DIY Termite Control In Washington, D.C.: Is It Worth Trying?


We all have summer house-care projects we’d like to take care of this summer. And when you start rearranging furniture or doing renovations, it can lead to a terrible discovery: termites. These pests often go overlooked until the infestation has grown to momentous proportions. With 80 years of experience in Washington, D.C., pest control, we’re here to answer those questions about DIY termite control.

termites in wood

Can I Treat My House For Termites Myself?

It’s a safe bet any professional will tell you it’s not a good idea to attempt handling a termite infestation on your own. These pests are tricky because they live in the ground, in the walls, and can escape to new locations when they sense their colony is in danger. There are some DIY ways to discourage termites from getting in, though:

  • Start your inspection with the foundation. Look for mud tunnels they’re building and sticking onto the concrete to get to connecting wood.
  • Check crawlspaces or basements with a flashlight. Any wood with extensive termite damage will give in to pressure from a strong thumb.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your foundation.
  • Ventilate all parts of the house to prevent moisture buildup. Moisture attracts termites.
  • Keep woodpiles at a safe distance from the house.
  • Create an 18-inch ditch in the soil around any wood. Termites find wood from the soil or through their clinging mud tunnels.
  • Check outside air conditioning units for moisture and proper drainage so the water doesn’t attract termites.

Smaller infestations can be caught at the beginning. But you may not always be certain that the infestation is small, and certain termites can spread their networks through the house rapidly. We at Capitol Pest recommend using professional assistance if you spot termites inside your house.

Is It Possible To Get Rid Of Termites Fully?

Termites are crafty. When they flee a site, they have alternate routes already in place where they can continue to eat away at your house. Even in the case of fumigation, termites will leave the house and reenter the soil. Professionals treat the soil before fumigating so the insects don’t return.

There may also be sources in the yard or at other wood locations like dead trees. A house's colony might not be alone. If termites exist in subterranean locations away from the house, they will continue to encroach and seek out wooden structures. In these cases, preventive efforts around your perimeter are necessary. The best way to get rid of termites is to have professionals treat the surrounding soil and the house.

What Kind Of Damage Can Termites Cause?

Even though they’re infamous wood-eaters, termites also dig or travel through plaster and metal siding to find furniture within a non-wooden house. Some species of termites are also capable of storing moisture, which adds to the wood damage. This moisture buildup allows you to notice damage from the other side of their burrowing.

Evidence of termite damage includes:

  • Wood that is slumping or buckling
  • Swollen or bubbling floors or ceilings
  • Networks of labyrinthine tunnels in walls or furniture
  • The smell of mildew or mold

The signs of water damage might help with some species, but there are different kinds of termites like drywood termites, which thrive in a drier environment. This means you might not notice their tunnels until the outer barrier finally cracks through. Drywood termite damage on your Washington, D.C., property might go undiscovered for much longer times.

The Trick To Permanently Getting Rid Of Termites In Washington, D.C.

An infestation might seem like enough to handle, but termites can return from nearby colonies. As pest control experts, we have certain techniques in termite treatments that are difficult to do on your own, such as formulated soil treatments via insertion rods deep in the ground. 

At Capitol Pest, we use only the necessary and latest technological applications for the pest at hand. We have been servicing the D.C. area with on-staff entomological, zoological, and chemical specialists for 80 years. We guarantee peace of mind. Contact us for a free termite inspection and quote. 

Tags: termite control in washington dc | termite control | termite prevention |

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