How to Get Rid of Termites – 7 Effective Steps

Know how to get rid of termites? Despite that most homeowners prefer professional termite extermination – particularly after a termite inspection – comprehensive steps for prevention and total termite extermination. 

How to Get Rid of Termites

In summary, the most common technique include soil treatment and chemical termite killers with active ingredients such as fipronil and imidacloprid. Further, you may also directly treat the wood and furniture to get rid of termites (check termite images). 

While at it, you may also position baits in the house and lawn. Such chemicals will release IGRs. After contacting the termites, the termites will go back to their colony and kill all of them through poisoning. 

Additional methods you can use include fumigation, using dust agents, employing foam agents, and further avoiding disturbing the termite hills – for both termite prevention and extermination. Read Also: Flying Ants vs. Termites.

How to Get Rid of Termites – Identifying Termites 

Termites have 2,300 species and they’ll gnaw wood in your home and other properties plus included furniture – they’ll weaken or damage wooden structures. These bugs have 3 body parts and 6 legs.

  • Subterranean Termites – Subterranean termites (cream-brown colored) create mud tubes to get to wooden structures particularly in the humid or warm regions. These bugs measure about 1/8 inches in length and are largely found in Southeast. 
  • Dry-wood Termites – The dry-wood termites will build nests on and eat dry wood and furniture. These termites are tan- or light-brown colored and measure about 3/8 inches in length. The dry-wood termites largely live in coastal states, and Southwest. 

  • Damp-wood Termites – These termites feed on damaged or wood-soiled damp wood. The damp wood could include logs, lumber, and stumps. Damp-wood termites are brown in color and measure about ½ inch long plus they’re mainly found in Pacific regions like southern Florida. 
  • Formosan Termites – Formosan Termites is a highly dangerous subterranean termite (they love both wet soil and moist wood) and will get into your structures through cracks, unsealed joints, or wood that’s in contact with the soil. Formosan Termites are yellow-brown and measure ½ inch long living in wall nests and underground in the warmer South climates. 

1. Inspection – How to Do A Termite Inspection 

Termite inspection is a dirty job that you require you have flat-head screwdriver or pocket knife, flashlight, gloves, and coveralls.

i. What To Look For

During the termite inspection, below are some of the objects to look out for – including live termites, damaged wods and mud tubes.

  • Termite wing Piles – Termite swarmers tend to shed wings as they molt to their next life stage – and these wings will be piled around light sources such as near windows. Swarmers will have 4 wing pairs that have the same size but also double in length to the bug’s body.
  • Damaged furniture or wood – Massive termite infestation will lead to damaged wood when the bugs destroy the integrity of the structure’s joints. Tap the dry wood using a pocket knife or screwdriver – a dull thud will signify presence of termites in wood tunnels.
  • Mud tubes – Termites, particularly subterranean termites, will build mud tube nests from wet soil and these will run up to the wood where they’ll get their food. So, if you see the mud tubes running across or around the wooden structure – this shows presence of termites.

The potential termite infestation places include wooden structures in crawl spaces and basements, window frames and sills, porches, and wooden decks. Additional areas include cement, wood debris, expansion joints, and brick construction cracks, and piles plus wooden porches and slabs.

ii. Probe the Ground

Next you’ll need to probe the suspected ground using screwdrivers or picks. Simply dig into the wood or soil around the house’s foundation and examine if there are any mud tubes or wing piles. You’ll notice that the mud tubes will measure a diameter of about ¼ inches.

The mud tubes will be moving towards the wooden structures – but for large tubes you must note that there is also a massive termite infestation. Also, termites will escape direct sunlight and hence they’ll be hiding in bushes and shrubs – insulation, floors coverings, and behind walls.

  • Seasonal weather and behavior – During the warm climates, the termites will go into hiding while they’ll start mating and getting new sites in summer and spring. However, in winter, subterranean termites will start burrowing deeper into the ground. 

2. Termite Treatment

i. Termite Trenching 

For effective treatment control, termite treat your home’s exterior with Taurus SC among other effective termiticides that’ll full exterminate the termites. The treatment prevent new termites from getting into the structure while also exterminating the termites as they exit their nest. 

You’ll require a pump sprayer, a medium sized bucket, and a pick axe or trench shovel. However, if there is a concrete block on your way, you’ll also need concrete drill bits (1/2 inches by 24 inches or 1/2 inches by 18 inches) and and hammer drill. Here’s the process;

  • Dig trenches that are 6 inches deep by 6 inches wide on then house’s foundation and particularly on the external wall – locations that termites bore and build their nests. Make the trench to go a minimum of 10 feet in length or as far as the termite infestation goes.
  • Next, prepare the termicide termite treatment. Take you bucket and put water up to about 3/4 its total level. Next, pour the recommenced termiticide treatment to create the right concentration also using a stirrer to get the right concentration.
  • Next, pour the termite treatment solution into the trench you’ve already created on the wall near the termite nest – this should be done gently for even distribution. Also, pour some of the termite treatment on the soil that was evacuated from “termite trench”.
  • Spray the soil that you had excavated to make sure that it’s effectively treatment as you return it into the termite trench – ensure that the spraying leaves this soil in a moist condition.

