The Orange Oil Myth

Over the years many of us have moved to more natural remedies for cleaning our homes and dealing with pests. While some changes are beneficial and achieve the desired results, the use of orange oil in the termination of termites has been found to have its pros and cons. Some will say that termites can easily be treated with orange oil without the aid of a professional pest control company, however, research shows it is not as easy a solution as one might think.

Where does orange oil come from?

Orange oil is exactly what it states it is – the oil from an orange. This oil is contrived from the peel of the orange typically through a cold-press process. There are orange oils on the market that are made for consumption, cleaning, and everyday use and then there is orange oil that is specifically created for the process of fumigation. Contrary to what you might believe the orange oil that you use in cooking, or your diffusers is not what researchers have tested on the termination of termites in their labs.

What about orange oil affects termites?

D-Limonene is the active ingredient that is obtained from the extraction of orange oil. D-Limonene has the ability to melt or dissolve the chitinaceous exoskeleton (the outside) of the termite. This causes a lethal loss of proteins and water for the termite, which will ultimately lead to its demise.

So, what is the fuss about?

Since the D-Limonene in orange oil will effectively kill the termite upon contact the key to success with orange oil is localized treatment. Detection of the exact area the termites are living in is a must, as the D-Limonene must come into direct contact with the termite for the treatment to work. This means that the oil must be injected into the active hollow spaces where the termites are feeding. This can be quite difficult when trying to locate termites within the wall of the house, and not many of us would be willing to tear down our walls to pinpoint the exact locations of the termite colony.

But doesn’t it work as a fumigant?

A very valid question with a very simple answer: no, it really does not. A fumigant form of orange oil treatment is not available in the United States. There is no proof that orange oil works by fumigation. Orange oil does not leave a residue or linger once used, so it must directly contact the termite’s body in order to accomplish its goal.

So how do I get rid of my termites using a safe method?

Fortunately, here at Craig & Sons we offer both eco-friendly and traditional methods for your termite issues. We use a variety of methods available in our treatment of termites to give every homeowner the flexibility to choose their preferred treatment method. If you would like to learn more or would like to schedule an appointment contact us and we will be happy to come evaluate your pest issues for you and discuss best courses for removal.