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Termites may be small but the damage they cause is definitely not. The worst thing about termites is that they are not only very dangerous but also act silently. This means that termites might be living and thriving in your home while you remain totally clueless. By the time you notice signs of damage, it might be too late and your property might have already suffered a huge blow, thanks to these pesky little fellows. The reason why termites always find a way into houses is because all houses provide the kind of food termites thrive on: cellulose-based plant material. Regardless of the construction type of the house, termites will always find a way to get to the cellulose food.

Termites are detritivores which means that they feed on dead plants and trees and also the dead parts of living trees. In basic terms, termites feed on dead wood. This is why they will be drawn to your furniture, books, shelves and even your house’s foundation.

Types of Termites

how-to-get-rid-of-formosan-termitesAlthough they may all look the same to you, there are different types of termites. Of course, the first thing on your mind when you come across a termite infestation in your house is how to get rid of the menace and not which category they belong to. However, it does not hurt to know what you are dealing with.

Subterranean Termites

These are the termites that live in colonies below the ground. In order to reach above-ground sources of food, they build a network of tunnels. These termites are dependent on moisture for survival. These termites usually have a queen that lays thousands of eggs in its lifetime.

Dry-wood Termites

These are the termites that you are most likely to find in your attic wood. They create colonies in wood and they thrive on very little moisture.

Damp-wood Termites

As the name suggests, these are the termites that you will find in damp and decaying wood. These fellows usually do not nest in the soil but prefer to build colonies in decaying wood found on the soil. You can tell that dampwood termites have worked on wood if it looks smooth and cleaned out.

Formosan Termites

They are sometimes referred to as introduced subterranean termites because they nest in the soil. These termites will invade structures from the soil through wood or the mud tubes that they construct. The difference between Formosan termites and their subterranean counterparts is that they are able to build structures that retain moisture. Therefore, they need not return to the soil for moisture.

How To Tell If You Have Termites

Most people will notice a termite infestation only after severe damage has been done. However, there are certain tell-tale signs that should alert you to the existence of termites in your house before it is too late. If you notice that all of a sudden there are winged guests in your home or from the soil around the house, you could be looking at a potential termite infestation. The presence of mud tubes in places such as wooden beams and crawl spaces should also alert you to a termite problem. Swarmers will usually discard their wings on places such as your window sills so look out for these too. If you tap wood in your home and it sounds hollow, you might want to investigate and find out whether any termites have made themselves at home in your home. Frass (termite droppings) is an obvious sign of termite infestation.

Getting Rid of Termites Naturally

Now that you know how to check for unwelcome guests in your home, what steps do you take when you find out that indeed there is a termite infestation? There are both natural and chemical ways to get rid of termites. If you opt for the natural route, you need to get your hands on beneficial nematodes. It’s not as rocket science as it sounds. Beneficial nematodes are actually unsegmented worms that are used to kill garden pests such as termites. They do this by burrowing into hosts, in this case termite larvae, and in doing so they cause the death of their hosts. You can easily purchase these helpful fellows from your local garden supply store or online. Currently, there are five varieties that you can choose from.

Remember to use the nematodes immediately after purchase; if not, store them in your refrigerator. Since UV light harms these worms, be sure to place them in the garden after sunset or before sunrise.

Using a cardboard trap is another way to get rid of termites naturally. Cardboard contains cellulose which as earlier mentioned is what termites feed on. In order to set the trap for the termites, you need to spray the cardboard so that the smell of the cellulose becomes more distinct. You should then place the cardboard trap near a termite-infested area. The termites will be attracted to the cardboard giving you the chance to catch them and burn them off.

Exposing termites to sunlight and the heat associated with it kills them. If your furniture has been infested by termites, find a way of getting it out of the house. The rays from the sun will handle your termite problem for you.

Another natural way of eliminating termites from your home is by ensuring that they do not get the opportunity to thrive. Simply put, you need to ensure that you embark on prevention rather than cure. Get rid of damp wood around your home and clear any bushes as this exposes the termites to sunlight which as earlier mentioned kills them. Water leaks in your house should also be taken care of as this will eventually attract termites.

Alternatively, you can get rid of termites using boric acid. In fact, boric acid is the main ingredient found in many termite insecticides that you buy from the store. Boric acid kills termites by shutting down their nervous systems and dehydrating them. If you want this method to work best, make use of bait stations. For this, you need to spray wood with boric acid and then place it strategically in different parts where you think termites might be. Be sure to check these bait stations regularly and replenish the boric acid as required.

Orange oil can also be used to eliminate drywood termites. Orange oil is an extract that is gotten from orange peels. It is insoluble in water. In order for it to work, you should drill holes into the infested wood and pour in the orange oil through the holes. Be cautious when using orange oil as some people are allergic to it. Orange oil kills the termites through direct contact or by starving them to death as it deters feeding.

Heat fumigation is another effective way of killing termites. When termites are subjected to temperatures of above 120�F for 35 minutes or more, they’ll die. You might want to do this with the help of a professional. Be sure to remove all your gadgets e.g television sets and computers from the house before you use this method.

Get Rid Of Termites Using Chemicals

Chemical methods of getting rid of termites include using arsenic dust which is very effective as it kills all members of the colony even if only a few come into contact with it. This is because in the course of their interactions, the termites pass on the arsenic trioxide to the others. Termites who feed on the victims of the arsenic dust also die. This method might be limited to licensed professionals depending on your state of residence.

Permethrin dust is also quite effective especially if you are looking to get instant results. A good alternative to spot treatment is electrical shock. 90,000 volts of power are used to electrocute drywood termite colonies. For this, you need to use an Electro-Gun.

