Latin Name: Termitoidae
Termites are one of the most successful and durable organisms on Earth. For every one person on our planet, there’s roughly 1,000 lbs of termites. Termites also work around the clock, never once requiring sleep for their entire lives. More closely related to cockroaches than other social insects like ants, termites have been around for over 250 million years (by comparison, humans have existed for just over four million years). While there’s upwards of 45 different species of termites, three species account for most home infestations: subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites.
It’s estimated that these termites cause over five billion dollars in damage each year. And with the typical infestation containing anywhere from 1-4 million of these wood-chewing insects, it’s obvious why every homeowner should be prepared to combat a termite infestation.
The good news is that termites are relatively easy to treat once located. However, finding the source of your termite problem can take some time—there’s a chance you’ll have to remove drywall or dig small trenches in your yard to locate the termites’ hive. Sadly, most traditional methods for treating termites involve toxins that endanger not only your family, but also your pets and the environment. Thankfully, you don’t have to resort to these toxic chemicals to get rid of your termite infestation.
How To Prevent a Termite Infestation
It’s much easier—and much cheaper—to prevent a termite infestation than it is to treat one. The following precautions will go a long way in keeping these damaging insects away from your home:
- Eliminate any unnecessary moisture around the foundation of your home. Be sure to properly maintain pipes, home fixtures, A/C units, gutters, downspouts and other drainage sites. Fix any leaks immediately.
- Fill any cracks or other openings that would allow termites to enter your home. Pay special attention to utility lines and piping.
- Do not store firewood or other lumber near your home
- Remove tree stumps, branches, and any other wooden debris from your yard.
- Keep shrubs, small trees and bushes well maintained
- Be sure all exterior vents have screens suitable for preventing termites from entering your home.
How to Get Rid of Termites
Natural insecticides are the best non-toxic option for treating termite infestations. For best results, you’ll want to treat both inside and outside your home. We recommend using Cedarcide Original for all indoor termite issues, and PCO choice for all outdoor applications. Simply spray Cedarcide Original anywhere you’re experiencing termite activity—this will kill all active termites and deter future individuals from returning to the area. If your termites’ hive is indoors, saturate the colony with Cedarcide Original to eliminate the infestation. To manage all outdoor termite problems, treat your entire yard with PCO Choice. With generous application, this cedar-based outdoor pesticide will seep into the soil, eventually reaching any subterranean termite hives. As an additional precaution, we recommend applying a thick barrier of PCO Choice around your foundation to prevent termites from entering your home. Repeat these processes as needed.
One of the very best ways to prevent an infestation is to make your home’s wood unappetizing to termites. A non-toxic wood treatment that removes moisture from wood is a highly effective method to deter termites from consuming or inhabiting wooden structures. This approach not only preserves wood—making it more structurally stable and resistant to rot—but also transforms it into something termites can no longer eat or destroy. We recommend treating all wood vulnerable to termites with Cedarshield. This can be done either by treating wood before it’s used for construction purposes, or after the fact once termites have become a problem. For more info on how to use Cedarshield, watch the video below:
For more natural methods of combating termite infestations, consult our How To Kill Termites Naturally guide (It’s full of tips & tricks for getting rid of termites without the use of harmful chemicals).