Does salt kill termites? These are key questions that need to be adequately answered.
Our focus here is to find out or discover the exterminating effect of salt. Will it give any results against termite presence? Read on to find out.
When it comes to ranking the most destructive pests, termites will naturally be listed at the top alongside other equally destructive pests. These insects are closely associated with structural damage and cost homeowners thousands of dollars worth of damage.
According to available information, termites cost homeowners in the U.S damage worth over $5 billion. Apart from their destructive nature, which makes them even more dangerous is their hidden activity.
Termite problems may not be detected until the situation worsens. How do you contain such destructive activity?
Does salt kill termites? You may have heard or read somewhere about the efficacy of common salt as a termite control treatment. Whether such rumors are true or not will be fully discussed here.
Will Salt Kill Termites?
It will! Salt is an effective termite exterminator. However, termites try as much to avoid it as much as they can.
Nevertheless, there are times when these destructive pests may ingest such salts. When they do, they die of dehydration. Salt only needs to be introduced into or along their paths to get the desired effect.
What Type of Salt Kills Termites?
When it comes to the use of salts for termite extermination, it’s important to know what type is being referred to. The common edible or cooking salt will do the trick.
Also, borate salts can be used for this purpose. In most cases, borate salts are used for wood treatments.
Borate salts serve as wood preservatives against termite damage. It doesn’t matter if these insects have burrowed their way through. When applied, borate salt penetrates right to the heart of the wood and kills these pests.
It can be used as an intervention for active infestations or as a preventive measure.
How Does Salt Kill Termites?
Common salt has come to be known as both a repellent and killer of termites.
When applied onto an infested area, termites get repelled as such salt provides a barrier they can’t advance through. Sometimes, termites will stubbornly encroach onto salt-treated territory.
Naturally, termites will keep their distance away from salts. This is because they find salts unsuitable for ingestion. However, there are times when these termites will burrow through or ingest a barrier of salt to get through to their target.
When this happens, it results in dehydration.
Termites die of dehydration when they burrow through salt barriers. With this knowledge, it’s only right to leverage the power of salts by introducing them to termite colonies.
But first, it must be applied in a manner that penetrates the soil or other affected areas. This takes us to the treatment steps to adopt.
This takes us to our next point;
Benefits Of Salt For Termite Control
It’s common knowledge that salt is a readily available food resource.
This makes it abundant and can be applied for all types of uses including termite control. Its key advantage over other products used on termites is that it’s totally safe.
As an environmentally friendly product, there’s no fear or risk of poisoning to humans and pets or allergies. As long as salt is applied within a soil, termites sense danger and retreat once they come in contact with a salt barrier.
How To Use Salt For Termite Extermination
Irrespective of the termite species you’re dealing with, knowing how to proceed with salt treatment is crucial to your success. Now, the main termite species are Formosan, Drywood, Dampwood, and Subterranean termites.
Each of these termite species has its unique features through which they can be identified, but we aren’t dwelling on their identification. Rather, finding ways to exterminate these destructive insects is the focus. So, how do you proceed?
Understanding how to apply salt to your termite problem is very crucial to how much success you make. All you need is some table salt, a plastic bucket, or a glass jar to begin. Of course, you’ll need some water to make a solution.
Using salt for termite extermination is possible as we’ve discussed so far. Now, there are basically two kinds of salts; edible salts and borates. The most commonly used variety for DIY purposes is edible salt.
To use this for termite extermination, you only need to do the following;
Using Edible Salt for Termite Extermination
Get a bowl or container and add some salt to it followed by warm water. Equal parts of both should be added to make a mixture. This solution should be well mixed until all the salt crystals fully dissolve.
Sometimes due to the high concentration, the mixture may attain a saturation point.
In other words, crystals may prove difficult to dissolve. In such a case, a little water may speed up the process. With your salt and water solution ready, Get a syringe and begin targeting termite-infested areas.
Also, inject into their colonies if you see one. They eventually die of dehydration.
Using Borate for Termite Extermination
As mentioned earlier, borate is a wood preservative you can get for between $50 to $280 depending on its size.
Here, the target is termite-infested wood. This product is applied onto such wood and soaks right into the wood.
Wood termites are unable to escape as this salt eventually reaches and kills them.
You’ll Need to have Seen Termites Before Applying Salt
Using salt for termite extermination only becomes useful and effective when you’ve seen these creatures. In other words, you can’t simply start treatment without spotting termites. So, areas, where you’ve seen them, should be marked out and a salt mixture made by dissolving it in water.
Now, termites create a network of galleries or tunnels that connect their colonies to their targets. Through such galleries, they’re able to move to cellulose-rich materials or properties. So, when starting, you’re looking at targeting such galleries.
