Borates work differently than most other insecticides, termiticides and even other borate products on the market today. For starters, it isn’t applied to the soil but to the structure itself. Secondly, it isn’t just a repellent or a bait but a little bit of each. As soon as beetles and termites attempt to consume treated wood they die. Subterranean termites won’t even try to eat treated wood and if they attempt to build a tube on treated wood, the termites start to die. This alerts the termite colony and they abandon the wood. (For more on the background of how Borates work, read The Science Behind Bora-Care.)
Borates are applied directly onto wood surfaces, concrete, plumbing penetrations, expansion joints and foundation penetrations. Borates then penetrate the wood, protecting it throughout. Because Borates’ active ingredient is a natural mineral salt, it doesn’t break down over time. Borates remains in the wood for the life of the wood. By keeping the wood sealed or protected from moisture as in the wall voids of a structure, you eliminate the need for retreatment. Soil treatments are not only more difficult to apply, they lose their effectiveness over time – then a costly retreatment becomes necessary every 5 to 10 years. Borates are made with natural elements that are already present in the environment.
The Science Behind Borates
Borates are a low toxicity wood preservative that has a low environmental impact. It protects wood and whole structures from most wood destroying organisms including subterranean termites, Formosan termites, drywood termites, wood destroying beetles, carpenter ants, and decay fungi.
The active ingredient is the natural borate salt and micronutrient disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT). DOT is a natural form of elemental boron, which is essential for the healthy growth of plants and believed important in human calcium metabolism. Because animals and humans simply take what they need from their diet and rapidly excrete any excess via the kidneys, DOT has a low acute toxicity and Bora-Care is about half as toxic as sodium chloride or table salt (in a laboratory setting), but it’s very effective against insects and fungi that do not have the same excretion mechanisms. DOT maximizes the solubility, the rate of dissolution and the boric oxide content to give a borate active ingredient far superior to traditional boric acid or borax. At the levels used in Bora-Care applications, it prevents pest infestation by inhibiting pest metabolism on a cellular basis. The tetrahydroxyborate anion forms a chelate complex with the cis-adjacent hydroxyl groups in the ribose sugar of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), with the cationic nitrogen of the nicotinamide moiety providing electrostatic stabilization of the chelate. In this configuration, NAD and NADP cannot be used by the dehydrogenase enzymes of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway or the tricarboxylic acid pathway, and so the cellular energy generating mechanisms, including adenosine triphosphate production, are shut down.
Call us today at 800-332-BUGS (2847) to learn more about the Borate treatment or schedule a Free Termite Inspection online.