Using chemical methods for getting rid of termites can be quite hazardous, so if you are at the point that you’re considering this route, it is usually a better idea to simply call a professional.

When To Call A Professional Exterminator

Sometimes, the termite infestation might be on a large scale that cannot be adequately covered if you decide to do it yourself. In such an instance, your best bet is to call in professional extermination services. The best thing about such services as compared to DIY is that they have the professional expertise needed to handle termite infestations of any kind. They are used to dealing with infestations and are therefore unlikely to miss any spots. It is important to check with the Structural Pest Control Board before hiring any professional extermination company. Another good move is to insist on a written agreement where the company promises complete termite extinction for a period of time, say two years. This way, the exterminators will periodically inspect your property at no extra cost.

If you don’t deal with termite infestation early enough, you will have to deal with damage property and loss of property value later on. Thankfully, when handled while there’s still adequate time, termite infestation need not bug you longer than necessary.

When we hear of bed bugs most of us think of small bugs which are close to invisible, that infest our beds due to improper cleaning of the beddings or immediate surroundings.

Are Bed Bugs Visible to the Human Eye?

Contrary to this popular belief, bed bugs are actually visible! We hardly see them because they are usually active in dark places. During your sleep, the bed bugs will silently climb on its prey and when this is done, start the feeding process sucking of human blood.

During the day, the best place to find the bugs will be in the furniture, luggage, clothing, crevices, or in some cases the folds of a mattress.

The eggs are tricky to see despite their resemblance to salt grains. Although the bed bugs can be seen clearly under a microscope, they are usually hard to come across yet easy to notice with naked eyes once you know how they look, including the bites as witnessed in a number of places on the victim’s body.


Reddish-Brown Adult Bed Bug

Bed Bug Description


Translucent Bed Bug Nymph Filled With Blood

A bed bug is a small six-legged, nocturnal creepy-crawly that feasts on human blood. Mainly attracted by warmth, the bug pierces on your skin using two hollow tubes, injecting an anticoagulant accompanied by aesthetics through its saliva which helps to keep the host’s blood from clotting. Bed bugs may be small but for sure these tiny insects can live for a whole year or up to 18 months without food – in this case is blood.

What color are bed bugs? Well, an adult bed bug is reddish-brown, wingless, flattened, and oval; with minuscule hairs giving them a banded exterior (may also range in color depending on the time after the most recent blood meal).  Newly hatched nymphs are translucent and this light color will gradually change to browner as they will be approaching maturity.

How Big Are Bed Bugs?


Bed Bug Actual Size and Size Comparison

It grows to 5mm in length. When fully fed, the bug can swell to a bulgy height such that its appearance may no longer be flat. Obviously, the nymphs are smaller and the eggs even smaller. These are both rather difficult to spot due to the the fact that they’re so small, and translucent.

To the left you will see both a size comparison of a bed bug as well as the bed bug at its actual size. The “actual size” bed bug might not be precise as its size may vary from screen to screen. Usually when it comes to size, bed bugs are often compared to apple seeds or lentils.

Female bed bugs are capable of laying close to twelve eggs in a single day, and the eggs deposited in crack and crevices, or in rough surfaces. These eggs are coated with a sticky substance that enables them adhere to whatever they are placed upon. They (the eggs) hatch from 617 days, and can begin feeding immediately. The bugs require a blood meal to help them molt. When this happens, the skin can be found around their nests including the eggs and the fecal matter.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?


These Bed Bugs Bites Are On The Chin, But They Can Appear Anywhere On Your Body

Normally there is no immediate sign after actual biting, but the bite marks will appear swollen after an hour or so. The bump will at first look like a small flea/mosquito bite inflammation but as time goes, this rash will start to itch, and in case the host continually scratches the swelling this could trigger an infection.

Bed bugs tend to feed on human blood for about two minutes, going up to ten minutes if left undisturbed leaving the victim with severe itchiness which may also lead to serious allergic reactions according to some people. The urgent treatment for the rash or bites is by simply washing the swellings with soap and water. Ice or natural herbs like plantain, mud and fresh-herb poultices, would then be used so as to help speed up the healing process. Do not scratch, since this could lead to a more serious infection that would definitely require a more advanced medical aid.

Bed bugs may be small but the fact is that they can be killed only if only you know where to find them. While this may not be a permanent solution to your bug problem, prevention is better than cure! Better be prepared the next time you notice an infestation. You can opt for extermination services which will definitely cost you some cash. And in case you decide to do this on your own, there are other procedures you can follow to effectually kill off the bed bugs; for example using cleaning elements such as Lysol or even commercially available sprays. Thorough inspection of every room should be done, not just the bedroom. The living room, den, family room, or any other room with fabric covered furniture and carpet should be expediently cleaned.

There are a number of natural methods that can be used to kill bedbugs. These natural methods actually also tend to be the most effective making them the preferred treatment to get rid of bed bugs in your home.

Suffocation – cover all your beddings and furniture using plastic bags and encasements. Ensure that there is no way for them to escape. They will be deprived of oxygen and soon die.

Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade) –  Food Grade diatomaceous earth is a very effective method for killing and controlling bed bug infestation. It’s important that it is food grade for safety purposes and because it is the most effective. What this substance does is abrade the surface of the bed bugs exoskeleton, and also sticks to them and dehydrates their exoskeleton so they dry out and die.  [For More Information: Diatomaceous Earth For Bed Bugs]

Heat – this simply entails heating your clothes, sheets, bed-covers and pillows using your clothes dryer. You can also stuff them in black plastic bags and leave them outside in direct sunlight. It may also involve using a steam vacuum or iron on your beddings. Bed bugs cannot tolerate such intense temperatures and will die.  The proper temperature for killing bed bugs is 120°C or above.

