One of the biggest concerns of living in a wood home is termite and pest control. We have all heard horror stories of termites and other wood-loving bugs burrowing into a wood deck or eating up a wood structure. So how do we keep termites and pests off our wood homes and log houses? One common solution is borate treatment. Learn more about borate treatments, the safety of borate treatments and how to apply them below.

What Is Borate?

Borate treatments are a type of insect repellent that helps starve the insect eating it to death, protecting the wood. If borate is ingested by termites, ants, beetles or other insects, the insect becomes unable to extract nutrition from the food and starves. Because of this, insects also cannot develop a resistance to borate treatments.

Additionally, borate does not just protect against boring insects like termites, beetles and carpenter ants. Borate can also help protect against fungus that cause wood decay.

Borate chemicals have been widely used, especially in places like Europe, for many years, and its popularity in the United States is starting to grow. It is easy to see why – you do not have to wait for the termites, ants or fungus to be an issue before you start treating them. Instead, you can use borate treatments preemptively to prevent any issues.

How Does Borate Work?

Borate treatments work differently than other insecticides. Instead of being applied to the soil or surfaces near the wood, it can be applied directly to the structure. Borate is considered both an insect repellent and a bait; as soon as termites and other insects attempt to eat the treated wood, they die. This sends a message back to the colony and to other insects to abandon the wood.

Is Borate Treatment Safe?

Although they are highly toxic to insects, borate treatments are extremely low toxicity for humans and other mammals. Additionally, borate treatments are long lasting and do not affect the appearance or function of the wood. They are even non-corrosive to metal fasteners used in the lumber, and usually very cost effective.

Are There Any Downsides To Borate Treatments?

The one downside to borate treatments is that it can be rendered useless over time by water. Borate treatments are great for indoor projects, but because they dissolve over time with water, they are more difficult to use on exterior woods. To protect lumber treated with borates, you will need to regularly apply a penetrating water repellent.

Finding The Right Borate Treatment

If you are preparing to use borate treatment on your log home to prevent termites, ants or even fungus, contact the team at Lovitt’s Coating to find the correct product, or for expert advice on how to protect your wood home or log cabin.