Most people do not know much about termite behavior, but the fact that they consume wood products is common knowledge. Due to their natural wood-eating behavior, many homeowners feel powerless to prevent termite infestations from occurring. Homes that are protected with termiticide barriers give their owners peace of mind, but homes that are not protected by termiticide or physical barriers must be inspected for termites often. Since Massachusetts is located within a moderate to high activity termite zone, it is recommended that homeowners within the state have at least one termite inspection carried out each year. Of course, termiticide barriers, while effective, will not guarantee that subterranean termites won’t find their way into a home’s structural wood, so annual termite inspections are recommended on treated properties as well. While there are a few ways to prevent termites from attacking a home, many property owners are not sure how to prevent termites from attacking other wooden structures located on a property, mainly wood fences.

Pest control professionals generally inspect an entire property for termites, including yard fences, but considering how closely wood fences are located to the ground soil, they are at a high risk of becoming infested with subterranean termites. Luckily, property owners are able to minimize the chances that their wood fence will become infested with termites. For example, painting or spraying a fence with a borate-based wood preservative will repel subterranean termites. In addition to using borate preservatives on a fence, the chemical should also be sprayed within holes that are dug for fence posts, as subterranean termites are most likely to infest a fence at these locations. Applying a double coat of oil-based primer will serve as a barrier that prevents termites from making contact with wood fences, and there is even such a thing as termite-proof paint that can be applied over the oil-based primer. However, in many cases, at least three coats of termite-proof paint are needed to adequately repel termites over the long-term.

Have you ever owned a fence that became infested with subterranean termites?