Preventing Termite Infestation in Pine

      Basic info about controlling termites. December 31, 2013

I'm sawing the pine logs that I cut from standing dead trees, and would like to treat the boards with something affordable that can be prepared from home to prevent termites and rot. Anyone have a recipe for treating pine? There were termites under the bark and I want to make sure my boards are egg and termite free before I stack it all.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Look for Bora Care or Tim Bor.

From contributor M:
If the material is to get wet at any point in its life, there isn't much you can apply that will help. If it's going to live in the dry from this point forward, surface applied borate products will help. Not sure what your idea of inexpensive is, but anything is cheaper than tearing it down and rebuilding it.

From the original questioner:
Affordable was the term. Not inexpensive, and the goal is for the home to outlast us without having to tear it down. Thanks though.

From contributor M

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Termites need moisture/path to the ground. When you remove these, your termite worries are over. They cannot live/survive in dry lumber.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
It is indeed correct that termites need moisture. If the wood is not wet enough, they will make a tunnel between their food supply (the wood) and moisture. Moisture can come from the soil moisture, condensation from plumbing, leaky plumbing, etc.

Note that in the far South and many tropical countries, there is a flying termite that can fly to water rather than making a tunnel. These are seldom found in the USA, except FL mainly. They are really a problem.

Today, in most of the USA, where termites are found, we put wooden bait traps in the soil and then periodically check the bait to see if termites are present. If they are, then chemical control is used. In years past, soil treatments were used even when the insects were not present, but such preventative treatments using chemicals like chlordane are environmentally unsafe.

From contributor T:
Unfortunately there is no longer an organized program to eradicate the Formosan termite in New Orleans.

From contributor K:
The last I had pressure treated seems like I paid about $100 per thousand, which I thought was very reasonable.

From contributor G:
I saw a ton of pine with the same bug problems you noted. As the previous posts stated, no water, no bugs. One product I found that works quite well is Pine-sol. I use it in my blade coolant when sawing softwood to prevent pitch buildup on the blade. While it's effective at that problem, I noticed that if it gets on the worms (via test sprinkle to try it), it made for a very uncomfy bug. I air dry 1 to 2k feet at a time in a covered shed, and even the pine beetles won't touch it after it's been wet once with p-sol. Dumb luck?

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