There are various chemicals used for treating wood as a form of termite prevention. These chemicals, also called wood preservatives by some, can further lower the chances of a structure being attacked by the hardy pests, and are thus often suggested by contractors to would-be-homeowners more than a little concerned about potential termite problems—something that may be said of many homeowners in Arizona, a state known for experiencing termite issues. These wood treatment substances may thus be very helpful in Arizona termite control, although it should be noted that they are not standalone solutions. Termite prevention methods should never be presumed sufficient in themselves without a proper “pair” or support mechanism in place in case they do not prove to be enough.

According to the University of Hawaii—which is doing extensive research on termite prevention and extermination—there are at least five termite prevention chemicals worth mentioning at present. First in the list is what is perhaps the most widely used of the bunch, the borates group. The borates group of chemicals includes several substances such as DOT and zinc borate, both of which are used to treat wood prior to construction or use. One particular reason why borates such as this are more popular than the rest of the chemicals in the list is that they tend to be easier to apply, according to termite control companies doing this sort of pretreatment. Borates are said to penetrate wood very well. They are also notable effective, although their efficacy seems to be dependent on matching the concentration of borate in the wood with the termite species involved. Certain termites, after all, are simply tougher than others.

The next chemical would be chlorothalonil, better known as CTL. CTL is better known for its antifungal usage in agriculture, although it is currently being tested as a wood treatment solution that not only discourages fungi but also pests such as termites. Studies are veering towards it being effective, although the only termites studied relative to it thus far have been Formosan ones. Researchers are currently looking into options combining the chemical with other pesticides.

Then there is chromated copper arsenate or CCA. This is another of the more popular termite control options for wood pretreatment, and is actually quite effective too, even at relatively low concentrations. The problem is that it may be difficult to work it properly into certain woods, even by pressure treatment.

Next is ACZA, or ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate. This is quite effective as well, but hardly as popular as the previous solution. Its lack of popularity is most likely due to the marks its application leave on construction wood, as it darkens the wood and also leaves incision marks due to the method of treatment.

Finally, we have copper naphthenate as the last termite prevention solution in the list. This is another fungicide and is currently being tested for efficacy: thus far, it seems to be promising given sufficiently high concentrations.

Written by Alan Ferguson

Alan Ferguson

Hello! My name is Alan Ferguson and I am an expert on the elimination of termites. He graduated in Harvard Business School, and now I care about people whose homes are attacked by pests.