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Heather from New Orleans, La writes

Is there anything non toxic I can do to treat severe drywood termite infestation?

We have drywood termites in our hardwood floors in several rooms of our 1910 home. We just moved in a few months ago and they are already eating our furniture although our pest control man said they were probably in the furniture for years before and just dormant and woke up in the warmer weather down south (never had problems before moving here). There's no company locally that treats with orange oil or any other green methods. Could we treat this ourselves with Boracare or Timbor? Or pure d-limonene? The pest control company says fumigation is our only option. I am nervous about the health issues with fumigation.

Answer:

If the drywood termites are in the floors, you can treat the floors with Boracare as long as they are unfinished. Boracare can only be used on raw natural wood so if there is a stain or sealant on the floors, it will need to be sanded up first before applying the Boracare. If there are drywood termites in your furniture, your options are limited. You can either strip down the finish on it and treat, drill holes all throughout it to treat with either Boracare or a foaming product, or fumigate it. Most of the time fumigation is your best option as its the only way to gurantee you are going to get every last one of them that deep within the furniture. Typically for this treatment they bring a pod type device similar to that of a portable storage unit, and place your furniture inside and either heat it or fumigate it for a set period of time. Aftewards you air out the furniture, steam clean it if you want, and its completely safe to use as normal. There are just not many truly green options out there for termite control as it is such a specific treatment, and most areas are not places you will be inhabiting with extended points of direct contact to a surface. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Answer last updated on: 08/05/2013

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