Do termites eat treated pine sleepers

I have a deck that needs to be replaced and after thinking about the options I may just go with treated pine and will paint it to maximise the life of the deck and reduce maintenance. The other issue is is it much better than just staining and oiling it against termites? There is no termite problem with the house just a thought as putting timber near the house always carries that risk of attracting termites. I know the paint will seal the timber pretty well and being treated pine the risk is also greatly reduced, I just don’t have any real life experience with this option so would like to hear from those who know.

If the termites are tough enough to eat the arsenic and copper then a coat of paint aint gonna stop them. Treated pine is basically termite proof – but other things can weather and rot it so the paint will make it look better in a few years.

treated pine shouldn’t attract termites if it treated properly

You mainly want to stop the pine from drying out to prolong its life I wouldnt worry about termites in it.
Decking oil or paint your choice

although its not unheard of its very rare
I just pulled up some garden edging here that was treated pine with cyprus pine stakes to hold it down both were eaten by termites.(Im in massive termite country) but it was more of a nibble than a full on eating
I pour my cooking oil around my cyprus posts which hold up some trellis in my gardens and painted my iron bark garden beds in vegetable oil.
It does keep them away a little.
Its what people used to pour around their stumps on their Queenslander houses.

forums.whirlpool.net.au

Hi everyone, thanks for reading.

I have some ongoing landscaping/reno issues. Live in the hills outside Melbourne and our block urgently needs a new retaining wall between us and our lower neighbour. The wall is about 25 m long and just under a metre high so costly to build.

We had agreed on treated wood due to cost as it is an extra $1200 for the concrete sleepers. We have been told that wood will last us 20 years but we had a fly in of termites recently (our house has been inspected and all fine and is treated, theirs is closer to the wall and isn’t treated as far as I know). What are the chances of our brand new wall getting eaten by termites and needing replacement? Also the drainage is TERRIBLE at the moment so water pours through the existing wall so I am worried that it will rot long before the 20 years is up, or even 10 years, perhaps less. We are getting work done on the drainage problem (we have downpipes that aren’t even connected to anything so we will fix that for starters) and would get the landscaper to put in a pipe at the base of the wall to carry water away but would that be enough? The neighbour is lower so she cops all of our run off plus that of the rest of the street higher up regardless of the water from the roof.

What should we do? If the neighbour doesn’t want a concrete wall then we can’t afford to pay the difference but we might be able to split the cost of the concrete wall with them. How to approach this though? I am so worried that they will say we have to pay for the concrete which is going to blow out the already very tight budget.

It’s treated pine and should be rated H4 for in ground use, should be fine against termites and water for a while to come.

There should be gravel and ag pipe behind the wall, it is typically black with a white sock on it, one end should be sticking out of the ground at the high end and the lower end should be drained away somewhere.

It is illegal for you to have uncontrolled discharge of stormwater onto your neighbour’s property. As you have noticed, fixing that issue is definitely your first step.

H4 treated sleepers should be fine for 20 years, if they are built and drained correctly. H4 treated is also termite resistant so I wouldn’t worry too much.

As you are the “up hill” land owner it is your land being retained and therefore your responsibility to build and maintain the retaining wall. ( unless Victoria is different )

$1200 extra for concrete is not a big price to pay in the overall scheme of things.

It is illegal for you to have uncontrolled discharge of stormwater onto your neighbour’s property. As you have noticed, fixing that issue is definitely your first step.

Yep, we know. I am going to post another thread on this because we don’t know anything about what sort of pipes are available or what we should pay for it. There is actually only one that is disconnected completely, but the others might as well be as the gutters are stuffed. We only got a clear picture of the issues when we cleared the land as it was so overgrown that you couldn’t see where the pipes went. This is our first house and it has been a real pandoras box. It has taken us two years and virtually every weekend to clear the jungle and all we have uncovered are problems, like this wall that was previous hidden by undergrowth.

As you are the “up hill” land owner it is your land being retained and therefore your responsibility to build and maintain the retaining wall. ( unless Victoria is different )

There are no specific rules on this that I have been able to find, and I have looked long and hard. I even posted about it but nobody could give me a definite answer, most said take the 50:50 offer. The neighbours built their house 10 years after our house so who knows what the land was like before, probably just a slope I guess. They have dug out their land to make it flat. Originally the street was just a handful of houses on massive sloping blocks that were subdivided in the 1970’s to pay for a proper road. They are happy to go 50:50 anyway so I am happy with that!

$1200 extra for concrete is not a big price to pay in the overall scheme of things.

