Fighting Termites: How To Get Rid Of Them


Termites can cause serious damage and threaten entire livelihoods. Learn how to fight termites before it’s too late.

Termites are not originally native to America. In the 1930s, however, a termite species, namely the Reticulitermes lucifugus, was probably brought in from southern Europe via a timber transport to Hamburg and is still wreaking havoc in the Hanseatic city to this day.

In the meantime, one or the other Reticulitermes lucifugus colony has also been discovered in Barberton. It can be assumed that the voracious insects will spread even further in this country due to climate change and globalization and will adapt to the new habitat. 

There are roughly two types of termites: earth termites and wood termites or dry wood termites. As far as we know today, almost 3000 species of termites are known, which are divided into seven families: 

  • Mastotermitidae
  • Termopsidae
  • Hodotermitidae
  • Kalotermitidae
  • Serritermitidae
  • Rhinotermitidae
  • Termitidae

Suspected Termites: What To Do?  

While most native pests are just annoying, termites can wreak existential damage. The destructive insects eat their way through the wood and can bring down an entire house. The spread of termites is particularly a problem in Germany because there is complete ignorance in this country. The topic of wood protection, i.e. prevention, is still in its infancy. It is all the more important to recognize the infestation as quickly as possible:  

If you can see yellowish spots and maybe small holes in the wood, this indicates a termite infestation. If parts of your house or wooden furniture in the living area are made of pine, cypress, kapok, balsa or alder, you could actually have become a victim of termites because the little pests love these types of wood.  

If you are unsure whether your home is actually infested with termites, seek professional help. 

Fight Termites

If the suspicion has actually been confirmed, you should act quickly. Because the animals reproduce quickly as soon as the sex animals lay eggs, they quickly develop into a large colony. The colony multiplies even more dramatically when it develops secondary and tertiary sex animals over time. You can read here what to do in the event of a termite infestation.

  • Termite trap:  Termites love wood and cellulose. You can take advantage of this preference and set up a cardboard trap. To do this, take a few pieces of cardboard, moisten them, stack them on top of each other, and then set the trap in a place where you suspect the insects will be, even if the termite burrows are not always easy to find. If the plan works and the trap is infested with termites, get out of the house quickly and burn yourself. Repeat this process as often as necessary. 
  • Nematodes: Nematodes are threadworms harmless to humans and that nestle in the termite larva as a parasite and kill the termite within 48 hours. Release the worms after sunset or early in the morning. So the sex animals of the earth termites or dry wood termites can lay as many eggs as they want. If the larvae die, their colony will not grow. 
  • Sun exposure: Termites hate sunlight. So if the termites have only made themselves comfortable in one or more pieces of furniture and not in the whole house, you can put the affected wood in the sun for several days. 
  • Frost: If the cold is too cold, the termites die. If you have a large freezer, you can freeze the infected piece of furniture (disassembled if necessary). 
  • Boric acid: Boric acid is often used to combat termites because it is extremely effective. The insecticide damages the termites’ nervous system and ultimately kills them. Build a bait by painting a piece of wood or cardboard with boric acid and placing it near the termite infestation, such as next to the termite mound, if you can locate the earth termites. After a while, you should find termite carcasses around the trap. 

Fight Deadlines With Professional Help 

If the termites have only spread through a piece of furniture, you have a good chance of getting rid of the insects quickly. However, if the whole house is already colonized by pests, you won’t be able to do much on your own. A specialist definitely has to work here.

He can not only advise on the subject of wood protection, but also the various termite species, initially between earth termites and dry wood termites and, in the next step, between the families Termitidae, Rhinotermitidae, Kalotermitidae, Mastotermitidae, Termopsidae, Hodotermitidae and Serritermitidae or the Hamburg-based Reticulitermes lucifugus Initiate measures to control termites. Professional exterminators are therefore indispensable because they have the know-how and effective equipment and resources and are the last hope and, at best, rescue in the fight against termites.