boat harbor

Boat ownership and living in West Palm Beach go hand in hand. If you own a boat or yacht, you know that it is quite an investment. We want to help you protect your investment, especially from pests that can threaten the value of your boat, such as termites and powderpost beetles.

These insects can come aboard and consume the wood on your vessel and create extensive damage. Here are a few things you should understand about these bugs.

termites on boat
termite eating

Subterranean Termites

While these insects prefer to live in the ground, they can get inside boats. When they do, they will feed on soft wood, particularly near the water line or in areas of the boat where water has led to moisture damage.

It can be difficult to detect subterranean termites in a boat because they stay out of sight and only provide subtle signs of their presence at first. Subterranean termites will most often affect boats and yachts stored in yards, since the infestation originally comes from the soil. The best way to identify their presence is to look for mud tubes connecting the soil to the boat.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites target hardwood. They eat tunnels through framing, cabinets, banisters, and more. If you have a drywood termite issue, you're likely to start noticing hard, dry termite droppings called termite frass littered on surfaces. You may also see the tiny kickout holes that drywood termites create.

Drywood termites spread via swarms. Reproductive drywood termites, called alates, will swarm out of colonies during the year when conditions are right, usually in the summer. These flying termites will seek new areas of wood to create colonies, which is how they can end up in your boat.

These drywood termites are also commonly present in furniture storage facilities, and can actually be unknowingly installed in your boat if they are already present in items like cabinets.

Powderpost Beetles

These insects target hardwood and softwood, depending on the species. When they get into a boat, they can create extensive damage. Like drywood termites, powderpost beetles make tiny kickout holes which they use to push frass out. 

Understanding The Threat Of Wood-Destroying Organisms

When wood-destroying organisms (WDOs) invade your vessel, it is very difficult to exterminate them. These insects live deep inside wood. You won't get at them with sprays, and injecting termiticides can yield unsuccessful results since many areas of the boat are inaccessible and we don't recommend drilling holes in fiberglass or boats in general.

We've found that one of the best solutions for getting control of these insects is fumigation. The gases used in fumigation immediately work their way into the pores of a boat and move into the wood where the termites or powder post beetles are hiding. After the fumigation is complete, the gases dissipate, and the problem is solved.

Yacht Fumigation in Palm Beach

Where should you go to have your fumigation done? You may not have to go anywhere. If you get permission, we may be able to fumigate your boat right on the water. Water provides a natural barrier for the gases used.

If this is not possible, we can tent your boat onshore. While fumigation can take a few days to perform, it is worth the time spent. Once it is done, your infestation will be completely gone and you can focus on any wood repairs that may be needed.

Understanding The Law

If you need to adhere to laws regarding WDOs as you head out for your destination, we can assist you with this. We can perform an inspection and provide you with the written documentation you need to stay within the law.

If treatment is needed, there can be liability issues for having your boat tented for termites. We continually keep our technicians trained on the current best practices and safety standards for tent fumigations so that we are always in compliance with the law.

Time Is Your Enemy

When wood-destroying organisms get into your boat, time is against you. Over time, damage from these insects can become a hazard. We help boat owners stay protected. The high seas offer enough dangers without adding termite damage into the mix.

How To Spot Warning Signs

Apart from kickout holes and the appearance of frass or droppings, there are a few ways you can detect the presence of termites or powderpost beetles in your vessel.

Swarmers: You may see black or dark orange insects with long white wings. The wing length of a swarmer is twice the length of the body and hangs over the end of the termite. The tips of the wings are rounded. Keep in mind that a termite swarmer is only about ⅜ of an inch long.

Wings: White wings shed by termites may be found in hidden places. These are shed by swarmers after they mate.

Damage: If you see wood that looks eaten, splintered, or bulging, there could be termites inside.

Sound: If you tap on a timber of wood and it sounds hollow, there could be termite or beetle trenches inside.

If you own a boat or yacht in the West Palm Beach area, reach out to Native Pest Management for all your pest control needs. We use advanced pest management methods and products to give you the best results. Get started by scheduling a pest control inspection today. Servicing all of Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

 

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