5 Easy DIY Termite Treatment Methods (With Instructions)

You’re at your wit’s end trying to get rid of the termites around your house.

You want them out ASAP. But you’re not quite ready to cut professional contractors an expensive check.

The good news is, there’s quite a bit you can do to get rid of these pests without breaking the bank.

Here, we’ll go over all the different DIY methods you can do to eliminate termites.

Let’s dive in.

1. Chemical Soil Treatment

Chemical soil treatments are ideal for Subterranean Termites and Formosan Termites.

This method won’t be effective at eliminating Dampwood and Drywood since these termites live in wood, not in soil.

Chemical soil treatments are the easiest if you have a crawlspace or a slab foundation.

This method is more difficult if you have a basement, as it will require that you drill through the concrete slab. 

If you have a basement, I recommend reaching out to a professional.

What You’ll Need:

  • Diggin Tool – Pickaxe or Shovel
  • Termidor or Other Liquid Termiticide
  • Bucket
  • Mixing Tool
  • Hammer Drill (Optional)
  • ½ inc or ⅜ inch SDS Hammer Drill Bits
  • Concrete Trebor Plugs or Premade Cement Pack (Optional)
  • Pressurized Insecticide Sprayer with Injection Rod

Instructions

1. Dig Trench

The first step for applying a chemical soil treatment is digging a trench.

Dig a 6×6 inch trench around your crawlspace or slab foundation.

If you have a crawlspace make sure to dig a trench on the inside and outside of the crawlspace. 

You can also drill holes inside the trench to make it easier for the termiticide to seep deeper into the soil.

For this, I recommend drilling holes that are one to two feet deep for every foot inside the trench.

 

2. Apply Termiticide Into Trench

Pour your termiticide mixture into the trench.

For Termidor, use four gallons of termiticide for ten linear feet.

One bottle of Termidor should be enough to treat around 60 linear feet.

For a house that is 70ft x 30ft, you will have 200 linear feet of the perimeter.

Therefore you will need around four bottles of Termidor to treat the perimeter of the home.

 

3. Refill Trench

Once the soil has absorbed half of the termiticide liquid, place the backfill back into the trench.

Refilling the trench before the soil absorbs all of the liquid will allow the remaining termiticide to treat the backfill soil.

 

4. Drill Concrete Slabs Around Your Home

To treat concrete slabs such as driveways, garage, or walks ways, you’ll need some additional tools:

  • Hammer Drill
  • ½ or ⅜ inch SDS Hammer Drill Bits

Drill holes between eight and twelve inches apart around the perimeter of the concrete.

 

5. Inject Termiticide Under Concrete

Using a pressurized sprayer, inject the Termidor under the concrete slabs.

Keep spraying until you see the termiticide overflow from the hole.

Apply the termiticide into each hole that you created.

 

6. Cover Drill holes

After you are done applying, cover the drill holes with a premade cement mixture or using rubber caps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTgg92HV84k&feature=emb_title

2. Bait Stations

Termite traps, a.k.a Termite Stakes, are bait stations designed to Subterranean Termites and Formosan Termites.

While effective, they are some of the most expensive termite treatments with installations costing between $1,600 and $2,500.

The good news is that you can apply them yourself.

What You’ll Need

  • Shovel or a post hole digger. Some bait stations will come with a digging tool.
  • Bait stations.
  • Cellulose. This is typically wood shaving or cardboard.
  • Cartridges. Some baits come with cellulose and termiticide, so you wouldn’t have to purchase them separately.

Instructions:

1. Map Out Installation Spots

Determine where around your home you’re going to bury the baits and mark them.

The goal is to surround the perimeter of your home with baits at about 10 to 15 feet increments.

Installing the bait stations at fixed intervals increases the chance of termites finding them.

Place additional bait in other suspect areas such as around moist areas and near previous termite damage.

If your home has been treated with another termiticide, you’ll want to place the baits about 1-2 feet away from the foundation.

Bait stations are typically placed away from the foundation to avoid contamination.

 

2. Dig Holes on Your Marked Spots

Use a digging tool to create holes deep enough to bury the bait station while leaving the lid accessible on the ground’s surface.

Having easy access to the lid is essential so you can monitor and replenish the bait.

 

3. Bury The Bait Station

Once the holes are ready, bury the stations into it.

Make sure that the baits are not loose into the ground.

If the holes are too big, add some soil to make it snugger.

The top of the bait stations should be flush with the ground and not covered by dirt.

