How Much Math Do You Need To Be A Carpenter Use Borates for Effective Termite Control

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Use Borates for Effective Termite Control

Borates can be used to control a variety of wood-destroying pests, and are actively used to control termites, control carpenter ants and control carpenter bees, and control fungi. Bora-care and Timbor are the 2 most popular borate formulations used for home pest control. The nature of borate products in general is to be toxic when ingested, and that’s what insects and fungi do when they get into wood. The exception would be the carpenter ants who, of course, do not eat the wood but only dig cavities and throw away the wood chips. However, they must get enough borate into their system by ingestion to have any effect.

Borates, and the related general pest boric acid, are toxic ONLY by ingestion and have no contact or desiccant properties. Another benefit of the active ingredient is that it essentially lasts forever. Borates, found in Tim-bor and Bora-care, are refined from borax, which is a mineral mined from the ground, and as a mineral it simply does not degrade quickly. Unless physically removed from the wood in some way, borates will remain in place and active for many years, providing protection with just this first application.

Borates are highly soluble in water, so a powder formulation such as Tim-Bor cannot be used when rain or irrigation washes it off treated wood, as the active ingredient does not penetrate beyond a fraction of an inch Bora-Care, on the other hand, is formulated with solvents that, according to the manufacturer, cause it to penetrate deep into the wood.

Not only is it not exposed to rain here and can therefore be used on some exterior woods, it also brings the active ingredient borate into the insect feeding area. The best you can hope for with borates resting on the surface of wood is to affect the adult insect as it exits the wood, as beetles will. With a penetrating borate, like Bora-care, you have a good chance of killing any feeding termites or larvae that eat the wood deep inside. There is no doubt that borates will kill any insects that feed on them, or fungi that feed on treated wood, so if the material penetrates, it will definitely be effective as a “post” treatment or eradication of an existing infestation .

Ideally, you can pretreat a home for termite control as it is being built, as it is during this construction that you have the best access to unfinished wood that will later be hidden, such as now floor studs or joists. You can apply the liquid solution quickly and easily with little concern for finished surfaces. For post-treatments, only unfinished wood materials are allowed to be treated, so applying borates over paint or clear finishes is not feasible or effective. In what I would consider the normal definition of post-treatment, you would be treating a structure after completion, as opposed to treating to control an existing infestation. Pretreatment is also ideal because it coats the susceptible wood with this toxic layer, so any pest that tries to get a foothold in that wood has to eat through the borate layer to get in, killing it early on.

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