Is Cinnamon Oil a Natural Pesticide for Termites

Is Cinnamon Oil a Natural Pesticide for Termites?

Some termites build mounds.

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Over several hundred varieties of termites exist in the world, with only four of them living in the United States: subterranean, drywood, dampwood and powerpost. However, subterranean specimens are responsible for about 95 percent of the damage caused by termites. But regardless of the variety, discovering termites in your home is cause for concern. Thankfully, natural pesticides and repellents do exist, including essential oils like cinnamon.

Cinnamon, Other Essential Oils

Even though cinnamon oil is one of the many oils effective in repelling termites, it is not the best or only option. The Journal of Chemical Ecology reports that vetiver oil, made from a grass native to India, proved to be a stronger repellent than cinnamon. Other oils effective against termites, either as repellents or pesticides, are tea tree, clove bud, orange, cedarwood and garlic. Clove bud and garlic oils are two of the most effective oils for killing termites, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The U.S. Forest Service found tea tree oil to also be a potent termite killer, while the pest control industry has found orange oil to be effective. Compound containing cedarwood oil to kill termites are currently on the market.

Using Essential Oils

Oils may be sprayed directly on the termites or applied in full strength to the wood. Some oils, like orange oil and tea tree oil, may be used in fumigation as well. If spraying termites directly, use 4 drops per gallon of water, increasing the concentration if needed. More than one application of any of the oils may be necessary. For best results, use therapeutic grade oils only. According to the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, most essential oils are believed to have a neurotoxic effect on insects.

Reader Beware

On top of the fact that essential oils just don’t work well as pest control, there are a few other reasons you should steer clear of this DIY method.

Essential oils are unregulated, unlike traditional methods of pest control. This means that there is no oversight regarding what goes into the bottle you just bought. Essential oils can be different strengths and may even contain contaminants.

Some essential oils—including bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, orange, and lime—are phototoxic: skin that has been exposed to these essential oils will become sensitive to the sun, causing irritation, inflammation, and even blistering (resembling a sunburn) for days or weeks afterward.

Other oils, including peppermint oil and tea tree oil, are toxic to pets—especially cats, whose livers are unable to metabolize some of the compounds in essential oils. If exposed to essential oils (either orally or topically, on the skin), pets can suffer symptoms that include drooling, vomiting, respiratory distress, tremors, and even liver failure. Unfortunately, as the popularity of essential oils rises, veterinarians have reported increased rates of poisoning. If you’re one of the majority of Americans who own pets, stay far away from essential oils as pest control!

Essential oils can also be hazardous to your own health and the health of your family. Tea tree oil, in particular, can be toxic if swallowed (especially if it is undiluted or a high concentration). This is something to be very careful of if you have young children.

There is a lot of misleading and incorrect information online. Over the next few months, we’ll be talking more about home remedies in pest control.

Contact Us

Concerned about a possible pest infestation? Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

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You can R > May 26, 2016 Guest Author About Termites 0

Getting Rid of Termites Naturally

How to rid your house of termites. – Termites are one of the most common pests related homeowner issues, estimated to do damage of more than $5 billion per year in the United States alone. Termites are also known as a “silent destroyer” because termites do hidden silent damage. A termite is a tiny pest and presence of its colony would not destroy your property in a day, but over time the damage could be considerable. and either way, termites will not disappear without being treated.

The first and most important part of getting rid your house of termites in your home is detecting the presence of termites. Termites are active throughout the year and the most common signs of termite infestation, discarded wings, termite swarmers, Frass, Hollow-sounding wood. If you suspect any of these activities, call a pest control professional. A pest control expert can give you a personalized plan for the treatment and prevention. This may involve various treatment methods such as fumigation wood treatment, liquid repellents, and baits. Just because you are choosing pest control experts to rid your home of termites does not mean that the process isn’t natural and completely safe for both pets and children.

Natural Termite Treatments to Rid your house of Termites

You can choose a Natural method to rid your house of termites that is better for the environment. It is normal and understandable to want to use removal techniques that are safe. Not only is it possible to make your pest problem the priority, but also offer pest control techniques that are safe for kids, pets, and plants. This is a huge benefit to choosing eco-friendly options when you are in need of pest removal.

If you are looking for ways to kill termites on your own, there are a few natural methods that you can help you prevent termites from damaging your property.

