Termites? Let’s Get Rid of Them! Best Drywood Termites Control Tips

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 38 minutes.
Updated: .

If you are looking for information on how to get rid of termites, you are probably not going to turn to professionals and want to cope with the problem yourself. And that is quite accomplishable!

But you’ll have to go into the issue, be persistent and give up the idea of exterminating the bugs in 10 minutes.

None of the insects or other pests is more dangerous than termites. Only they can ruin your house completely.

But even if you have them, it’s no reason to panic. They are slow eaters (the average colony eats a pound of wood in 5 years), thus your dwelling won’t collapse tomorrow.

Termite extermination takes time and patience.

Though it doesn’t mean that you should postpone solving the problem for too long, or else you’ll have nothing to save.


7-Steps Guide on How to Get Rid of Termites

Termites are one of the most destructive pests to ever invade your home. They silently destroy everything they touch, including the wood structures on which your house is built. You need to know how to get rid of termites quickly and safely if you want to save your home!

That's why we're here with 7 steps that will help you do just that.

  1. Inspect your home for any signs of termites
    Step 1: Inspect your home for any signs of termitesThe first step to how to get rid of termites successfully and maintain long-term control in your home is by inspecting for signs of termites.

    There are many different types of termites in the U.S., so there isn't one specific sign you should be looking out for when searching for your little pests. Termite swarmers can often be mistaken as flying ants, but they will have straight antennae and thinner bodies than ants.

    When hunting indoors, look around the woodwork near windows and doors, along baseboards and floors, within wall voids, or other similar areas that may provide concealed access into the house. Termites like damp locations such as bathrooms and kitchens because these rooms provide easy access to water and food sources.

    Anytime you see termites, don't attempt to get rid of them yourself; call in the professionals!

  2. Call an exterminator to inspect your home and provide treatment plan recommendations for any problem areas
    Step 2: Call an exterminator to inspect your home and provide treatment plan recommendations for any problem areasThe next step when trying to figure out how to get rid of termites is by calling in the experts when you find actual signs of an active infestation. Your local professional should have had years of experience finding and treating active subterranean termite infestations.

    The pros will use high-tech methods of locating the hidden mud tubes that are used by underground termite colonies during their travels around your property.

    Many companies also include annual inspections as part of their preventative maintenance plans, so it's always best to get quotes from more than one company to make sure you're not overpaying for the service.
  3. Install steel mesh around crawl spaces, chimneys, vents, and pipes
    Step 3: Install steel mesh around crawl spaces, chimneys, vents, and pipesSince termites are known to live in damp areas, you can prevent them from entering your home by installing steel mesh around your crawl space vents, chimneys, and even pipes that enter the house.

    Make sure mesh is at least 6-mesh or 19 mm to make it harder for these sap-sucking pests to breach the openings.
  4. Seal up all cracks, crevices, and other openings around the house that may allow termites inside, cracks in foundation and garage door with silicone or caulk
    Step 4: Seal up all cracks, crevices, and other openings around the house that may allow termites inside, cracks in foundation and garage door with silicone or caulkTermites love to enter a home through any type of crack or crevice they can find along the foundation or your garage door. They can even chew right through bricks, mortar joints, and wood siding if left unchecked.

    Caulk all penetrations around these areas with a high-grade silicone product to seal any gaps that may let termites into your home. You also need to caulk the entire foundation as well as up underneath the bottom course of wooden siding where it meets the brick veneer for maximum protection from these destructive pests!

  5. Purchase a termiticide from a local hardware store or pest control company
    Step 5: Purchase a termiticide from a local hardware store or pest control companySpray the termiticide in all areas where you have seen evidence of termite activity, including cracks in walls, holes in floors, gaps around pipes and wires, and windows, doors, and electrical outlets

    A termiticide is a non-repellent pesticide that contains the active ingredient chlorfluazuron. This chemical works by inhibiting chitin synthesis in termites, which eventually leads to their death.

