Is orange oil termite control right for you?

People nowadays have a much keener awareness of chemicals and are demanding more and more to have real professionals to do there pest control work. This is not to say the DIY movement is dead or dying by any means but those that choose a service are spending more time on the internet (mainly) to check out what is being used in their homes and in this way better safe guard their families. I applaud this whole heartily.

One product that is being touted as a safe, effective and environmentally responsible tool for eradicating termites is orange oil. There are many claims as to this chemical and lets face it- it is a chemical albeit natural, about how orange oil works in the wood to destroy termites (drywoods for the most part) and then harmlessly fades away while never posing any problem to the homeowner or the service people applying it. There are even reports where orange oil is now being used for carpenter ants and other structure invading pests.

As a result, a movement has arisen where people are interested more in “green” or environment-friendly ways of pest control. In short, people are now resorting to organic ways of ridding themselves of household pests in order to prevent harmful side-effects.

There are many ways of organic pest control. For the garden, it involves introducing natural predators of garden parasites into the ecology. It is quite different for the household though, because house pests are different beings to deal with. Termites, for example, are difficult to get rid of because they burrow into wood and can infest the whole household. They may have natural predators, but you can’t put them into your house not unless you want to turn your abode into a wilderness.

Nowadays, organic pest control advocates spread the word “orange” to people who are having problems with termites and other insects that infest the home. Orange stands for orange oil, a type of liquid that is designed to kill termites upon contact and leave them unable to reinfest the area where the orange oil was applied. Orange oil is made up D-Limonene, which acts like acid upon the termites and literally dissolve them from the inside.

It may be that you are investigating whether or not to use orange oil for a problem that you are having. For me my mind is fairly made up and if you’re interested you can read more about it here. But in truth I am not the end all say of what goes on in your home and if you decide on a certain product that is your decision. Instead of spouting off my opinion I will simply list a few pros and cons of orange oil and as always the decision is up to you.


As an organic pest control measure, orange oil is thought to be very safe since it does not leave residue in the floor, air and soil that can be inhaled by people. Orange oil’s residue reside inside the piece of wood where it has been injected in order to prevent the termites from coming back. Proponents compare this with sulfuryl flouride, which is touted as one of the main greenhouse gases that are slowly destroying the atmosphere. Sulfuryl flouride is also proven to stick to the soil and the floors of house for months after application.

Orange oil also has a very pleasant smell, since it is taken from orange fruit peelings. It does not have the repulsive smell of insecticide, which is another reason why some homeowners are preferring to use orange oil for their pesticide needs.

Orange oil also meets the standards (as I understand them) of most accepted “green” methods of pest control.


On the other hand, critics are arguing that orange oil is ineffective as a long term pest control measure. While it is effective upon contact with termites, skeptics point out to the fact that termites can still otherwise infest other areas of the home that are not treated with orange oil. This means that, after getting rid of a swarm at a specific area of your home, the termites will simply march over to another area. This means that using orange oil will require you to repeatedly treat your home for termites to get rid of new or previously undiscovered infestations, and there are unfortunately some areas of your home that are hard to reach for you but not termites.

It is also reported that orange oil can be somewhat caustic on your hands or face due to the high acid content.

All in all, critics say that orange oil is a more costly way of termite treatment as a homeowner would have to do it again and again each time termites are discovered in new places inside the home.

While the jury may be out on this and many other “silver bullets” that seem to pop up every few years or so in our industry, termites are serious business and the damage they can do should warrant at least a look at all options.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

This entry was posted in Termites. Bookmark the permalink.