Yacht ownership and living in West Palm Beach, FL 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 or yacht, such as termites and powderpost beetles.
These wood destroying insects can come aboard and consume the wood on your vessel and create extensive damage. They can also be tricky to treat without damaging the boat, since it's not ideal to drill holes into a sea-faring vessel to apply termiticide foam. Here are a few things you should understand about these termites and beetles that infest Palm Beach, FL yachts.
Subterranean Termites On Boats
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 or dry docks, since these termites usually require soil contact via mud tubes to survive. The best way to identify their presence is to look for mud tubes connecting the soil to the boat or you may observe wood damage on your yacht.
Drywood Termites On Boats
Drywood termites target hardwood. They eat tunnels through framing, cabinets, banisters, and more. If you have drywood termites on a boat in West Palm Beach, FL, 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. The first sign of their presence will likely either be by observing their frass on the interior of your boat's cabinets or observing their kickout holes in the cabinet wood. If you suspect you may have drywood termites on your West Palm Beach, FL area boat, call us today for a free termite inspection!
Powderpost Beetles On Boats
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.
The Threat Of Wood-Destroying Organisms On Boats
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.
Boat Fumigation In Palm Beach, FL
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 and it is a legal treatment method in Florida. Keep in mind that due to their biology, both powderpost beetles and subterranean termites will require a higher gas rate than would be required to exterminate drywood termites on your boat.
At Native Pest Management, we also have the capability of performing tape and seal fumigations for boats in West Palm Beach, FL and surrounding areas. This method of fumigation uses tape and plastic sheeting to seal the gas fumes inside of the boat, instead of using a tent.
If it's not possible to tent your boat on the water or to perform a tape and seal on the water, we can also tent your boat onshore on dry land. Either way, while fumigation can take a few days to perform, it is well worth the time spent to make sure the termites are completely eliminated. Once it is done, your infestation will be completely gone and you can focus on any wood repairs that may be needed. Call us today to schedule a free boat termite inspection in the West Palm Beach, FL area.
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 not having your boat tented for termites or wood destroying beetles. We continually keep our termite 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 you have powderpost beetles or termites in your boat, time is against you. Damage from these termites and beetles quickly becomes a hazard. We help boat and yacht owners stay protected. The high seas offer enough dangers without adding beetle or termite damage into the mix. Call us today to schedule a free inspection!
How To Spot Warning Signs
Apart from kickout holes and the appearance of termite frass on your boat, 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. Look for wings in areas of the boat that flying termites would congregate towards, typically well-lit areas including under windows and lights.
Wings: White wings shed by termites may be found in hidden places. These are shed by swarmers after they mate, meaning a new colony has likely started in the area that you find these wings.
Damage: If you see wood that looks eaten, splintered, or bulging, there could be termites inside. If you see wood that is moisture damaged, this area of your boat is more susceptible to termite activity.
Sound: If you tap on wood in various areas of your boat and it sounds hollow, there could be termite or wood destroying beetle damage inside.
If you own a boat or yacht in the West Palm Beach, FL 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 free boat pest control inspection today. Servicing all of Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.
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