Apart from heating fabric or garments in a clothes dryer, you may also use a hairdryer to blow heat into the crevices and cracks on the wall and any wooden surface. This helps to remove and kill most of the bed bugs, leaving the DE to deal with the stubborn survivors.

Cold – Exposing the bed bugs to cold can kill them, but this requires a more sustained effort than heating. While bed bugs will die almost immediately upon reaching the 120 degree temperature for heating, they can hang on a bit longer using cold temps of 4 degrees of below. This method also requires you to live in a fairly cold climate during the cold time of year and to leave the windows open during this time. It is fairly effective, but is not a method most people care to use.

Of the above natural methods, a combination of diatomaceous earth and heat tend to be the most effective. These two methods are cheap, readily available and anyone can try them out; you will not have to seek professional assistance to accomplish them. However, a professional can help you with the heat treatment of your entire home if you find the process to be a bit overwhelming.

Food Drade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is not harmful to humans, but is very lethal to bedbugs. Once the bedbugs come into contact with the treatment, they die since the treatment severely dehydrates their bodies. Before you begin the application process, you will have to steam clean or vacuum your box springs, carpets, mattresses and all upholstery.

In addition to this, you’ll want to vacuum your  bed frame and other pieces of furniture paying special attention to screw holes, cracks and any other location where the bed bugs can hide. Remember to spray some DE on the bag of the vacuum cleaner bag before discarding its contents; this will wipe out all live bedbugs and eggs that may have survived.

Though DE is generally not harmful to humans, I found out, through online research, that it might irritate your lungs and mucous membranes. Hence, for safety purposes, always wear a dust mask and take time to read the safety precautions written on the product label. After vacuuming all the potential hiding places, it is now time to apply DE to these areas.

Use a powder duster or spray to target the cracks and holes, and a shaker to apply it larger areas and surfaces such as under the bed, the carpet, mattresses and box springs. Do not apply too much of the DE on these areas – a light covering will be enough to kill all bedbugs that crawl through it. Conversely, your floor and legs of your bed will need a heavier coat of the solution.

The diatomaceous earth kills all bedbugs in 10 to 14 days. Clean it up only when you are satisfied that all bedbugs have been exterminated. However, you might not want to wash away remove the applied on holes, crevices and cracks of surfaces, as it could safeguard your home from future infestations. The key here is to be very thorough and diligent and you can eventually use a combination of Diatomaceous Earth and heat treatments to naturally kill the bed bugs in your home.

One of the grossest and most uncomfortable parts of a bed bug infestation is when they get into your clothes. This puts them right up against your skin for feating purposes and is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. If you have an infestation there is a very simple thing you can do to get rid of bed bugs in clothes.

You see, bed bugs are very heat sensitive. In order to kill bed bugs on clothes, it can be a simple matter of putting said clothes in the dryer for about 20 minutes. This will kill both living insects and their eggs. Whether or not you want to wear said clothes after this heat induced death is up to you, but it sure beats wearing beg infested clothing.

There is a simple three step process that can both kill bed bugs and get rid of traces of them. It’s kind of common sense, but here goes:

  1. Run the clothes for a 20-30 minute drying cycle
  2. Wash your clothes
  3. Dry them again as you would any other time you wash them

Pretty simple, eh? You’re probably wondering why you would dry, then wash, then dry again. The reason is that while bed bugs may die from drowning during the wash cycle, they may still be clinging to your clothes for dear life. Drying them first ensures they’ve lost the will to live so that when you go to wash them it should remove all or most traces of the bugs from your clothing. The clothes dryer is a necessary ingredient in this whole thing as washing won’t kill eggs, and line drying won’t kill anything.

What If Clothing Is Dry Clean Only?

Well this actually involves only a very simple 4 step process:

  1. Place in metal garbage can
  2. Dowse with a flammable liquid
  3. Light a match and toss it in
  4. Just walk away

Just kidding. According to this University of Kentucky study, textile experts agree that drying for a short period of time (20-30 minutes) shouldn’t harm dry clean only clothing. This might seem dangerous to you, and leave you asking “Does dry cleaning kill bed bugs?” because maybe you’re thinking about just bringing them on in without drying first. Well, it’s kind of a jerk move to bring infested clothing into a place where others’ clothing might come in contact with it. Dry them first, or find a dry cleaning place that specializes in bed bug dry cleaning. This will usually require you to go to their establishment to pick up special bags to place your clothing in it so they can properly quartine and process it.

Killing bed bugs in your clothing won’t eliminate the over-arching problem of your infestation, but it will prevent you from wearing biting mites around all day, and spreading them around the world like a bug-infested Johnny Beetleseed (yes, I know they’re not beetles, but it’s catchier than “Bedbugseed”).

Some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bed bug control revolves around what kills bed bugs. These are stubborn and resilient pests, and there is a lot of misinformation about what does and doesn’t kill bed bugs, so hopefully this FAQ will clear up any questions.

What Kills Bed Bugs Naturally?

Let’s start out with more natural, or homeopathic ways to kill bed bugs.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Bed Bugs?

It sure does. This is one of the most effective methods for killing and controlling bed bugs and it is very safe and natural. Diatomaceous earth, or diatomite, is a fine, soft, siliceuos powder. It uses a combination of its abrasive and absorptive properties to stick to the bed bugs, and absorb the lipids in their exoskeleton. The result is that they die from dehydration. The powder used for this MUST be food grade diatomaceous earth which means it has been heat treated and the powder has very small particles. Products will be labeled prominently “Food Grade” so be sure that this is what you get.

