Termites are white insects with soft bodies that feed off of dead plant matter, especially dead trees. There are four different species of termites that live in the United States, and they are spread out throughout the country. This means that termites are a potential issue for almost every American. This may be even more true if you have a wooden fence on your property. If you are looking to install a fence shortly, then consider the material information below so the fence is as resistant to termites as possible.
Naturally Resistant Woods
Some fencing materials are naturally resistant to termites. This may seem obvious if you want a metal or vinyl variety, since these fences are not made out of organic materials. However, your fence may also be protected from attacks if you buy the right type of wood. Some woods are naturally resistant to termites.
Naturally resistant woods include cedar, cypress, and redwood. These woods contain oils that naturally repel insects and make the wood an unappealing food choice. In the case of cedar, the oils are actually toxic to termites. The oils in the wood will dry out over time though. For the best protection, consider buying fencing materials that are taken from the middle of the tree. This is sometimes called the heartwood, and it contains more natural oils than the rest of the wood. Also, inspect the fence for cracks and dark ends every summer. If you see these things, then consider investing in a preservative or an insecticide treatment, because the wood will be dry at this time.
Pressure Treated Varieties
If you want to go for a maple or oak fence variety, then make sure the posts and beams are pressure treated. Pressure treated wood is created with a vacuum process where preservatives and treatments are forced into the small pores of the wood. This offers protection that will not wear away due to extreme weather conditions, like surface placed preservatives that contain polyurethane.
You should note that most types of pressure treated wood do contain arsenic though. Arsenic is an extremely toxic substance, and it can cause cancer if you are exposed to it for long periods of time. This means you should make sure your pressure treated fence is preserved with either a copper or boron material instead. If you do decide to purchase pressure treated fencing materials, just make sure that you consider the retention of the preservative. The retention refers to the amount of preservative material placed within the wood. A higher retention is needed for wood constructed close to or against the ground to reduce both pest and rot concerns.
If you are concerned about the costs associated with pressure treated products or wood that is naturally resistant to termites, then you should consider composite wood fencing materials. Composite products are constructed out of recycled plastic material.
The plastic is either ground down into small flakes, colored, and pressed into the shape of fencing materials, or it is mixed with wood chips or sawdust and then shaped. Both of these types of composite fencing look like solid and natural wood, but they resist termite activity due to the plastic content within the fence. The fence is also environmentally friendly, because it uses recycled materials and requires no chemical preservatives. Composite fences are low maintenance too, and they will last a long time due to reduced maintenance needs.
If you are concerned about termites on your property and you also want a new wood fence on your land, then the fencing material can make all the difference in regard to pest control. Of course, a professional termite control expert can provide you with material and installation tips that will help you to reduce termite concerns for years to come.