12 Ways To Kill Termites In Your Home Naturally (Try These Before Tenting)

Kenneth Wilson

Many houses in the United States, around 600,000, unfortunately, get infested with termites. Termites cause an average of $5-billion in property damages every year, in the United States. A lot of individuals notice termite damage and freak out. Do not freak yourself out, termites are common. They are especially common in wetlands such as Florida. Termites are similar to ants since they both live in a colony.  

Having termites is a serious issue, as they can destroy the foundation of your home.If you suspect that your beloved home could be infested with termites, you must act on the issue right away to avoid serious damage. However, many people may not want to use harsh chemicals to get rid of the infestation.

How do Termites Get into your Home? 

Termites need things such as wood and moisture to survive. Houses are the perfect place for termites to live and reproduce. There are a few different types of termite entry points: subterranean, dry wood, and Formosan. Termites tend to usually get into your home by doorframes, porch steps, etc. If you live on a farm, you may notice termite colonies in your trees, mulch, and outdoor woodpiles.  

  • Subterranean Entry Points - These colonies live underground. They will enter homes at ground level; however, they can build mud tubes that will help them move toward more above the ground areas of your house. These termites enter your house by going through the cracks of the foundation. To properly get rid of termites who used this entry point, look for trouble spots. You may notice spots in the foundation that bring moisture in, attracting the termites.  
  • Dry Wood Entry Points - Termites locate a tiny crevice in part of the wood of your home. Once the termites are in, they begin laying their eggs. Over time, this can cause serious damage to your house once the colony grows to a decent size. This type of entry point can be difficult to exterminate. It requires consistent and regular maintenance to properly prevent colonies from growing.    

How do I Know if I have Termites? 

There are several obvious signs that you may have a termite infestation, and you must pay attention to it and exterminate it as soon as possible. (Related: Termite Treatment: A Cost Guide) These signs include:  

  • Termite Swarmers - Termite swarmers are small and have milky wings. They get mistaken for ant swarmers often, but it’s dangerous to just assume they are ant swarmers.  You may also find a pile of their wings around your property, signifying that the swarmers were there.  
  • Mud Tubes - You may find mud tubes around the foundation of your house. They look like straw-shaped tubes. They allow termites to travel around your house, going from their colony to their food source.  
  • Frass - Termites may also leave what is known as frass. Frass is the sawdust droppings you’ll find around your house. It is caused by how fast the termites eat wood. You may also see damage to the structure of your house. Subterranean termites will bring mud into the wood, to help keep their moisture requirements.  
  • Bubbles in Paint - You may notice little bubbles in the paint on your walls. This could be a sign of dry wood termites. They will be eating your walls from the inside.  
  • Damp Wood Termites - These types of termites live mainly in more wet areas, such as swamps. They aren’t usually found in homes. You may notice that logs on your property are consistently wet. If you notice the beams in your roof are consistently wet, you may have damp wood termites in your home.  
  • Eating Patterns - Subterranean termites tend to eat along the grain of the wood. They prefer soft layers of wood.  

12 Ways to Kill Termites in your Home naturally  

 Some people wonder if you can even get rid of termites without calling a pest control company. To answer that, of course, you can! However, it may depend on the area you are in. What may work for you in Florida may not work if you lived in other areas, such as California. So, how can one get rid of termites naturally?

There are a handful of ways one can get rid of termites naturally, and some ways may seem quite strange at first. Keep in mind that these solutions are not an immediate fix, you must repeat these processes for the best results.  


Vinegar is common throughout the house, people tend to use it mainly for cleaning. Vinegar is a solution for a lot of household issues, such as a dirty drain. You can even use it to get rid of termites! It is a very simple process, just mix half of a cup of vinegar with the juice from two lemons and put it into a spray bottle. Next, spray the vinegar mix on the area where you suspect may be infested with termites. You may want to repeat this process overtime to ensure that the termites are gone. How does this work? The acidity in the lemons mixed with the vinegar will suffocate and kill the termites.


This one sounds a little strange, but nematodes love to eat termites. There are certain stores where you can buy nematodes, or you can purchase them online.  Once you obtain the nematodes, release them in areas where you think may have the termites. The nematodes will continue to reproduce, which will help in the long run in case the termites try to come back.

However, there is a downside to this: nematodes eat crops. So, if you grow crops it may not be the best idea to try nematodes. Do the research and make sure you buy the correct type of nematode, there are multiple types for different types of pests.  


