Termites are smart and organized creatures. In their societies various castes perform different social roles.
For example, the queen is responsible for producing thousands of new termites, workers search for food, complete different jobs in the colony and care for the queen and the babies.
Soldiers are always able to fight to defend their nest. As you see, the life of termites is well-organized.
And they can be really dangerous for your house and yard, because they consume wood. You can just imagine how many wooden structures you have in the house and around it.
Sometimes it is quite difficult to find out that your place is infested. You can read some tips about doing it yourself or call pest control specialists. If you are already sure that your house is infested by termites, you need to get rid of these annoying insects somehow.
Specialists can offer you a great number of methods; each of them has positive and negative sides. So, if you kill a queen, the colony won’t survive. But finding a termite ruler is not the easiest thing to do.
You can also try to do it yourself or call specialists. But you need to remember that just a slight mistake would ruin everything. Feeling danger ,termites will save their queen.
You can also get rid of termites with the help of chemicals. Borate is one of the most popular, being cheap and safe. Borax is widely use in different areas for cleaning, as a laundry brightener and insecticide. So, let’s start from the review of Borate termite treatment.
Let’s see what is it, how it works and how can it be used against termites, your tiny but mighty enemies.
What is borate?
Borate is a natural component.
That’s a mineral salt of boric acid. The active component of the salt is boron.
It is mined from the earth and widely used in the industry. In the United States boron is found in rocks mined from the Mojave Desert in California.
Actually Borate treatment for termites is a white, powdery substance. It consists of colorless crystals.
There is also a sodium borate, or borax. This substance is usually used in medicine and in household applications. Borax is tested and proved to be an effective method of killing termites and protecting wood. Borax is not expensive and easy to find. It is also natural and not harmful for your health.
How borate works?
Quite often borate and borax are used against termites. They are effective methods, which are orally toxic for these insects. The peculiarity of boric acid is that it doesn’t work on contact. Termites should ingest it.
After that, the acid starts killing termites destroying their nervous systems and stomachs. After eating borax, termites start experiencing dehydration, then die.
You shouldn’t worry about the borax’s negative effects. It is a natural pesticide, which also helps to preserve wood. Borax also works for other wood-destroying insects, not only termites.
Borate termite treatment is universal and can be used both inside and outside. It is totally safe for people, pets and plants. Anyway, you should be really careful and avoid spilling borax into soil and water.
When you work with borate powder, do not breathe the dust.
Lots of homeowners consider borax to be a very effective pesticide, fungicide and insecticide. Borax doesn’t evaporate or volatize into the air, so it is quite long-lasting. Comparing borax to other insecticides such as chlorpyrifos, diazinon or pyrethrins, it is much safer.
Specialized companies have invented a number of different anti-termite remedies on base of the boric acid. You can find and buy borax sprays, powder, mix, various solutions, foams, gels and soaps.
The positive sides of all these means are their effectiveness and cheap prices.
You can apply dry powder to crevices and cracks in timber or wood.
You can also use baits with borax in the places of termite activity.
Mixes and solutions can be sprayed into trenches. Foams are made for injections into drilled holes, wall voids and nest openings.
While termites are walking through borax dust, tiny powder particles stick to their bodies. Afterwards insects ingest borate. They can eat it from bait stations or food courses containing wood.
After the ingestion borax starts behaving like a poison, than a termite dies in 3-7 days.
Does borax last for long? Well, the negative point about borax solutions and powder is that they don’t remain in force for a long time. The expecting results can be noticed in 10-21 days after you start the treatment.
It is important to repeat application from time to time. Borax also protects wood from moisture and excess rains.
Dissolving borax in water
Borate is a white powder which can be dissolved in water easily. Borax dust can be used in that form or for preparing solutions of different concentrations. Boric acid is often used in the industry of professional insecticides.
Following the instructions on the container you can dilute this powder with water simply.
You should use warm water to dissolve borate powder. The proportion should be 1:1.
That’s how borax should be dissolved:
- Get 1 teaspoon of borax powder and 8 oz hot water.
- Mix the two components.
- It is important that the borax solution is below 2%. In that case termites can reach their nest and contaminate the others.
But what about borate’s toxicity? Is it really safe?
Borax is considered to be environmentally friendly.
This insecticide is safe for plants in your garden because borate’s are natural nutrients for plants.
Boron is also an important element for people.
But, of course, it mustn’t be ingested. Borate for termites can cause eye or skin irritation. If you use the borax powder, keep it away from your kids.
Do not also use Borate termite powder in the places where pets can be. All wooden materials treated with borate are safe for your family, plants and pets.
Can all this be prevented?
You can try to prevent your house from termite infestation while it is only being built. You need to coat with borax the whole wooden structures in pre-construction time, and then start building your house.
Of course, it is more effective to care about the house now than when termites already invade it. To preserve wood and prevent the termite infestation a number of homeowners use Tim-bor. That’s professional powder, which need to be diluted with water.
Borate solutions can be used differently for wooden structures. You can spray, coat of paint with brush the house foundations and attic, timber, wooden surfaces. That will help to preserve all these wooden structures from termite attacks.
Other forms as borate dust and foam can be injected into building structures to repel the pests.
If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:
- All types of termites. Are they harmful to humans? Can they bite you? And what is the difference between drywood and subterranean ones?
- What does swarmers of different species look like: drywood, subterranean, formosan?
- Signs of infestation outside and in the house: in walls or furniture.
- What does termite holes look like? What is droppings and is it toxic to humans? Do termites make noises?
- Posible termite damage, how does it look like? Examples of damage in walls and wood floors.
- All about flying termites: how do they look like, swarming season and what to do if there are swarmers in your house?
- How do they do nests and mounds? How to find it in your garden or inside the house?
- Termite life cycle – from egg to larvae. And social hierarchy: workers, soldiers, queen.
This video shows a home being treated with borate:
As you can see, borate is a cheap and effective method against termites.
It helps you not only to cope with these insects, but also to prevent their arrival in you place and to save the wood from termites and other wood-consuming insects.
The positive effect of Borate solution for termites was proved not only by homeowners, but also by international researches.
A famous research of borates against termites took place in 1990. Just imagine, it lasted for 10 years and involved areas in 3 different countries, where different wood species were tested.
The experiment took place in Canada, Hawaii and Japan. It proved the positive effect of borates as pesticides and wood-protective means.