    Termiticides are great for controlling active subterranean termite infestations if applied properly; however, they can be very harmful to your family's health as well as pets like dogs and cats so always read the product label before applying!
  6. Exterminate ants that may be bringing termites into the house
    Step 6: Exterminate ants that may be bringing termites into the houseAnts live in a caste system with a queen, workers, and soldiers. The worker ants are the most populous of all three castes in a colony and their main food source is honeydew from aphids, mealybugs, or any other type of sap-feeding insects. When termites infest an area near ant colonies they will become one another's the mutual enemy because termites love to eat sweet honeydew just as much as ants love to protect it. To get rid of ants, you need to use bait stations that contain Imidacloprid, which also happens to be extremely effective at controlling termite swarms!

    Check out your local hardware store for Advion Ant Bait Gel that can be found in most pest control aisles.

  7. Keep an eye out for any new signs of termite activity
    Step 7: Keep an eye out for any new signs of termite activityAnd repeat steps 4-6 every six months or so to keep your home free from pesky pests!

    For the most part, termites are very easy to get rid of using this 7-step guide. However, you also need to keep a close eye on your home for any new signs of termite activity and have a professional exterminator come out and re-treat your entire property every 6 months or so if you still see evidence of subterranean termites in your crawl space or basement.

    You can find a reputable pest control company that services your area here.

    Good luck!

Know Your Enemy’s Face

Termites on wood: infestationProper elimination of those little buggers depends on your approach to it, that’s why it is necessary to do everything right. First of all, you’ll have to determine their type (you haven’t expected them to represent only one species, have you?).

Track down the place of infestation. To locate their main hideouts, take a flashlight and flat-blade screwdriver, and examine everything made of wood:

  • Tap on pillars, support and floor beams, and, of course, furniture. If you hear a hollow sound, that would mean it may be damaged by termites.
  • Probe suspect wood for strength. If it gives easily or falls apart, this may also be a sign of infestation.
  • Look around for mud in wood and any other mud trails. These insects are known to leave fallen wings and mud trails behind.

When you’ve spotted the bugs, try to examine them closely to determine their type.

Your home is more likely to be infested by termites of two general types:

  1. subterranean
  2. dry wood
The majority of “destroyers” belongs to the subterranean species.

And those two are the most destructive to buildings. The percentage of all the populations in the USA looks like this: 10% – dry wood, 90% – subterranean.

Termite Damage to Drywall

Termite damage to drywallDrywall, or sheetrock, is made of two sheets of thick paperboard with gypsum plaster sandwiched in between. Since drywall also contains cellulose, it becomes a potential food source for these pests.

You may sometimes notice very faint traces of their tunnels in sheetrock, bits of dirt, or fecal pellets.

All this is evidence that you have this awful problem on your hands, and you have to address it urgently.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites damageThis type of insects is found primarily in coastal areas, Southwestern and Southern states (especially in California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas). They don’t need any contact with soil to survive and thrive only in wood. Any cracks, crevices, or joints between pieces of wood may become their entrance.

Unlike the subterranean, these buggers establish their nests in dry, undecayed wood completely above ground, and damage done by them is entirely different. They excavate large chambers in wood, connect them by small tunnels, eject wood pellets and leave fecal pellets called frass behind.

Treatment & Control

Now that you have defined the type of pests inhabiting your home and their locations, it’s time to get rid of them. Of course, there are two ways of doing this – chemical and natural/organic – but since most people opt for a safer way of extermination (i.e. without chemicals), our pieces of advice will focus just on it.

Here are the methods one can resort to:

  • Orange oil for termites controlOrange oil.
    It’s an extract that is obtained from orange peels and is insoluble in water. It’s not intended for internal use, as it will cause severe stomach upset; even its spills are usually irritating to both skin and eyes, therefore, take adequate precautions.
    Orange oil owes its effectiveness to the active ingredient D-Limonene that proved to eradicate a great variety of insects, dissolving their exoskeleton and destroying their cell membranes, thus leading to insects’ death.
    Drill small holes into the infested wooden item and inject the oil into the hollow spaces (i.e. where the bugs are feeding). It’ll yield results within 3 days or 3 weeks, depending on the severeness of the infestation.
    Cost: about $3/oz.
  • Microwaves.
    To get rid of termites in wood one may use microwaves. Portable devices are available. The efficacy of this method is 90%, depending on treatment time and detection accuracy. 1-2 feet of the wooden board requires 10 to 30 minute treatment time. And it isn’t necessary to drill holes.
    Cost: depends on where you live and whether you buy or rent it.
  • Electrocution.
    You can electrocute the insects with the help of portable electric devices. It isn’t necessary to drill holes but when holes are drilled, eradication might be more effective.
    Cost: depends on where you live and whether you buy or rent it.
  • Sunlight.
    If possible, remove the affected item from your home and expose it to sunlight. The light and heat from the sun are sure to kill “the invaders” because they like darkness. On a sunny day, take the item outside and leave it there for 2-3 days (or as long as possible).
    Cost: free of charge.
The surface of the wood and some other sensitive items (e.g. plastic outlet covers) may get damaged by the devices that generate microwaves.
Test the infested item before carrying out this procedure.