Depends on how much money you have! ha ha:) But yes, agreed it is better value. I have now spoken to them and we are going to go with the concrete but thank you for the info on the H4 sleepers, that is very helpful to know as we have other less soggy walls to put in at some point.

forums.whirlpool.net.au

Reducing Termite Temptation

Most of us live in a house that has been constructed for some time. Design, physical and chemical barriers are already settled. However termite threats are out there and we surely don’t need to encourage them!

The serious termites start their nest in even small bits of wood in the soil and take a couple of years to build their numbers into a threat to our houses, sheds, fences, loading ramps, etc. The nest will move deeper into the soil over time but will seldom move laterally.

If you are keeping bits of timber in case they might come in handy one day, stack it on blocks or racks well above the ground so you can look underneath for the tell-tale tunnels. If you choose masonry or concrete blocks to stack your timber, place them on their sides so termites don’t travel unseen up the hollow cores.

Termites often come up through the expansion joints in concrete floors and can destroy anything cellulose they can find

If you are storing cellulose material (tax papers, books, photos, cupboards, etc) in a shed or basement with a concrete floor, do not place the boxes across any expansion joints or cracks in the slab. A crack 3mm or wider will allow termites access and you won’t know about it until too late.

Look carefully and you will see a weephole between the bricks above the dampcourse. If you can’t check every weephole at a glance as you walk past, you are flirting with financial drainage!

We surround our homes with plants and use mulch to retain water and reduce weed growth. Nothing wrong with that. However, the top level of the soil/mulch must be at least 100mm (4”) or more below the dampcourse and weepholes. The Australian Standard says more but we want our gardens to look ‘right’ and we often ignore the advice. Soil level really should below the top of the slab, but it rarely is.

Plants must not block your view of those weepholes; creepers and dense plants such as mondo grass can easily hide a termite tunnel. If termites are about, you will occasionally find them foraging through mulch. If they stayed in the mulch, OK, but being inherently sneaky, don’t count on it. That’s why you use a monitoring system.

At least have some trapping monitors in the garden so you get to know about termites before they find a way inside. It’s much easier to feed and eliminate a colony attacking a monitor.

If you live in a house that has suspended floors, at least you can get under (hopefully) and check for termite tunnels up the foundations. Don’t store cellulose material under there.
Steps, retaining walls, garden seats, decking and anything else made of wood is an enticement; these items need to be regularly checked. Preserved timber has been readily available for years and most tradies would use it. The previous owner may not have been so diligent and once it is painted, it is hard to tell if pre-treated timber has been used. There is another trap for you — pre-treated timber comes in various grades; H2 and H3 are only decay/mould resistant. H4 and H5 are also termite resistant and H6 is all of the above and is used in constantly wet/marine situations.

Putting firewood on concrete means the termites won’t find it—wrong. And this pile is covering up a couple of weepholes as well. You could put some monitors nearby and kill off colonies so instead of feeding firewood to termites, you get to burn it.

Old railway sleepers are often used as steps, edging, retaining walls, the gardener’s seat for a contemplating moment, etc. Don’t discard them unless you really want to go modern instead of rustic. Put monitors in or on the fill above the retaining walls and nearby. Killing termite colonies will mean there are fewer termites to eat your sleepers and they will last for decades longer. Spend your money on something else — or save it.

Both these pergola posts are on galvanised stirrups. During your inspection you could see if a termite tunnel went up the stirrup on the left. The lawn surface has been built up to the post on the right and termites could go up the middle of the post and then across to the house.

Additions such as pergolas, BBQs, cubby houses and dog kennels can act as a bridge across from soil to building. Ensure there are no termite tracks up the galvanised stirrups or across to the building.

Eucalypts and fruit or other trees that develop a hollow “pipe” up the centre as they age should not be near buildings. If they are, check them regularly. If there are dead trees or stumps, with or without the usual camouflaging vine, you probably should make the effort to be rid of them. Nearby monitors are a must if moisture is a potential problem. Termites would much rather forage through moist soil than hard, dry, compacted soil. That’s why monitors in the garden are so effective. Monitors don’t entice termites closer to your home. They find monitors because scouts were already in the vicinity. However if there is a drainage problem causing a wetter than usual patch beside or under the house, you need to install some drains to carry moisture away past the building. The southern sides of buildings do not get as much sunlight and soil stays moist for longer after rain. Monitors again. Air conditioning condensation pipes are supposed to be plumbed into drains these days, but if your home was built a few years ago, the pipe may just run onto the footpath or into the garden or lawn.

