No homeowner wants to deal with a termite infestation. The destructive little insects will quickly claim your home as their own. Their constant feeding and tunneling can rack up hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damages.
It’s important to consider your termite control options the moment you first notice an infestation. Prompt action is the key to getting the problem under control before it spirals out of hand.
One of the safest and most effective methods of termite control is the use of beneficial nematodes. These microscopic roundworms seek out and enter termites and other insects. They then feed on them parasitically until they die.
Beneficial nematodes are an all-natural way to control termites that doesn’t put you or your family at risk.
Beneficial nematodes are naturally-occurring microscopic roundworms. They live in a variety of habitats around the world.
Nematodes are so effective at household pest control because of a gut bacterium they contain. Once the nematode enters the pest (through the mouth, anus, or body wall), it releases this symbiotic gut bacterium. The bacterium poisons the blood of the pest, quickly causing it to die.
Why Are Nematodes Beneficial?
The benefits of nematodes are numerous and shouldn’t be taken lightly. They include:
- 100% Natural – Nematodes don’t negatively affect humans, pets, or plants. This is the opposite of other common methods of termite control like fumigation and poisoning.
- Effective – Nematodes are among the most effective methods of termite control. They don’t stop working after killing just one termite. Instead, the feed and multiply inside the dying pest before moving on to others.
- Long-Lasting – A small batch of nematodes will prove effective for a long time. The creatures breed and multiply after first application, ensuring they’ll keep killing termites for weeks on end.
- Fast-Acting – Nematodes kill termites in as little as 24 hours. It’s rare that the process takes anything longer than 48 hours.
- Kill Other Pests – The pest control benefits of nematodes aren’t just limited to termites. They also kill a variety of other common household pests.
How Do Beneficial Nematodes Work?
Beneficial nematodes are parasitic roundworms. As mentioned above, they enter the host insect’s body (in our case, a termite) and immediately begin feeding on it. During feeding, bacteria is released from the nematode’s gut. The termites suffer from blood poisoning caused by the bacteria and quickly die.
Once the termite is dead and completely consumed, the nematodes move on to their next victim. The whole time they’re breeding and multiplying. Not only do nematodes help control invasive termite populations, they also help keep other common household pests at bay.
Are Beneficial Nematodes Effective Against Termites?
Yes, nematodes are very effective against termites.
In fact, they’re arguably the most effective method of natural termite control. They kill and dispose of termites through the process outlined above. When all termites and other pests have been killed, nematodes die and biodegrade in the soil.
Beneficial nematodes are as effective against German cockroaches, flies, ants, and fleas as they are against termites.
Nematode Application, Handling, and Storage
Yet another highlight of beneficial nematodes is how easy they are to use.
Though there are several methods of application, the easiest is to mix them with water and then apply with a spray bottle.
Simply dump your beneficial nematodes into a bucket of water. Stir the water to mix the nematodes up. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before putting it into your spray bottle.
Spray any area where you’ve seen termites. Focus on your yard and garden as this is where termites tend to originate. Your beneficial nematodes will quickly spread from the termites in your garden to the termites in your home. Be sure to spread the solution evenly over all surfaces.
Sometimes nematodes have difficulty initially establishing themselves in a new environment. Counteract this by spraying termite-infested areas once daily for at least two weeks. This will ensure that all termites and their eggs are exterminated.
Though these are the basic guidelines for using beneficial nematodes, you should always follow specific packaging instructions carefully. Make sure to also follow handling and storage instructions to a T.
For storage, most nematodes can be safely stored inside a refrigerator. Do not store them in a freezer. Use the nematodes within one month of receiving them for the best results. Never store your nematodes in your mixing bucket or spray bottle.
Avoid the use of fertilizers for at least two weeks after applying nematodes. The creatures are susceptible to damage from most fertilizers, especially those high in nitrogen content. If you want your nematodes to kill off your termite infestation, it’s best to hold off on fertilizing until later.
The Best Beneficial Nematodes
Not all nematodes are created the same. There are different species and varieties available. It’s important to be on the lookout for those are actually effective for controlling termites.
Look for nematodes that are being sold specifically for termite control. Though they’ll likely still prove effective, those being sold to combat other household pests aren’t your best bet.
Tip: We recommend Natures Good Guy’s Beneficial Nematode blend.
It’s also important to order nematodes for delivery to your home. Nematodes simply don’t last for very long in storage. There’s a chance that nematodes bought from a store are dying or already dead. Don’t waste your money on these.
Find a reputable supplier of nematodes. It’s almost always best to pay a little extra for a higher quality product. Not only are these nematodes more effective, they’ve likely been treated better during storage.
Hiring a Professional
Applying nematodes for termite control by yourself is almost always effective. Only in rare circumstances, should you hire the help of a pest control professional.
The circumstance in which you should do so is a severe infestation. Your pest control professional will use special application techniques to make sure the nematodes are as effective as possible. They might also combine beneficial nematodes with other termite control techniques.
Other Termite Control Options
There are a variety of other pest control options to try if killing termites with nematodes fails.
Though beneficial nematodes are highly effective at controlling termites, there are certain situations in which they just don’t do the job. If this is the case, the following termite control methods might prove more effective:
- Remove Food Sources – The easiest way to control termites is to take away their food sources. Home termite infestations often stem from termites feeding on dead trees or piles of wood. Remove these to eliminate the beginning point of an infestation.
- Install a Barrier – Make it more difficult for termites to enter your home. Install screens and caulk any cracks. Installing a barrier of sand or wet cardboard around your home will also help ward termites off.
- Use Chemical Treatment – Chemical treatments are sometimes more effective than natural treatments like nematodes. However, they’re also more dangerous to the health of humans, pets, and plants. Follow the instructions exactly to ensure your family’s safety.
- Hire a Pro – Hire a pest control company that specializes in termite extermination. Find one that will use the latest chemical treatments in favor of nematodes.
Your Termite-Free Home
Termites can cause an incredible amount of damage to your home when given the chance. So don’t give them that chance.
Take action at the first sign of infestation. If using a natural method of pest control is important to you, beneficial nematodes are your number one bet.
Beneficial nematodes will effectively nip your termite infestation in the bud. They will kill of all termites and other pests without negatively affecting your family.