No matter which method you choose, it is necessary to make periodic checks and repeat the procedure to eliminate reinfestation. You may also paint wood – the insects won’t enter through painted surfaces.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termitesSubterranean termites can be found in both the wood of your house and the soil around it, compost piles and foundational wood. They are common throughout the United States, yet are quite scarce in colder states.

Since these bugs need the protection of tiny spaces and moisture to live, they build a system of pencil-thick tubes and tunnels of earth and mud across exposed areas. And typically, they do much more harm to your home than dry wood.

When you change your lodgings, you should check all movable wooden objects thoroughly.
As far as dry wood termites can live without soil contact, they’re often carried in infested furniture or other wooden objects into such geographical areas where they aren’t normally found.


There are three ways of doing it:

  1. Beneficial nematodes for termite treatmentBeneficial nematodes.
    These are very small unsegmented worm species that search for hosts, like termites, and burrow into them, causing death within approximately 48 hours. Spray the nematodes into the yard and infested rooms. That’s all you need to do. They are not harmful to humans, plants or pets, and can kill the entire insect colony.
    Beneficial nematodes can be bought at your local garden supply/hardware store or online. If you don’t use them immediately after they’re purchased, store the nematodes in a refrigerator. They should be planted after the sunset or in the early morning since UV light harms them.
    Cost: about $20 for 1 million nematodes.
  2. Boric acid to kill termitesBoric acid.

    It’s one of the most effective ways to kill the insects. This natural insecticide shuts down their nervous system and dehydrates them.

    • Spray or coat wood with boric acid.
    • Place boric acid bait stations in your garden and/or at home. Check them regularly and replenish them with boric acid. This insecticide is toxic when inhaled or ingested, so use gloves and a face mask while working with it, and be sure to keep your children and pets away from the substance.

    Cost: about $7/oz.

  3. Cardboard trap.
    Termites feed not only on wood but on everything containing cellulose, such as paper and cardboard. Thus, the latter will make excellent bait for the insects. Take 3-5 sheets of flat cardboard and wet them up. Stack the sheets on one another near the most infested area. When it’s full of bugs, put on gloves, take the trap out, and burn it. If necessary, repeat the process many times.
    It is not recommended to use this method separately. Combine several methods to achieve better results.
    Cost: about $0.15/piece.

Wood Treatment for Termites

There are several things you can try to prevent or get rid of these cellulose-eating bugs. It must be noted that the following goods are chemicals!

Bora-Care: wood treatment for termitesProducts with borate (e.g. Bora-Care)

Natural borate salt (known as a very effective insecticide) is typically an active ingredient in such products. Speaking of Bora-Care: it’s a low toxicity wood preservative with low environmental impact. It is safe for people and pets, but destructive for insects. It deeply penetrates the wood, thus eliminating the latter as a food source. Bora-Care not only prevents infestations but also kills the existing ones.

Cost: depends on size and type of product, about $40-280.

  • It is a professional product for eliminating termites and protecting your dwelling from future infestations.
  • Taurus SC is intended for outside use only.
  • It is safe for pets and people when used as directed.

Termite Bombs

Pesticide foggers are commonly called “bug bombs”. They can be bought at grocery and hardware stores.

Termite bombs consist of termiticide, i.e. liquid insecticide, contained in pressurized aerosol cans. A bomb disperses a fog of pesticide into the air which after some time falls to the floor and other exposed surfaces. When the bugs come in contact with this toxic substance, they die.

However, these bombs are not recommended for eradicating infestation from an entire house because termiticide doesn’t penetrate the wood and doesn’t reach termite nests. Moreover, inhaling or ingesting termiticides is harmful both for people and pets.