 

4. Pre-Baiting

Don’t add termiticide right away.

First, you’ll want to establish the eating habits for the termites.

This process is called pre-baiting.

Pre-baiting allows the scout termite to find and feed on the bait safely.

The scout termite will then leave a scent trail for the worker termites to follow and feed on the bait.

Once you have a feeding cycle between the scout and worker termites, you can proceed to replace the wood with a toxic substance.

The worker termites will then feed on the bait and bring the poison to the entire colony.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C3-qiULZgQ&feature=emb_title

3. Treating Wood with Bora-Care

Bora-Care is one of the most effective products used to prevent and control termite infestations.

It works on Drywood termites, Subterranean termites, Formosan termites and Dampwood termites.

It can reduce termite wood consumption by 90%. And it has a 94% termite mortality rate on termites.

Once absorbed, Boracare will stay on the wood for its lifetime as long as it is sealed and coated.

What You’ll Need

  • Bora-Care
  • Pressurized Sprayer 
  • Marking Dye 
  • Handheld drill 
  • Drill Bit 7/64 inch or large depending on your injection tip. 
  • Fine Tip Noozel for Injection

Instructions:

1. For Exposed or Unfinished Wood

Dilute five gallons of water for every one gallon BORA-CARE.

Next, add a marking dye to the solution. The dye will make it easier to keep track of where you’ve sprayed your solution.

Mix the solution and add it to a pressurized sprayer.

Apply even coats of bora-care to all sides of exposed wood.

For the best results, apply two coats of the bora-care solution.

Seal or coat the wood to finish treating your wood.

 

2. Painted or Finished Wood

To apply bora-care to painted wood, you’ll need to drill and inject the solution into the wood.

The process of preparing the Bora-Care is the same as for unfinished wood.

The only difference is you wouldn’t have to use a dye in the solution.

Next, drill holes 6-8 inches along the center of the wood you want to treat.

Inject the Bora-Care solution with the fine tip nozzle for 2-5 seconds into each hole.

When using Bora-care, always wear safety equipment, including gloves, masks, long clothing, and goggles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OawAzkZZx20

4. Localized Foam or Liquid Injection Treatment

Localized Foam treatments are great for targeting
Subterranean, Drywood, and Dampwood termites.

For this method, I recommend using Termidor.

Termidor foam is one of the best products for localized foam treatment in the market.

It has high concentrations of Fipronil, which is fatal to termites upon contact.

Termidor also has an expansion ratio of 30:1.

That means in 5 seconds, 1 oz. of a Termidor can expand at approximately 1 quart of foam.

What you’ll Need:

  • Termidor Foam Spray or Other Liquid Termiticide such as XT2000 (Orange Oil) 
  • Handheld Drill
  • Drill Bit 9/64 inch or large depending on your injection tip. 
  • Stud Finder (optional)

Instructions:

1. Locate Infested Woods

To apply foam treatment, locate areas that have termite activity.

To do this, look for key signs of termite such as:

  • Mud Tubes
  • Pallets/ Frass
  • Patches
  • Hollow Wood
  • Noises In Your Walls
  • Bubbling Paint
  • Damaged Wood
  • Hard To Open Doors And Windows
  • Termite Cement

 

 

2. Drill Holes Into Infested Wood

Drill holes into the termite-infested wood until you feel less resistance.

This hollow part if the wood is where the termite galleries are located.

Termites can be anywhere, including sidings, walls, and furniture.

To treat wood, drill holes every 6-12 inches across the entire wood.

For wall treatment, drill holes between the studs on your wall.

If your infestation is near your baseboards, drill the holes about 18 inches above the floor.

For infestations located higher on your wall, drill holes 18 inches below the ceiling.

If you see damage or signs of termites across the entire wall, drill three holes one 18 inches above the floor, another at the center, and another 18 inches below the ceiling.

 

3. Inject Foam

Once you’ve finished drilling, inject the foam spray into the holes.

Hold the foam spray for between 2-4 seconds.

Inject your walls for around 6-8 seconds since voids on the wall tend to be much larger.

Make sure to move the nozzle to the left and right to coat the sides of the wall as well.

 

4. Fill the Drill Holes

Use a wood filler to fill the drill holes in the wood. Apply a fresh coat of paint to blend the wood filler with the wood.

For holes in your wall, use spackle and a putty knife to fill the gaps. Apply a fresh coat of paint to blend the color with the wall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBbuqon3TIo&feature=emb_title

5. Dust Application

Dust application is an excellent way to eliminate Drywood and Subterranean termites located in Drywood.

