Have termites targeted your home? It’s an all too common tale among frustrated homeowners, but don’t worry; we’re here to help. Learn how to identify what variety of termites you may have, and then discover simple termite traps to treat the infestation effectively. Save yourself from a potentially expensive invasion with these helpful hints.
Termites eat wood; termite gut bacteria allows them to break down cellulose fibers that other organisms can’t digest. Cellulose is an organic compound found in plants and things we use every day like cotton clothing, paper products, and of course, wood.
There are about 40 termite species in the US, but the big three are commonly called subterranean termites, dry-wood termites, and damp-wood termites.
- How to Trap Termites
- Cardboard as a DIY Termite Trap
- Orange Oil for Termites in Furniture
- Try Bonide Granules for Termites
- How to Trap Termites with Heat
- Make Your Own Termite Bait Station
- Advance Termite Bait Stations
- Boric Acid for Termites
- Bora-Care for Your Wood
- Red Eye Termite Monitoring System
- Taurus SC Termiticide
- Foam Termiticide
- Spectracide Terminate Termite
- Use Diatomaceous Earth on Termites
- Termite Traps for Busy People
- Tenting for Termites
- Time for Termite Prevention
How to Trap Termites
Generally, damp-wood termites stay away from our structures and are happy with wet, neglected stumps. Dry-wood termites, however, feast on furniture, structural beams, and hardwood floors.
The craftiest and most virulent of the bunch is the subterranean termite. They create mud tubes (or tunnels) right up the concrete foundation to get to the wood. It may seem like termites can’t be defeated, but we will show you how to take them on and win.
If you’re tired of termites or want to know how to deter them, this article is for you. Learn how to get rid of termites, the best bait for a termite trap, bait station, and liquid barrier with these helpful hints.
Cardboard as a DIY Termite Trap
Use that extra cardboard in the basement as a quick, easy DIY termite trap. Stack several medium-sized pieces of cardboard, wet them, and leave them for a few days.
Seeing it as an excellent food source, live termites flock to the wet cellulose and flag down other colony members to come and devour it as well. This trap is an excellent indicator for signs of termite infestation around your home.
Once the termites are sufficiently lured, carefully move the cardboard outside and burn it, taking all the termites along with it.
Orange Oil for Termites in Furniture
Maybe you need a little spot treatment on some treasured wooden furniture? Orange oil is one of those sworn-by home remedies for trapping termites. Though orange oil is ineffective against subterranean termites, many people use it as an easy, affordable treatment for dry-wood termites.
Orange oil destroys dry-wood termite eggs and dissolves the exoskeletons of adults, which makes an inevitable end to your furniture infestation. Studies have found that orange oil guarantees about an 80% mortality rate against termites. It’s not a long-term solution for a massive infestation, but it will get you through in a pinch.
Try Bonide Granules for Termites
Bonide is an insecticide powder with an active ingredient called imidacloprid; it’s toxic to unwelcome termites as well as aphids, whiteflies, and gnats. Spread Bonide granules in the soil around your foundation or other problem areas as the best thing to kill termites easily. Use according to the dosage on the package, and water it into the ground.
Unlike many termite remedies, this can be used indoors under furniture, behind the stove, or in any other problem-prone places you might spot. It is, however, unsafe for bees and humans when consumed through dirt or plant material. Avoid using it in vegetable gardens or on flowering plants that pollinators enjoy.
How to Trap Termites with Heat
Who needs traditional termite traps when you can simply turn up the heat? Like many invasive insects, termites don’t last long in extreme heat. For a fairly cheap way to knock out termite activity, blast the heat to 120°F for at least an hour.
A powerful space heater in the affected area will do the trick; be sure there are no plastics or wiring to melt. The termites should all die and are easily disposed of with a shop vac.
Make Your Own Termite Bait Station
Similar to a homemade carpenter bee bait trap, you want to draw the termites away from your timbers and toward another appetizing target. Find out how to trap termites by making a DIY bait trap. Feel free to substitute many of these items for what you have on hand; just get the bait in the ground.
To minimize costs to get rid of tiny white bugs on wood, get your plastic cylinder containers inexpensively from Dollar Tree, or use old plastic milk jugs (with the caps). Put your safety equipment on, and start drilling holes with your slimmest drill bit, ten holes per cylinder; just enough room for termites to wriggle through.
Cellulose makes the best bait for a termite trap. Cut the cardboard into thick strips but small enough to fit into the cylinders. Get your bucket and mix the termiticide with one gallon of water, then roll the cardboard strips and soak them for a few days.
While wearing gloves, transfer the cardboard into the cylinder and choose ten strategic spots to bury them in your yard. Come by and unscrew the lid any time to check for termites.
Advance Termite Bait Stations
Termite baiting is a proven extermination method, refined by many companies that have released and tested various bait products. In addition to the Advance Termite Bait System, the HexPro system uses the Shatter Termite Bait Cartridge and Trelona Annual Bait Stations, which use novaluron-based ingredients, do the job just as well; termite beggars can’t be choosers.
A subterranean termite nest is usually within a 300-foot radius of your house; that’s a massive amount of space to patrol, and it can be challenging to get rid of them all.
Putting a termite bait system into practice helps control access to food sources while sending each termite home with a poisonous gift for the colony. Bait stations don’t attract termites, but they do get rid of them.
Boric Acid for Termites
Boric acid has been used as a DIY termite trap and to treat carpenter ants to fight unwelcome infestations for some time. It’s a slow poison that interferes with the termite’s ability to absorb nutrients, eventually starving them no matter how much they consume.