Does Heat Kill Bed Bugs?

Indeed, heat kills bed bugs. What temperature kills bed bugs, you ask? Bed bugs die at a temperature above about 115°F (~46°C). Which brings us to the next question:

Does Stream Kill Bed Bugs? Heat treatment can be applied using a steam cleaner that produces temperatures of 150° or higher. Such a machine can be used to treat your home, though the process can be extremely difficult due to the fact that heat needs to be applied for an extended period of time (20 minutes or so) and bed bugs are very good at hiding making it likely that you will miss some.

Heat is a great way of treating clothes though, and anything else you can put into a clothes dryer. You’ll want to put the dryer on high, and dry them for at least 20 minutes. You will probably want to then wash them to remove the bed bugs’ eggs and corpses (gross, right?) and then of course dry them again. Other items that don’t fit into the dryer can be placed in black trash bags in direct sunlight for a couple of days to kill the bed bugs. These methods won’t stop an infestation but will kill and remove bed bugs from your clothes and other items.

Professional Heat Treatment For Bed Bugs – I know this site is about DIY bed bug control, but professional heat treatment can be a very effective way to get rid of bed bugs. These folks will actually come into your home and heat up your entire home, including every nook and cranny that these pests might be hiding. They do this using professional equipment and experience that you are unlikely to be able to effectively replicate on your own.

Do Bean Leaves Kill Bed Bugs?

Bean leaves is a homeopathic termite control method, though it doesn’t really kill them. These leaves are used because they have tiny spiny hooks on their leaves that penetrate the bed bugs exoskeletons which traps them. They can die from writhing around and continuing to impale themselves, but this isn’t a very effective extermination method. It is better used as a natural bed bug trap that will help indicate their presence if you suspect infestation.

Does Cold Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, much the same way heat can kill them, cold can also kill them due to their heat sensitivity. It’s best if you live in a fairly cool climate during the cold months for this to work. You will have to leave the window open and place fans around areas of infestation to ensure cool or cold (44°C or lower) air circulates around the area. This area only has specific applications (it is climate dependent) and like DIY heat treatment, it can be very difficult if not impossible to completely eradicate bed bugs with DIY cold treatment.

What Chemical Kills Bed Bugs?

Next, we will cover the chemicals that do and don’t kill bed bugs and whether or not they are effective control methods.

Does Boric Acid Kill Bed Bugs?

It does, but it isn’t very effective. Also, while it is considered a “safe” method, it’s not really as safe or effective as the aforementioned treatments.

Does Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?

Or more specifically, does rubbing alcohol kill bed bugs? Obviously you don’t want to go hosing them down with the bottle of scotch you keep in the cabinet for special occasions. Yes, rubbing alcohol kills bed bugs, as well as their eggs and can act as a repellant as well. It’s not great for complete eradication, but is an effective tool in the fight.

Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, but do you really want to go around spraying everything you own with bleach? Probably not. There are other methods that are much better than the use of bleach though this can be used on bleach-safe surfaces.

Does Lysol Kill Bed Bugs?

Yes, but only if you spray them directly and it has no effect once it has dried. Basically, if you drown something in chemicals, like Lysol, it will probably die. This is all you are doing with this method, and it’s not a great way to control or kill bed bugs.

Does Raid Kill Bed Bugs?

Raid makes a specific bed bug spray. It claims to kill bed bugs and their eggs, but as for controlling and eliminating your infestation, there are probably better ways to go about it.

If you have any more questions regarding whether or not something can kill bed bugs, feel free to ask away in the comments below.

Flying termites are just common termites that are in their winged life stage. This phase is part of their reproduction cycle. While they are breeding adults at this stage and don’t cause significant damage themselves, they create thousands of termite wood-chewing offspring. Flying termites seek new locations for their colonies. It you find winged termites around your home or indoors, it may be an indication that there is termite infestation in a part of your home. There are ways you can identify, kill and prevent flying termites in and around your home.

Identifying Flying Termites

flying-termitesWhen it comes to identifying winged termites, you need to be able to distinguish a flying termite from a flying ant, as the two are often mistaken for one another. Both of these insects look similar but flying ants have three-segment bodies, while termites have two-segment bodies. Flying termites have two long same-sized sets of wings, and ants have a small and big set of wings.

Finding Flying Termites

If you find flying termites indoors, then it could be a sign of infestation, as they could have built nearby colonies. Look for mud tubes or tracks where the termites burrow into the ground. These are usually found in dark, moist areas that have access to wood, and you can look in places like the basement, cracks in the foundation or the underneath siding. Flying termites can occasionally be seen entering and leaving these mud tubes. Sometimes you will find wings instead of the insect’s body. This is because flying termites drop their wings after mating, and the females then go to burrow in mud to lay eggs. You can look for shed wings on window sills and along baseboards.

Ways to Exterminate Flying Termites

If you have a termite problem that is is mainly outside, then use a bug zapper. Termites get attracted to light, so a bug zapper will be an effective way of killing flying termites. Place the electric bug zapper outside the house and near the termites, while keeping the lighting around the house to a minimum to avoid attracting them to your home.

If you see flying termites, you can hit them down and kill them just like that. You can also use vacuum cleaner to vacuum them up, and a liquid spray like a local insecticide to spray on the winged termites and kill them.

Flying termites can be a sign of a nearby active termite colony. Killing the swarmers alone will not solve your termite problem if you have one; you need to find the colony and destroy it for complete termite extermination. Liquid termiticide sprays and baiting systems provide the best methods to extinguish the colony and prevent flying termites. Termiticide can be sprayed around the foundation of your home, in holes or cracks in the walls, and in any areas you have seen termites. Baiting systems will starve the whole colony as they attract the termites and then kill them. Place baits in the soil around your home’s foundation, separating each of them to be at least 1 foot apart.

