Animal rights advocates follow a cruelty-free code of ethics with no-kill values, and that kindness can even extend to insects considered to be pests. However, when termites enter the picture, what's a lover of all creatures to do?
Even PETA acknowledges that sometimes there's no choice but to use aggressive methods of defense against pests; but the first choice for the humane-minded is a nonlethal method of pest control. That's easiest to do the further away from your home those pests are, and that's why the most cruelty-free pest control is prevention.
Preventing a Termite Infestation
Termites will feed on anything that contains cellulose, and since wood has a lot of cellulose, you need to pay particular attention to any wood that's on your property. Keep any scrap or firewood away from the house. Wood that's in contact with the ground is incredibly inviting to termites. For this reason, never bury wood on your property. If you're installing a wooden deck, make sure to use treated wood to deter termites.
Remove any water sources like leaks in or around your home. Get rid of thick brush or growth around the house that can hold onto moisture and serve as a convenient water source for a termite colony. Any excess moisture in the home, like from an insufficiently vented attic, can create conditions that termites will thrive on.
Use a Homemade Salt Solution
As with any pest, remove points of access for termites by sealing cracks or holes at the foundation of your house. You can apply a homemade salt solution at potential points of entry to act as a repellent. Mix four cups of table salt with two gallons of hot water. Then use a turkey baster to apply the salt and water solution at possible access points like cracks.
Salt is deadly to termites, so be aware that this will kill any that it comes into contact with. That said, it's not realistic to eliminate an entire colony using this method. Using a salt solution is best as a preventative measure or to treat small structures like an old shed, fence post or wood pile.
Introduce a Natural Termite Predator
Some worm species feed on termite larvae and are an option for natural control of subterranean termites. It's not technically cruelty-free since the termite larvae will be killed, but at least it's natural. Nematodes are worms that live in the soil and don't pose any health risks to humans, animals or the environment. They can be introduced into the earth around your home to help keep down the termite population and lower your chances of a house infestation.
Termites in the Home
If you find a termite inside your home, unfortunately, there's a good chance your home has a termite infestation. Contact a pest control company for a termite inspection and to discuss your options. There are organic treatment options available, such as using orange oil, borax, or even hot and cold treatments, though what kind of treatment will prove effective in your case depends on the unique circumstances of the infestation.
Termites can have a devastating effect on a home's structure and safety. Unfortunately, once they've gotten inside a house, they'll need to be eradicated to avoid extensive damage and expense. While you can catch a spider in a jar and relocate it outdoors, a termite infestation calls for an aggressive defense.