Termites don’t ask for much out of life.

Just moisture and something based on cellulose to eat. They bring their own protective ‘mud’ and their ingenuity to find a way to food. Your job is to deny them wood. Or at least to make them show themselves by making them cross open impervious areas so their tunnels will be visible. And, use monitors to trap/trick them into telling you when they’ve arrived — but you need to inspect them regularly.

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termikill.com.au

  • from July 2017
  • to October 2017

So I am in the process of removing almost 100 timber ( hardwood ) sleepers of a retaining wall and replacing with concrete sleepers.
I started the first section today and..yup, the timber has termites, so I have 30 meters of retaining wall with termites.
Now. As I go section by section what do I do with the removed timber.

1. Lay in backyard and stack until I dispose of the lot, the mites will stay in the sleepers and not move
2. Get rid of each sleeper immediately, they are marching towards your house already.

I am guessing they have enough wood to not want to go to my house. I have no reason to believe they have an interest in it with ALL OF THAT easy timber?

3. I am an idiot with no idea

Either way. Best to assume termites are always out there. If your house was susceptible they would be in there already rather than in the wall which is probably treated.

Yeah I see no evidence of termites in the house and I go in the roof space a lot as well. It’s concrete slab house, I have reno the kitchen and two bathrooms in last 3 years, seen no problems with the framing.
Still. Is leaving a stack of termites on the lawn a bad idea?

No I wouldn’t suggest making a feature of them long term but a few weeks shouldn’t cause you any greif.

3. I am an idiot with no idea

I’m not agreeing with you but rather asking you if you are POSITIVE that what you believe to be termites are actually termites. Many other people here om WP have been shown to be incorrect with their belief so maybe, just maybe, you are also incorrect with your belief.

but rather asking you if you are POSITIVE that what you believe to be termites

No expert. But timber has been eaten in channels. I saw the white ants, they were “white” and they ran away fast ( within half hour ) unlike the black ants ( of which there were plenty )

Yep sounds like termites. They run away cos they hate light. They like warm dark and damp conditions. Leave them in the middle of the lawn and they can only escape through the ground which will take a while. In the meantime black ants will make a meal of them. Upset their little empire by spreading them out a little to expose them to the elements.

cheers.
BTW, there are few black ant nests along the length

because of the white ants?
I did see a small pocket of ( sugar like ? ) eggs at the bottom rear of the 1.2 mtr wall section once removed. I probably should have killed them but then i had small landslide and it got lost. There are probably many spots like that along this 30 mtr wall though

I did see a small pocket of ( sugar like ? ) eggs at the bottom rear

Probably black ant eggs.

Also inspect edges of slab to make sure that nothing is pie aghainst it that will allow the termites to cross into frame/wood of house.

Leaving the infested sleepers laying around won’t pose too much of risk in the short term.
The main population of the termites is still underground. The ones occupying the sleepers are highly unlikely to find their way back to the main population. Even though they have found all those juicy sleepers they will still be on the prowl elsewhere so stay on guard.

If you are in a problem area and your concerned, shouldnt you call a termite inspector because disturbing them will cause them to move, possible to your house?

The inspector can tell you if it’s just dampwood termites.

If you are in a problem area

I don’t know if I am though. With 30 meters of hardwood 1.6 m high they were eventually going to find it after the treatments wore off?

Get a pest inspector to have a look. Some termite species require higher moisture content than others to survive and simply won’t have a go at house framing. Others will happily nibble their way through anything they come across no matter how dry it is.

It’s worth having them identified so you at least know what you’re dealing with, and have them baited before doing any more work if they’re an invasive species.

One thing is certain, get a pest controller in and he’ll do his best to convince you that your whole house will be eaten within days if you don’t let him start an intensive and expensive chemical based program immediately, to get rid of every six and eight legged bug within a kilometre. Go to the library and get a couple of books on termites and read up about them. As said already just check the perimeter of your house for any mud tunnels. If none relax.

One thing is certain, get a pest controller in and he’ll do his best to convince you that your whole house will be eaten within days if you don’t let him start an intensive and expensive chemical based program immediately,

Yup.
I have eyes and brains. These guys charge on fear not competence .

Yup.
I have eyes and brains. These guys charge on fear not competence .

They can’t really say anything else though. In the off chance that the problem spreads to someone’s house in the near future, they may become liable, or at least be defending a law suit. So if someone refuses treatment, as least they are in the clear.

