Orange Oil Termite Control Explained

Orange Oil Termite Control Explained

These days, orange oil termite control is becoming increasingly popular as a safe termite treatment option. Traditionally, orange oil has been used in aromatherapy and in the preparation of exotic perfumes. It is also used in the preparation of many traditional cuisines. Orange oil contains a particular compound, called d-limonene that is responsible for its termite-killing properties. However, this chemical is not toxic for humans or pets.

D-limonene is a naturally occurring, biochemical compound that is found among the inner rinds of ripe oranges. Read the following section to equip yourself with some basic information about this natural alternative.

Understanding Orange Oil Usage

Using orange oil-based, anti-termite products is preferred since they are cheaper than conventional termite treatments. Before purchasing orange oil, you should understand its compatibility with termite infestation in your house. Please understand that the effectiveness of orange oil as a termite-killer has certain limitations. It is not ideally suited to handle large-scale, invasive termite infestations.

Yes, if the termite infestation is limited to a certain part of the house, it can be treated with orange oil. If the infestation has spread across a major portion of the house and it is deep-seated among the wooden structures, using orange oil may not be the best idea. If you feel that is difficult for you to evaluate the extent of termite infestation, hire an inspector to scope out the situation for you.

Understanding Orange Oil as Termite Control Option

Orange oil is often described as an organic termite-control measure. Since it has negligible poisonous compounds, unlike chemical pesticides, it doesn’t create the problem of leaving toxic residues in the house. Orange-oil fumes are harmless to children and plants, and cause no allergic reactions. Unlike fumigation, it can be used without the need to vacate the house.

Termites are killed by orange oil in two ways. The first is because the fumes concentrated with d-limonene kill the termites. The second is because d-limonene gets easily absorbed into the wooden surfaces. Termites feeding upon the treated wood also ingest d-limonene, which kills them instantly.

Understanding Orange Oil Purchase

This is a slightly demanding aspect, and you need to be a bit vigilant to procure the right kind of orange oil product. For starters, many hardware supply stores retail orange-oil based termite solutions. However, not every kind of orange oil mix offers the same degree of effectiveness. You should enquire about the d-limonene concentration within the retailed mix. This is the defining factor, affecting the mixture’s effectiveness as an anti-termite treatment.

Further, you need to decide about the kind of application apparatus in which the orange-oil solution is being sold. If you have an infestation among hard-to-reach areas like crawlspaces and crevices within dry walls, choose orange oil mixes retailed in sprays. If your home is showing initial signs of infestation, you can purchase bigger, wholesale-rate canters. Such low-strength solutions are sold at cheaper prices and are meant for handling minimal infestations. They don’t need to be diluted and can be easily applied with a mop.

These are ideally suited if you plan to apply the orange oil mix to other parts of the house as a precautionary measure, i.e. to avoid future infestations. If you suspect an underground termite infestation, you need to purchase injectors that can direct the orange oil mixture deep, into the underground termite colonies.

As you can see, orange oil is a great alternative to harmful chemicals when it comes to termite control. Plus, who doesn’t like the fresh smell of oranges?

How to Kill Termites: The Orange Oil Myth

In some research and DIY tips recommendations, orange oil is said to be an alternate solution in how to get rid of termites in your home. This is due to the major and active ingredient found in orange oil extract it contains d-limonene that has the killing element.

However, field study shows the orange oil extract has limited efficacy in eliminate termites, potentially due to its short residual effect. Here are some clarifications to the common pest myth:

  • It serves more as a on the spot treatment “contact killing” function rather than a control function
  • It does not provide residual effect for colony management, which is typical subterranean termites infestation build-up effect (A colony in fact contains more than 350,000 termite members!)
  • More suitable for Drywood termites, instead of subterranean termites which are more common in landed homes and properties in Indonesia
  • No lasting efficacy for assurance and peace of mind. (Termites chew feed on wood 24 hours daily)

There is also a need to address the common misconception that resolving surface infestation (on-spot treatment) is an eradication solution. While it fixes physical problem and remove obvious tangible symptoms, dealing with root source, which is below and within the structure is not resolved.

While DIY is common in managing some common pests that are less challenging such as cockroaches and ants, self-help solutions by using orange oil to exterminate termites are highly discouraged.

This is because the orange oil extract is flammable and acidic, which might increases combustion risks of fire, putting family and home at health and safety risks. As it is extracted from orange peels, it should not be confused with orange consumptions, particularly if there are kids in the home.