*Termite MD does not endorse any of the below listed Natural termite treatments. I have heard of them, but have no idea as to the effectiveness of these treatments and techniques, I have not used these methods. Some of these are full treatments and some are spot treatments.

Below are some of Natural Product methods that you can try yourself to rid your house of termites.

*Although the use of these products has some recommendations accompanying the text. This is only a laymen’s advice and is only a suggestion. TermiteMD says. “if you are going to the trouble to use a safe chemical termite product, use it safely and READ AND FOLLOW THE PRODUCT LABELS// In most states, it is actually against the law to improperly apply chemical products. So follow the label directions.

1. Orange oil – (full treatment, and/or spot treatment) Orange oil is one of the most commonly used types of natural treatment for eliminating termites. Extracted from orange peel, the main ingredient in orange oil is D-limonene that can be found in many household cleaning products. Even though it has low toxicity to humans it is still highly concentrated and can be allergic to some people. To eliminate termites with orange oil you can follow the label directions. It can take up to a few weeks to get rid of termites depending upon the severity of the infestation.

2. Electrocution– (Spot treatment) Electrocution is passing the current through the wood to kill termites inside. There are electrocution devices such as electrocution guns available in the market that can help you kill termites without drilling holes though in some cases, drilling holes can increase the efficiency of electrocution. These devices do not raise the wood temperature to the point of ignition.

3. Heat and Cold Treatments – (Spot treatment) This is another non-chemical method to treat a structure for Termites. Like most living creatures on this planet, termites can’t survive in extreme temperature. Though termites can survive in temperatures between 20⁰F and 120⁰F. Simply placing the infested wooden object in direct sunlight can evaporate the moisture within the piece of wood thus killing termites or making them abandon the wood. For this method to work effectively you should place infested wood in direct sunlight for at least 3-4 days.The professional heat treatment can be usually done in a single day. It is completed by forcing hot air into infested area raising the wood temperature more than 120⁰. For cold treatment, you can inject liquid nitrogen into the infested walls of your home. Liquid nitrogen can easily reach termites colonies in otherwise inaccessible locations.

4. Boric Acid – (Spot treatment) Boric acid is another natural pest control method and has been used to control pest infestation for decades. It is one of the most effective methods to eradicate termites. In fact, it is the active ingredient in many termites’ treatment products. Boric acid dehydrates termites and stops its nervous system from functioning. To eradicate termites you can coat boric acid on wooden surface and gardens for preventive measures. For an effective measure, you can create boric acid with bait stations in the key areas. Boric acid is toxic to humans if inhaled or ingested.

5. Natural borate salt – (Spot treatment) if you are worried about having a poisonous ingredient in your house, then you can also use natural borate salt that is also tremendously effective for killing termites but is known to be safe for humans and pets. Borate acid solution can penetrate wood and kill termite colonies inside.

6. Cardboard Traps – (Spot treatment) Using Card board traps is the most natural and cost effective way of getting rid of termites. Though this method would not eliminate termites completely from your house but it will surely help. Cardboard contains cellulose that produces wood like smell which attracts termites. To setup cardboard bait, you can spray a sheet of card with water and place it near the infested area where termite colony is present. Termites will slowly come and gather on the top of the cardboard. This is a slow process and will take a couple of days. Once the cardboard is full of termites you can dispose of it with fire.

7. Essential oils –(Spot treatment) Using essential oils especially clove bud oil can be a very effective treatment to get rid of termites. Fill oil in mist sprayer and spray it on the affected area. Alternatively, you can use other oils like vetiver oil, tree tea oil, cinnamon oil, mint oil and orange oil. If spraying directly on termite colony you can mix 5-10 drops per gallon of water.

Does Cinnamon Repel Termites?

Over thousands of termite species exist in the world. Luckily there are some natural pesticides and repellents. Surprisingly, cinnamon is one of them.

Subterranean Termites

Four species of termites live in the United States: subterranean, drywood, dampwood and powderpost. Subterranean termites are responsible for roughly 95 percent of termite damage. They burrow up through the ground and into the support beams of your house on their search for food and safe places to build their nests. .

Cinnamon oil is an essential oil that is effective in repelling termites. It should be noted that using cinnamon to repel termites is not the best or only option. According to the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, the essential oils have a neurotoxic effect on insects. According to the Journal of Chemical Ecology, vetiver oil, which is distilled from a grass native to India, was proven to be a stronger repellent than cinnamon. Other oils effective against termites include: tea tree, clove bud, orange, cedarwood, and garlic. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, clove bud and garlic oils are amongst the most effective oils for killing termites. The U.S. Forest Service identified tea tree oil as a potent termite killer. The pest control industry has also found orange oil to be an effective controller. Currently on the marker you can find termite killing compounds that contain cedarwood.

