How to Kill Termites in Soil


Subterranean termites live in the soil alongside the wood they are consuming. They build earthen tunnels over concrete or brick to reach upward toward wood. They are considered one of the most destructive wood-feeding insects. Successful termite control usually consists of utilizing bait systems and liquid insecticides. The homeowner also must focus on prevention to discourage the subterranean termites from invading the wood of houses and other buildings. Barriers of chemically treated soil around homes and buildings can prevent termite infestation for up to two years. Once an infestation occurs, prompt treatment of the soil is paramount.

Step 1

Place stakes of termite control bait around the areas of subterranean termite activity. Termite control bait is sold under many brands. The bait is normally housed in plastic spikes with tiny holes. The termites enter the holes to consume a toxic bait substance mixed in wood cellulose. The bait works as a slow toxin that kills the termites over two weeks to one month. The termites bring the bait back to the colony where it is readily consumed by other termites. The bait sticks to the termites and is groomed off by members of the colony. The bait renders termites sterile, then kills them. Follow the directions on the bait for application instructions.

Step 2

Break away all shelter tubes on concrete, wood, brick and soil. These tubes offer protection to the termites. Break them away using a shovel, hand trowel or wire bristle brush.

Step 3

Drench the soil where the termites reside, using either imidacloprid or fipronil insecticides. Follow the directions on the label for application and mixing ratios. Apply with a backpack sprayer or a handheld garden pump sprayer.

Step 4

Drill into infested wood areas with a 3- to 4-inch drill bit that is 1/2 inch in diameter or larger. Spray foam-based fipronil into the wood. Follow the directions on the fipronil label for application instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Termite bait stakes
  • Imidacloprid or fipronil insecticide drenches
  • Fipronil foam spray
  • Drill
  • Drill bit. 3 to 4 inches long, 1/2 inch in diameter
  • Wire brush
  • Shovel
  • Hand trowel


  • University of California David: Termites
  • Texas A&M: Subterranean Termites
  • University of Tennessee: Subterranean Termite Control

Who Can Help

  • University Of Kentucky: Termite Control
Keywords: termite control, killing termites, getting rid of termites

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.