Finding termites in yourhome can be frustrating. Being able to identify the type of termite and the steps needed to get rid of the termites is a valuable skill. This is a guide on how to kill subterranean termites in your home.

Identifying Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite. They need moisture to survive and are usually found in trees, plants, and lumber. In structures, these pests usaully enter through plumbing and cement expansion joints as wella s any cracks or areas that give them access to a house or building. Any wood that directly touches the soil is at a much higher risk for termite infestation. What distinguishes subterranean termites is theri mud shelter tubes. They build these directly from the soil to wooden beans or up walls.

Watch out for swarming, wings, the mud tubes, and damaged woods. A professional inspector is not needed to find these pests and anyone with a flashlight and a sharp pair of eyes should be able to inspect a home or building for termites.

Termite Control

Subterranean termites can be dealt with in three main ways. A liquid repellent treatment is usually a preventative measure and can be used in new buildings or ones where termite infestation is not present. This is a great step to take before termites can be found. However, it’s not a great option when trying to rid a building of an infestation

A liquid non-repellent termiticide treatment is a good option. This won’t stop the termites from attacking and the pests can live up to 90 days after being exposed. This is actually beneficial as it allows them to share the poison with the other termites in the colony. After a period of time, the poison will actually kill the termites, leading to a severe population decline. While this method is very effective, it may not completely rid the building of the termites, but simply keep them under control.

A third option is a termite bait systems. This is actually very easy to use and maintain. The bait is left within the termite-infested area and the termites bring the bait back to the colony where it is shared with the other pests and kills the majority of the colony. This will work by suppressing the system and will eventually lead to the death of the entire colony. Most professionals recommend this method to get rid of termites for both the long and short run.

After termite infestations have been gotten rid of, consider a wood treatment in order to prevent further subterranean termite infestations. These are easy methods of wood treatment that has proven effective at preventing infestations and especially re-infestations.

These are some easy ways to determine if a house or building has been infested by subterranean termites. These pests leave tell-tale signs and are usually fairly easy to identify with several markers. If they have been found in a building, getting rid of them with one of these options is effective and also inexpensive.

Drywood termites can be very destructive to any wooden structure. From the name itself, they are species of termites that are highly adaptable to dry areas. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites don’t need to have contact with soil to nest underground nor do they need moisture. They directly infest dry woods and create tunnels and chambers. Their size is typically 1/4 to 1/2 inches and their color is pale to dark brown. Once they enter your home, they can extensively damage the frame of the house, wooden furniture and any other area with dried wood. If you know that you have these pests infesting your house, you must take immediate action to exterminate them before they can cause irreparable damages. The following details of this article will tell you how.

Confirm That You Have Drywood Termites

The presence of dark fecal pellets is an indication that you have drywood termites. Drywood termites remove their fecal pellets from their colony so it will eventually accumulate and pile up outside the infested area. You can also seek the help of a professional who knows exactly how to determine drywood termites.

Fumigate the Infested Site

This is usually done by a professional termite exterminator. He will cover the area using plastic material and fill it with poisonous gas that kills the termites. You will be advised to stay out from the premises for about 48 to 72 hours while fumigation treatment is on progress.

Try Localized Treatments

If the infestation is not that really severe, localized treatment can be a better option rather than having a full-structure treatment and you can attempt most of these methods yourself. Localized treatments are best suited for furniture where the infestation can be isolated. This type of treatment is done by injecting poison to the infested wooden areas where a drywood termite colony might seem to reside.

Consider Heat Treatments

Heat treatments are equally effective as fumigation treatments and they are almost exactly done in same process. Just like fumigation treatments, the area is tented but instead of using poison, hot air is used. Drywood termites are known to have low tolerance to extreme heat so they can just die easily. The advantage of heat treatments is that you can safely return to the premises sooner without the fear of inhaling the poison like during a fumigation treatment.

Try Natural Treatment

Professional termite exterminators will usually advice you to use citrus-based products to prevent termites from coming back. The next time you do general cleaning in your home, use citrus-based cleaners when wiping the wooden parts of your home as well as your furniture. Citrus based cleaners do not really kill the termites; it only irritates them drives them away.

Preventive Treatments

There are actually two kinds of preventive treatments which you can do to avoid drywood termites. One is done during the pre-construction and the other one is during post-construction. For the pre-construction, the wooden frames of the house must be treated by spraying borate solutions directly to the pressure-treated woods. Post-construction usually involves using the aforementioned citrus products.

In nature, termites are considered environmentally beneficial as they help to clear out fallen trees and rotten stumps. However, termites can be quite destructive when they start attacking your home and can cause massive damage if their progress remains unchecked. As such, it is of the utmost importance that any homeowner be able to identify signs of termite infestation and learn methods on how to kill termites naturally

Signs of termite infestation

The signs of termite infestation vary according to the type of termite causing the damage. Termites are generally divided into two major groups: subterranean termites and wood termites.

Subterranean termites live entirely underground and build their colonies in soil while wood termites generally thrive on trees and any other wooden object. Wood termites tend to attack furniture and some of the tell tale signs associated with wood termite infestation include hollow sounding wooden furniture, sawdust at the foot of furniture, cracked or distained paint on furniture and the appearance of frass around furniture: frass is the dropping of wood termites.

Subterranean termite infestation is usually characterized by mud tube on the external walls of your home, swarms of winged termites or discarded wings.