Get a pest inspector to have a look. Some termite species require higher moisture content than others to survive and simply won’t have a go at house framing. Others will happily nibble their way through anything they come across no matter how dry it is.

we had also exposed termites in sleepers when doing a garden remodel.
Immediately covered them back up, knowing they would take off back to the nest and we wouldn’t be able to ID them or treat them if they are disturbed.

A Pesty friend came out and had a look, said they weren’t the species to be overly worried about. And he sprayed them anyway, just because people freak out about termites, and if we ever sell it’s better not to have any around that might panic people that don’t know the difference.

One thing is certain, get a pest controller in and he’ll do his best to convince you that your whole house will be eaten within days if you don’t let him start an intensive and expensive chemical based program immediately,

Helps to have a Pesty friend that doesn’t push for over the top treatment. I recommend everybody find one 🙂

forums.whirlpool.net.au

Using Treated Pine

Posted by bcsands

“Treated pine” can mean many things, but at its simplest, it means that the pine has been treated in some way to extend its life. Untreated pine rots away quickly – in less than a year in some cases – and can also attract fungus and termites, while treated pine can last for thirty or forty years.

Treated pine – arsenic and CCA

CCA stands for ‘Copper Chrome Arsenate’ and has been used as a pine treatment for many years. The arsenic in the timber deters the termites, but as a famous poison, it has also attracted controversy. While our food and drink already contain a certain amount of naturally-occurring arsenic, which will not do us any harm, nobody wants to consume any more than they have to.

In 2003, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), the government authority responsible for the regulation of pesticides up to the point of sale, reviewed the use of CCA in pine and whether or not arsenic could leach from treated timber.

They concluded that while the use of CCA-treated pine was acceptable in some situations, such as structural, fencing and power/telegraph poles, problems might arise around children and CCA-treated wood. Children are more prone to hand-to-mouth contact than adults, and a very small child might even chew on a piece of wood. As a result, the APVMA restricted the use of CCA-treated timber where close contact with children and people occurred, so for example CCA-treated timber is now banned for use in garden furniture, children’s play equipment, domestic decking and handrails.

Using treated timber around vegetable gardens

With treated timber being a popular way to create a raised vegetable garden, the APVMA also looked into how much arsenic leaches into soil from CCA-treated timber. It concluded that the amount was variable, as was the amount of arsenic absorbed by plants, with no significant rises in arsenic levels in plants around CCA-treated posts (a certain level of arsenic occurs naturally in soil). Nonetheless, the APVMA does suggest a possible precaution of putting a plastic liner between the treated timber and the soil.

Alternatives to CCA-treated pine

The most popular alternative to CCA is a product called ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary) treated pine. ACQ-treated pine is considered safe and effective, and should last as long as CCA-treated pine – with no arsenic.

LOSP (Light Organic Solvent Protection) treated pine is another alternative, but it is a less effective one with a shorter life span. Painting can help extend its life, and must be carried out with most LOSP products to maintain their warranty, but it LOSP-treated pine still doesn’t last as long as CCA- or ACQ-treated pine.

Another alternative is Eco Wood, which is used by National Parks – or if it’s appropriate for your application, you could choose to use as hardwood which is naturally more resistant to decay than pine.

Ratings for treated pine

An “H” rating on treated pine shows the recommended uses for that particular piece of wood, including its resistance to rot or insect attack.

H1 means that the pine is only suitable for use indoors, above ground, such as for internal joinery or furniture. H1 pine is not resistant to termites.

H2 pine is for use indoors above ground, in the same way as H1 pine, but it is resistant to termites.

H3 pine products can be used outside exposed to the weather, but not in contact with the ground. H3 is often used for decks, fence rails and pergolas. It’s resistant to rot and termites/borers.

H4 pine can be used in contact with the ground, or in the ground. This makes is suitable for fence posts and landscaping uses. It’s resistant to rot and termites/borers.

H5 is the pine you need for in-ground use and in contact with water. H5 pine can be used as structural support, for example, in retaining walls. It’s resistant to rot and termites/borers.

H6 pine is designed for use in salt water, for example for jetties, landings and boat hulls.

Tips for working with CCA-treated pine
– CCA-treated timber is not suitable for use around fishponds, aviaries, birdcages and beehives
– Take precautions – for example, wear gloves to avoid splinters, wear a mask when cutting, wear eye protection and do not get sawdust near food or food preparation areas
– Wash clothes that have accumulated treated wood sawdust separately
– Never burn any left over CCA-treated pine
– All CCA-treated timber now has to be branded as such until its first use

blog.bcsands.com.au

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