After finding a small colony of drywood termites in your home, you may want to take care of it before the population spreads. If you are reluctant to use harsh chemicals, the following two-step guide will provide a less toxic, natural alternative for killing and controlling the unwanted pests.
Step 1: Treat The Affected Wood With An Oily Solution
The first step involves treating the wood with a solution containing neem and orange oils. Both of these oils have different effects on the insects.
The neem oil contains azadirachtin that interferes with the insects' ability to eat or lay eggs. The orange oil coats and penetrates their exoskeleton, making it difficult for them to breathe. Both oils can be found in pharmacies, department stores, and most supermarkets.
You will need to use olive oil as a carrier to allow for an even application. You will also need a small container, a roll of plastic wrap, and a one-inch paintbrush.
In the container, thoroughly mix together a cup of olive oil, 25 drops of neem oil, and 20 drops of orange oil. Cover the container with plastic wrap and set it aside for one hour to give the oils time to meld together.
Dip your paintbrush into the solution and paint the affected areas of the wood. Also, apply it to the surrounding pieces to affect any termites not already inside the colony since the oils must come into direct contact with the insects to be effective.
Wrap the wood with plastic wrap and leave it on for four hours. Remove the wrap and let the wood air dry overnight so it can thoroughly soak in. Go on to the second step in the morning.
Step 2: Apply A Mixture Of Boric Acid And Diatomaceous Earth
After treating the wood with the oily solution, the next step is to apply a mixture of boric acid and diatomaceous earth. When ingested, the boric acid dries out the termites from the inside. It also coats their exoskeleton and prevents molting, which kills them because they are unable to shed it during growth.
The diatomaceous earth also affects the termites when ingested. When they eat it, it swells inside their digestive tract. This makes it impossible for them to take in enough nourishment to live, causing them to starve to death. Both ingredients can be found in department stores and home improvement centers.
You will also need a pair of plastic, disposable gloves for this step. While considered nontoxic, both ingredients will rapidly dry out your skin. You will also need a small sieve or colander to aid in the application of the powder. An old-fashioned flour sifter can also be used and would allow for a lighter, more even application.
In a small bowl, combine two cups of boric acid and one cup of the diatomaceous earth. To apply the powder, hold the sieve or colander two inches above the wood that needs treatment. Pour the powder into the applicator and gently shake it through until there is a thin, white layer on the surface.
Repeat the above until the entire board is covered with the treatment. If you see any tunnels made by the termites, apply an extra thick layer to them. As the termites enter the colony, they will carry the powder inside where it will affect the others.
Using the above treatment every five days should help you get rid of your termites. However, if you notice more bugs or damage, you may want to contact a termite exterminator from a company like Paramount Exterminating Co. They may be able to provide you with effective, green options for solving your insect problem.