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 superfluous and could be replaced with home-made formulas. Except that most families have forgotten how to prepare them and it is easier to get a tin off a shelf in a supermarket. However, there are some jobs that are just too tough for the raw materials available to us and killing termites is one of them. Regrettably, 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 contaminate the soil for a hundred square yards or metres around your home, you are encouraged to put down bait boxes instead. Bait boxes are toxic food sources for termites. The chemicals are restricted to the bait boxes and can be removed when your problem has disappeared or can be left in situ to kill any future marauders.
These bait boxes are put where you have or are likely 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 replaced or recharged, but they last quite a long time.
Other preventative measures you can take include sweeping up damp 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 buying a new house in a termite danger sector, make sure that it has been built in a manner that is inhospitable 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 really like it.
if all else fails, you can eat them. Termites are eaten in some parts of the world. The flying termites are a good source of fat and protein and can be fried on a hotplate with adding oil or fat. Apparently, they taste mildly nutty.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on lots of subjects, but is at present concerned 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.