Painting outdoor wooden surfaces can reduce your risk of termite infestation. However, paint itself isn't an absolute safeguard. For added security against hungry pests, use a specially formulated paint that's designed to combat the bugs. Wooden tables that sit directly on the ground are even more susceptible to termites than wooden structures built on concrete foundations.
A small selection of paints are designed to repel termites and decrease fungal or bacterial growth. Paints containing extracts of yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana) have demonstrated improved resistance to the wood-eating insects as well as fungus and bacteria, according to 2010 trials by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya. A more common alternative to specialized paint is to apply a separate termiticide treatment to your table, in addition to a paint of your selection. If you apply anti-termite paints or other treatments, first check with your local horticultural extension service to confirm that the products are permitted for outdoor use in your area.
Paint and Termites
Simply painting your table, with any form of outdoor paint or varnish, already reduces your chances of a termite attack. Paint the table completely, fully covering the ends and joints. Repaint as necessary to maintain an impermeable border with an unappealing taste to potential pests. Focus on the table legs, where contact with the ground might wear away paint more quickly, and termites are especially likely to approach.
Additional Preventative Measures
Couple your paint job with additional anti-termite measures. If possible, keep the table under a cover to reduce the wood's humidity, making it less attractive to the insects. Set up the table on a concrete or wooden deck, if possible, to keep it out of contact with the bare ground. If you don't have a raised platform available, simply laying paving stones beneath the table offers the same advantage. By keeping the table out of contact with the ground, you reduce the risk of rot and wood breakdown, which could make the table more susceptible to a termite attack.
If you've already detected termite activity, it might be too late to use anti-termite paints. Consult a pest control firm about the most appropriate actions for your particular infestation and means of containing the problem. Common treatments include infusing the affected area with insect-repelling termiticides or targeting specific areas of the home where the termites are most likely to feed. Other products kill termites instead of simply repelling them. In some cases, you might find that applying the termiticide to your garden mulch is sufficient to repel the insects, though termiticide applied outdoors is more likely to break down faster. If you have only found termites in the outdoor wooden table, remove it from your property immediately to reduce the risk of the problem spreading to your home.
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