How To Get Rid Of Termites in Garden Soil (Naturally & Chemically)

get rid of termites in your garden
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How can you get rid of termites in your garden soil? Unfortunately, this is a major question that every gardener thinks about. Termites are the most common problem that gardeners face because they can destroy everything. But what can you do in order to eliminate them?

Below we are going to give you tips on how you can eliminate the termites both naturally and chemically. The method that you will decide to choose in the end is entirely up to you. Always keep in mind that the best method would the one that won’t have any side-effects to the soil and you.

Also, we will give you tips on how to prevent termites from coming back once you are done with them. Let’s start though with the different types of termites because you will need to know which type you might find in your garden.

Types of Termites

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There are 3 different types of termites. We have the dampwood termites, the drywood termites, and the subterranean termites. These 3 types have different characteristics and we will find them in different places.

The dampwood termites can mainly be found in woods that are quite moist. These termites belong to the Hadotermitidae and Kalotermitidae families. You will not find this type in your house but you will find them in the woods close to the soil.

Their color is brown to creamy white, they have long, narrow and oval shape. Their size can vary from ½ to 5/8 inches long. The areas that you can find them are the Pacific coastal, southern Florida and the adjacent states.

The drywood termites have the ability to cause damage but they will do it at a slower pace but the damage that they will cause will be bigger. You can find this type in timber, wood and hardwood floors.

Their color is light brown to creamy white and they have a long, narrow and oval shape. This type is slightly bigger than the first one. It is from 3/8 to 1 inch. The area where this termite can be found is Texas, California (west coast), and South Carolina.

The subterranean termites can destroy woods faster than any other category. They create large nests and these ones leave in the soil. They connect with trees and timbers in houses.
You can find these termites throughout the U.S. They have a black or brown and white creamy color. This type has a long, narrow and oval shape. Their size is 1/8 inches long. Below we are going to give you tips in order to understand when you have termites.

Ways to Understand That You Have Termites

There are different ways that you can understand whether you have termites or not. First of all, you will notice that you’ll have wood damage. They will chew the wood and as a result, it will weaken and will be destroyed.

Check the surface of the wood in order to see whether it’s been infected or not. If you want to check the wood then you can use a screwdriver and a flashlight. Use the screwdriver to check the strength. If you can remove it quite easily and it falls out then termites are here.

Additionally, termites have wings. If you start to notice wings then you might have termites. Termites when they find the right place to stay they will twist their wings and they won’t have any. Look carefully and if you spot them then termites have paid a visit to your garden.

Natural Way to Get Rid of Termites

When you realize that you do have termites then the big question follows how can you get rid of termites in your garden soil? There are different ways in order to get rid of them. We will give you tips about the natural way first because the chemicals should be the last option especially if you have flowers and crops then chemicals aren’t necessary.

One of the best ways to get rid of the termites is the orange oil. Orange oil contains d-limonene which is toxic to termites. Once they come into contact with the oil they will begin to dissolve and then die. If you spray your soil with it then most likely they will never visit your garden again.

When you spray the infected area try to do it as close to the hive as you can. You should wear gloves and a shirt because this oil might cause irritation to your skin, so pay extra attention when you’re handling it.

Another way that answers the question of how can you get rid of termites in your garden soil would be the sunlight. Direct contact with sunlight can eventually kill the termites. Termites like to live in moist areas, where they thrive. If you’ll be able to locate the hive and clear the way so as sunlight to enter, it would be great.

An additional way that answers the question of how can you get rid of termites in your garden soil would be the nematodes. Nematodes are unsegmented worms that are small and are natural parasites.

The nematodes like to feed on termites and other small creatures. They won’t cause any harm to your plants or your soil but they will eliminate the termites. You can either buy them from your local garden store or your local home store.

Cardboard trap is another useful way to get rid of the termites. Termites love wood and everything that is made from it. Cardboard contains cellulose which can also be found in woods. What you can do is to take a cardboard, wet it and place it near to the nest of the termites.

Leave it there for a couple of days and then collect it. Then you either throw the cardboard or you can burn it in order to make sure that the termites will be eliminated. You can repeat this process as many times as you want to.

How can you get rid of termites in your garden soil? Another good solution would be the use of white vinegar. If you combine half a cup of vinegar and water together you can spray the infected area and the termites will eventually die.

Another combination of ingredients would be to mix ½ cup of vinegar, use the juice of 2 fresh squeezed lemons. Spray the hive with this and you will see that the termites will stop being a problem. This mixture is quite acid and you will have immediate results.

Finally, you can use different types of oils that will help answer the question of how can you get rid of termites in your garden soil. You can use essential oils, garlic oil, clove oil, and canola oil. You can choose the oil that you prefer and mix it with water. Spray the hive where the termites leave and you will see the difference in a few days.

Apart from the natural and non-chemical way that you can use in order to kill termites, there is the chemical way too. Below we are going to give you tips on how to eliminate termites by using chemicals.

How to Get Rid of Termites with Chemicals

How can you get rid of termites in your garden soil? With chemical ways would be another answer. Using chemicals should be your last solution. If you have tried all of our tips above and you see that the termites are still there then you could use chemical ways in order to eliminate them.

Boric acid is quite toxic. If you decide to use it then you should make sure that you’ll wear a mask and gloves because you shouldn’t inhale it, and make sure that your children and pets aren’t close. It’s quite cheap and you can find it everywhere.

The specific insecticide causes damage to the nervous system of the termites and eventually, it kills them. What you need to do is to mix the boric acid with water and then apply it to the infected area. You can use a paintbrush or a spray in order to apply it. It will take from 3 to 7 days in order for them to die.

Another method that you can use in order to answer the question of how can you get rid of termites in your garden soil is by using poisoned bait. By using this method you won’t have to spray or even come into contact with chemicals.

The bait will attract the termites and they will spread it to their hive and eventually they will be eliminated. Make sure to read the instructions and to choose the right place to place the traps.

The last method that you use on how you can get rid of termites in your garden soil would be the direct chemical treatment. There are different chemicals that you can use in order to eliminate the termites. Once again you will need to wear gloves and mask in order to avoid the direct contact.

Their strength will last for about 1 month. All you need to do is to go to a garden store and ask which one would be most effective and better to use and follow the instructions and you will have the result that you want.


Once you have eliminated all the termites from your soil you should make sure that they won’t come back again. If one part is infected then they will move around your garden and destroy everything. You can use the following tips in order to prevent termites from coming back.

First of all, you need to make sure that the soil id moist but not too much because this is when the termites come in to build their home. You should also remove unwanted wood from your garden because this is another place that they’ll go. Maintain your bushes, shrubs and small trees in a good condition.

Additionally, unwanted branches and tree stumps should be thrown away and the firewood should be stored in a dry place away from your garden and house. If you follow these simple steps you might not face any termite problems.


How can you get rid of termites in your garden soil? We hope that we have answered your question with a variety of different ways. There are different types of termites that unfortunately can infect the soil and your trees and plants. We gave you tips in order to eliminate them.

This can be done either naturally, with no use of chemicals at all or with the use of chemicals. Which method you will choose is up to you. If you do notice though that you have done everything you could but the termites insist on coming back then you should definitely ask the help of a professional.