We have it. We use it.
We even like it. It smells nice. Is it the miracle cure some companies
claim it to be?
As much as we’d like to
say yes and hop on the fear-driven bandwagon and blast your house with
orange oil until it smells like a fruit salad, the facts of the matter do
not support claims of a termite-free home when only orange oil is used.
Essentially, orange oil
is the centerpiece chemical in what is known as a “repellent strategy” of
termite control. When the oil is made to penetrate wood, some termites are
killed near the injection or treatment site, others are merely repelled and
are driven into areas where the oil has no effect.
orange oil to succeed as the sole treatment, well, you basically have to
expose and treat each entire piece of infested wood. Since dismantling your
house is usually not possible and never economically feasible, a topical
repellent strategy will leave some of the termites unharmed. Maybe it will
disrupt the colonies and move them deep into hiding where they will escape
notice until much later, (perhaps even after the control guarantee has
expired) but it will seldom reach all the termites. And of course, any
termites that are out of reach to begin with will remain safe and sound and
continue to munch your house.
So is orange oil
useless? No. as a low-toxicity treatment for an exposed piece of wood, you
can often get the sweet smell of success. Is it a cure-all ? Only on radio
and TV commercials.
I guess the main point
here is that the best approach to termite control is a broad-spectrum
approach, and the experienced professional chooses from a wide range of
effective products to save your house from extinction.
And here’s a news
flash: The companies who hawk orange oil as the greatest thing since purple
Kool-Aid usually rely on the more effective methods too, in most cases. As
Are there operators
out there who stick to the fruit-salad method and offer nothing else? We
hope not. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all termite treatment.
No matter how good it smells.