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How Do I Get Rid of Termites?

How Do I Get Rid of Termites?

Discovering termites in your home can be distressing, given their reputation for causing significant structural damage. Effective termite eradication requires a strategic approach, combining immediate action with long-term prevention strategies. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of termites and protect your home from future invasions.

Identify the Type of Termite

Understanding the type of termite you’re dealing with is crucial for effective treatment. The two main types that affect homes are:

  • Subterranean Termites: Require contact with the soil to survive and create mud tubes for travel.
  • Drywood Termites: Live within the wood they consume and do not require soil contact.

Identification can typically be made based on the location and nature of the damage, as well as the appearance of the termites and their droppings.

Initial Steps for Termite Eradication


Conduct a thorough inspection of your home to determine the extent of the infestation. Pay attention to wood damage, mud tubes, and termite droppings (frass). Professional pest control services can provide a more in-depth inspection if needed and are really the only way for you to determine conclusively that you have a termite infestation.

Eliminate Moisture

Termites thrive in moist environments. Fix leaks, ensure proper drainage around your home’s foundation, and use dehumidifiers in damp areas like basements and attics.

Remove Food Sources

Reduce termite food sources by removing or protecting wood in contact with the ground. Store firewood away from your home, and keep mulch, plants, and other cellulose-based materials away from the foundation.

Professional Termite Treatment Options

Eradicating termites often requires professional intervention. Some common treatments include:

  • Liquid Soil-Applied Termiticides: Creates a chemical barrier in the soil around your home to kill termites as they pass through.
  • Termite Baits: Stations placed around your property to attract and poison termites, which then spread the poison back to the colony, effectively eliminating it.
  • Fumigation: Used primarily for drywood termites, this involves sealing your home and filling it with a gas that kills termites.
  • Wood Treatments: Includes surface sprays, injected sprays, and foams that are applied directly to the wood to kill existing termites and protect against future infestations.

DIY Termite Control

Professional treatment is recommended for extensive infestations, but there are a couple of things you can try if you are determined to go DIY instead of professional:

  • Boric Acid: Apply boric acid powder or solution to affected areas. It’s a natural insecticide that disrupts the termites’ nervous system.
  • Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth around termite entry points. It causes dehydration and death upon contact with termites.

Long-Term Prevention

After eliminating an active termite infestation, ongoing prevention is key to avoiding future problems:

  • Regular Inspections: Conduct annual inspections of your property to catch new termite activity early.
  • Maintain a Dry Environment: Continue to manage moisture in and around your home.
  • Physical Barriers: Consider installing termite shields on the foundation of your home to deter subterranean termites.

Getting rid of termites requires a combination of immediate treatment and long-term preventative measures. While there are some steps homeowners can take on their own, professional pest control services are often necessary for complete eradication and ongoing protection. By staying vigilant and proactive, you can keep your home safe from the destructive force of termites.