Home Remedies

If the above-mentioned methods don’t suit you, you may want to use the following home remedies against these creepy crawlies:

  • Essential oils
    Clove bud oil is particularly effective in killing termites. Take a mist sprayer, put the oil into it, and spray everything where you think they are living. If you want to prevent their appearance or reinfestation, use vetiver oil.
  • Aloe
    This remedy kills the bugs only on contact with aloe. Crush the entire plant into some container and pour enough water to cover the plant. Then, after several hours, strain the liquid and add 5 parts of water to 1 part of aloe into a mist sprayer. Spray it directly on the insects.
  • Sodium chloride
    Soak several cotton balls with an organic compound, sodium chloride, and a cleaning agent. Then fill these balls in any plastic cover and place them in all infested areas. This will kill the pests and stop their recurring.


To sum it all up, termites can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. If you see piles of wings, tiny holes in wood, mounds of insect droppings, or mud tubes, you have “unwelcome guests”. Don’t waste time and call a professional, or try some eradication methods described in this article.

After you have cleared your home from those pests, don’t forget to maintain your home dry, seal any cracks or crevices in it, and keep firewood off your property to prevent reinfestation.

Have a good “hunt”!

You can find further details of Insects Control here.

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  1. Im going to try the cardboard trap first.

  2. i just found out my sons dresser has drywood termites in it. i am kinda happy they arent subterranian termites because methods for the drywood termites seem a lot cheaper and safer. will put it out in the sunlight for about a week and have the house inspected asap! this article was extremely helpful! thanks!

  3. this guy exposed the real anserws about how to kill termites on your own.without throwing money away to companies like ORKIN OR TERMINEX.for example those companies use PREMISE 2 and PREMISE 75 and a few other brands you can buy yourself like i did on the internet.also you can use BORIC ACID its in borax soap and is also in boracare key word bora which is what is used to seep into wood to kill termites too.pest control companies use it too.DONT LET TERMITE COMPANIES TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE.

  4. Each morning I’m discovering a salt like substance on the wood floors in our house near an entrance to our porch area WHICH IS TOTALLY ENCLOSED AND INSULATED. IS THIS FROM TERMITES?

    • Sounds like a fungus to me.If you have moist dark areas against brick or mortar or cement ( can’t recall seeing it in wood…). it can creep up the wals and leave the residue on the floor.

    • We also have been seeing salt like substances under our kitchen counter, which is not near any walls or entrances. We have granite counter tops sitting on a wood support and the salt like substance is under the wood support. We also noticed some cracks in the wood support right above the salt like substances. But we did not see any insects of any kind. Does it sound like termites, and what would be the best way to treat them in situations like this?

  5. I brought a crane from Haiti and found there are substance like salt/dust from it, and i found something like termites when i clean it up, what should i do?
    Is the termites are favourite in that crane and would not travel around my house?

  6. Infact, the insects have brought down my room’s door and a friend told me to use black engine oil. Can somebody tell me how effective this is? because all this prescribed chemicals is not easy to get here in Nigeria

    • I would like to knw do tht oil wk too

      • I have found that oil penetrating wood deters termites. It, however does not seem be an effective measure to eliminate the problem. I have used a mixture of used oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline to kill the bugs. Gas has an immediate effect, but evaporates quickly, diesel lasts longer and it vapors seem to help, mixed with oil, for a hoped for deterrent. (I am in Peru, South America, do not have access to chemicals, and would not consider using this method in the States due to obvious risks and environmental concerns.) This works, but is not a permanent solution. The main infestation needs to be found and eliminated, it seems, regardless of the localized treatment. (My problem is infestation in nearby trees and mulch which I am not in a position to eliminate.)

      • Used motor oil does stop termites around concrete foundations,dig small trench close to footing pour oil in trench let oil sink in then give it a second pouring then back fill trench. I have good luck with this method doing every two years or as needed. Dave the handyman

        • yeah, that motor oil that you’re dumping into the group is doing wonders for the environment, especially the groundwater used by local wells.

          it’s bad enough that industry is destroying the planet, but when bumblephuck joe starts doing it all it does is gets additional morons, like yourself, to follow the lead of the retarded pied piper.

