How to Kill Termites in Your Home: A Complete Guide

Published On: October 17, 20190 Comments on How to Kill Termites in Your Home: A Complete GuideTags: , Last Updated: February 12, 20245.5 min read

Do you suspect termites are gnawing at your furniture and walls? If you do, you better act fast. These tiny bugs can cause significant damage to your home. According to the NPMA, termites cause well over $5 billion worth of property damages per year!

How to kill termites

Don’t know how to kill termites or determine if you have an infestation? Let us walk you through the process. Read on below and discover the different methods to get rid of termites:

Don’t DIY

If you want to learn how to kill termites, don’t rely on DIY methods. Many of these DIY termite treatments either don’t work or they serve only as short-term remedies. Termites will come back and you’ll end up spending way too much money on temporary solutions. A quick search online will showcase several DIY ways regarding how to get rid of termites. Some suggest making a wet cardboard trap to attract hundreds of termites and then taking the cardboard out to burn. Others suggest using nematodes, applying boric acid, or exposing wood furniture to extreme heat and cold.

These might work. However, there’s no guarantee these methods will achieve anything. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll kill all the termites infesting your home. Instead, rely on trained professionals. Remember: you need an official license to become an exterminator and this requires training and sufficient knowledge in the field. By default, exterminators know more about getting rid of termites than you do and they have the proper tools for the job too.

How to Kill Termites

The first step of termite control is to make sure you have termites in the first place. You don’t want to go through the hassle of preparing your home and calling professional exterminators for a false alarm. One of the easiest signs of a termite infestation is when you see termite mud tubes along the walls. These can spread out through crawlspaces, ceilings, and weave around furniture.  Also, check your wood furniture. Knock on furniture you know uses solid wood.

If they sound hollow, it’s possible termites already worked their way into it. This is incredibly dangerous because there’s a chance your furniture might collapse at any given moment. Termites could weaken it and you’ll never notice the damage until things start falling apart. Be on the lookout for cracks and bubbles on wall paint. These indicate termite activity as they pass under the surface. These signs can also indicate how widespread the infestation is. Don’t limit your search to your interiors. Look outside too. There might be signs of termites nesting close to your home, right by a fountain or garage. Termites gathering outside will soon work their way into your home. It’s best to get rid of them before they go inside and cause serious damage.

  1. Poison Baiting

You can start getting rid of termites with poison baiting. Some refer to this as termite trapping, although you don’t necessarily capture termites with these devices. Termite traps contain a bait, such as cardboard, laced with termiticide. The poison isn’t too strong, ensuring termites that take a bite survive long enough to go back to the colony and spread the poison there. If more termites fall for the poison baits, the whole colony will get infected. You have to install several poison baits around your home. This ensures the whole perimeter stays safe from termite infestations. Fortunately, these baits dig straight into the ground and once they’re there, you’ll hardly ever notice them.

Once professionals install these traps, don’t remove them. Keep them in the ground even when you know there are no termites around your property. The baits will prevent other termite colonies from getting nearer. Some baits can last for several months to a year. This means you can rely on them to get rid of the termites currently damaging your property and prevent future termites from attempting to get too close.

  1. Spot Treatment

What do you do when termites managed to get inside? If the infestation hasn’t spread to the rest of the house yet, you can still opt for spot treatment. In this process, the exterminator drills holes into the walls and releases termiticide. This directly floods the tunnels that the termites utilize to get around your home. The termiticide kills the termites and those that survive a while will spread the poison to the rest of the colony.

How to kill termites - spraying

This is an effective method if the infestation only affects isolated areas of your home. The best part is that it’s not quite an invasive method. You can bring the experts in to do their job without forcing you to stay somewhere else for the day. However, spot treatment does have one major downside: the exterminator has to drill several holes. They need to get in deep enough, especially within walls heavily infested with termites. Prepare your mindset for this and look for ways you can cover the holes once they finish the job.

  1. Fumigation

Once the infestation spreads across your whole home, it’s time for termite fumigation. This process involves covering your home with poisonous fumes, using chemicals intended specifically for killing termites. These chemicals can harm you and your pets too. When it reaches this point, you have to evacuate your home for a few days. Make a fumigation preparation checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. Pack up your food as well to ensure they don’t get infected with the fumigation chemicals. Don’t forget to bring your pets with you too or else they’ll suffer from chemical poisoning.

Yes, this process can seem like a hassle but it’s a guaranteed method to get rid of all the termites in your home. It doesn’t matter how widespread they are—fumigation gets the job done.  Of course, you have to practice preventative measures afterward. If you can, ask the exterminators to install poison baits. These should last a few months to a year, guaranteeing future termite colonies won’t get close to your home.

Get Rid of Termites Today

Want to know how to kill termites? Don’t attempt to DIY; call the experts. Don’t hesitate to call professional exterminators as soon as you suspect termites in and around your home.  Of course, termites aren’t the only insect infestation you might run into. Bees, wasps, and bed bugs could all cause serious damage and health hazards too. Feel free to read our other articles today to learn how you can deal with these other infestations.

Share This Tip With Your Friends!

About the Author: Handyman tips team

The Handyman Tips Team is a group of authors that provides tips on the Handyman Tips website. The Handyman Tips team consists of real handymen, contractors, carpenters, woodworkers, and experts in home repairs, appliance repairs, and landscaping. The team is always there for visitors to the Handyman Tips website. If you can't find the answer to your question on the Handyman Tips website, one of them will reply to you almost immediately if you contact them through the Ask the Handyman page!