For this, I recommend using Boric acid or Borax.

A study found boric acid can eliminate 70% and 89% of termites within ten days.

And in this study, powdered boric acid was shown to have a 100% mortality rate on termites after 15 days.

Powder boric acid is highly effective because it instills horizontal transfers.

Once the dust covers the termites, they return to the colony and infect the rest of the population.

What You’ll Need

  • Dust Termiticide such as Boric Acid 
  • Dust Bulb 
  • Metal probe or screwdriver
  • Drill 

Instructions:

1. Located infested wood

Like foam or liquid injection, using dust requires you first to find locations of active termites infestations.

Look for key signs of termite activity such as:

  • Flying Termites Or Swarmers
  • Discarded Termite Wings
  • Dead Alates
  • Mud Tubes
  • Pallets/ Frass
  • Patches
  • Hollow Wood
  • Noises In Your Walls
  • Bubbling Paint
  • Damaged Wood
  • Hard To Open Doors And Windows
  • Termite Cement

You can also use a metal probe, screwdriver, or a knife to probe wood for termite galleries.

 

2. Drill Into Infested Wood

Drill into the wood until you feel less resistance. This hollow area is usually where the termite galleries are.

You’ll want to drill two to three holes for every six feet long wood.

 

3. Apply Dust / Boric Acid

Using a dusting bulb, make two to three pumps into each hole.

A few pumps should be sufficient enough to infect any termites that are active in the galleries.

You can also apply dust to any mud tubes or kick-out holes.

Remember, dust treatment is only effective in dry wood and not work on moist or damp wood.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Best DIY Subterranean Termite Treatment?

The best DIY treatment for subterranean termites is a chemical soil treatment combined with localized treatment inside the structure.

Chemical soil treatment will eliminate any subterranean termite infestations in soil. It will also create a barrier around your home to prevent future infestations.

What is the Best DIY Drywood Termite Treatment?

The best DIY drywood termite treatment is localized foam or dust injections.

While dust treatments are slow-acting, it’s effective at horizontal transfers. That means you can eliminate an entire infestation by getting dust on a few workers.

What are Signs Of a Termite Infestation?

Unfortunately, there are no standard devices that make it easy to detect termites.

The most common way to inspect for termites is to look for visual signs.

Here are some that you should watch out for:

  • Flying Termites Or Swarmers
  • Discarded Termite Wings
  • Dead Alates
  • Mud Tubes
  • Pallets/ Frass
  • Patches
  • Hollow Wood
  • Noises In Your Walls
  • Bubbling Paint
  • Damaged Wood
  • Hard To Open Doors And Windows
  • Termite Cement

Resource: Top 13 Signs You Have Termites

What Are the Types of Termites?

There are three main types of termites found in the US: Subterranean, Drywood, and Dampwood.

Under these primary types are dozens of termite species subtypes. Each one is unique in their biology, behavior, and economic impact.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites live in soil but will enter homes to feed on anything that has cellulose, including the foundation, walls, roof, etc.

They easily penetrate wood that’s in direct contact with the ground.

 

Drywood termites

Drywood termites nest in wood. You’ll often see them in dead trees, walls, or wooden floors and furniture.

 

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood Termites live in wood with high moisture content.

As such, they are known to infest damp and rotting wood.

You’ll generally find them fence posts sheds, eaves decks, porch, and outdoor furniture.

When Should I Seek Professional Help for Termites?

Getting a professional termite inspection is always a good idea if you suspect you have a termite infestation.

Professional help is also a must if you have a large infestation.

If you see flying termites and noticeable termite damage in your home, contacting a pest control company for treatment is highly recommended.

When should I use DIY termite treatments?

DIY termite treatments should be used for minor infestations.

Large infestations require professional help regardless of the type of termite.

DIY treatments for large infestations are unlikely to eliminate the infestations.

For drywood termites, whole structure treatments such as fumigation or heat are required to eliminate infestations.

For subterranean termites, soil treatments, along with whole structure treatments, may be required to eliminate large infestations.

What is the difference between DIY Treatment and Professional Treatment?

Professional termite treatments are more expensive than DIY treatments.

For instance, professional soil treatment typically costs around $2,200.

A DIY soil treatment will cost around $700 plus a few hours of your time.

That said, there are many advantages to hiring a professional despite the added cost.

Termites are one of the most challenging pests to identify and locate.

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