Termite Treatments - The Homemade Way
Termite infestations threaten the structural integrity of wood-frame homes and buildings. They devour softened wood, hollowing it out until almost nothing of it is left. The best way to deal with termite infestations is to prevent them. If your home has a termite problem, then use a homemade termite treatment that contains boric acid. Boric acid is a naturally occurring chemical that acts as a strong insecticide against termites.
A Nontoxic Termite Formula
Dissolve 2 cups of boric acid and 2 1/4 cups of Borax in 1 gallon of water. This recipe has low toxicity and is safe for your home without the worry of harmful chemicals seeping into your living space. This formula is from The Journal of Light Construction. The Borax formula contains boric acid or boron, but it also contains sodium and oxygen molecules, which gives it its buffer and detergent properties. Adding more boric acid to the Borax increases its insecticide activities.
According to Al's Home Improvement Center, if you mix the solvent propylene glycol with boric acid and apply it to wood, it will help the boric acid to penetrate the wood, making it termite-resistant for a long time. Dissolve 3 1/2 pounds of boric acid in 1 gallon of propylene glycol. Then add 1 part of this solution to 1 part water and stir well before applying.
How to Apply
Pour the formula into a pump sprayer. Spray the perimeter of your home to keep termites and other pests from entering. Spray any apparent infestations, and spray vulnerable areas that may look like a potential termite home. Spray the formula around the perimeter of any crawl spaces under your home and in any unfinished areas in your basement.
Although termites may enter a house through many ways, the foundation--which is in direct contact with the soil--is the most vulnerable part of the house. Spray the solution into all areas where a termite infestation is suspected. Correcting moisture problems throughout the house will deter termites from navigating to a potential food source.
Apply a very thin layer of boric acid powder directly to the ground around the perimeter of your home. Although boric acid is naturally found in soil, avoid exposed areas and edible plants to prevent accidental ingestion of the boric acid. It is not necessary to put down too much, as this may pose a hazard to children and pets.This will also prevent termites and other insects from invading your home. The dry boric acid will last longer than a liquid formula because it will slowly mix into the soil.
Your home should be treated at least one to two times a year, preferably in the fall and in the spring. These applications will affect the termites, and other insects, during their developmental and breeding phases. Regular treatments will rid your home of termites.
Cut off Their Food Source
Moisture around wood makes for a termite feast. Check your home for water leaks and moisture collection in and around wood. Check your home's foundation and its wood beams, especially near plumbing pipes. You're looking for any condensation and areas where wood may become soft with moisture. If you find any water problems, have them corrected by a plumber.
As far as treating the moist wood, especially if it's a structural or framing beam, have it inspected by a home or building inspector for the extent of the damage. If it is minor and the wood is salvageable, clean up the excess water, ventilate the area so that it can dry out and apply the boric acid spray mixture by saturating the wood. The water will help the boric acid solution soak into the wood. Once it dries, the boric acid will be well-incorporated into the wood to stop termites from feasting.
Another preventive measure is to make sure that there isn't any wood in direct contact with soil. Soil holds moisture and is a medium in which insects thrive. The wood might become moist, and its contact with the soil would make it an environment in which termites can breed.
- Journal of Light Construction: Controlling Termites
- Wood Rot and Dry Rot Homemade wood treatments
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