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How to Get Rid of Termites in Landscape Timber

By Jacob Maurer
Be wary of termites if you use landscape timbers.
garden portraits image by joe klune from Fotolia.com

Termites can be a destructive force. A single colony can wreak havoc on a home or property, sometimes driving a homeowner to financial ruin. Termites often appear in moist areas where wood contacts the soil. Termites often show up in landscape timbers. If you find termites in your landscape timbers, it is only a matter of time before they infest your house---if they haven't already.

Determine the type of termite you are dealing with. Subterranean termites (the most common type), dampwood termites and formosan termites can all be treated with liquid insecticide or bait. Drywood termites often require fumigation.

Divert any downspouts and gutters as far away from the landscape timbers and house as possible.

Apply the liquid termite treatment to your lawn as directed. Usually they are sprayed around the house and affected areas, killing any termites that they contact directly. For a safer, more environmentally friendly option, use orange oil. Orange oil is made up of a chemical called d-limonene that is extracted from orange peels. It is harmful to insects, but has very low toxicity toward mammals.

Apply termite bait to the affected areas as directed by your specific product. Termite baits are picked up by the workers and will gradually kill off remaining members of the colony.

Rid your yard of infected timbers. If badly damaged, these timbers will serve as an ideal home to another colony. Treat your new timbers with borate. This treatment is applied like a coat of paint. It works because termites are dependent upon little protozoa to break down the wood into useful nutrients within their digestive tract. Borate kills the protozoa, thus forcing the termites into starvation. However, it will not be able to eliminate an entire colony alone.

Eliminate any wood completely from your yard. To give your property the best chance to stay free of termite infestations, use stone or synthetic wood in place of traditional wood landscape timbers.


Things You Will Need

  • Liquid termite treatment (orange oil is a good option)
  • Termite bait (Examples: Sintricon Termite Control, First Line and Terminate)
  • Borate termite treatment
  • Synthetic landscape timbers (optional)
  • Stones (optional)


  • If confronted with a termite infestation, it is always best to contact your local pest control service. They will help you find the best treatment plan.


  • Any time you find termites on your property, have an inspector check your home for structural damage. In severe cases, a home's structural integrity can be compromised.

About the Author


Jacob Maurer began his career as staff writer for his college newspaper, "The Witness" (Wilmington College), in 2006. A year later, he was promoted to assistant editor of copy. After graduating from Wilmington College with a double major in journalism/public relations and graphic design, Maurer took his writing talents to NewsUSA Inc. where he has served as managing editor since February 2008.