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Old 09-17-2008, 05:54 PM   #1
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I have always been under the impression that termites would not eat teak due to the natural oils in teak. I was wrong.

The other day Lori was sitting in the cockpit and said that there was some strange droppings coming from the teak toerail. When I took a closer look...sure enough...two perfectly round roles had been drilled through my 20+ coats of varnish and right into the top of my teak toerail leaving a small pile of black termite droppings on my deck. I was flabbergasted!

Has anyone had to deal with termites in teak?
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:14 PM   #2
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20+ coats???????????????????? That has got to hurt!
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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I don't have any personal experience with termites. Although when I first boughht my wood boat, ther was some termites in the side of my cabin sole. I didn't notice them until I left my dog aboard for a few hours on the boat, when I came back, "Jake" had found the termites, chewed throught the fiberglass covering the wood and devoured every last one of the termites including the wood which they were living...I was furious at first, then I took a closer look at the are and dicovered the tunnel marks from the bugs. I can let you borrow Jake if you want but you will have to kiss your varnish job goodbye!LOL!

But seriously, I have a buddy who has worked at an exterminating co. for over 20 years. He says by far the best thing to rid a boat of termites is "Orange Oil" a new non-toxic death for termites. No fumes and no "tents", the only thing is it leaves your boat smelling like fresh oranges. Not bad compared to the toxic stuff they used to use. Try to Google "Orange Oil Termites" for more info on how to get it...Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:12 PM   #4
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If you've actually seen termites, ignore this post. But around here I'd be thinking maybe carpenter bees. They drill very impressive perfectly round holes about 3/16" or 1/4" and, AFAIK, are nesting and not eating, not that it makes a big difference to you. After the nest is established, you will often see one of them "patrolling", flying slowly back and forth a few feet from the hole. Don't know if you have these on the Left Coast or not. Good luck.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:17 PM   #5
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Nope...these are termites and they come from the Palm trees around the marina a couple times each year when the wind blows warm. The holes are about 1/16" diameter.

Yep...been thinking about that Orange Oil since I first heard about it...maybe now is the time I guess.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:59 PM   #6
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Hello Ken,

I don't believe that you were wrong - if the wood is teak Tectona grandis

Teak in my neck of the woods where it is called Maisak, is used everywhere , in doors, out doors Most traditional homes have teak as the major structure bearers , floors and cladding also in teak

NO White Ants - Termites - Pluak. It is used widely throughout South East Asia in marina applications. etc.. etc...

( NB we do have white ants - termites that will eat every thing else)

From your brief description :-

CLICK HERE

Richard
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:35 AM   #7
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Termite exterminator for hire.

Will work for peanuts! Bones, misc. leftovers n' scraps, cat food even dog food! Very low maintenance and somewhat reliable unless there are birds around. Room and board, must have small bed and toys to chew, unless there are termites in your boat, then, I'll eat the termites! Not responsible for any damages incured as a result of the extermination process.

Contact Jake (The Dog)

Termite hunter/killer extrordinare
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:11 AM   #8
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I have posted an enquiry in the ssca discussion board. There are some tips given to us there. If you are interested in reading them, it is here: http://ssca.org/DiscBoard/viewtopic.php?t=6272
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:01 AM   #9
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Hello Ellen,

Found little of relevance to our topic "Termites and teak". An understanding of the evidence determines the insect concerned in the description given - which is typical of borer infestation -

where eggs that were laid maybe years earlier, hatch become larvae, and eventually as adults leave the wood by boring a small hole. Termites (many different species) do not bore small holes to leave - however, if they accidentally breach the surface when tunneling, they will seal the hole because they a photophobic.

Neither Termites nor Wood Borers will eat GRP, as it does not contain cellulose. Check this site

for info :-

TERMITE'S Food
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
Hello Ellen,

Found little of relevance to our topic "Termites and teak". An understanding of the evidence determines the insect concerned in the description given - which is typical of borer infestation -

where eggs that were laid maybe years earlier, hatch become larvae, and eventually as adults leave the wood by boring a small hole. Termites (many different species) do not bore small holes to leave - however, if they accidentally breach the surface when tunneling, they will seal the hole because they a photophobic.

Neither Termites nor Wood Borers will eat GRP, as it does not contain cellulose. Check this site

for info :-

TERMITE'S Food
Here in Southern California, termite infestations look like none I've ever seen before. Besides the usual tunnels that we're familiar with from subterranean termintes, they also do make "holes" and drop frass (that's what that powdery stuff that drops out of the small holes) from the holes. I've seen black and tan frass in different infestations and woods/locations. I'm told the termites here don't need moisture the way normal termites do. I suppose their the Formosa termites or something.

Getting rid of them--under 20 coats of varnish dunno.

However, I'm familiar with the use of borates to get rid of termites and prevent infestations of wood boring insects. You can google borates and termites and you'll find a lot of info. I'm familiar with Timbor which works well as well as Bora-Care which may be what you'd end up using. I've used borates in my work in historic buildings/restorations/conservations. The Maritime museum in San Francisco has used borates in the reconstruction of historic vessels. One can drill a hole and insert a borate "stick" into a timber such as a deck beam--and this is the sort of thing they've done. In your case, before you do anything, I'd suggest that you find the place the termites entered (perhaps a moist area w/deck drain or something near a chainplate, winch base, etc..and then you'll know what type of treatment will "get them"

Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:55 AM   #11
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It would be useful to know which species of termite of the family Termitidae in Southern California eats Teak - as this is the subject of this Topic. If they do - they would be unique.

If indeed the insects are wood borers - then suggest reading the following which describes the evidence of their infestation in wood :-

Borers

The paper's authors write from Florida.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:27 PM   #12
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It would be useful to know which species of termite of the family Termitidae in Southern California eats Teak - as this is the subject of this Topic. If they do - they would be unique.

If indeed the insects are wood borers - then suggest reading the following which describes the evidence of their infestation in wood :-

Borers

The paper's authors write from Florida.
Woods are "resistant" to termites, rot, etc. But, nothing is absolute. Further, it is typically the heartwood which is most resistant to rot, etc. These days, it is very difficult to purchase and use wood that is "all" heartwood, especially if one is buying teak in sizes under 8/4x 12 or more one will end up with a fair bit of less resistant sapwood.

One shouldn't assume that any wood is impervious to wood borers or termites. Trim50 has already confirmed that these are likely to be drywood termites from nearby trees.

We see termites all over the place here in SoCal--I don't particularly care what kind they are--they're everywhere and without the nifty little mud tunnels!

The following is from the University of Hawaii link:

"Teak shows considerable resistance to subterranean termite attack. Its resilience in field tests have resulted in it being compared to lumber treated with ACZA and CCA. Perhaps the greatest drawback in teak is its relatively high cost, which is likely to limit its use in construction. It is currently unknown how resistant teak is to drywood termites."

I'd suggest he get a move on locating the ingress point and taking care of it.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:10 PM   #13
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Oh yeah...I forgot that this IS Richards field of expertise!

The ingress point was 5 inches away at a toerail thru-bolt where the varnish is less dense. I have sinse used Orange Oil...it appears to have stopped the buggers. I have not seen droppings in 4 days.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Oh yeah...I forgot that this IS Richards field of expertise!

The ingress point was 5 inches away at a toerail thru-bolt where the varnish is less dense. I have sense used Orange Oil...it appears to have stopped the buggers. I have not seen droppings in 4 days.
Yea!

good for you, Ken.

PS, if you find the orange oil makes it difficult to reapply varnish or get it to stick, you can use a wipe of acetone to wick away the teak's natural oil and the orange oil.
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