Treating Wood to Prevent Termites

Termite control keeps us very busy during the spring and summer months. The warm, humid climate of the southeast is the perfect weather for termites to thrive. Of the termite species that are found in the U.S., the eastern subterranean termite is the most common here in Alabama.

Every year termites cause billions of dollars in damage as they munch away on the cellulose of wood. During spring, when termites swarm, is when a home is most likely to become infested. If the infestation isn’t caught the colony will keep growing throughout the summer.

You can’t control where termites are at any given time, but you can make the exterior of your home less inviting by treating wood surfaces. Here’s how!

Options for Treating Wood to Prevent Termites

Wood is a major building component that can be found on everything from the front door to the deck out back. Whether you’re taking on an outdoor project or want to reinforce what’s already there, here’s a look at your options for treating wood to prevent termites.

Option #1 – Buy Wood That’s Pressure Treated

If you’re building a fence, buying outdoor furniture or fixing the façade around the roofline you can chose a wood that’s pre-treated. Pressure treated pine is one of the most common options. A chemical preservative containing insecticide is impeded within the wood through the use of pressure. Two of the chemicals used most often to treat wood are copper boron azole (CBA) and alkaline cooper quaternary (ACQ). Treated wood doesn’t guarantee protection, but it significantly reduces the risk.

Option #2 – Buy Wood That’s Naturally Termite Resistant

Some wood species are better at naturally deterring termites than others. Cedar and redwood are two very popular choices for the exterior because they have natural insect repellents. If you have to put wood at ground level, these wood species will be the best material. Other options, like teak, help prevent termite infestations because they are very dense and hard to chew through.

Option #3 – Treat Existing Wood

Not sure if the wood around your home is treated? A product like Rust-Oleum® Wolman™ WOODLIFE Classic can be used to treat raw wood. It’s completely clear so you can use it before you paint or stain wood. WOODLIFE CopperCoat can be used to treat wood that’s below ground as well as cut ends that are most at risk. You can also use a borate spray like Bora-Care to keep termites and carpenter ants away from wood. All you have to do is dilute the formula with water and spray it on the wood surface. Just make sure the weather is going to be clear for a day or two so the solution has time to dry.

Option #4 – Seal Existing Wood

You can go a step further to keep termites from feasting by sealing wood. Using a sealer will help prevent water damage that weakens wood and makes it more susceptible to termite damage.

In addition to treating wood, regular pest control treatments can also keep termites in check. Our expert technicians can recognize the early signs of an infestation and spot places that could attract termites. If you’re an Alabama property owner that wants an expert set of eyes to watch out for termites this summer give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. a call!

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