One of the ancestral pests that is most uncomfortable in a home is the termite. It seems inextinguishable and when we least expect it, it appears to eat at our house. It does not seem to get enough, and its appearance can cause quite justified panic, especially for those homes whose construction material is wood. However, furniture, shelves, floors, and anything else they find edible do not escape them. So, given the seriousness of the problem, we present the following post on how to protect wood from termites.
Why termites are so dangerous
Termites are isopteran insects that are more closely related to cockroaches than to the ants they resemble. However, apart from their huge colonies, they bear little resemblance to any other insect found on our premises. This is one of the characteristics that makes them dangerous. But there are others, let’s see:
- They live in huge colonies.
- They have a specialised structure for attacking plants and wood in any form.
- They adapt easily to almost any environment if there is food.
- They consume anything with cellulose and in this case, paper, cardboard, amalgamated and others, work perfectly as food. Therefore, their destructive capacity is considerable.
- Unlike other insects, they offer nothing in return for the damage they do.
Their destructive power is remarkable when they are allowed to advance, which is often the case especially in basements or attics.
How to control termites
The first issue is prevention. As soon as you see a termite mound forming, eliminate it. They are easy to identify because of their conical shape and surface location. Also, ask a specialist for information or simply call them to deal with the problem.
They are usually easy to eliminate but their spread in populated areas can lead to other colonies. If you live in an urban area, inform your neighbours of the need for comprehensive control so that measures can be taken together and take up considerable space. Another important aspect is to determine the type of termite that occupies your space. There are subterranean termites that live in damp conditions and those that live in dry wood and are more difficult to detect.
Methods to protect wood from termites
Here are some measures you can take to control this terrible pest.
The first action should be the preliminary diagnosis and recognition of the type of termite we are dealing with. Check the situation of the wooden objects in your home. See if they have small abnormal holes, i.e., they are not part of the natural structure of the wood. Normally, furniture wood is treated and turned into products with a homogeneous finish. It is therefore unlikely that they will have holes in them. This becomes an indication of the presence of termites.
When you locate the hole, try to drill into its surface, if it falls easily, start to fear the worst. Check for the presence of termite droppings or wings. It is also important to check the outside of your house. If you see mud tubes with shallow holes, start the race to remove them.
Seek professional help
We always point this out to you because you need to understand that in many cases you do not have enough knowledge. If the problem is in its infancy, you can deal with it. But, when it has reached dangerous proportions, the best thing to do is to get the expert to deal with the problem.
Exposing wood to sunlight
It’s an old piece of natural knowledge. Termites live in dark, damp places and can’t stand heat and light. Exposure to sunlight naturally eliminates them and is a good way to keep your wood in a healthy condition. It is always important to reduce the moisture levels in each piece of furniture and this is the best way to do it. Ideally, this operation should be done for at least three days in a row. This way you eliminate the enemy without great risk. Nature will do your job.
Make sure the wood is sealed
This is a procedure that you may not have access to when it comes to the structure of your house. However, if you are building, make sure that the supplier guarantees the right treatment for the wood you are using. Also, when the furniture arrives home, check its condition and ask for an extra coat of sealant. There are also commercial products that you can use to improve what has been done at the factory. This prevents the termite from entering or getting cellulose that can be used.
Prepare termite traps
Moisten a cardboard box and place it in the infested area. The termites will smell the cellulose and run to dinner. In this way you will gradually eliminate them. This is an operation that you can carry out with some frequency until the number of termites is less and they disappear.
The effective boric acid
This is an interesting product for many reasons. It is a very effective natural repellent that works on other insects as well. It is also not harmful to humans or pets. It is easy to find and simple to use. Its components if you can’t find it already prepared are borax and water in a solution of 1 to 5 respectively. You spray the corners and the furniture itself and with time you will see that the termites will gradually disappear.
Natural treatments with oils
There are some distilled plant oils that work to control termites. For example, neem is a natural repellent and suitable for many pests. The same is true for orange peels or laurel. It works on many levels, because in addition to having a repellent smell, they have insecticidal properties that eliminate the pest quickly and without consequences for humans.
The fight against termites seems to be never-ending. However, the ideal is to keep them under control. If you need additional information, you can click here and receive it.