Do Green Termite Treatments Work?

Every termite treatment program has benefits and tradeoffs. Some termite control products work faster than others. Some products are less toxic than others. Some products are more effective than others. Some products are less expensive than others. If there were a perfect organic termite killer, we would not have dozens of products on the market.

You should consult your pest control expert for help deciding which control methods and products will achieve your termite control goals. Pest control professionals are knowledgeable in termite identification, biology and behavior, as well as best practices for selecting and applying treatment materials.

Green Termite Control for Subterranean Termites
Non-toxic subterranean termite control measures include home maintenance and some wood treatment products. During your regular home maintenance, you should focus on reducing wood-to-ground contact – a common termite entry point – and moisture sources, which indicate areas conducive to termite infestation.

There are a few low toxicity wood treatment products, such as neem oil and orange oil, which can work on small infestations. However, these products only affect the forager termites that come into direct contact with them. These products do not control termites in the nest, or offer continuing protection for your home.

Experts typically consider bait systems the greenest method available for effective control of an entire subterranean termite colony. Underground and aboveground baits placed near the soil use a very small amount of material to control termites. Bait systems offer extremely targeted control, compared to liquid termiticide treatments that require more thorough termiticide application near potential entry points and areas conducive to activity.

Green Termite Control for Drywood Termites
The only non-toxic control measure available for large drywood termite infestations is heat treatment. Your termite control expert can advise whether heat is an appropriate option based on your home’s construction and the location and scope of the infestation. He or she also can explain any potential drawbacks to the treatment, including the impact of heat on items left in the home during treatment.

Localized drywood termite infestations may be treated with green products, such as neem oil or orange oil (see above for limitations). Other non-chemical treatment options include extreme cold and electronic methods. All of these methods require that your pest professional correctly identify the boundaries of the infestation to provide effective treatment. None of these drywood treatment methods offer protection against future infestations.