Termites build these mud tubes from underground to above ground. From there, they seek out decaying wood, often fence posts and unfortunately, our wood porches in particular. There are many varieties of natural wood that act as deterrents, as well as chemical options to kill termites.
Why do termites not eat pressure-treated wood?
Mainly because of the chemical preservatives. You have to be thorough with the wood treatment, because the termites can just burrow through the ground, to the pressure-treated wood, and through any inner wood that was left untreated.
Apparently, termites don’t like the smell of tea tree oil, cedarwood, garlic oil, and cinnamon, just to name a few.
You could always finish a termite barrier with a little bit of essential oils to add to the barrier.
What is so-called “termite-proof” wood?
Cedar and redwood both have natural insect repellents, and are ideal if the wood is directly touching the surface of the ground. The best type of wood to use for direct contact with the ground is pressure treated lumber, as it lasts the longest of all the woods.
How is pressure treated wood made?
The wood is dipped in a liquid chemical preservative called alkaline copper quaternary, and then it gets vacuumed in a pressure chamber so the chemical preservative forced into the wood can get to the inner wood portion for thorough treatment. The original chemical recipe, which is still the most effective treatment, contains arsenic and there is concern that treated wood would leak arsenic.
How long does pressure-treated wood resist termites?
Pressure treated lumber can last for up to 40 years without showing signs of decay or distress. Unlike wood that hasn’t been treated, which if left on the moist ground will rot and decay within two years. That makes it easier for termites to drill holes into the wood.
Does pressure-treated wood protect against other pests as well?
Some people think that pressure treated wood will protect against carpenter ants, but carpenter ants don’t eat the wood as termites do, they de-construct it and move it. Therefore, a chemical preservative won’t protect against them. A carpenter ant attack and a termite attack need to be treated very differently. The termites can be poisoned by making the wood toxic, but carpenter ants would remain unaffected, so it’s time to call in the professionals!
Do termites eat any kind of pressure treated wood?
The only instance in which termites will eat pressure treated wood is if it is unprotected, like if the coating has worn away, and the wood has started to rot with moisture. It’s the other types of insects that just burrow, dig, and excavate through wood that you need to be concerned about breaking down any type of wooden frame.
What type of untreated wood is termite-proof?
The hardwoods like teak and redwood are ideal natural woods against a termite infestation, mostly because of how hard they are. If they were left on the moist ground for a long enough period of time, they would become an ideal snack for a colony of termites.
What is the best way to undertake termite control?
“Termiticides” are a type of pesticide you use to create a barrier around the area you want to protect. That would be a good place to start, as well as calling a professional pest control technician. Plan for the removal of a LOT of wood.
There are foam pesticides that you spray and they expand, and whenever a termite comes into contact with it, it dies almost instantly; that would certainly take down a termite colony.
Do termites actually like the fungi on rotting wood?
Yes, they do! It would seem that wood with fungi is indicative of nutrients available to the termites, and believe it or not, fungi have been known to detoxify wood! They actually prefer certain types of rot, like white rot and brown rot, but they will avoid molds.
Will pressure-treated wood protect my home?
Most treated wood resists decay by their protected outer surface of chemical preservatives. As long as the elements don’t wear down the coating, or any of the inner wood or surface wood gets exposed to moisture, you should be free of termites.
Even pressure treated wood isn’t termite resistant to the fullest extent. Newly exposed wood that hasn’t been pressure treated to the inner wood is victim to wood-eating insects. It’s important to have thoroughly processed pressured treated woods because termites can dig through the surface of the wood to reach the untreated wood.
Carpenter ants are completely unaffected by treated woods, so it’s important to watch for drill holes of any kind, and to call pest control professionals at the first sign of trouble!