Boric acid usually comes as a powder applied directly to wood, but it’s also common to dilute the powder with water for a sprayable application. To use indoors, mix one teaspoon of boric acid powder into a cup of warm water, and shake the spray bottle well until everything dissolves. Spray all affected areas every day for seven days, and then assess to see if further action is required.
To make a natural ant trap for kitchen and patio areas, mix some boric acid with sugar and place in dishes or jar lids. Locate them wherever you notice ants. It won’t take long to eliminate the problem.
Bora-Care for Your Wood
Bora-Care is a wood treatment that contains an effective termite killer called disodium octaborate tetrahydrate. It needs to be applied directly to the wood via roller, sprayer, or brush. If you have a lot of wood to treat, it can run on the more expensive side as far as a DIY termite trap goes.
However, Bora-Care does remain in the wood indefinitely, so there’s no need to reapply. Bora-Care also works on beetles, carpenter ants, and even some types of fungus that contribute to structural decay.
Red Eye Termite Monitoring System
Some termite traps really get your attention. The Red Eye is a detection device that also does double duty as a termite baiting system. It’s got a polycarbonate dome with a red “eye” on top. The dome attaches to a tube containing a specialized rope high in cellulose.
Pop the red-eye system into the ground so the dome sits flush with the dirt. As the termites munch the poisoned rope, the Red Eye marker disappears, alerting you to the presence of a possible termite infestation.
Taurus SC Termiticide
Time and time again, Taurus SC makes its way to the forefront of recommendations as being the most effective termite trap for subterranean termites. Taurus SC is a liquid-soil termiticide that creates a liquid barrier around your home. The application is labor-intensive but is effective for up to ten years. Taurus SC also deters carpenter ants, wasps, and centipedes.
Liquid termiticide starts to work within 90 days and poisons all the members by the end. An application of Taurus SC is usually part of a long-term prevention plan rather than an immediate solution. Still, this formidable liquid treatment effectively destroys any subterranean termite colony trying to set up shop in your timbers.
If you’re keen to do your own home renovations and aren’t afraid to pull the baseboards off, foam termiticide might be your answer. This fast-expanding foam takes about five seconds to fill those annoying termite tracks and can shoot into narrow gaps for maximum effect.
BASF 805571 Termidor Foam Termiticide comes as a highly recommended termite control treatment because the formula is lethal and undetectable to termites. They inadvertently spread it through the nest after making contact, killing them within 24 hours. While this method is quick and deadly, exercise caution around pets and children as it’s not safe to consume the foam, either wet or dry.
Spectracide Terminate Termite
Spectracide Terminate Termite is a liquid concentrate designed to eliminate termites and carpenter ants. It’s a kill-on-contact method versus waiting for termite bait stations to poison the whole colony. Spectracide comes with a high-pressure spray applicator to blast any foundation cracks or weak areas in your home’s defenses.
The active ingredient is Lambda-Cyhalothrin, and it stays in the soil for about nine months. Spectracide Terminate Termite works well around wooden fence posts and deck supports, but it must be thoroughly dry before allowing any pets around it.
For less hassle, there are also Spectracide Terminate Termite Detection and Bait Stakes in packs of 15; leave them around the yard to do the work for you.
Use Diatomaceous Earth on Termites
Diatomaceous earth is a white powder made from the fossilized skeletons of aquatic creatures that contain silica and is probably the best way to kill termites without spending a lot of money. Anyone who’s seen a silica pack knows they keep things dry. Spread the powder out in the affected area, and it will dry out the oil and fat from the termite, causing them to die in about 48 hours.
This method does require direct application to the wood and reapplication according to package directions. As far as termite traps go, this is a great natural option that doesn’t rely on heavy chemicals and is safe around your kids and pets.
DT also kills clover mites and a host of other unwelcome bugs like ants, roaches, spiders, and more. Keep some diatomaceous earth on hand to have ready in case of insect problems. Use DT in homemade earwig traps for garden locations, as well. Reapply after the powder gets wet from watering or rain.
Termite Traps for Busy People
The Sentricon Bait Station System was invented at the University of Florida by a professor of entomology, and it’s a terrific termite treatment for anyone who doesn’t want to be fussed about termites whatsoever. Sentricon bait stations are set up and maintained annually by Sentricon professionals.
This method is on the higher end of the price scale; a couple thousand for set up and then about three hundred dollars yearly to maintain. However, if your time is precious, let someone else worry about how to trap termites.
Tenting for Termites
If all well-meaning attempts at termite traps and control have failed, it’s time to turn to the experts to get rid of those little intruders. Tenting, or fumigation, is used for dry-wood termites exclusively because the gas kills everything inside the house, but not the underground nest of the subterranean termite colony.
Professional exterminators cycle a gas that contains sulfuryl fluoride through your home; they drape the tent over the structure to keep everything well contained and at the right concentration.
The gas finds every single termite and dissipates without leaving any residue. Terminix and Orkin are two trusted extermination companies, and the average cost for the ultimate termite trap is around five hundred dollars.
Time for Termite Prevention
Prevention is worth time and money when it comes to termites. Do everything you can to minimize hazards that create an inviting space for termites to thrive.
Consider using pressure-treated wood when working on a new build; even termites don’t want chemically treated food. You might as well plan for termites from the ground up.
Schedule a yearly termite inspection. If you’re a homeowner, every termite solution starts with an annual termite inspection of your foundation. It’s a necessary expense that saves you money and heartache later.
Termites are intimidating, but you have a lot of resources at your disposal. From home remedies for trapping termites to liquid termiticide and termite bait stations, you’re ready to take them on. The essential thing to remember about termite traps is not to waste any time.
The second you have a sneaking suspicion there may be termite damage or termite activity, you’ve got to leap into action. Now, get out there and give those pesky guests their eviction notice.
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