Natural Ways to Kill Termites

There are various techniques that can be used to kill termites naturally, the following is an overview of some of these techniques

Cardboard trap – The use of cardboard traps is considered as one of the most natural ways of eliminating termites. Cardboards contain a compound known as cellulose that is very attractive to termites. Cellulose is responsible for the woody smell synonymous with cardboards, termites usually find these smell very alluring. When setting a cardboard trap for termites, you should spray the cardboard with water so as to make the smell more powerful and position the cardboard near a termite-infested area. The termites will be drawn to the cardboard after which you can remove the cardboard and burn it off.

Expose the area to sunlight – Termites are highly susceptible to light and usually die off when exposed to sunlight and the consequent heat associated with sunlight. As such, you should clear off any vegetation around the area where subterranean termites have built their colony or better still, dig up the area so as to expose the termites to the sunlight. Another option would be air termite infested furniture in bright sunlight so as to kill off the termites holed up within the furniture.

Moisture elimination – Termites generally thrive in areas that are rich in moisture. As such, you should ensure that your furniture is positioned in a moisture free area and that there are no water pools or water leakages around the foundation of your house.

Parasitic nematodes – Parasitic nematodes are small worms that feed on microscopic creatures such as bacteria and fungi. However, some other groups of parasitic nematodes also feed on small insects such as termites and can be very effective when it comes to termite control. Parasitic nematodes can be found in online stores or your local pesticide store.

By incorporating the above methods for killing termites naturally your ensure maximum safety by avoiding the use of potentially harmful chemicals.

Termites are eurosocial insects that live in colonies and often number several hundreds or millions at a given time. Their colonies are decentralized but well organized. Activity is guided by swarm intelligence that exploits sources of food and environments unavailable to an insect acting alone. A termite colony comprises of workers, alates (winged male and female insects), egg laying queens and immature workers. Basically these insects feed on dead plant material such as litter, animal, dung, soil and wood. Termites are known as some of the most destructive pests as they can cause serious damage to buildings or crops. Since these insects are highly destructive termite species identification is critical to enable home owners to get rid of them effectively.

Basic warning signs that can help you in termite identification include:

  • Bubbling or cracked paint
  • Wood that produces a hollow sound when tapped
  • Muddy tubes on wooden beams or exterior walls
  • A temporary swarm of alates or winged termites in your home or near the home
  • Discarded wings from the winged insects

There are several types of termites, these include:

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean-Termite-IdentificationThey are considered as the most destructive since they are very difficult to eliminate. These insects work rapidly in huge colonies and reside in deep tunnels around the home. They often make mud tubes which enable them to travel from the soil to the wood inside your home. Subterranean termites are usually so ravenous that they even eat fiberboard.

These insects basically enter homes through unsealed or cracked foundations since they travel underground and but come to the surface to access food. Their tunnels usually appear as dry brown cylindrical structures. If you find such tunnels close to the foundation of your home it is a sure sign of subterranean termites’ infestation. The insects can also be indentified by winged termites that are often seen around doors and windows since they are highly attracted to light. These winged or swarming termites are usually active in springtime .After mating they locate new sites and create a new colony thus spreading infestations in several locations.

Baiting is the only way to eliminate them although it takes some time to get rid of the whole colony. This method is effective since individual insects take the bait back to the colony which gradually dies off.

Drywood Termites


These insects make their home within the wood on which they feed and often burrow mazes in walls and furniture. Most of the times they leave small piles of droppings that look similar to sawdust. They are usually found in warm climates and are very common in the US. Drywood termites are larger than the subterranean termites and approximately measure 11/2 inch long. This type of termites does not need ground connection in order to thrive since they create colonies in wood. Basically their diet comprises of wood although they can also feed on cellulose material.

flying-termitesNymphs of drywood termites go through several phases before attaining adulthood. These termites require very little moisture and usually thrive in attics. Their droppings are commonly found on places such as windowsill where they may appear like pellets. When a colony matures swarms of winged male and female termites are produced. These fly out during warm temperatures and heavy rains to form new colonies.

Dampwood Termites

They are less destructive than most of the other types and also least likely to invade your home. Dampwood insects rely heavily on moisture to survive and thrive on damp rotten wood.

These insects make termite identification easier for home owners as they are commonly found in paper or wood piles, rotten roof shingles and under sinks in the wood of wet cabinet as result of leaking plumbing.

Dampwood termites can be easily prevented by moving paper and wood away from the home. Eliminating dampwood termites require that you fix leaking plumbing and prevent moisture buildup since these two factors are ideal for their infestation.

Termite identification and elimination is important since it is estimated that these insect cause over one billion dollars of damage to homes in the US annually. Unlike other calamities such as fires, storms and hurricanes which is often covered in insurance policies termite damage is rarely covered. Damage caused by these insects is also often underestimated since most homeowners believe that they do not need to take serious measures to prevent it.


Termites can be dangerous, especially when they invade your house. They eat plant cellulose or plant fibers. They are classified according to their feeding behavior and the general groupings include soil-feeding, subterranean, dry-wood, grass-eating and damp-wood species. The dry-wood and subterranean species are largely responsible for the destruction of man-made structures. You should treat them as soon as you notice them. DIY termite treatment is a preferable option because professionals are significantly more expensive. This website, therefore, guides you on how to identify, treat and prevent termites -all by yourself.

Identifying the Signs and Types of Termites

It is very crucial for you to first inspect your home for signs of infestation. Once sure it is infested by termites, identify the type of termites that have attacked because treatments will vary from one type to another. Formosan termites are found in the southern part of the United States. They are also commonly found in Asia. Drywood termites are common in the southern states, along the cost, and in the southwestern states. They can be identified out of their fecal pellets which look like sawdust. This is the first sign of infestation. Fecal pellets are normally spotted near or on window sills, or on other wooden structures within the house. You can also find these termites in attics. The unique thing about these termites is that they spread very fast within your house, causing a lot of damage to the constructions.

