How to Get Rid of Termites
Termites are one of the most dangerous pests as they can create structural damage and completely collapse your home in just a short time. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), subterranean termites cost American homeowners an estimated $5 billion annually – costs that aren’t covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
Your home is probably the largest investment you have ever made and the most important. Therefore, it is essential to take the proper steps to protect your home from termites, and to rid your house of them immediately if you already have an infestation.
Getting rid of bed bugs should include the following:
- Non-Repellant Termiticides. Non-repellant termiticide can be trenched around the perimeter of your home, foam injected into wall voids, sprayed as a perimeter barrier treatment, and injected under foundations and concrete slabs. Soil that has been treated with non-repellent termiticides is not easily detected by termites, so they don’t know to avoid the treated area. Termites come in contact with the non-repellent termiticide, which is then shared with the rest of the colony during feeding and grooming, resulting in a gradual decline in termite colony. Note: Many termiticides are highly toxic, making it critical to follow label directions with added care. In most cases, termiticide application can only be properly performed by a trained pest management professional.
- Termite Baiting. Place bait stations in infested areas and into the ground around the perimeter of your home. Termites discover the bait inside the station, feed on it and then share its slow-acting chemistry to the colony during feeding and grooming, resulting in a gradual decline in termite colony. The bait must be appealing enough that termites will consume it, even in the presence of competing woodpiles, structural wood, and other cellulose based material. And it must have a delayed reaction slow enough to allow termites to return to their colony. If the bait kills too quickly, other termites may avoid it all together.
- Boric Acid. Boric acid is the main ingredient used in many store-bought termite insecticides. Boric acid shuts down the termite’s nervous system while dehydrating it. Coat or spray wood and other cellulose material.
- Wood Treatment. A mixture of borate and water can be sprayed or painted onto wood. Apply it liberally and allow it to permeate the wood. Once the wood is dry, apply a water-repellant finish to seal in the borate. This creates a barrier through which termites cannot pass as they poisoned when they eat the treated wood.
- Heat Infested Items. Heat infested articles (e.g., furniture, decor, and other cellulose based material) to at least 140°F for 60 minutes to ensure that termites are killed. This is often done using a heat-generating device or in a specially constructed heating unit, some of which are portable.
- Freeze Infested Items. Place all infested articles (e.g., furniture, decor, and other cellulose based material) in a freezer set to 15°F for at least 4 days. Bulky items require more time. Wood subjected to freezing should be wrapped in plastic. After removing it from the freezer, leave the item wrapped until it reaches room temperature. This protects the wood from water marks due to condensation as the item warms. Also, handle the item carefully since glue joints are very fragile when frozen.
- Seal Cracks & Crevices. Seal up all cracks and crevices with caulk. This includes sealing both inside and outside of your home. Termites are so small, they can get in just about any little crack or crevice. Pay attention to cracks in the wall, ceiling, floor, and baseboards.
- Properly Store Wood. Termites feed heavily on cellulose based material (e.g. wood, books, boxes, furniture, drywall coverings, etc.) so keep large amounts unnecessary firewood and other loose tree trunks and branches away from your home. If you must keep wood near your home, store it’s at least 20 feet away from the home, and cover it completely to keep it dry; this will minimize the attraction for the termites. Keep mulch at least 15 inches from your home’s foundation.
- Control Water. Subterranean termites are naturally drawn to damp and moist habitats because they need water to survive. So make sure all leaks and standing water, both inside and outside of your home are secured and dry. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks, if possible.
- Hire a Professional Pest Control Company. Using the above do-it-yourself methods will be helpful in controlling termites and a necessary part of a comprehensive plan, but to completely get rid of termites, treatment usually requires professional services. Experienced companies know where to look for termites, and have an assortment of safe, professional-grade treatment and prevention options.
How-To / DIY Pest Control
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs were almost eradicated years ago, but we are seeing a rapid resurgence of infestations. Currently, the Bedbug Registry has 635 bed bug reports in Massachusetts hotels and apartments alone!