  7. I recently discovered what seems to be termites in my window sill after getting my home power washed. I can seem to find the source and I’m terrified because no matter how many I kill hours later there are like 30 more. I need help.

    • They are starting a new colony looking for a place to start a new hive.

    • Same here after Exterminator sprayed for bees. Now, they’re coming out of the cracks in the window sill. They come out in droves when I spray my Thieves cleaner in there. Tomorrow, I plan to try the clove spray as in the article and inspect the outside. This article was very informative. I even have vetiver which I use for concentration. I love how plants help with so much. Glad I educate other on natural living and using oils and other products. This will be fun to add.

  8. I want to know how much borax is required for termite eradicating for a hole made 8 mm diameter and 450 mm depth?

    • I have a rescue horse fat

  9. I live in an apartment and notice termites in my light globes in the bathroom should I be concerned maintenance as been aware

  10. I’ve read dozens of articles about termites and this site has the most cost effective and easy to understand explanations I’ve seen. Thank you!
    I do have a question though; I had a swarm of termites in my bedroom and found termites in my ceiling trim and some in the attic. I dug a trench around my house and drilled holes in my slab every 8 inches and applied a well-known chemical to create a barrier. While I was digging I found where the subterranean termites were getting in under my bedroom. If I cut them off from their moisture source (poison), do I still need to cut out the sheetrock in my bedroom and make sure they’re gone? Also, how long do you think they’ll live after the moisture source has been eliminated?
    Thanks so much!

    • The chemicals you used when trenching your house will eliminate the colocny and then create a barrier for any future attempts of entering your house and usually active for 3-5 years depending on the product. If it’s sub termites your dealing with in the house then the only reson to open up your walls is to repair damages if needed. Otherwise the chemicals applied basically attach to the termite and the termite spreads it to its colony eventually killing off the entire colony. If you read the label of your product it should tell you it will take 30 to 90 days depending on the colony size before they are eliminated. In the mean time it is common to continue to see their droppings and even swarms while the chemicals are slowly killing them all.

  11. We just discovered that we have termites. A guy I know said to use oil to get rid of them. But my husband and I are leary to use oil because it can be flammable. What would you do?

  12. Diflubenzuron is very effective against termites. Unfortunately it’s a regulated substance, however, there are some other products containing it that you can still find and buy, one of them being Dimilin. You can soak paper towels with 0.25% water solution or less and let it dry, do not use higher concentration, because crystals will be larger and termites can separate them from cellulose fiber. Cut off beer can tops, pack with the treated paper, then seal with a wood plug where you can drill holes for easier access of termites to the paper. Then bury the cans around your house upside down, so paper does not get soaked. Check in few months if the paper was consumed, if it was just replace with another batch of cans. Termites love eating paper, and will carry diflubenzuron to their nesting area. Larvae can’t molt in the presence of even traces of diflubenzuron.
    The termite colony eventually will die out without replacement of workers. This is a good precautionary measure to prevent possible subterranean termite infestation, if termites already have found a way to your home you should use more aggressive methods of elimination

  13. 2 weeks ago I started noticing termites were in my window sill! Now they are there EVERY DAY no matter how much I kill them and spray the window sill. It’s driving me crazy! I can’t find where they are coming in from. I NEED HELP PLEASE! I don’t want to turn to the exterminators quite yet.

    • How did you get rid of them?

  14. My house had constructed 3 years old.. in construction time so many pests medecine were used in proper guidelines .but house is full y pest forming. how to rectified for long time for mentel pease.

  15. I live in New Orleans, La and have for the past 2 years, had the worst termite infestation I would have imagined. Initially it started with a palm tree; once that was discovered and removed, my garage took a hard hit and then my home. I’ve had 2 different companies (none of the major companies) come out to treat the areas (balcony, master bath, garage and kitchen). Apparently this did nothing but anger the fricking termites because now they’re back (kitchen & garage, possibly wash room) with a vengeance. My home is 3000 sq ft and my garage almost 1000 sq ft. Because I believe it’s beyond my control, do you think I can get this under control by using a certified, reputable company? Help, this has cost me thousands, upon thousands of dollars and I’m at wits end.

  16. Hello,
    Thank you so much for this useful article because termites are destroying my room and I want them to get destroyed.

    Thanks again.