The best way of identifying subterranean termites is by any of their mud tunnels or tubes that they make near walls or basements. These termites require moisture to survive and that is why they are often found underground, in wet or damp wood within the house. However, as compared to dry-wood, subterranean termites are smaller in size.

The subterranean termites have different appearances depending on their functions. Soldiers have elongated mandibles and heads, workers are wingless and are light-colored whereas supplementary reproductive termites are short, light-colored, and wingless or have non-functional wings.
Other than spotting the actual termites, there are other signs of invasion. These include paint bubbles and small holes in wood. Also, when wood has been attached from the underneath, a hollow sound will emanate from the wood once you tap it with a blunt object or hammer. This indicates the presence of termites within the space they have created inside the structural wood.

Choosing the Right DIY Termite Treatment Method

There are very many do-it-yourself termite treatment options in the market. The most common ones include use of termiticides, termite baits, and sodium borate.

Termiticides are liquid pesticides used for controlling termites. Although not all termiticides are meant for do-it-yourself termite treatment, the market has some brands that you can use. Termiticides have been for exterminating termites for a long time and they yield quick results. You can use repellants or non-repellants. Repellants discourage termites from entering into your house whereas the non-repellants simply kill the termites. The termiticides must be pumped into the ground through openings or cracks and that is why you should go for products that are safe to the environment.

The use of termite baits is efficient, and does lead to chemical contamination. In involves inserting termite baits into the soil, at various locations near your house. Baits inhibit termite growth and eventually leading to their death. This method is very slow and, therefore, less helpful if you want to exterminate termites immediately.

Further, you can use borate treatment. This method is also effective and popular. Sodium borate is applied on wooden surface and once ingested by the termites, it kills the protozoa in the termites’ digestive tract. This makes the termites incapable of digesting wood, as a result, killing them.

How to Kill Termites Using Natural Methods

If you are against the use of chemicals, natural methods are a good option. These methods include the use of nitrogen liquid to freeze termites, applying some heat on termites, using commercial microwaves, and also through the application of some orange oil.

Worth remembering, even before you think of do-it-yourself termite management, consider preventing or discouraging them. You can minimize their invasion by getting rid of any potential termite food sources, such as cellulose, from the ground. You can also discourage termites by reducing moisture accumulation near foundations and wooden materials.

Most people refer to termites as silent destroyers because they are known to secretly hide and thrive in your home without any signs of damage. The termites are known to feed on cellulose based plant materials. Termites can infest any home provided they can find something to feed on. This is why it is very important to know how to identify if you are having termites in your home. You must also be able to differentiate between a termite and an ant.

flying-termitesTermites are known to be detritivores and they feed on dead trees and plants and not forgetting the dead parts of living trees. The termites are capable of tearing woody materials and because of these they have become of great concern to human dwellings. This is because their feeding habit can lead to costly damage. They can feed on furniture, house foundations, shelves and books if not dealt with early enough.

Termites build subterranean homes in soil where they come up with molds. Within these molds the termites will come up with a good tunnel system which they use to access the food above the ground. There are those termites that live in wood and they are referred to as dry wood termites and these infest furniture and walls. Flying termites are mostly seen around doors and windows and they are highly attracted to light.

Flying termites are only visible when they swarm in a colony and they only swarm when provoked by warmth, heavy rains and humid temperatures. Swarms are known to occur when colonies produce winged female and male termites for reproduction to take place. After mating, the fertilized termites will shed off their wings and then establish new colonies. This then means that when you notice termites flying into your home then that is a mature colony.

However, you must be in a position to differentiate between termites and ants. This is because carpenter ants also swarm in order to mate and reproduce and at a glance the two may be identical. The difference is that termites have no waist, has straight and beaded antennae with four wings which are equal in shape and size. On the other hand the carpenter ant has a narrow constricted waist, bent antennae and four wings which are differ in size with back, hind wings being shorter.

Another difference between the termites and the ant is that ants are reddish or dark in color and can be seen in the open looking for food while the termites are transparent or cream white in color and do not like to be in the open. Therefore if you notice that your home has been infested with termites then you need to contact a professional to help you deal with this. In cases where you cannot differentiate whether it is a termite or an ant then you can take samples. The samples will be compared to the photos and graphic online for identification and to help the professionals in coming up with the right control measure.

If you’re concerned that your home is infested by drywood termites then the best way to confirm your suspicions is to look for their fecal pellets. This is because drywood termites have a very distinctive fecal matter called “frass.” They are at least 1mm long hexagonal shaped pellets that can be found at the base of wooden objects.

However, unlike the frass of other termites, the fecal matter of most drywood termites tend contain very little moisture. This is because drywood termites have the ability to conserve moisture by extracting water from their feces. What this basically means is that any “frass” that can be found in dry areas will almost certainly have come from drywood termites. A few good examples of these kinds of places are the attic, closets as well as areas near your windowsills.

The good news, though, is that drywood termite infestations only occur in several small areas around the world. So if you live in an area where drywood termites do not exist then you won’t really have to worry about them any time soon.

How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Drywood Termite And An Ant?

The good news is that drywood termites look just like regular termites. So if you know how to identify the average termite, you should have no problem telling them apart from regular ants. On the other hand, if you don’t know how to tell the difference between an ant and a termite, here are several tips to help you get started.