Bed bugs are small and easily spread around the world through luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture, but are very difficult to get rid of! Getting rid of bed bugs should include the following:
Getting rid of bed bugs should include the following:
- Treat Your Bed Frames, Headboards, Mattresses & Box Springs. Approximately 70% of all bed bugs in the typical infestation are located on the mattress, box spring and bed frame. Successful self-treatment of these items is difficult and you’re better off discarding these items, although, the money to replace these items might better be spent on hiring a professional pest control company who can effectively treat and save these items.
- Treat Mattresses & Box Springs. Alternatively, you can vacuum and steam clean the mattresses and the exterior of box springs. Air dry them thoroughly to avoid mold and place a bed bug proof cover over them (to trap the remaining bed bugs and eggs inside and starve them to death). Bed bugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on for at least 1 year to make sure all bugs are dead. Immediately double-bag the vacuum bag after cleaning and dispose of outside in a trash can.
- Wash All Washable Items In Very Hot Water & Dry Them On The Highest Dryer Setting.For washable items (bedding, linens, curtains, clothing, stuffed animals, etc.), research shows that dry cleaning, washing with temperatures at 120°F for 30 minutes, or tumble drying for 30 minutes on high will kill all stages of bed bugs. Make sure to bag and store all cleaned items so they do not become re-infested while the home is still being exterminated.
- Heat All Un-Washable Items. Heat infested articles (e.g., furniture, luggage, and other items that can’t go in clothes dryer) and/or areas to at least 120°F for 90 minutes to ensure that eggs are killed. The higher the temperature, the shorter the time needed to kill bed bugs at all life stages. This is often done using a heat-generating device or in a specially constructed heating unit, some of which are portable. Make sure to bag and store all cleaned items so they do not become re-infested while the home is still being exterminated.
- Freeze Un-Washable Items. Place all un-washables in bags and place them in a freezer set to below 0 degrees F (about the temperature of a chest freezer, not a refrigerator freezer) for at least 4 days. Bulky items require more time. The lower the temperature, the less time needed to kill bed bugs. Make sure to bag and store all cleaned items so they do not become re-infested while the home is still being exterminated.
- Steam Bed Bugs. High temperature steam will kill bed bugs at all stages of growth. It is essential that the machine produces a dry ‘vapor’ steam at a minimum temperature of 120°F to be effective in killing bed bugs. Use a high-pressure nozzle to get into the crevices of your furniture as well as places like base boards.
- Vacuum & Steam Clean Carpet. Pay particular attention to the perimeter edge of wall-to-wall carpets. Immediately double-bag the vacuum bag after cleaning and dispose of outside in a trash.
- Seal Cracks & Crevices. Seal up all cracks and crevices with caulk. This includes sealing both inside and outside of your home. Bed bugs are so small, they can live in just about any little crack or crevice. Pay attention to cracks in the wall, ceiling, floor, and baseboards.
- Insecticides. Many of the insecticides available in over-the-counter products are not effective in controlling bed bugs due to a variety of reasons (inadequately preparing the area, overlooking bed bug harboring areas, not following up on treatments within appropriate timeframes, bed bugs becoming resistant, etc.). Also, treating your home with insecticides can be hazardous, it is important to use products that are safe for your home.
- Use Monitoring Devices To Ensure That You Have Truly Gotten Rid Of Bed Bugs. Place your bed (or other piece of furniture) away from other furniture and the walls and place interceptor cups under the legs. Bugs approaching from the floor or leaving the furniture will get stuck in the cup. Check the cups regularly to keep track of how many bed bugs you catch weekly so that you can track your success.
- Hire A Professional Pest Control Company. Using the above do-it-yourself methods will be helpful in controlling bedbugs and a necessary part of a comprehensive plan, but to completely get rid of bed bugs, treatment usually requires professional services. Experienced companies know where to look for bed bugs, and have an assortment of safe, professional-grade treatment and prevention options.