Is Orange Oil an Effective Treatment for Termites? {Does It Work?}

How do you feel about natural solutions to termite control? Is Orange Oil an Effective Treatment for Termites?

What are the pros of cons of using orange oil for killing termites? Is it safe for humans? Is it pet friendly?

In this article, we will discuss if orange oil is an effective treatment for termites.

Is Orange Oil an Effective Treatment for Termites?

Orange oil is an effective treatment for drywood termites only. It is not as effective as tent fumigation.

Tenting an entire property is the best way to ensure that drywood termites are eradicated from the entire area.

Orange oil is better for spot treatments and localized areas only.


Does Orange Oil Work to Kill Termites?

Orange oil is extracted from orange rinds. The active ingredient is called D-limonene. This substance helps to break down their exoskeletons. Their eggs become no longer viable as well.

Termites are going to die on contact with orange oil and you will also prevent the further spread of their colonies. Termites have of the natural instinct to run and touch other termites when they come into contact with oil or food sources.

One termite will make contact with orange oil and quickly run over to another. They will continue this domino effect until many members of their colony are dead. The oil itself is highly acidic. It can eat through the outer layers of their skin.

How Long Does Orange Oil Last For Termites?

Orange oil treatment is effective for three to seven days. After this time you will need to treat the area again with more orange oil. A re-infestation can occur if you do not continue treating the area with orange oil.

A skilled termite control expert should inspect the area and see if you require further fumigation techniques. The most effective is tenting the entire property.

If you are trying to avoid this by using orange oil, please note that although you will kill termites in this one localized region. You are not affecting the colony as a whole.

Also, orange oil is effective for drywood termites only. After three to seven days of using orange oil treatment, if you continue to notice termite activity, it is important to seek help from professional experts.

Do Termites Hate Orange Oil?

Yes. Orange oil or other types of citrus oils are highly acidic and can burn through the exoskeleton of termites.

It is also flammable and combustible. The flash point of orange oil is 115 degrees. This is why it’s also considered a bio fuel.

Eradicating termites with orange oil is not enough. You must find the entire termite colony.

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Is Orange Oil Toxic?

Orange oil is not necessarily toxic, but is harmful to many people. Sensitive skin can result in rashes or irritations through contact with orange oil. Orange oil can also cause respiratory problems when inhaled in large amounts. If orange oil is ingested it can also cause:

  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Severe poisoning

What are the Benefits of Orange Oil Termite Control?

The benefits of using orange oil to eradicate termites is that it is naturally extracted from orange fruit rinds.

It is used in multiple treatments for pain relief or stress. Orange oil is an effective household cleaner as well.

Here are some benefits of using orange oil for Termite Control:

  • Low toxicity
  • Able to kill other insects as well
  • You can remain in the home while using orange oil

What Are the Disadvantages to Using Orange Oil?

The disadvantages to using orange oil is that it may not get rid of the entire infestation. Let’s look into this a little more closely:

  • Orange oil is a localized treatment.
  • Undetected infestations will not be controlled or eradicated.
  • Orange oil only lasts for 3 to 7 days.
  • The residue does not last long enough for future protection.
  • Application of orange oil into your walls requires drilling multiple holes.
  • Orange oil is only effective against drywood termites and not subterranean termites.

Research suggests that sulfuryl fluoride fumigation and complete tenting are better methods to completely eradicate termite infestations.

If you’re dealing with a very large problem, it’s better to consult with a professional and leave the orange oil for minor termite control situations.

What Are the Pros and Cons to Orange Oil for Termites?

With every produce, purchase or decision, we must always weight out the pros and cons. When using orange oil to kill termites, we must taker many factors into consideration.

Here is a detailed list that highlights the pros and cons for controlling termites with orange oil:


  • Orange oil is environmentally friendly.
  • It works very well against drywood termites, carpenter ants and wood boring beetles.
  • You can use the treatment at night and sleep soundly without moving or sleeping elsewhere.
  • You do not need to remove your plants.
  • Orange oil is pet friendly.
  • Your food and medical supplies are safe.
  • Orange oil treatment will not damage your home.


  • Subterranean termites are not affected by orange oil.
  • Ingesting orange oil or inhaling the fumes can cause skin irritations, nausea, vomiting, breathing problems.
  • Not effective against underground termite colonies.
  • Orange oil can make wood highly combustible with a flash point of 115 degrees.
  • Orange oil remains for 3 to 7 Days and requires multiple treatments.
  • Orange oil only works against termite living inside the wood that they are infesting.

If a termite control expert has determined that your infestation is localized in only one area, they may drill holes and inject orange oil instead of tenting the entire home. Orange oil helps to kill any termites and their eggs.

How is Orange Oil Limited in its Effectiveness?

Orange oil kills only drywood termites. This is why it’s limited. It is also only a secondary spot treatment because it cannot control infestations taking place in the colony that may be located outside of your home.

Undetected termite colonies will continue to eat and damage your home and surrounding properties. You will need multiple treatments and many drilled holes in the walls.

Your home is still vulnerable to further infestations. Orange oil is not a guaranteed method of exterminating termites. An entire home fumigation with tenting is much more effective.

Is Orange Oil a Termiticide?

Orange oil is considered to be a natural form of termiticide. It is much less toxic than arsenic that was originally used to combat these pests.

It is much better than using modern chemicals in terms of you not being able to live in the home that is being treated.

With orange oil your pets, food and family members can remain in the home while it is being treated for termites. Modern chemicals that work better to kill termites in large numbers include:

  • Fipronil
  • Imidacloprid
  • Hexaflumuron

Is Orange Oil Safe?

Orange oil is naturally derived from the rinds of orange peels. It is not completely safe because it can upset your stomach if you ingest it. There are many reports of skin irritations as well.

The efficacy of its ability to eradicate termites is debatable. The reason why is because it only works in localized areas for drywood termites only.

Orange oil is a botanical based treatment. Using orange oil or neem oil as natural alternatives work in lower capabilities compared to commercial termiticides and their chemical derivatives.

The active ingredient in the orange oil D-limonene which has been linked to nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and cramping when ingested.

Is it Worth Trying Orange Oil?

Orange oil is a safe and effective solution against drywood termites only. A termite control expert must determine for you if your infestation is localized and if you are looking at drywood termites instead of their much more destructive counterparts known as subterranean termites.

Orange oil will not work toward subterranean termite infestations because they build unreachable tunnels under the ground that orange oil cannot cover.

You also have to use repeated treatments because orange oil residue does not remain on surfaces longer than 3 to 7 days. This is also a good thing because orange oil is also highly flammable. You do not want you or would to be soaked in orange oil longer than this short period of time.


If you have successfully eliminated a termite colony with orange oil, it’s important to continue inspections. A new infestation needs to be detected as early as possible. Orange oil is only a local treatment option.

It will only kill drywood termites with direct contact. You have to know the exact locations where they are in order to kill them. Visual inspections, acoustic detectors or even termite detecting dogs may help you to find where the entire colony is located.

The impact of orange oil temporary as it only lasts for 3 to 7 days. A termite control expert is going to give you all the necessary information available and run down the options with you.

You may have no choice but to tent the entire home as a last resort with commercial chemical fumigation techniques that are much more effective at eradicating entire colonies of all termite species.


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