If you’ll be drilling any concrete blocks on the way either on a sidewalk or carport slab – use the concrete drill bits plus your hammer drill to make work easier. Make 2″ to 3″ drilled holes plus allow distancing of about 12 inches between the holes.

However, ensure you pass through the concrete an make a considerable hole in the soil under the stone. Finally, fill the drilled holes with the termite treatment solution – a plastic or metallic funnel would also be helpful in applyijng the termicide into the holes.

Allow the holes and the soil to soak up properly with the treatment solution – come back after 1 hour and repeat the treatment process – this should be some about 3 times. Finally, patch the holes using concrete using Trebor plugs or a patch filler to get the concrete slat to its initial state. 

ii. Termite Bait Stations 

Termite bait stations or Termite traps are excellent treatment options that are position either above or in the ground around the yard or home. By design the stations have baits (either cellulose, paper, or wood) that contains some poison aimed to kill the termites.

Bait stations will be useful in situations where termite trenches are undesirable or impracticable. Luckily, this method is easy to install, cheap (besides using many attractants) don’t use harmful chemicals and its not labor intensive. However, the bait stations require regular inspection – maybe within 3 months.

  • For this termite treatment process you’ll require a post hole digger, 3/4 inches electric or hand augers (2 in total). Typically, you’ll install the termite bait stations to create a termite barrier around the home – roughly 3-4 feet from the house’s foundation.
  • Install the bait stations in narrow holes (8-10 inches drilled using augers) and spaces them at between 8 feet – 10 feet apart. However, for a massive infestation, you may reduce the separation between the termite bait stations around then home.
  • Ensure that the hole you drill are deeper with about 2 inches to 4 inches than the bottom of the bait station – this enables any rain water or otherwise to drain under the bait station. Don’t damage water, utility or gas lines as you drill the holes.
  • In addition, install the baits at about 1 feet – 2 feet from the house’s foundation and thus it’ll be easy to avoid tampering with previously installed soil treatments or termite barriers – or any that’ll be installed at a later date.
  • Ensure that the bait’s lip will be flush to the soil. Finally, create a map of your house and the locations of each bait station so that it’ll be easier to trace them later.

The next step will require that you monitor the termite bait station using a pre-bait made from objects such as an inspection cartridge or wood. However, this process may take a number of months up to even a year (monitor the station every three months) because the station will not attract the termites immediately.

Next, when you notice that the termites are feeding or tampering with the pre-bait, its now time to install an active bait such as dead or live termites or mud tubes. Don’t rush to install the poisoned termite bait as you may end up exterminating the workers required to create the feeding.

Finally, its now time to install the active or poisoned bait onto the termite bait station. However, monitor the bait station as you’d done earlier every three months. Keep records too of all the changes particularly of feeding activity to allow the bait to rest on the station more – repeat the treatment process monthly.

3. Termite Prevention

i. Seal off windows and Doors 

Next, you’ll now need seal off the house or property from the termites – this is especially important for windows and doors. Therefore, the bugs won’t easily get into your wooden house – you’ll simply need to seal up the crevices and cracks in the rooftops and sidings. 

Important is you analyze any possible entry areas that the termites can use and seal them off completely. Further, you’ll need inspect the wooden floors and furniture – including beams and joists to ensure that the termites aren’t wrecking havoc on your house. 

ii. Repair Leaking Pipes and Tapes 

Termite prevention will save you both time, money and furniture or structure integrity in the future. However, the most important fact is avoiding moisture getting ton your wooden structures – this will help kill off the termite colonies. 

So, repair any leaking pipes and tapes – including those of the hot water lines that’re near or around the house. Hence, lack of moisture around the home will reduce the conditions necessary for thriving of subterranean termites around then home. 

Also, mop all the moisture that may be around your house and remove all the water that could be in water puddles around the house or property – or even inside the home. Keep the house plus floors and carpets dry and well-aerated all round then year. 

In addition, ensure to divert the overflows from the various air-conditioning and hot water lines away from the house and its sides. 

iii. Clear idle Wooden Materials

Inspect the house for breached or damaged shielding installed to control termites. Further, remove all idle wooden materials including cellulose, debris, and timber that may be lying inside, under or around your house or yard – equally use yard flea treatments

Such timber may act as good food for the termites and equally a hiding place for subterranean termites (check their treatments) and may also conceal termites inside the dead leaves, and base-work work-spaces. Also, you’ll require to remove all clothes piles lying around idle as they’ll provide food (have cellulose) and shelter for termites. 


So, that’s how to get rid of termites – for the active termite colony in the wooden structure or house, you’ll need to undertake appropriate treatment steps. But first, undertake termite inspection before taking treatment further including using termite baits stations and soil treatment. 

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