More often, we forgot pests’ travels upwards and sideways. Your home might not be affected or show visible signs of infestation, however because landed homes are usually connected in a cluster or row, your home could be at risks of neighbouring infestation. Seek early home protection is less costly, worry-some and disruptive by reacting to various onsite problems, such as structural damages, cracked walls, collapses ceilings or presence of unsightly mud tubes on the wall.

If your home is already infested, there are advanced solutions that are eco-friendly and safe, and besides addressing existing termite infestation, it also prevents termites from causing further damage to your home. A 7 years warranty of termite control treatment is provided to give homeowners the additional assurance and peace of mind.

But to most home owners, they tend to get confused between ants and termites! So, how do we easily differentiate which is actually really crawling in your home?

Orange Oil Termite Treatment : Keep Termites At Bay With Natural Treatment

Kill Termites The Natural Way—With Orange Oil Termite Treatment XT2000

Orange oil treatment seems to be touted more and more as an innovative miracle… a green chemical and completely safe and effective method termite control.

But is this really true? Or is orange oil treatment just another hyped-up marketing scam?

The short answer is that is can be effective for certain types of termite infestations. Primarily it is effective for spot treatment or as a preventative measure for surgical termite treatment…. but it does have downsides.

The long answer is it’s more complicated than that because effectively preventing infestations and eradicating termite colonies from your home is not exactly a task that you can wing it on… nor should you if you could.

Termites cause billions of dollars of damage around the world every year. You should take them seriously because they can destroy your home. That being said, you can take the time to learn some techniques of preventing termites that can be implemented by yourself to effectively repel and hinder termites from entering your home.

You can even learn to treat a well-established termite infestation in your home or shed or fence or anything wooden. I believe anyone can learn anything. The only issue is that you are essentially wagering the stability and value of your home on your ability to properly inspect for and >So where does orange oil termite treatment come into play with all of this?

What exactly is orange oil?

Well, many people read a few articles or watch some youtube videos and decide to save some cash by not hiring a professional pest inspector.

This can turn out to be a costly mistake for a lot of people because they simply don’t possess the knowledge, experience, and the advanced tools that many termite pest control professionals do.

If you hire a professional pest controller, they will be able to accurately assess the situation in and around you home.

Any pest control pro who knows their stuff will tell you that orange oil treatment is not meant to be a replacement to fumigation.

That is like comparing apples to oranges, no pun intended.

Termite tenting (also called fumigation) involves surrounding an entire home with a tarp-like tent and then fumigating the entire home. There is still no other method that is as effective at completely eradicating an entire structure of termites.

The only downside is that it requires the inhabitants to evacuate their home for a brief period of time (people and pets). In addition to this, you have to remove all your food, medication, drink, etc. so that it does not become contaminated. Also, keep in mind, fumigation is expensive.

The idea of a chemical strong enough to kill off these little insects in your house getting all over people’s homes turns many people to look for a green and natural termite eradication solutions. Which is why I believe orange oil treatment has gained such popularity.

But here’s the thing, orange oil is not effective for getting rid of all types of infestations. It can only be effectively used in spot treatment. Furthermore, there are some studies by reputable sources (Univerisity Entomology Departments) that would cause most people to question its effectiveness when used alone, not to mention it appears to be quite flamable as demonstrated in a video later in this article. I will get to the negative points of using orange oil for termite treatment, but first lets go over the positives aspects of it.

What is spot treatment?

Essentially it is treating a limited area (known as spot treatment) for an infestation because the inspector is confident that the termite colony is limited to a small area that is accessible to the pest control personnel.

In these instances, the pest controller can simply drill small holes in the wood that the termites have decided to make their home and inject termite oil in order to soak the wood and kill off the termites.

So, How Does Orange Oil Work?

The active ingredient in orange oil is D-limonene which is found in many other household cleaning products and is extracted from orange peels. It has some toxicity but it is very low toxicity to humans.

Orange oil is one of the most commonly used type of natural termite treatment. Orange oil can be used to prevent termites in several different ways.

The oil can be used as a spraying solution. In this case, the spray mixture should be applied every spring to areas such as the attic, crawlspaces, and other areas that there is large areas of unprotected and exposed wood. When you are applying this spray it is still important to use gloves and a breathing mask of some sort. Even though it is a natural treatment method it is still highly concentrated and should not be breathed in or given direct contact to the skin.

Does Orange Oil Work for Termites?