Applying Essential Oils for Termite Treatment

Oils can either be sprayed directly on the termites or can be applied directly in full strength to wood. Some oils, such as orange oil and tea tree oil, can be used during the fumigation process. If you are spraying termites directly, use 4 drops of the oil per gallon of water. If you need to increase the concentration, do so as needed. You might need to also do additional applications. Best results are seen with therapeutic grade oils.

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Using Orange Oil to Treat Dry Wood Termites

Although orange peel shavings can be used to flavor foods and small doses of the oil from the orange peel is said to convey health benefits, large amounts of the oil can cause vomiting and nausea in humans. Such negative effects are even greater when the orange oil is used against insect pests. Orange oil can be deadly to a number of insects, including cockroaches, ants, dust mites, flies, wasps, spiders, crickets, and, perhaps most importantly, termites.

What Is Orange Oil?

Even though it smells strongly of citrus, orange oil is not fruit juice but is instead an extract from orange peels, a substance that is insoluble in water. Not only does drinking a cocktail of orange oil cause severe stomach upset, but a spill can be very irritating to the eyes and the skin. Some people even suffer severe allergic reactions to exposure to orange oil, so caution is required both by people applying orange oil as well as those occupying a structure after its application.

Orange Oil as a Termiticide

During the 1930s, California researchers began injecting arsenic into active infestations of dry wood termites, selecting it because termites not killed by the initial application usually succumbed to toxic residues. Arsenic was a very effective pesticide. But toxic residue of a powerful poison also poses a notable danger to other animals, including humans, so alternative methods of combatting termites have long been sought. Today, orange oil as a natural product is increasingly marketed as a herbicide and insecticide, with particular effectiveness against dry wood termites. So, what is this wonder product and how does it kill termites?

The active ingredient of orange oil is d-limonene, a chemical known to be both a weed killer and an effective insecticide against a variety of pests, including flies, mosquitoes, ants, crickets, and mites. Scientists say that the oil dissolves the termite’s exoskeleton, which destroys the insect’s cell membranes and kills the bug due to massive losses of water and protein.

Inspect, Inject, and Inspect Again

The mode of treatment once a dry wood termite colony has been found is to drill holes into the infested wood and to inject the orange oil into the hollow spaces where the termites are feeding. The treatment works best if the insect galleries are identified and treated. Studies show that some residual effects continue in varying degrees from three days to three weeks after direct injection.

The majority of termites are killed by direct contact, and since orange oil deters the termites from feeding, some of them will then starve. After the treatment, the home or business owner should periodically check for signs of new infestation. Trained termite-sniffing dogs have been very effective in sniffing out new or previously undetected termite colonies. Orange oil treatment is typically not preventative but must be applied each time a new infestation is discovered.

Limitations of Orange Oil as a Termiticide

There is an obvious appeal to using orange oil against dry wood termites, since it is a much less toxic substance that the original arsenic used to combat the insects, or than the favorite modern chemicals, such as fipronil, imidacloprid, and hexaflumuron. But orange oil is not a do-all, end-all panacea against termites, and it has several drawbacks:

  • Orange oil is not completely safe, since it can cause stomach upset if ingested and irritation to skin.
  • Its efficacy against termites is debated by some sources. For example, the Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California states, “There are many localized [drywood termite] treatment methods available that include both chemical and nonchemical options. . Botanical-based products (e.g., orange oil and neem oil) have been tried, but recent lab and field tests from two universities question the efficacy of at least d-limonene.”
  • While orange oil does seem to kill termites on contact, its residual effectiveness is minimal. Repeated applications are the norm when using orange oil.
  • Termite galleries must be located and drilled into in order to inject the oil. Commercial fumigation, on the other hand, can kill termites throughout the house. The boreholes used to inject the oil can also leave a substantial amount of patching to be done.

The Bottom Line

As a minimally toxic pesticide, orange oil is worth trying as a solution against dry wood termites. But expect a somewhat lower level of effectiveness when compared to other commercial pesticides and pest-control services, and be prepared for repeated applications as new infestations occur.

