HomeInsectsDoes Motor Oil Kill Termites in Wood?

Does Motor Oil Kill Termites in Wood? [Used Oil for Termites]

Yes, motor oil is one of the best ways to kill and repel termites on wood because it gets into the wood and forms a protective layer against termites. This can help in protecting wooden fences, patios, or roofs from termite destruction. It is safe to use engine oil for termites because it is not harmful as long as it is used in moderation.

Paint or spray motor oil directly on the termites to kill them. Spray in small amounts to avoid soaking the wood. Engine oil will also preserve and keep the wood from rotting. Both new and used motor oil will kill and repel termites on any wooden structures at home.

Used motor oil will deter termite oil on wooden fences and structures for 6 -12 months because it evaporates at 100C or above 200F. It will also give it a good light or dark brown look depending on the type of oil used and the amounts involved.

Does Motor Oil Kill Termites?

Will termites eat oil-soaked wood?

No, termites cannot eat wood that has been sprayed or painted with motor oil because the oil will form a protective coat over the wood particles.

The wood will also absorb motor oil, which will become tasteless and less attractive to termites since the original wooden scent that attracts them will not be there.

Termites are not attracted to any wood that contains motor oil since the coating that the oil will form on the wood will also remove the cellulose in wood which is the main nutrient that attracts them to wood.

They will move to other locations to look for fresh wood that has not been contaminated.

Termites eat wood by breaking it down into cellulose. They have a special enzyme that is known as the protozoa, which breaks the wood into the nutrients they need. When this enzyme tries to break down wood laced with motor oil, it will be toxic, killing the termites.

Is it safe to use motor oil for termites at home?

When used in small amounts, motor oil is safe to use at home to repel and kill termites. However, It is advisable to use new or used oil for an engine that is run by diesel when killing termites. Those two have lower carcinogenic concentrations than used oil from gas or petrol engines.

When treating wood in quantities for termites out in the field, be careful not to pour motor oil on the soil in large quantities because it can be toxic.

Therefore, keeping motor oil out of your farm is a good idea since termites will tend to nest on the poles or wooden fences. Motor oil can not mix with water. This is an added advantage when dealing with a termite infestation during the rainy seasons.

This is one simple permanent way of controlling termites on wood because oil does not evaporate easily. When the painted wood is rained on, water evaporates, and the oil remains on the wooden surface.

It is also safe to use motor oil for termites in wood because the oil will act as a stabilizer and keep the wood from rotting.

This means that your wooden structures will last longer and will be durable. It is safe to use motor oil on wooden floors and shades. All should be fine if you apply them during the day when the sun is up and there is no activity in those areas.

Does Motor Oil Kill Termites in Wood? [Used Oil for Termites]

How to get rid of termites on wood with motor oil

When using motor oil to get rid of termites in wood, ensure you use it moderately because we do not want to have the wood over-soaked in it.

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The wood will absorb motor oil in large quantities and very fast, so be careful not to use it in exes since that can reduce the life span of the wood. Here is how to use motor oil to kill and repel termites on wood:

  1. Pour some used oil into a large bucket
  2. Deep a clean roller in it and use this to paint the large surface areas
  3. You can get a hand brush and use it to paint the hidden cracks and corners on the wooden surface
  4. If there are deep cracks and holes, then you will need to use a hand spray to get the oil particles in there

Ensure you do this during the day and preferably wait for sunny days. This is because the sun will help the oil settle faster into the wood.

Diesel and motor oil for termites

When dealing with a serious termite infestation, you must mix motor oil with diesel to help the oil sink faster. Diesel oil will also repel and kill the termite, and a combination of those two will make the best homemade termite repellent.

Diesel and motor oil mix will treat wood and deter termites from attacking it in the future because it keeps the wood from rotting and makes it water resistant. When using a mixture of oil and diesel for termites, ensure you spray it directly n them.

Using motor oil for termites on wooden surfaces at home during the day is best since it has a strong smell that may affect you and your pets at night in a closed room.

If using it for wooden floors, do this in the morning. Leave the windows and doors are left open. Ensure no one is in the house for the rest of the day.

Sump Oil: Motor oil in the sump for termites

Yes, sump oil is just used engine oil that is circulated for lubrication. So this does not make it different from motor oil, and instead of throwing it away, you can use it to get rid of termites on wooden surfaces at home.

Samp oil protects timber and posts that are used out in the field from termite attacks. It will also keep the posts and fence from rotting, meaning the posts will last longer. This is a good way to reduce farm expenses that are spent on high-end pesticides.

You can also grow natural insect repellents to keep them away. Here is a video on how to apply motor oil on a wooden to repel and kill termites surface at home:


It is also better to check if you can use timber that is naturally resistant to termites. If you use the woods that termites like, you need to treat them. Those can also be used to make cabinets that resist termites at home. Here is a table that will guide you on this:

  Woods that termites eat (like) Woods that termites don’t eat (Hate)
1. Southern Pine Brazilian Jatoba
2. Spruce Alaskan yellow Cedar
3. Oak Cypress
4. Coconut wood Redwood
5. Palm tree wood Peruvian Walnut
6. Rotting or rotted Wood Honduran Mahogany
7. Pine Wood or Conifers Teak


  1. United States Department of Agriculture: Woods that termitest like USDA
  2. BushcraftUSA: Old Used motor Oil for Wood
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