What natural materials can be used to repel termites?
- Sandy Soil Barriers and Steel Mesh
- Boric Acid
- Wet Cardboard
- Orange Oil
- Liquid Nitrogen
In the Philippines, pest control can be difficult because of the many pests to watch out for, one of which is termites. While termites are not toxic to humans, they harm us by damaging the structures of homes and buildings.
Termites feed on cellulose, which is a basic component in all plants. Thus, termites can appear in any plant and wood with little to no indication of their presence, making termite detection extremely difficult. But if you do find a termite infestation in your home, there are many easy solutions to getting rid of them. While chemical solutions are effective, they can also have harmful side effects.
Here are some alternative repellents that make use of natural materials:
Sandy Soil Barriers and Steel Mesh
One common and non-chemical solution for preventing termite infestation is placing a barrier around the house or building. If you do not already have a barrier placed when your house was being built, you can easily install one around the foundation. Installing a barrier made of sandy soil around the foundation of a building will effectively slow down termites since they cannot move through this material.
To make this solution more effective, place steel mesh to cover your vents at the same time to prevent more termites from entering the building.
Researchers claim that orange oil can be used to repel termites and other pests because it contains D-Limonene, a chemical commonly used for insecticides. Research shows that orange oil kills termites by destroying its exoskeleton and cell membranes which results in the pest dying from lack of water and protein. Out of all the natural repellents, this is the most eco-friendly, biodegradable, and non-toxic option for humans and pets.
This solution is often implemented by drilling holes into the infested wood then injecting orange oil into spaces where termites feed.
Another way to control this pest in the Philippines is to use wet cardboard as bait when trapping and getting rid of termites. Place wet cardboard on top of or near the area you think the termite colony is. The cellulose in the cardboard will easily attract the termites.
Then, once the cardboard is covered in termites, remove and burn it to kill the pests. However, if you do not know the exact location where the termite colony is hidden, this can be used as a method for termite detection. You can try placing wet cardboard in several possible places the termites could be, then check to see which attracts the most termites.
Boric acid is a common home remedy for various pests, including termites. This can commonly be found in powder form and is poisonous to several types of termites. Boric acid destroys the stomach and nervous system of termites, though this takes several days.
Even though it does not kill termites instantly, Boric acid is believed to be the most effective and efficient termite repellent. Once the acid comes into contact with a termite, it will stick to the termite’s body, allowing the Boric acid to spread to the entire colony until they are all terminated.
Another possible method of getting rid of termites is to freeze them by injecting liquid nitrogen into affected areas. This works particularly well for infested dry wood, and some claim that liquid nitrogen kills around 70 to possibly 100 percent of pests. While this solution is not completely foolproof, it is true that termites function better in warmer climates. Therefore, freezing them would be effective in at least slowing them down.
Nematodes are parasitic worms that love eating termites, making them an extremely effective and natural solution. The thought of using worms might seem frightening, but this specific type of nematode only harm insects and not humans, plants, or animals. This solution is particularly useful for termite infestations in plants since you can easily mix nematodes with water and sprinkle this over infested ground and plants.
Because termites come in colonies, it can be difficult to quickly get rid of a termite infestation. Nonetheless, there are many natural, non-chemical termite repellents that are just as effective in getting rid of entire colonies. But you must remember that at the end of the day, pest control is still the answer to your pesky problem.