Orange oil for termites

Years ago citrus products were beginning to be ‘all the rage’ in the pest control industry. Manufacturing companies sent out mailers to all the certified operators and license holders of every bug company they could find. Company rep’s offered ceu’s (continued education unit) which are a highly sought after requirement mandated by state agencies and especially if they’re FREE.

Of course I went and got 1 hour of my required 8 but walked away knowing I was just in a batters cage swinging at a salesman’s pitch. The product was called “Web Away”. An all natural citrus based spray that guarantees the control of spiders like no other product on earth. What sold me on it was the added benefit of its ability to ‘dissolve’ the cobwebs away. Safe, non toxic and get rid of the webs, what’s not to like.

I, like almost everybody else in the room bought a gallon and happily drove away in my bug truck ready to try this new spray. It didn’t take very long to find out 2 things. #1 this new spray did smell very nice as advertised. #2 this concoction not only ate the webs,

but also my skin

The burn was so bad on my arms and any other exposed surface that I had to rinse my arms in cold water for 1/2 hour. To make matters worse I checked back after a week on my client ( who had a bad spider problem all along ) and the spiders were none the worse for the wear. I later tried the product with longer range applicators and wore full protective gear. The results were the same and I never used it again.

Now there seems to be a big push again for the use of ‘Orange oil’ against termites in California. It seems they are looking for chemical and pesticide free products in the name of ‘green pest control.’ Please note; I’m all for mother earth but sometimes being green just for the sake of it is worse than using standard proven methods.

Orange oil isn’t for all termites, just for Drywoods and has proven to kill those who contact it. It also absorbs in all directions improving the chances of the needed connection. The problem is that the residual is at most 21 days and that it emits VOCs (volitile organic compounds) which are bad to breathe and harmful to the environment. It also is quite a pollutant to marine life. Not to mention it can be highly flammible in areas over 120 degrees. Can you say attic? Tenting a home with gases is also a problem for the environment so I can see the rationale but these days there are so many choices of borates, heat, freezing, foams, liquids and more that to claim an all natural solution that is harmless when in fact it is not is irresponsible to say the least.

In pecking around for articles on this subject I came across this interesting character, Mike Allen the author of TOP SECRETS OF THE TERMITE INDUSTRY. He never comes out and tells you his secrets of course because he wants you to buy his book. He does however allude to Orange oil several times and one has to wonder how with all that experience why he does. Maybe he sells more than just his book. I’ve been in the industry over 25 years and can assure you we have no top 10 secrets we never want you to find out. Nothing in a locked vault as he says and I have never taken a blood oath of secrecy.

If you are facing a Drywood termite infestation and considering Orange oil perhaps you should look at alternatives before you make your decision. You could end up with more damage than before you started and that is I think, the opposite of what you want to achieve.

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.

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