You may not be lucky enough to spot their colony. If you are, then you’re chances of success are significantly improved. An equal part of salt and water are mixed. Now, this mixture should be poured over the infested area.
Another method of application is by using a kitchen baster to flood to apply the salt solution. Flooding termite tunnels with salt solution beat them back and kills any that comes in contact with it.
Treating Termite Colonies with Salt
So far, we’ve focused on treating termite galleries or tunnels with salt, but these connect all the way to termite colonies. So, the focus should be to identify their colony and apply a similar treatment.
Now, termite galleries aren’t easily spotted especially by the untrained eye.
These extend deep down that it becomes increasingly challenging for a novice to know what to look for. However, we recommend you call for professional help in locating such a colony.
Of course, the aim isn’t to only seek professional guidance in finding the colony, but also to treat the same.
Limitations To Salt Use For Termite Control
The use of salt for termite extermination has its limitations. This is seen in a situation where this product is applied to only one location, thus leaving out the rest. Leaving out the rest of the infested area isn’t deliberate. It’s something that frequently happens when you don’t know the extent of termite presence.
This is where the expertise of a termite exterminator comes to bear. As stated earlier, termite extermination is a more complex procedure and shouldn’t be performed using DIY approaches alone. The longer the problem takes to solve, the more complex it becomes.
Calling for professional help helps identify all the likely infestation spots occupied by these destructive pests.
Is Salt a Reliable Option for Termite Extermination?
Although salt kills termites, it’s not to be used as a standalone treatment for termite issues.
First, you need to consider the destructive nature of the pest you’re dealing with. Termites will cause heavy damage to a property for as long as they remain.
Your best bet is to call a pest control service immediately after these pests are spotted. Pest management services perform a more thorough job than you ever will with some salt. As professionals, they understand the behavior of termites and know where to look.
Also, more effective termite killer chemicals are used to get rid of the problem. You are largely constrained by the lack of knowledge on termite behavior as well as by the equipment available.
At best, the tools used are basic and simple. Salt solution sprayed using a syringe wouldn’t do much to curtail the problem.
Let the Professionals Handle the Job
To save your property, it’s best to allow professionals to handle the problem.
Of course, you can still satisfy your curiosity by trying out salt treatments on limited areas while your home is being treated by experts.
Using Salt While Calling for Fumigation
Having stated the experience and expertise of fumigation or pest control services, it’s important to take a more comprehensive approach to treatment. This simply refers to adopting a two-pronged approach where you call a fumigation service while treating with salt until they arrive.
When fumigation services arrive, they take a holistic approach by inspecting the entire infestation area. This is mostly applicable to your property as it’s inspected and treatment proffered.
Adopting this approach saves you from a lot of problems.
You must seek urgent professional help the moment signs of termite presence are noticed. Pest management services send technicians over for a close inspection.
If there are termites, a treatment approach is recommended and treatment commences immediately. Salt treatment for termites might prove unreliable as you don’t know the full extent of damage caused by termites.
You may only be focusing on the effects while ignoring the causes. This time delay means further damage is caused by termites you can’t see. The earlier you call for professional help the better.
Other Natural Ways to Kill Termites
Apart from salts, there are other natural alternatives for termite extermination. These include flooding and sunlight. Like salt use, these won’t solve the problem completely. The success of such methods depends on certain variables too.
In the case of flooding, water is introduced into termite dwellings.
For this to be effective, termites need to be submerged for some time to completely drown them. However, a problem may arise after drowning termites to death. The moisture left behind may attract more termites.
This isn’t a sustainable treatment option.
Termites prefer moist areas. As such, exposing them to sunlight will kill them by dehydration. You take out cardboard or wood-containing termites outdoors on hot sunny days. The heat kills them within a short time.
Safety Considerations When Using Salt For Termite Control
Salt is a common substance used in food. As such, it is very common in households. This speaks volumes of its safety. Salt can be used safely against pests with little if any adverse effects.
You only need to follow the steps outlined above to contain your pest issues.
Final Thoughts: Salt As A Termite Killer
Salt does indeed kill termites.
It has been used in a wide range of scenarios by homeowners to get rid of their termite problem. As one of the most common household products used for cooking, this makes the effect of salt on termites really exciting for homeowners.
So, should this replace more conventional methods like calling an exterminator? Not at all!
Although salt will kill termites when properly applied, the impact or results obtained aren’t as comprehensive enough as those performed by a professional pest exterminator.
First, they know termite behavior.
Secondly, exterminators have the experience and know where to look as well as the extent of an infestation. In a nutshell, nothing beats the expertise of a trained termite exterminator.
The extermination of termites using salts is possible but not an effective option. It’s not an effective option in the sense that it only kills these pests when ingested. In most cases, termites avoid salts. So, its impact is quite limited.
Your best option is to call a pest management service.