It is laudable that these days many people are trying to do without chemicals in their daily lives. There is, no doubt, plenty that most of can do to reduce the amount of chemicals that we use. Take a look under the sink in many homes and you will see dozens of bottles, cans and sprays to cover all of the routine household chores.
Many of them are unnecessary and could be replaced with home-made formulas. Except that most families have forgotten how to make them and it is easier to get a tin off a shelf. However, there are some jobs that are just too tough for the raw materials available to us and killing termites is one of them. Unfortunately, there is no known home-made termite killer that is as successful as some of the chemical compounds.
In such a situation, all you can do is minimize the load on the planet, while accepting that there will be some load. That is, use a chemical compound that will have as little impact on the planet as possible. Some of the older ways of toxifying a house and its soil to either discourage or eradicate termites like the spreading of the inorganic metal arsenic trioxide or insect growth hormones like fipronil are the least recommended techniques. However, these slow-acting poisons will lay around killing termites for weeks and will eventually wipe out the colony.
These days, rather than poison the soil for a hundred square yards or metres around your home, you are recommended to lay bait boxes instead. Bait boxes are toxic food sources for termites. The chemicals are confined to the bait boxes and can be removed when your problem has disappeared or can be left in situ to kill any future intruders.
These bait boxes are put where you have or are liable to get a problem, that is, wherever timber comes into (close) contact with the ground. They have an active lifespan and so have to be changed or revitalized, but they last quite a long time.
Other preventative precautions you can take involve sweeping up wet leaves from around the base of your house and not stacking wood on the ground around your house. Keep a close eye on any timber that comes close to the ground and be on the look out for pencil-like tubes of earth and wood pulp which are the termites walk-ways.
If you are purchasing a new house in a termite danger zone, make certain that it has been constructed in a manner that is unfriendly to termites. There are termite barriers that can be put under your house to inhibit the ingress of termites, one of which is inedible concrete. You would have though that went without saying, wouldn’t you – ‘inedible’? However, ordinary concrete is not a hurdle to subterranean termites. Neither is plastic or rubber, in fact they love it.
If all else fails, you can eat them. Termites are eaten in several parts of the world. The flying termites are a good source of fat and protein and can be fried on a hotplate without adding oil or fat. Apparently, they taste mildly nutty.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is at present involved with Termidor termite treatment – a termite killer. If you are interested in this or if you are wondering: What Does A Termite Look Like?. Please go to our web site now for further details.