Termites are silent invaders to your home. They can cause billions of dollars of damage to business and home structures across the US alone. When undetected, it’s usually too late when you notice that they have been chewing up the woodworks in your home and the harm has been done. Luckily, there are treatments that use orange oil for termites that you can explore to control or even get rid of these pesky intruders.
What is Orange Oil?
Orange oil is extracted from the rinds or skin of the orange fruit. They are drawn out from the rinds through various extraction methods like cold pressing, machine abrasion, steam distillation and even extraction methods using solvents.
D-limonene (or simply, limonene) is the active compound that gives orange oil its termiticide properties.
Orange Oil vs. Termites
Because of its high yield in limonene, orange oil has been used in the extermination of termites and other structural pests. It is also an active ingredient in most green and organic pesticides, insecticides and other pest control chemicals.
Orange oil can control the infestation of ants, termites and other bugs by getting rid of their pheromone trail indicators. The oil also dissolves a bugs’ exoskeleton which causes them to die upon contact.
Orange oil is more effective in controlling the presence of Drywood termites however, compared to its effectiveness in handling subterranean termites.
Drywood Termites vs Subterranean Termites
There are several species of termites, but they are usually commonly classified into two types: drywood and subterranean.
Basically, the main distinction between the two is that subterranean termites nest underground, while drywood termites nest in the very wood they are feeding on.
Subterranean termites cause more damage as they tend to have larger colonies with a larger population of workers, but they can be picky eaters. Drywood termites can be more of a hassle since they can attack and infest bed frames, wooden furniture, shelves, frames that are hung on the wall, and the likes.
How To Use Orange Oil Against Termites
Using orange oil for drywood termites is very straightforward. The process involves drilling into the infected wood and injecting it with orange oil.
The best method is to locate where the termites have eaten through, and try to locate where they are nesting. Then drill into these spots and inject orange oil.
Orange oil can also be periodically sprayed on the surface of non-infested wood to deter termites from targeting them.
Where Can I Buy Orange Oil?
There are ready to buy orange oil that is specifically made as a termiticide and pest control already, as well as orange oil that can be used for other purposes such as cleaning and for aromatherapy.
Here are some of the best orange oil products on Amazon:
The Disadvantages of Using Orange Oil for Termites
Using orange oil to treat termite-infested wood is not the end-all be-all solution to getting rid of termites in your home. It comes with many disadvantages.
- Treating infected wood requires drilling into it which is a hassle.
- Repeated treatment is necessary to deter them from coming back
- Not very effective in handling advanced infestations.
- While it is organic, it is not totally safe. Orange oil vapors actually cause eye and skin irritations in prolonged exposure.
- Some also report that exposure to orange oil also causes an upset stomach.
- Orange oil actually has a very low flash point, making it highly combustible. This can be pretty dangerous especially when sprayed on woodwork and furniture.
- Orange oil is not very reliable in handling advanced infestations.
Orange Oil Treatment vs Fumigation
While orange oil is more natural, it is really just a spot treatment solution to termite infestations in your home – a band aid solution if you will. Fumigations done by pest and termite control experts use harsher chemicals but it’s in the harshness that really deters the presence of termites in the long-term, making it the more effective termite treatment method.
Other DIY Methods to Get Rid of Termites
There are also several DIY methods to get rid of termites:
Boric acid has been a popular method to repel and kill termites, as it’s also an active ingredient in most insecticides and termiticides. They work by dehydrating the termites when they come in contact with the chemical. Simply spray evenly in cracks and crevices of the floors, walls, and ceilings.
Diatomaceous Earth or DE is a popular pest and insect control method. DE is a fine desiccant made out of fossilized sea organisms and it works by penetrating through a bug’s exoskeleton and dehydrating them from the inside.
Aside from killing bed bugs on contact, neem oil also kills termites in the same way. You can use pesticide-grade neem oil or create a neem oil solution of water, at least 10 drops of neem oil, and soap and spray it directly on the infected wood.
Termite baits are another tried and tested solution in repelling and preventing termites from even infesting your home. These can be installed around the outside of your home to attract foraging termites. The bait has a slow-acting toxin that they can bring with them back to wherever they are nesting and infect the other termites in their colony.
Although it is not 100% effective in getting rid of these pesky home invaders, orange oil is a great spot treatment solution against termites, especially on the earlier stages of infestation, or as a means of prevention.
You are definitely better off calling a termite control expert or exterminator to professionally handle infestations to avoid further damage of your property through DIY methods.