  17. My mother n law said she seen some bug flying out side the other day so Orkin. is coming today how an I continue to take care of my home after they find out where they are coming from what should I use to continue to spay every so often to keep them away?

  18. I have a neighbor taking off his roof now there R termited flying all over the back yard . Am i at risk ? Is he responsible ?

    • Yes and no. If coming from the roof that may be drywood termites which must be treated and prevented differently than subterrainian . Google your concerns and search youtibe for thousands of videos to explain what to do yourself and save thousands.

  19. I have just finished my cinema room and guess what I found two holes in my drywall. I couldn’t beleive it now I call some professionals to come and help me get rid of them lets pray they willbecause I invested a lot of money in the room.

  20. I have some furniture under attack. I am considering putting them in a contractor’s 55 gallon trash bag and putting some fog in there.

    Which is the best fogger to use?
    I read that most foggers don’t have a penetrating effect, so is this a waste of time?

  21. I never knew that clove bud oil is very good at killing termites. I even have a bottle at my house. I think I will give it a try and see if it is effective at killing all the termites that are eating through our front porch! I would rather get them now than later! Do you just apply some of the oil to the spot you think they are at?

    • Did it work? What did you do? I’m trying clove oil tomorrow. They comes out in droves when I spray Thieves cleaner in the cracks which actually has clove in it.

  22. Thank you for the help. I have a neighbor that just had to treat for termites, so I am trying to be sure to prevent them. I do not think there is an evidence of them around my house yet. At what point would you consider something like a termite bomb?

  23. Yes I remember reading somewhere, someone saying that termites are the only insects that can do major damage to your home, but this is not so, what about Carpenter ants?!!!!! Furthermore how can a person eradicate them !!!! Please help because not only am I having a problem with termites but now also Carpenter ants !!! Thank you
    For your awesome articles!!!!!

  24. This has been the most informative of all the articles I’ve read. I ordered the Boracare about a year ago to do remedial treating of active dry wood termites in my windowsill. Now that I’ve read about the bait stations and want to make them also, I’m not sure I should use the Boracare first. The termite frass is showing up everyday now, and I’ve gotta do something asap ! Please help !

  25. i found 2 flying termites today in my home. Never seen them before. ( i think they are termites but i do not know for sure ). im wondering how to figure out where the problem is? i read alot about checking window sills for frass, but i dont think i will find anything there. Gotta be a better way.

    • Bob,
      Termites with wings have the following distinctive characteristics:

      Antennae are straight, not elbowed
      The waist is thick so there is no distinction between the body segments
      Both pairs of wings are equal length

      Ants with wings have these distinctive characteristics:

      Antennae are elbowed as opposed to straight
      The waist is pinched with a definite distinction between the body segments
      The front pair of wings is longer than the rear pair of wings

      These are the most notable differences that can be observed with the naked eye [5]. You can test your ability to tell flying ants and flying termites apart with this quiz by the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.

  26. I found termites in my garage. After I scraped off the tubes on the cement walls I hosed them down. I checked the walls a few hours later and found a piece of cardboard that was sticking out and it was wet. There were termites crawling up and down a straight path to the wet cardboard! I sprayed them with rubbing alcohol I had In a spray bottle and they died with seconds. I was amazed. Tomorrow I will check and see if they are taking another walk. Hopefully, they are all going to this wet cardboard where they will have their last meal.

  27. post about 2 to 3 ft.in the soil for roof support etc., been there about 2 years. what can i put around them to insure termits WIIL NOT want to stay for supper.. I live in heavy wooded area.

  28. I purchased a piece of furniture from Interior Shop. Furniture is from Peru I noticed something like wood grains on floor now reading others comments I have dry termites. Furniture is very large how do I treat it I have hollow places where they have eaten wood.

  29. i only seem then in the ceiling b.c they are reting to make tubes going down. i “see” no other areas not even tubes out side. )they once where there but not active anymore( what do i use to kill them in my ceiling or even better have them take it to the nest and kill them outright at there spot?

    cant aford anyone still trying to pay off house tax..