Yes, even something as simple as sunlight could potentially help get rid of termites. Termites hate sunlight. Termites can die if they are exposed to the sun and the heat too much. Depending on what you suspect is infested with termites (i.e., a piece of furniture) you can take it outside when it is very sunny and just let it soak in the sun all day.

This may be complicated if you suspect termites in the structure of your home, but you can invest in UV lamps. All you’ll have to do is plug them in and set them in front of certain areas in your home.  

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper contains a chemical called capsaicin, which is the chemical that makes it spicy. This chemical can also kill termites. It works by severely damaging their nervous system. This method is best used in small infestation areas. Simply put a generous amount of cayenne pepper around the area. You may repeat this until you notice that the termites are gone. The termites will be attracted to it but will soon realize that the cayenne pepper is not their friend.  

Neem Oil

Neem oil comes from the fruits of an evergreen tree located in India. Neem oil has a history of being great at removing pests for many years. It works by interrupting the reproduction cycle of pests. Make a mixture of neem oil with soap and water. Use 5mL of neem oil, 2mL of soap, and one liter of water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle, and spray wherever needed. The termites will eat this solution. Then, the solution will change the termites’ hormones. This will cause them to forget about eating and even mating. Eventually, this will cause the termites to no longer lay eggs, and the older termites will die. Over time this solution will get rid of the termites since they will no longer be able to reproduce.

The ingredients in this solution will start to break down after around eight hours, so apply the mixture as soon as you make it. However, if you are pregnant, you should probably ask your doctor about doing this method beforehand.  


A very common thing we all keep in our kitchens, is also feared by termites. Salt can cause termites to be dehydrated and will result in death. Combine salt with warm water and mix until you have an even mixture. Use as much salt as you want, the more the better. Carefully place this mixture in spots you suspect of infestation, and then lightly throughout the rest of your house. This method works best with smaller infestations or is used with other organic methods.  

Orange Oil

Using orange oil as a way to naturally get rid of termites is the best option to use if you are in the early stages of an infestation. Orange oil comes from the orange rinds and is not as toxic as other solutions. It won’t harm pets. This method is only effective in the areas in which you put it. This means that you will have to put orange oil everywhere you believe have termites. Orange isn’t very effective for underground infestations, so you may want to use other methods along with it. You may also want to do this a handful of times to ensure that the termites are truly gone.  

Sodium Borate

Also known as Borax, sodium borate can be used to get rid of termites naturally. This process is simple, just purchase some borax powder. Next, you will sprinkle the borax around the infested areas. You may also mix the borax powder with water and put it in a spray bottle. If you do that, simply spray the infested area until you feel satisfied with its coverage. You may want to repeat this process occasionally overtime to make sure that the termites stay gone.  

Wet Cardboard

Wet cardboard is an older remedy for getting rid of termites. This method should be used more as a trap, instead of a way to exterminate termites. Get a piece of cardboard and wet it. Next, you will place the wet cardboard in an infested area. Once you see them head towards the wet cardboard, you can use another one of the natural remedies mentioned above to help kill them. This method is simple, yet it does help a lot.  

Beauveria Bassiana

Beauveria Bassiana is a type of soil fungus that is used to help keep specific pests away. Apply this soil fungus to infested areas in your home. The termites will interact with the Beauveria Bassiana and will then become hosts to the fungus. The fungus will feed off of termites, and will slowly result in the death of the termites.  

Clove Oil

Clove oil can be another effective method for getting rid of these unwanted pests. This method only takes two ingredients: clove oil and water. Use one cup of water for six drops of clove oil. Put into a spray bottle and shake. Next, spray this mixture onto the infected areas. Reapply daily for best results.  

Garlic Oil

Similar to clove oil, garlic oil can also be used to get rid of termites. Take eight drops of garlic oil, two drops of neem oil, and 1 cup of water and put it all into a spray bottle. Shake to make sure it’s combined well. Spray infested areas and reapply daily.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are a lot of simple questions one may have about termites and getting rid of them. Some of those questions may include the following:

Do termites eat wood?

The answer is yes, they do eat wood. They’ll munch on anything with wood or containing cellulose. This can include books, walls, furniture, and many more things you may have lying around the house. Termites are very tiny, destructive pests. Termites aren’t able to eat through concrete, but since they are so tiny, they can fit through the cracks. Some may believe that because of this, then they can eat through the concrete.  

Are termites able to eat through plastic?

No, termites aren’t able to eat through plastic. However, if they find plastic being only thing separating them from their desired food, they may be able to break through the plastic. They see food, and they will do anything to obtain it.  

Kenneth Wilson
October 6, 2021
Contractor Tips, Interior

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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