Treatment of Douglas fir heartwood with disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (Tim-BorÒ ) to prevent attack by the Formosan subterranean termite
M Tamashiro, R T Yamamoto, J K Grace
Toxicity of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (Tim-BorÒ) to Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), and termite feeding on treated Douglas-fir heartwood were evaluated in laboratory and field tests. Feeding on filter papers impregnated with Tim-BorÒ solutions reduced but did not eliminate termite gut protozoan populations. In a forced-feeding laboratory assay, Douglas-fir heartwood treated to Tim-BorÒ retentions ³0.35% BAE drastically reduced termite feeding and resulted in 100% termite mortality within three weeks. Gradual and significant mortality (49%) after four weeks of feeding at 0.16% BAE suggests that this or lesser concentrations may be useful in baits for remedial termite control. After 162 days of field exposure to an active Coptotermes formosanus colony in an accelerated field test, moderate feeding was noted at 0.65% BAE (13.6% weight loss) and 0.73% BAE (16.9% wt. loss), and only slight damage (2.5% wt. loss) at the highest retention field tested of 1.02% BAE. These results indicate that Tim-BorÒ provides protection from Formosan termite attack, but that some cosmetic damage occurs even at high retentions. This cosmetic damage is unlikely to create a structural hazard, but additional field evaluations are needed to determine the treatment requirements for timbers visible to the consumer.