When you have just installed a beautiful new wood fence, the last thing you want is a termite infestation.
Termites can be ravenous creatures. The best way to stop them is to prevent them in the first place.
What are Termites
A Termite is a small pale-bodied, wood destroying insect. They are sometimes mistaken for white ants. Although one insect might seem insignificant, termites congregate in large colonies. It is estimated that an average colony contains 3 million termites.
There are actually three main types of Termites:
- Damp Wood Termites
Because this type infests damp and decaying timber, they tend to live in heavily forested areas. They inhabit coniferous trees and in the USA are most common in the Pacific coast states.
- Dry Wood Termites
This type is found in hardwood forests. Most commonly found in the southwestern and coastal southern states of America.
- Subterranean Termites
This type of termite lives in more diverse habitats and is the most prolific in the United States. Although they prefer softwoods they will eat other woods.
Signs Of Termites In Your Fence
Regularly Inspections are a must if you really want to avoid a termite infestation. If you detect signs of termite damage to your fence early, it can stop the problem before it gets out of hand.
- Cracked or bubbling paint or termite droppings
Termite droppings look like piles of pellets and are also mistaken for sand or sawdust. If you think you have piles of sawdust near your fence and you haven’t been sawing, investigate further.
- Wood that sounds hollow when you tap it.
When you are inspecting your fence if you’re suspicions are raised tap on different parts of your fence.
Unless your whole fence is infested you should notice a difference in the sound where you have an issue.
- Mud Tubes
Termites gain access to wood from ground level. In order to traverse none wood materials, they need termite tubes (tubes they make from mud).
Natural Prevention Options
- Allow access to sunlight
Sunlight has some effect on killing termites.
If you aren’t planting plants that repel termites, clear vegetation around fences to allow sunlight access.
- Use plants that repel termites
Studies have shown that catnip and velvet grass have potential as termite repellents. Planting
These species near your fence could be a natural option to prevent termites.
- Use naturally resistant woods
Some timbers such as cedar, cypress, and redwoods are naturally resistant to termites. Unfortunately, these woods don’t last as long as treated timber.
Scientific Prevention Options
- Use treated timber
One of the most effective ways to prevent termites is by building your fence with timber pressure treated with preservative.
Pressure treated timber is more resistant to both decay and insects. Because the pressure pushes the preservative deep into the wood it is more effective than just painting your fence.
Use Oil Based Stains
If you want a more natural look to your fence, ensure you use an oil-based stain. The oil soaks into the wood and the termites don’t like the taste.
- Use Oil-Based Primers
If you want to paint your fence, ensure that you use an oil based primer first. You will add a top coat to the primer but the primer provides an extra barrier to prevent termites.
- Use Termite-Proof Paint
You can purchase some paints that are mixed with termite resistant chemicals. Using these paints as a topcoat can dissuade termites.
Don’t forget the benefits of Fence Armor protection for the post!
String trimmers can cripple a fence early.
Having invested in a new wooden fence you want to prevent those pesky termites from ruining it.
There are various natural and scientific methods of termite prevention available. You need to be able to identify signs of termites and regular inspections will facilitate this.
If you need clarification on any aspects of termite prevention, contact a professional.
Image: Source Unsplash.com, James Wainscoat