Termite Control – The Organic Way

Guest post from Sam Tidwell.

The infestation of termites, in American homes, is a real and serious matter. According to the US Forest Service, the heaviest regions for termite burrowing occurs in the lower southeastern part of the country, and in the state of California. This does not mean that the remaining regions are free from termite damage, only more moderate, in vulnerability. It is estimated that each year, over $5 billion is spent in the damage and prevention of these eusocial insects.

Understanding What Termites Need for Survival

The termite has recently been reclassified as part of the cockroach family. This fact alone, could help scientists further their studies in the way that these insects survive and breed. Termites need moisture in order to sustain life. Thought of to be a natural born insect of Africa and Australia, termites have adapted well in the United States by locating sources of cellulose. Today’s cellulose is a popular by-product of wood building materials, paper and glue. When they smell the organic aroma of cellulose in the frame of a house, it is attracts them like bees to honey.

Natural Products that Halt the Spread of Termites

Because termites are attracted to the properties of wood, it can seem an impossible task to prevent the infestation of these insects. However, there are proven methods to use, without applying poisonous chemicals.

Place a border around the perimeter of a foundation, using sheet metal. This idea is simple and can safeguard your foundation against any type of insect that uses burrowing as a method of entry. However, if there is the smallest gap or crack, termites will find it.

Cardboard can be used as bait around the exterior of your home. Since cellulose is used in the production of cardboard, the termites will stop and set up house on the cardboard, instead of continuing on to the home’s wood supply. The trick behind this method, though, is to keep the cardboard from drying out. Once the cardboard becomes dry, these insects will move on to another source of food.

Boric Acid has been found to be a good deterrent for protecting wood. The application of Boric acid on wood, helps to destroy dry and wet rot. It further has a poisonous effect on termites, roaches and ants, when ingested. This method is best used before building a home to insure that all wood fiber has been successfully treated.

The most popular, and beneficial, organic method of stopping termites, is with orange oil. Orange oil is a byproduct of orange peel and contains an active ingredient called D-Limonene. When wood is injected with orange oil, termites can no longer feed on the wood’s moisture supply. By ingesting the orange oil, termites die from the drying up of cell membranes. Without water and a source of nutrition, the colony is soon eliminated. The residue left by orange oil acts as a warning to any new termites searching for a home.

The study of orange oil is ongoing as an effective natural treatment against termites. Together, with the research of further understanding the life habits of termites, orange oil is emerging as the number one deterrent in organic termite treatment. It has been discovered that a colony of termites can be burrowed in new wood, and remain undetected, for up to 5 years. Using a method that guarantees the extermination of termites in wood, from the inside out, has given new hope to the extensive termite problem. Many termite and pest management companies now carry orange oil as an alternative method for treating homes. Ask your pest specialist about organic products available. Chances are, orange oil will be among the options.

This site does not endorse orange oil treatment as we don’t have enough information. There have been both many positive and negative reviews on the product. Most negative reviews are about the need for multiple applications.

Home Repairs Save Money In The Long Run

Through daily use and constant wear and tear, things in the home wear out and get broken. For this reason a constant attention to maintenance and repairs are required if your home is going to remain in good condition and retain its value. When needed repairs are deferred, they can turn into an unnecessary expense that could have been avoided. Many repairs can be completed by the home owner, but there are some that should only be tackled by a professional.

While it is true that many items on the home can be repaired, there are some that should simply be replaced. Often times, window screens only require the spline to be run back in the groove, but there are other times when a whole new screen must be manufactured to completely cover the opening. The same is true for doors. A good craftsman may be able to repair a broken door, but before agreeing to this, make sure that you will not be losing any security when this is completed. Otherwise, it may be a better idea to just install a new door.

Cost is always a factor when considering home repairs and the wise home owner will certainly want to save money by doing some of the work themselves. However, not everyone is a do-it-yourself with enough experience with to accomplish home repairs correctly. When that is the case, remember that by putting off small repairs now you could be setting yourself up for more expensive ones in the future. It is never a good idea to let your home and your security suffer simply because you want to save money.

Some Things To Think About With Home Repair

A lot of people believe that do-it-yourself home repair is a much more cost effective way to get repairs done than hiring a professional. The truth is that for some people this may be the case. However, for others it could lead to an unsatisfactory result which would cost more in the long run. There are some things you should consider before embarking on a home repair DIY project.

  • Do you really know what you are doing?
  • Do you have to tools to do it with?
  • Do you have the experience to do it right?
  • Do you have the time to work on your home?
  • Do you know what local regulations govern your project?
  • Do you know if there are any health concerns that must be considered?

If you have worked with this kind of project before, you may have the necessary skills to pull it off right, but will you need some help along the way. If you believe you will need help with this repair, maybe you should call in a professional for the expertise they will bring with them.

It is important that you have a plan to work with and you must be willing to stick with your plan. Construction of any type, even if it only involves repairs is a layered process. if you are not working with a plan, you are likely to miss some of the steps necessary to affect a good fix to the issues with your home.

If your home repair is a larger project, you will want to break it down into smaller, easier to accomplish projects and make your plans according to what needs to be done within each. Before getting started on major projects, make sure to check with local building authorities about any regulations you will need to follow.

If you follow the tips above, you may find that DIY home repair will help you out, but don’t forget to call in the experts when you need them.