All-Natural Ways of Eliminating Termites

Termites can devastate your home if left unchecked. It doesn’t take them long to chew through structural beams and cause extensive damage. Getting a regular termite inspection near Mesa to catch the problem while it is still manageable. You’ll save your house a lot of damage and save yourself a lot of money.

If you spy the beginnings of a termite infestation in a pile of wood in your crawl space or some firewood next to your house, for example, you can use some natural treatments to eliminate them and to prevent a greater infestation. Here are a few natural treatments you can try for termite control:

Nematodes are parasitic worms that love to munch on termites. You can buy these tiny worms online or in specialty stores. You can then release them into the area where you know (or suspect) that termites have settled in, and they will go to work for their lunch. The nematodes will reproduce and continue to seek out termites until they are all gone. They are very efficient at getting rid of termites if you introduce enough of them to the colony.

Vinegar is the wonder material for your home. Not only can you use it to clean everything from your kitchen counter to shower, but you can also use it to kill termites. Just mix up a half a cup of it with the juice from two lemons, and you’ve got your termite killer. Put it in a spray bottle and spray the mixture around the area where you suspect the termites. The acidic substance will kill the termites on contact. Make sure you spray regularly to catch any termites you didn’t get with the last treatment.

Sodium borate, sold commonly as borax powder, can kill termites – as well as wash your laundry. You can either sprinkle the powder around the affected area, or you can mix it with water and spray it into an area that you believe to be infested. As with the vinegar, you will need to reapply the solution to ensure that you are reaching more of the colony.

Orange Oil

Orange oil is made mostly of d-limonene, which is deadly to termites. The oil is derived from orange peels, and you can buy it from home improvement or garden stores, as well as online. Orange oil causes the exoskeletons of termites to dissolve, which causes them to lose moisture and proteins and then to die. Spray the oil directly onto termites or on areas where you suspect termites to be. You can also spray the oil to deter termites from coming into the area. Therefore, spraying it regularly is a good way to keep your home free of termites, whether you currently have any or not.

Wet Cardboard

Termites love twothings: Water and cellulose. Spray down a piece of cardboard with water, and you will be setting out an all-you-can-eat buffet for termites. Why would you want to do to this? Well, if you think that termites are already in your house, putting down this cardboard bait will lure them out and onto a specific spot. When you see that termites have settled in for the buffet, you can take the piece of cardboard away and burn it, killing all the termites with it. Repeat the process as often as necessary to draw out termites.

Termites hate sunlight. In fact, they can actually die if they are exposed to too much sunlight and heat. If you have a piece of furniture you suspect to be infested with termites, you can drag it out into the yard to bake in the Arizona sun for a bit. In the summer months, it shouldn’t take too long for all those unwanted pests to be free of your furniture. If you have termites in your home’s structure, you can’t exactly drag your beams out into the yard. But you can set up UV lamps to shine on the area and get the same results.

Perimeter Barrier

Ideally, your home would have been protected with a perimeter barrier while it was being built. But if it was not, you can still install one, even though it might be a bit labor-intensive. You will need to dig a small trench around your home to put the barrier in the ground. When the appropriate materials are installed, the barrier can keep subterranean termites from tunneling their way right to your Arizona home.

Take Preventive Measures

The best way to treat a problem is to make sure the problem never occurs. Instead of trying to find ways to get rid of termites, look for ways to keep them from getting into your home in the first place. Regular Mesa termite inspections can help you keep tabs on the situation. But you should also make sure to keep wood, cardboard, and other cellulose away from your home – such as extra lumber in the crawl space, firewood stacked up in the garage, or even untreated mulch in the bed by your door. You should also keep moisture out of your home by ensuring that you have proper ventilation, as well as proper drainage in the landscape around your home.

Use one or more of these natural techniques to keep termites out of your Arizona home and to protect your investment.

While these treatments are best for small and isolated infestations of termites – such as a new infestation in a piece of furniture or a pile of firewood that you don’t want to spread – you are unlikely to have success using these treatments for termites in your home. The reason is that termites can quickly dig deep into spaces you can’t see or reach. The best thing to do is to call the professionals for termite control in Mesa.

Varsity Termite and Pest Control offers natural yet effective termite treatments in Mesa and the surrounding area. Contact us for a termite inspection, and we’ll create a termite control plan that will not only eliminate any termites currently in your home but will also prevent future infestations.

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