  30. Hi Guys, recently my external store was ‘attacked’ by Termites. I am testing by wrapping up all the paper boxes with plastic sheet cause some stuffs which were wrapped with plastic bags were left alone. However it would be safer to inspect and air the store by let the door ajar.
    Good Luck

    Dick Lim

  31. DISCLAIMER: I am not an extermination specialist, just a homebuilder/DIYer with tons of experience and a will to handle problems safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively. You’ll have to decide if this information is appropriate for your own personal situation. So here goes —
    Full-strength Pine Sol kills termites in wood. I look for frass (looks like semi-glued-together dirty sawdust), scrape it loose, vac it up, and then use a bulb baster or needle syringe to squirt the Pine Sol full-strength into the cracks and soak the surrounding area. The wood really drinks it in (don’t use too much in particle board, or it will swell), and the strong smell is gone overnight as the Pine Sol is absorbed and dries. Use the Pine Sol sparingly and carefully around fine finishes (wipe it off immediately if it gets on shellac or varnishes, etc. but normal painted surfaces don’t appear to be a problem) and wash it off of your skin right away. I have applied Pine Sol at the top of stud walls to open framing members, repeatedly over the course of several days, really soaked it in; in a few days, the Pine Sol is evident at the base of the wall as it follows the wood grain/termite tunnel system all the way down. If you are living in the house, make sure to ventilate well, and treat just one big area at a time so that the smell doesn’t become too overpowering – let it dry over night, then treat another area, or the same area again if the infestation was really bad. Using Pine Sol, I have not seen any new evidence of termites (frass or actual termites) in the wood treated this way – going on about ten years now. In one particular case (a friend’s house – she was in tears and panicking when she found frass all along a thirty-foot long exterior wall section of her five-year-old house) we used almost 3 gallons of Pine Sol to soak/treat that wall over the course of several weeks (this allowed for full absorption, and prevented the insulation from getting laden with excess fluid)- cost was less than $50 – we drilled 1/2″ wide holes about 2″ down from the ceiling through the sheetrock and perhaps 1″ into the studs that we had located, then used a kitchen baster to apply the PineSol to the studs, letting it slowly soak down the length of the framing – a few days later we spackled the small holes and touched up the paint. “Generic” store brand Pine Sol type products seemed to work the same as the real deal.
    By the way, I did a lot of research before treating the termite problem, since I wanted to be safe and don’t like wasting money (“tenting” by professional services isn’t always effective, and termites often return to fumigated areas within a year!). Pine Sol was once used to treat wood in dairy barns against rot and termites; the barnwood was prone to problems since it was frequently wet from daily washdown/cleaning. The Pine Sol fell out of use when petro-chemicals that have virtually no smell became available – those chemicals were (much later) found to be carcinogenic, so new chemicals were developed, again with problems, more new chemicals, ad nauseum.
    Most dairy barns now have plastic walls, or sealed concrete, so current chemicals are generally bleach-related, just to kill bacteria – thus no need to control rot or termites. Keep in mind that Pine Sol is ALMOST natural, that is, it is derived from natural pine tars – but it is a chemical that is strong enough to kill insects and fungal rot, so use it carefully. Still, I think it is much safer than almost anything else (properly diluted with water, as directed on the label, it can be used as a “no-rinse” cleaner, even on countertops where food is prepared, and it is safe in the laundry and bathroom) – just limit direct exposure on your body with the full-strength Pine Sol.

  32. Thank you Cage. This is brilliant! I love Pine sol for general cleaning and floor mopping. You can get a twin pack of the gallon bottles of Pine Sol at Costco.

  33. Have found termites in our apartment wood kitchen cupboards and cabinets which were installed three years ago. For the last year we have been spraying the cabinets at least twice a month with Spectracide Terminate which we buy at Home Depot. They go away (we do not see wings or droppings) for two weeks, but then again they come back. We have wings on the kitchen counters and droppings again plus some wingless dead ones. Sometimes live wingless ones too. Anything you can suggest on what can we do outside of calling an exterminator to end this never ending saga. Is there a fogger that you would recommend? We close the apartment from June thru Sept when we leave Florida.

  34. I find black like dots on myj floor and they get on my skin. What are those black like dots that I pick off of my floor through out the day???

  35. Bye, bye termites! Apply kerosene in a well ventilated area. Repeat the application 1 x daily for 3 days. Use a brush or syringe to get the product into the tiny holes of your piece of furniture. Caution: kerosene is flammable. i have only used it on furniture infested with termites with excellent results.

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