Yes, orange oil kills termites. Few pest control experts would dispute this basic claim. But ask the more loaded question, Does orange oil really work for termites? and you’ll likely get a lot of differing opinions. One reason is that the question may be less about the efficacy of orange oil and more about the debate over methods: local (or “spot”) treatment vs. whole-house (typically fumigation) treatment. Orange oil is a spot treatment, with the same advantages and disadvantages as any local treatment.

What Is Orange Oil?

Orange oil is an extract of orange rinds used in many products, including natural cleaning solutions and even food additives. The active ingredient in orange oil-based termite treatments is D-limonene. Different treatment solutions carry different levels, from as little as 10% up to 95%. Orange oil kills termites by breaking down their exoskeletons and destroying their eggs. There is some evidence that orange oil fumigation (exposure to air in treated areas) helps kill termites, but direct contact is much more reliable. While orange oil is considered a low-toxicity treatment, it is not harmless; it should not be ingested, and exposure to the oil or strong fumes can irritate the skin and eyes. Those with allergy sensitivities may experience lung irritation and other symptoms with exposure.

NOTE: Orange oil is designed to treat for drywood termites; it is not effective against subterranean termites.

Orange Oil Application

Pest control pros apply orange oil treatments by injecting the liquid treatment through holes they’ve drilled in affected wood and other building elements. Ideally, the oil is injected directly into the galleries (hollowed-out channels where termites live inside the host material). Finding the infestation sites and galleries is the tricky part. Pros may use a variety of methods to locate termite presence everything from borescopes (little cameras) to audio detection to termite-sniffing dogs — in addition to good old-fashioned sight inspections. The holes for injecting oil are pretty small, but they may be required every 5 inches or so in an affected area, leaving a lot of patchwork following the treatment. On the upside, you don’t have to vacate your home, double-bag your food or turn your house into a circus tent, as you do with fumigation treatments.

Does Orange Oil Work As Well for Termites?

The primary point of debate between orange oil (and other local treatments) and fumigation (and other whole-house treatments, such as heat) is access. With local treatments, you have to find the termites to eradicate them. With fumigation, the entire house is treated at once and the treatment (typically a gas) penetrates all walls, floors and other surfaces, including the solid lumber where the termites most likely reside. So if the question is, Does orange oil work for termites as well as fumigation? the answer, arguably, is No, simply because fumigation provides a better guarantee that all infestations will be treated. With local treatment, if the pest control operator fails to detect an area of termite activity, it’s left untreated. Both orange oil and standard fumigation methods are non-residual, meaning that once the treatment material has dissipated, there’s no residual material left to prevent termites from returning.

Orange You Glad You Asked an Expert?

There’s plenty of evidence to confirm that orange oil does indeed work for termites, but it also has clear limitations. The best way to learn more about orange oil treatment and whether it’s suitable for your situation: consult local pest control professionals. You might also talk with a local extension office for more — possibly less biased — information on termite threats and treatments in your area. In general, termite control of any kind is not recommended for DIYers, so avoid the temptation to rush out and buy some orange oil with the confidence that you can’t do much harm with a low-toxicity treatment. You probably won’t do much harm, but the termites you miss definitely will.

Don’t use orange oil to kill termites — here’s why!

Some common signs of a termite infestation, apart from damaged wood, is that d oors and windows become harder to open. You might also start seeing piles of wings as well as mud shelter tubes. (More warning signs here.)

Making matters worse is the fact that these weakened structures and hollow wooden pieces can crumble easily at the slightest touch — so be careful when you’re cleaning these areas!

Yes, a termite infestation is definitely a pain to deal with, but this doesn’t mean you should take the easy way out.

According to Rentokil, a local pest control company, homeowners should avoid using orange oil in DIY termite treatments (despite many saying it can eliminate termites). Although it contains d-limonene, which has the ability to kill termites, an orange oil extract has limited efficacy due to its short residue effect.

Orange oil is also flammable and acidic, increasing combustion risks of fire. And as it is extracted from orange peels, it should not be confused with something to be consumed!

Termites, which feed mainly on wooden and cellulose materials, eat from the inside-out, too. This means that termite damage cannot be seen from the outside. However, as homes in Singapore are very close to each other, seek early home protection to avoid spreading the infection.

Early home protection or check-ups will cost lesser than repairs to cracked walls and collapsed ceilings, too. It is advisable to engage a professional pest control to carry out safe termite treatment.

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.

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