I've heard of orange oil being used as a natural liver detox and also as an effective heartburn remedy but in this guest post from Kathy Spremich she talks about her experience with orange oil used as a termite treatment - who knew? If you have a termite problem perhaps this natural method of termite removal would work for you.
Finding out you have termites is never a good thing. When I found out I had a dry wood termite problem; I immediately began dreading the commonly used tenting treatment. The last thing I wanted was my entire house exposed to nasty chemicals, not to mention that tenting requires you to leave your home and pack up most of the items in your home in airtight plastic containers. With a bit of investigation, I found out about orange oil termite treatment, which is an all-natural product used to treat dry wood termite infestations.
How Does Orange Oil Kill Termites?
The active ingredient in orange oil is d-limonene which comes from the rind of the orange. When oranges are distilled to extract orange juice Limonine is the natural result of this process. Limonine is most commonly used as a fragrance in perfumes and household cleaners but it was discovered that it works great in pest control as well because it breaks down the skin, central nervous system and vital organs of termites and other insects on contact, including their eggs.
Orange oil is so effective for treating these drywood termites that many companies are beginning to use it as an alternative to tenting and fumigation. I decided to work with a company that used orange oil (called aptly enough Citrugard), since I was concerned about exposure to dangerous chemicals and I didn’t want to have to vacate my home. Supposedly fumigation doesn't kill termite eggs either so that is another big plus for orange oil termite treatment. The company explained that the orange oil works by killing existing termites, and eggs it comes into contact with, plus when it soaks into the wood orange oil kills any termites that eat that wood.
The best thing about this termite treatment is that it provided results. After the treatment, the termites were eliminated and I still haven’t had another problem with them. While I was thrilled to get rid of the termites, I also felt great knowing that I had made a choice that was friendly to the environment, not to mention the health of my family.
The cost of the orange oil termite treatment was reasonable as well. In fact, it was cheaper than the quotes I had been given for a tenting and fumigation treatment. Although I know it is possible for the termites to come back, I still felt like I was getting a great deal. If I do have a problem with termites again, I’ll be going the orange oil route to eliminate the problem, knowing that it is safe, environmentally friendly and a much easier solution than tenting.
How Do I Know if I Have Termites?
While there are about 4000 species of termites there are two main types of termites that cause damage to homes. You'll want to look for signs of drywood termites or subterranean termites - each have their own tell tale signs of infestation. If you aren't sure if you have a termite problem or what type of termites you may have here are the two termite types and what to look for.
Subterranean Termites: Subterranean termites live in colonies similar to ants below ground, in trees or in large above ground mounds in some parts of the world. You often can identify them by a large swarming cloud in spring and fall particularly after it rains. The most distinctive way to identify a subterranean termite infestation is by the mud tubes that crawl up the sides of buildings or internal structures. About the diameter of a pencil these white termites create the mud tubes as a way to protect themselves from ants and other predators. While orange oil will kill subterranean termites it is not as effective against this variety of termite because they build their nests underground where the oil cannot reach.
Drywood Termites: Drywood termites are larger than subterranean termites with dark brown bodies, a reddish head and thorax and black wings. Drywood termites are mostly found in southern climates and tend to migrate seasonally to nearby buildings during the fall. The most identifying sign of drywood termites is the pile of small dung pellets around windows, door frames and other wood structures. You'll notice a small kick hole above the pile of salt and pepper colored pellets that is the exit hole they push their fecal matter through. Orange oil is most effective against Drywood termites because they live in the wood where the oil permeates.