If you're dealing with a termite infestation -- or simply want to protect your home after observing these small creatures chomping down on a rotting tree not far away -- you've likely discovered that the most popular treatment options often involve the distribution of chemicals or targeted poisons. If you have young kids or pets, you might be concerned about the environmental side effects on their smaller bodies of "tenting" and fumigating your home. Fortunately, there are a few choices that can offer a viable alternative while posing no threat to your family. Read on to learn more about some of the safer termite treatment options available.
If you've not yet observed termites in (or on) your home, this is good news. There are a number of physical barriers you can install that will help keep your home termite-free while also protecting you and your family from harmful toxins.
One of the most effective and least intrusive physical barriers is sand. Although they look remarkably similar to ants, termites do not like sand -- they require a fairly constant moisture level to survive, so dry sand or soil will cause them to look elsewhere for food. By placing a thick layer of sand around the foundation of your home, you should be able to make it unappetizing to termites, who will seek an easier meal elsewhere.
If you live in an area that is prone to termite infestations, you might also want to investigate the installation of metal termite barriers. These metal barriers are inserted between your foundation and the surrounding soil, and provide an impenetrable defense to termites.
If you're fairly sure your home has already been invaded by winged parasites, you'll need to take action to kill the colony, as well as prevent future infestations. Although a number of heavy-duty (and toxic) chemicals have been shown to successfully eradicate termites, there are also some more natural methods that can eliminate these insects.
Desiccating dusts -- like borax, often used to whiten laundry -- are often sufficient to kill termites alone. When borax is liberally spread around the perimeter of the home (both inside and outside), the termites will feed on this powder and take any excess back to their nests. The borax will dehydrate the termites so that they are quickly killed, and by sharing the powder with their fellow termites, they've essentially signed off on the full destruction of their hive.
Another option is the use of nematodes, or microscopic worms. These worms are harmless to humans and animals, but act as parasites to insects, and (after consumption by the termites) will quickly cause death to their host. For more information about termite control, contact Bug Busters Inc.