Evaluating the natural durability of native and tropical wood species against Reticulitermes flavip

IRG/WP 04-10539

R A Arango, F Green III, K Hintz, R B Miller

Environmental pressures to eliminate arsenate from wood preservatives has resulted in voluntary removal of CCA for residential applications in the United States. A new generation of copper organic preservatives has been formulated to replace CCA for decking and in-ground applications but there is no guarantee that these preservatives represent a permanent solution to all related problems. Therefore, it is still necessary to evaluate alternative treatments, as well as naturally durable wood species, in order to be prepared for future changes in the field. In this study, six hardwoods and six softwoods have been evaluated for their ability to resist termite damage by Reticulitermes flavipes in a 4-week laboratory no-choice test. In addition, moderately resistant Douglas-fir and southern pine wood blocks were evaluated after treatment with copper borate, copper naphthanate, and N,N-naphthaloylhydroxylamine (NHA). Erisma, juniper, ipe and white-cedar were shown to be highly resistant. NHA protected Douglas-fir and southern pine as effectively as copper borate or copper naphthanate. These results suggest that some naturally durable wood species, both tropical and native, can inhibit R. flavipes as effectively as preservative treatment.

Keywords: NHA, copper borate, termite damage, specific gravity, preservative treatment, natural resistance, density

Conference: 04-06-06/10 Ljubljana, Slovenia

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