Can Baking Soda Kill Termites?

People have always been keen to try DIY and natural approaches when it comes to pest control. And termites are no exception… And one of the many natural termite control methods you see online is the use of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). But can baking soda really kill termites? The answer is no and we explain why in this article…

Why do people think baking soda can kill termites?

Baking soda is a biopesticide and as such many people believe it can be used to kill pests, including termites. Biopesticides feel more natural than chemical pesticides and so people want to believe that baking soda can kill termites… But there are several reasons why people believe baking soda can kill termites and we outline the main ones below:

  • They don’t want to call pest control professionals. People want to believe in the most bizarre pest control methods because they don’t want to call pest control professionals. They don’t want to pay up or hassle themselves with coordinating with other people. They think they can just do the job on their own. But the danger here is that they are prone to misinformation and they can believe anything they read online just to avoid pest control professionals.
  • They want a natural solution to their termite problem. In some instances, people don’t want to call pest control professionals because they know harmful chemicals will be involved. It’s understandable that people are wary of dangerous substances. But they should remember that pest control professionals are competent and licensed. There is no need to fear the substances, especially if they coordinate well with the professionals.
  • They have read about baking soda for termites online. In their DIY journey, most people end up online, where they search for natural solutions for their termite problem. There are so many natural solutions you can read about online. Some of them can be effective, like how you can actually use vinegar to get rid of termites. But some can also be ineffective, such as the use of baking soda. Using baking soda for your termite problem is just a waste of time.
Baking soda can't kill termites.
Drywood termites. Image source: Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, University of Florida

Why baking soda doesn’t kill termites

Baking soda for termites has no scientific backing. And even if it does, it will be very difficult to maximize its effectiveness because it will require direct contact with termites, who are often inaccessible.

  • It’s not scientifically proven to kill termites. Baking soda can be a great natural solution to some pest problems, but not all… It works because it dehydrates, poisons, or kills certain pests. It can work on ants, bed bugs, and cockroaches. But here’s the thing — it doesn’t work on termites. And there is no proof that it does. That being said, there are other home and natural ingredients that can be effective against termites, such as boric acid, diatomaceous earth, and salt. They work the same way baking soda is supposed to work. They dehydrate, poison, or kill termites.
  • Even if it were effective, it will require close contact with the pests. Sure, baking soda and all these natural ingredients can be effective for certain pests and scenarios. But they have one downside — they all require close contact with termites in order to be effective. After all, how will they dehydrate, poison, or kill termites when the termites are chilling deep within their colonies? You can only sprinkle so many of these ingredients. But they will never reach the deep ends of termite colonies.
  • Termites are complicated pests that require proven solutions. These natural ingredients are all in solid form, so they don’t travel deep into termite colonies. But there are termite killers in liquid and gas forms, which are more effective in reaching the termites in hiding. These termiticides are only accessible to licensed pest control professionals. And this is why it’s always better to get help from these professionals to get rid of a termite infestation. They simply have more tools at their disposal.

What you can do instead

Let pest control professionals handle your termite problem. And then prevent the termites from coming back.

  • Call pest control professionals. Do you know that there are different kinds of termites that can infest your home? They have different characteristics and habits. This means they require different pest control methods as well. This is why calling pest control professionals is your best bet. They can properly diagnose the problem and come up with a solution specifically for your needs. For example, if the infestation is concentrated in a small area, the professionals may recommend spot treatment. But if the infestation has already spread, fumigation may be required.
  • Coordinate with the pest control professionals for a smooth termite control process. Termiticides are indeed harmful. There are many reported cases of side effects and even deaths. This is why only licensed pest control professionals have access to them. As long as you coordinate properly with the professionals, your risk of termiticide exposure will be minimal. There are also some things you can do before, during, and after the termite control process to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
  • Prevent termite infestations in the future. Once you have gotten rid of the termites, your next priority should be prevention. You can talk to your pest control professionals about termiticides with residual effects, regular termite inspections, and home tips for termite prevention. Controlling moisture is a good home tip because termites thrive in moist environments. Fix leaks and other plumbing issues, prevent water buildup in drains and gutters, maintain attics, basements, and other areas prone to moisture, and use humidifiers.
There are many different kinds of termites that can infest your home.
Dampwood termites. Image source: Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, University of Florida

Baking soda will not kill termites

No, baking soda can’t kill termites. Many DIY solutions to termites are also very ineffective. This is simply because they are not backed by science or they require close contact to kill termites. Please don’t fall victim to misinformation online. Many so-called solutions are a waste of your time.

Termites cause billions of dollars in structural damage every year. Do you want to be part of these statistics? If you don’t, shell out a little money and hire pest control professionals. Your home will thank you for it. Your family will thank you for it as well. This is because termites can be health risks. They can bite, cause allergies, and help in the development of mold if you don’t get rid of them.

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