  • Termites have no “waist” areas, like ants do.
  • Termite bodies have a more rectangular shape.
  • Certain types of termites have four wings that are of similar in size and dimensions. These wings are also often much longer than the termite’s body.
  • Termites have straight antennae.


  • Ants often have narrow waist-like areas.
  • Ant antennae are often bent
  • Flying ants have 2 large wings at the front and a pair of shorter ones at the back.

Appearance and Behavior of Drywood Termites


Ordinary drywood swarmers are usually 12 mm long. They can usually be found in wood, though they don’t need to connect such colonies to the ground, nor do they need to be close to a source of moisture. Although drywood termites can only thrive in certain areas throughout the world, the amount of damage that they can cause is also quite substantial.

Moreover, it’s also worth mentioning that drywood termites rely on a regular diet of wood and cellulose materials. They can also be found commonly in the attic as well as other isolated regions of your home which are often ignored or left empty. Unlike other termites, they also require very little moisture, so you can expect to find them around the dry areas of your home.

Unfortunately, dislodging them from these areas is relatively difficult and the only way that you can prevent any major damages to your home is to hire pest control professionals right away. This is because given their lack of need for moisture, drywood termites tend to make their colonies in more elusive areas of your home, so finding them will be relatively difficult. Rooting them out with anti-termite sprays and chemicals is also ineffective. The only way you can deal with the problem permanently is to get help as soon as possible.

Termites are commonly known as ‘silent destroyers’ as they have the capacity to destroy your basement, yard or furniture, and pretty much anything made of wood of plant cellulose without any immediate signs of damage. Proper identification of various termites is crucial for effective pest control in homes. The nesting behavior and moisture requirement of different termite species vary and hence, it is essential to use differentiating tactics to target and control the behavior of each species. The first and foremost step to the identification of termites is to differentiate between termite and ant. To an untrained eye, swarming termites seem similar to flying ants and worker termites look identical to insect larvae.

The key to the identification of various types of termites lies in understanding their behavioral pattern, type of wood damage, differences in species and castes.

Drywood Termites


This is an extremely common type of termite found in many parts of the world. They can be easily recognized by the hexagonal pellets that these species leave behind after eating the untreated wood. The dry-wood termites eat the wood from within and create a hollow. If you simply touch your wood in those hollow spaces, the pieces tend to wither and fall down. There are further sub-classifications of dry-wood termite. All these sub-categories have a common habit of building tunnels along the grain of the wood. You can identify various species of drywood termites based on their physical appearance.

  • West Indian Drywood Termites – The swarmers have a body length of around 6mm or greater with a head width of bigger than 1 mm. These species tend to swarm at nights. The soldier species have a 5mm long body and head bigger than 1 mm width. You will find the head of this termite rough without an identifiable frontal ridge.
  • Indo-Malaysian Drywood Termites – The swarmers have a body length lesser than 5mm and the head smaller than a 1mm width. These species swarm during the morning hours. Soldier varieties of the Indo-Malaysian dry wood termites have 3-4mm long body and their heads have a distinct front rim.
  • Western Drywood Termite – The swarmer variety of this termite has a dark brown body with a reddish-brown color on the head. They swarm in the daytime. The soldier species have an extra-long third antenna section that succeeds the length of the subsequent antennas by at least three times. These varieties are more common in places with low elevations.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean-Termite-IdentificationThe second most prevalent of the termite types is the subterranean termite. This variety is generally found in premises built on elevated foundations. These species can survive only underground, as they need high moisture levels to thrive. They build mud tubes to maintain the requisite humidity levels. They can also construct the mud tunnel on walls, cracks, wood and anything that comes in direct contact with the ground.

  • Eastern Subterranean Termites – They are generally found in North America and found in swarms of thousands. They swarm mainly during the spring season. You can easily identify them by finding mud tubes or the wings of the king and queen termites.
  • Western Subterranean Termites –  They enter your homes through cracks in the foundation and other gaps which are as small as 1/16″ in width. You can identify them through the colonies underneath the frosty level and above the water table in the ground. They eat the cellulose part of the wood found in dressers, furniture, walls and floors.
  • Desert Subterranean Termites – They are commonly found in the dry desert climatic conditions and have long mouths than wider ones found in other species. If you find a small mud tube hut hanging from ceilings, wooden walls, shelves, overhangs and the like, then you can be sure that your house has become a victim of the desert subterranean termites.

Dampwood Termites

The dampwood termites thrive in high moisture conditions, and do not require staying underground or in contact with the soil to survive. You can find traces of the dampwood species near water leaks, in wall voids. They are also found in moist and decaying wood in dead trees, stumps and logs. If you find exterior damage to your wooden furniture, floors or ceilings, then you can be sure about the existence of dampwood termites in your premises. The intensity and pattern of wood damage basically depend on the level of wood decay. These termites are visibly bigger than other termite species. The different varieties of dampwood termites and all have similar identification traits. The immature termites work in colonies and use their fecal pellets to seal their living spaces so as to prevent outside air from entering.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are the most destructive species of termites and are sometimes, considered as part of subterranean species in most places. They can be easily distinguished from other termites due to their comparatively larger size and yellowish brown bodies. These Formosan termites can form cartons inside the wood to retain water for their colony till they find a perennial water source. Their colonies are very large, numbering to thousands and millions of members in each colony. This vast size causes damage to the wood in your premises at a lightning speed.

You should have an eagle eye to identify termites at their point of arrival. This early detection can prevent damage to your premises and furniture, and thereby, save huge costs and energy. If you see something unusual in the appearance of the wood or find many winged insects flying in your home, then it is advisable to take the help of professionals to exterminate the termites from your property.