I just installed a new wood fence on my property about 6 months ago. I
just got around to treating it with water seal, and I've noticed one
part the wood seems mushy with little holes, here and there. They
appear to be oval shape on a 45' angle. It's on a very small part of
Is this termites or what? I can only assume it is, since the house
was treated 5 years ago before I bought it. If I finish sealing the
rest of the fence, would the treatment deter these things?
They're probably not termites. Termites mostly stay out of the sun and
build mud tubes to get where they want to go. I would vote for
carpenter ants or some type of boring beetle.
Sealer will likely have no effect on insects. If you're using
Thompson's Water Seal, it's just paraffin dissolved in naphtha, so
you're just applying a thin film of candle wax.
Replace the bad boards.
Carpenter bees usually have a much larger and very regular, round hole.
holes, for kicking out waste, are about 1/16".
Treating the structure would have nothing at all to do with whether
there are termites
in the soil - assume that there are always termites in soil, just as
there are ants and
earthworms. Sealing up the structure, keeping wood painted and in good
caulking all plumb/elect openings, wood at least 6" above grade,
of wood structural elements do a lot to keep termies out.
Pressure treated? Any bare wood stuck into the ground will get
termites, just takes longer
with PT. Use a sharp tool to pick at the mushy wood - if there are
termites, you should
be able to see them when you dig out the damaged wood - they avoid
daylight, so if you
open up their tunnels they will crawl deeper to get away from light.
Usually look like
little cream-colored worms about 1/4" long.
Another post says you will have mud tubes if there are termites - partly
right, but only
subterranean termites build mud tubes and only to get from soil to wood,
such as across
a foundation or crawlspace wall.
Turns out it was carpenter ants. They're inactive this time of year,
but will need attention come spring.
Thanks for all the WONDERFUL ideas. You guys are so brilliant.
On Fri, 07 Nov 2008 07:09:41 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
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