Borate Wood Treatment for Termites

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Borate is a commonly used way to kill termites – the only problem is that it is far more effective if you do it WHEN YOU BUILD YOUR HOUSE.

If you have discovered termites in an already completed house, this isn’t nearly as helpful, because there is simply no way you can go back and apply it to all the wood in your home. It’s not totally useless – you can coat any exposed wood, especially in ventilation shafts or basements. But you won’t be able to use it to kill an established termite colony by itself.

Borate Wood Treatment

Sodium Borate is a chemical that is closely related to boric acid, a common home remedy for insects. It was first used in the 1990’s as a treatment for termites. There are several different products made using sodium borate, with Timbor and Bora Care being the most prominent. Essentially, they are a chemical you mix with water and apply in a coat to any exposed surfaces of wood while your house is being constructed.

Sodium borate works because termites do not actually digest wood. They eat it, and little protozoa in their digestive tract break it down into nutrients for them. Borate kills those protozoa, causing the termite to starve to death when it tries to eat wood that you have applied a coating to.

Sometimes the company constructing your house will also use borate foam or dust, or even inject it into the wood being used.

READ ALSO: Termites damage & treatment in Iowa

Again, there is not much this can do for you once your home is already infested. It’s a preventative, and a good one, but for people with older houses you will want to get either a bait or liquid treatment, and think about applying borate where you can after the colony has been eliminated.

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