Tiny but mighty, a colony of termites can eat half a pound of wood in a year. They cost Americans five billion dollars annually in property damage, according to the National Pest Management Association. So as you might guess, termites are not suitable friends for your fence.
Introducing the Termite
Termites are detritivores, which means they feed on dead trees and plants, as well as some living parts of trees. Wood and wood in soil are their favorites. While termites may only be a few millimeters in length, there is strength in numbers. Get enough of them together and they just might eat your house. Your fence will just be an appetizer.
Texas is home to five main species of destructive termites: Eastern subterranean, Arid-land subterranean, Formosan subterranean, Western drywood and Desert dampwood termites. The Eastern subterranean is the most common. These critters want to live and are skilled survivalists. Killing them requires stealth. You must plan your attack, not madly start digging. Desert dampwood termites are known for infesting wood at or below the ground level, be it an untreated fence post or other buried treasures.
Each type of termite has its own style. So eliminating these pests requires figuring out which one is infesting your stuff. For best results, contact a termite professional.
Termites and Fences
If you find termites swarming around your fence, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in your house, too. But you should get an inspection to be on the safe side.
Do-it-yourself home termite treatment isn’t recommended. But if the termites are just in your fence, you might want to try to eliminate them yourself.
Termidor is a popular termite treatment developed in Australia. Undetectable by termites, they continue to forage through Termidor-soaked soil until they ingest a lethal dose. You’ll need to treat the fence and the soil around it.
Termite baiting is a different approach. This is poisonous food that the termites share with each other, until they all get sick and croak. If you’re lucky, the bait will eradicate a whole colony.
Best Case Scenario
You know what’s better than treating your fence for termites? Never facing an infestation in the first place. So if you’re planning to build a fence, think about termites first. Talk to your fence company about materials that have been pretreated for termite control. There will be a surcharge, but it’s worth it. Or choose a building material such as chain-link, vinyl or wrought iron which termites find inedible.
Any kind of wood fence – even pretreated – requires monitoring. You might not see the termites, but be on the lookout for their small fecal pellets. Don’t mulch right along your fence, as termites find mulch irresistible. Stagnant water also draws termites.
Confused about termite control? Planning a new fence and want it to be indestructible? Call your friends at Buzz. We’re ready to talk termite.