Termite mounds occur primarily in Australia and Africa, but they may be found anywhere around the world where termites are present. Although many assume that the mound that appears above ground serves as shelter for termites, in almost all cases, termites live several feet below the ground. The mounds that are visible from the surface are ventilation systems that help to regulate the temperature of the underground tunnels and to provide fresh air for the termites that live in them.
Destroying termite mounds is a difficult process. Because the termites generally live far below the mound itself, eliminating the portion of the nest that is above ground will not effectively destroy the termites themselves. As a result, the most surefire way to eradicate the infestation and to destroy the mound itself is to ensure that all of the termites are dead before removing their nest and remnants.
Destroy the Mound
Termite mounds are sturdy structures, and it can be difficult to break them down. In many cases, a shovel or hoe will be adequate, while in others, you may need to use a rototiller or other mechanical device to break up the compacted dirt of the mound. Be aware that, if the termite infestation still exists in underground tunnels, the bugs will rebuild the termite mound, either in the same location or in a different one. While some homeowners are content to repeatedly demolish termite mounds as they come up, this is not an adequate way of protecting your home from termite damage.
Eliminate Termite Mounds with Chemical Insecticides
Years ago, the most common method for eliminating a termite infestation was through liquid insecticides. These are designed to either kill termites upon contact or to prevent them from entering a home. Although these methods are still effective, they are generally considered to be unsafe, particularly if you have pets or children. The chemicals themselves may seep through the soil and into your water supply or garden.
Between the two main types of insecticides, repellants are both more effective in the long term and safer for use around the home. The first step to isolating the termites is locating exactly where their nest is situated underground. In some cases, an expert opinion may be necessary to do this. Once you have determined where the boundaries of the nest are, you can use repellant to drive the termites away.
Once the termites have abandoned the nest and the surface level mounds, you can demolish them without worrying about the insects rebuilding them later on.
Eliminate Termite Mounds Using Baited Traps
If the termite infestation is small and localized in a certain area, baited traps can be helpful in drawing the insects away from their nest. These traps are available at hardware and gardening stores. Again, destroy the mound once it is abandoned.
Extermination services, including ones that specialize in removing termites and their nests specifically, may be helpful if the methods listed here do not suffice.