Termite damage in untreated lumber

Those timber-loving termites could easily eat you out of house and home.

Given the slightest of chances, they will burrow into your deck, fence posts and rails, leaving you with nothing but a stack of holes.

There are a number of ways of dealing with termites and constant vigilance is the key to keeping your wood free of the pests.

You can also lessen the impact by heading them off at the pass and only use wood they do not like.

Avoiding certain woods will make your life a lot easier when it comes to termite control.

A quick reference list of wood to avoid and tips on damage limitation would be:

  • Do Not Use Non-Treated Wood
  • Avoid Some Softwoods
  • What Wood To Use
  • Don’t Give Termites A Chance

Let’s take a closer look at each point.

Do Not Use Non-Treated Wood

It may be obvious but you’d be surprised by the number of people who still use non-treated wood on an outside project.

You may think you’re saving money in buying that cheap lumber for fence posts and rails but within years you’ll be regretting the decision.

Treated wood, especially pressure-treated timber, keep termites at bay.

You can buy non-treated posts and treat them yourself, but you will have to do the job regularly, as given the slightest chance those termites get to work.

Often termite infestation isn’t evident until it is too late, as they work from the inside out to the surface.

Avoiding the false economy of non-treated fence posts and rails is good advice.

Avoid Some Softwoods

Termites love softwood.

They can almost smell the fresh scent of all that lovely wood to munch down on while destroying your beautiful fence or deck.

Avoid timber made from softwood alone, especially the non-treated type which is like manna from heaven for termites. Pine from wood which hasn’t dried fully or from young forests is particularly at risk.

Not all softwoods attract termites. The little fellows love feasting on soft hardwoods too such as Balsa and Red Cedar, while they dislike tough softwoods such as Douglas Fir and Yew.

If you live in an area where termites thrive, it may be a good idea to seek professional advice on what timer to use outdoors.

Split rail stack fence from Cedar and Treated Pine

What Wood To Use

The straightforward answer is to use treated wood always. Non-treated wood has no place outdoors.

Wood milled from the inner parts of the log, commonly known as heartwood, is unattractive to termites. It has a very low moisture content and is a lot tougher than the external timber.

Wood from trees such as Yellow Cedar, Cypress, Laotian Teak and other hardwoods are very good at keeping termites at bay.

Pressure-treated wood, whereby they inject chemicals which resist termite infiltration into the wood at the factory, is ideal. The posts and rails will stay dry, fungi and bacteria will be under control and termites will not get in to make their home.

It may be more expensive, but pressure-treated wood will repay you by staying straight and strong for many, many years.

Don’t Give Termites A Chance

Termites thrive under the right conditions.

If you can do your best at making them feel unwelcome, then you will gain the upper hand in the termite wars.

A good tip is not to leave piles of cuttings and leaves in the yard. The same goes for firewood.

Termites love feasting on the rotting material before moving on to that lovely fence you put in last spring.

Ensure that water drains away from any wood construction you have outdoors. Termites eat through the damp wood and quickly find their way in to set up home.

Look out for cracks in fence posts and rails and repair damage immediately to keep the critters out.

Call Us

At www.fencesupplyonline.com we know a thing or two about termite control.

Our experts are only too happy to give you advice on which woods to use.

Call us today for all your fencing needs.