminate termites, you need more than a couple of hours in the sun to get the job done. Just like the other methods listed this technique will not be effective against the termites and eggs that remain hidden in your walls.
OTC Sprays: Like orange oil, there are plenty of over-the-counter sprays to get rid of termites, but these aren’t entirely effective. They may kill termites that come in contact with the spray, but they can’t take care of larvae, eggs, or any parts of the colony that are hiding.
How To Prevent Termites In Houston, TX
Although termites are a trickier pest to prevent than others, there are some tips to making your home less attractive to them – or even keeping them from getting inside, such as:
Trim back any tree branches or shrubs that are close to your home.
Make sure your structural wood has good ventilation so that it doesn’t get moist or soften.
Regularly check for mud tubes near the foundation of your home as this is a sign of subterranean termites.
Use a gravel barrier between the soil and wood structures of your home.
Keep mulch and wood piles several feet away from your home.
Pay attention to any weakening structural wood around your home or property.
What To Do About Termites In Houston, TX
By the time they discover termites in their home, many homeowners have already racked up hundreds or thousands of dollars in property damage. As dangerous (and expensive) as a termite problem is, ineffective DIY solutions won’t get the job done. The best way to eliminate these pests from your home is with professional help from All-Safe Pest & Termite.
Our experienced professionals specialize in termites and can help identify what type of termite you’re dealing with and the extent of the damage they’ve caused. If you suspect your home has termites, don’t wait for them to cause more damage – contact us at All-Safe Pest & Termite for more advice and information about our termite control services.