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.