Termite Control Using Orange Oil

Every year termites attack thousands of homes and buildings. Americans spend millions of dollars annually to treat termites and to repair the damage that they cause.

Products that contain citrus extracts have proven to be toxic to insects. Since these products are derived from citrus, they have very low toxicity to humans. Many people consider orange oil and other citrus–based insecticides as alternatives to conventional termite control methods.

There are three types of termites in the United States. Subterranean termites are the most common and they attack the largest number of homes every year. They are found I every state except Alaska. Subterranean termites live under the ground and move up into houses through tiny cracks. They make mud tubes when they must travel across open spaces. When they eat wood, they often use soil particles and feces to pack the damaged wood so their environment stays humid.

Drywood termites attack wood that is above the ground. They live in the wood and do not ever have contact with the ground. They are common along the Pacific Coast, the desert Southwest, the Gulf Coast, the Southeast, and the Mid–Atlantic part of the United States.

Dampwood termites live in wood that is very moist. They are found along the Pacific Coast, the Desert Southwest, and in Florida.

When termites attack wood, they eat it from the inside. They hollow it out to make galleries where they hide. When termites come near the surface of the wood, they often cause paint or wall covering to peel or become uneven. Drywood termites push their fecal pellets out of the galleries. The pellets usually form small piles below the hole. These signs are clues to indicate the location of termite galleries.

If the termite galleries can be located, it is possible to inject an orange oil insecticide. The orange oil insecticide will kill the termites that come in contact with it. This treatment can be effective for small infestations of drywood termites. Drywood termite colonies are very small and they grow very slowly.

There will be some challenges to this orange oil injection treatment.

The orange oil will gradually be absorbed into the wood inside the gallery. The air will cause it to become inactive over time. Termites that were not killed y the initial treatment can continue to eat and cause damage.

If the drywood termite colony is well established, it may have grown beyond the place where it started. There could be galleries that are not visible. There could also be colonies in other areas of the home.

If the termites are subterranean, there will usually be hundreds of termites in the ground. When they move up into the treated gallery, they will be repelled and they will move to another area. The treatment will not prevent them from attacking again.

Many times, orange oil insecticide can be used as part of a termite control program. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to combine this treatment with other types of treatments.

Liquid termiticide soil barrier, borate application to the wood, termite bait, and even structural fumigation are all treatments that have been used to control termites in millions of homes, Many homeowners call n a pest control professional when they suspect they have termites. These experts can make an inspection and identify the pest. They can explain the treatment options that are best for the particular situation.