What Do Termites Hate? {The Ultimate List Of Termite Repellents}

Would you like an ultimate guide to everything that kills or repels termites? What Do Termites Hate?

How many of the items in this article do you have at home? Are you ready to kill, repel or prevent termites for good?

In this article, we’ll find out what termites hate and why we should make sure to apply many of these items to keep termites away.

What Do Termites Hate?

Termites hate direct sunlight, dry heat, essential oils like tea tree oil, cinnamon, garlic, geranium, marigold and clove buds. Their antennae can sense the smells of repellents in wood or other sources where they choose to not go near.

Termites don’t like cedarwood, mahogany, cypress, redwood or teak wood. Salt, boric acid, white vinegar, baking soda, neem oil, borate treated wood, cayenne peppers, nematodes and Termidor foam are termite killers.

These pest will try to stay away or die from contact from these powerful termite removal remedies.

What Naturally Keeps Termites Away?

There are so many items to list, but let’s start with how much termites hate sunlight. They will do their best to avoid it as they crawl into dark spaces to eat cellulose from wood unnoticed and away from sunlight.

Termites will try to keep away or risk dying when they are near:

  • borax
  • borates
  • sodium borate
  • boric acid
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • diatomaceous earth

These substances above will dry and out kill a termite who comes into contact with it.

Which Scents Do Termites Hate?

Termite hate these scents that they can detect with their antennae:

  • cedarwood
  • geranium
  • tea tree oil
  • cinnamon
  • clove bud
  • garlic oil
  • wintergreen oil
  • cinnamon
  • orange oil
  • neem oil
  • white vinegar
  • cayenne pepper

What Scent Kills Termites?

Wintergreen oil is one of our favorite scents to use for repelling and killing termites. This oil is harmless on humans and pets. Orange oil is a close second for its ability to kill or repel termites.

They work well for drywood termites, but also subterranean termites as well. If you are using heat treatment to kill termites, wintergreen oil works well with it because it has a higher flashpoint than most other oils that repel or kill termites.

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What Do Termites Not Like?

Termites do not like sunlight. Heavy UV exposure will kill them outright. This is why you don’t see termites out in the open very long.

Swarmers or winged termites fly around looking for the best place to start a new colony. They need a dark, moist environments with plenty of cellulose that they can easily extract from wood sources.

Sunlight dries the atmosphere that is not conducive to termite survival. Take out any wood furniture that you think may have been exposed to termites and let it sit out in the sun for a while. The heat and direct sunlight will kill any termites trying to survive inside this baked furniture.

What Do Termites Hate The Most?

We believe termites hate sunlight that kills them faster and better than almost anything else outside of professional grade termiticide. We’re also talking about borates which can also be refereed to as:

  • sodium borate
  • borax
  • boric acid

This is natural mineral and looks and acts like salt to dry out bugs like termites easily. When mixed or applied to wood, termites who ingest or make contact with it will dry out.

They won’t be able to produce protozoa gut bacteria to absorb cellulose anymore. Their pores will be blocked and they will suffocate. Termite routinely starve to death when borates are mixed into their food sources and applied to their nest as a powder.

Sprinkle it or use a clear coat of borate on flooring or wood walls and furniture. Borate treated wood usually has propylene glycol mixed with it which is also harmless to humans, but effective in eradicating termites from their hiding and feeding spots.

Which Types of Building Material Do Termites Hate?

Termites can’t penetrate through concrete and brick. They will try to find another way in by looking for cracks or piping and wiring to get through the exterior of your home.

Once they get in, they are looking to devour wood framing and drywall. Windowsills and door frames usually allow entryways for termites to successfully get into your home.

Termites also hate it when the foundation of your home does not have any vegetation near it. They use plants, mulch, shrubs and all other plants or soil as pathways to get to the foundation of the home and reach their prized cellulose contained within the wood framing.

This is why we should keep our foundations clear of plants, mulch and plant beds. Aim for all least 15 inches to 3 feet of distance from your foundation.

Do Nematodes Eat Termites?

Yes. Termites hate nematodes. They are tiny, harmless, parasitic roundworms that feast on tiny bugs and their eggs. They are looking to help you by locating termites that are hiding in areas that you cannot reach.

Mix them with water and spray areas that are well hidden as perfect spots for termites to do most their damage. Nematodes don’t survive very long and will never harm plants or pets. They want to eat termites and we want to let them.

What Is Termidor Foam?

Termites hate Termidor Foam. It is a foam that is sprayed into cracks, crevices, baseboards and voids. Anywhere where you suspect termites hiding can be blasted with this expanding foam.

Shoot it through tiny openings and see how it expands to fill all gaps and suffocate termites. The foam will eventually evaporate.

It also leaves behind a residue that acts as a poison to kill termites when they make contact with it. Termites hate this stuff.

Which Essential Oils Do Termites Hate?

Termites can’t stand most essential oils that emit strong odors that they sense through their antennae.

They will not be pleased when they find a rich source of wood but cannot devour it due to it being sprayed with these essential oils that repel them:

  • Cinnamon oil
  • Neem oil
  • Vetiver oil
  • Clove bud
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Orange oil
  • Cedarwood oil
  • Garlic oil

Clove bud and garlic oil are strong scents for humans too, but they kill termites really well. Vinegar works too, but it is not an oil and dissipates rather quickly.

This is why we use oils that remain on wood sources much longer. Add as little 4 drops on any oil on this list with a small spray bottle of water and begin applying it.


We hope termites hate what you’re doing and the efforts you’re making to keep them away. Thanks for visiting ThePestManagement.com for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.

Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable