Termites. That word can make any homeowner sit up and take notice. Termites are good for the environment because they clear away dead, rotting wood but they don’t know the difference between a rotting tree and your house.
So let’s talk about safe, simple Do It Yourself termite control. Though they can be found anywhere there is dead wood, one of the main places in your garden that termites will live is in your mulch. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Luckily, there is one type of mulch that provides automatic termite control and that’s sugar cane mulch. Now before I go selling you on sugar cane, I need to say that it’s pretty tough to find outside of Australia, South America, Korea and Japan and, so far, I haven’t found any sources over there that ship to North America. Of course, that’s not to say you won’t be able to find it in your area and if you do, it’s definitely worth looking into because it’s excellent for moisture retention, erosion prevention and soil improvement.
Now, there are some tips I can give you on termite control that anyone can use.
1. Be sure to keep the area around your house’s foundation dry. This might be the best type of termite control because it’s preventative. Keep any mulch at least six inches from the base of your house. Also, repair any structural wood that is susceptible to water damage and seal up any small cracks around your home that could allow termites to enter.
2. Another interesting tactic for termite control is to wet down an old cardboard box and place it near your house. Keep an eye on it. Termites like soft wood and cardboard is made of wood. So if you have a termite infestation it is likely that they will begin to feed on the cardboard.
If you find termites in the cardboard you need to destroy it and then repeat the process with a new box. This method does take time but eventually you should be able to get the termites better under control.
3. My personal choice is the organic termite control stakes that you can find at your local home improvement stores. These usually work by putting a temiticide around the foundation of your home and changing it out frequently. Termite control stakes like Spectracide Terminate are one example of this type of product. If you do not have a serious problem with termites this may be something you will want to try rather than paying a thousand dollars to a pest control company.
The key to using any DIY termite control method is that you need to continuously monitor it. If the termites seem to be under control from your efforts then keep doing what you’re doing, but if the problem gets worse, definitely call a professional.