Termite Control Aboard A Watercraft

by Grace Motley

The main structural component of many boats is wood, and the moisture-rich environment that your boat is utilized in and the exposure to dirt when your watercraft is docked can lead to the infestation of both subterranean and drywood termites. 

The Difference In Termite Types

Drywood termites are more likely to infest a boat than subterranean termites, but both types pose a threat to boat owners. Subterranean termites tend to burrow underground and make trails throughout the confines of their habitat.

If dirt is transferred to your watercraft or if there are many building components or fixtures that contain deep crevices, these pests can use the interior channels as a means of transporting themselves throughout your vessel.

Drywood termites form colonies in wood and can infest onboard decking, wood trim, and furnishings. Both termite varieties may leave behind a sawdust-like material. This material is fecal matter and may be discovered across flat surfaces. Observing wings that aren't connected to an insect is another telltale sign that termites are present.

The Danger Of An Infestation And Treatment Options

Termites can cause a lot of destruction and may eventually compromise the integrity of your boat's frame. If an infestation is left untreated, a boat can become permanently damaged and may even lose its buoyancy. If your boat becomes severely affected by a colony of termites, it won't be safe to utilize the watercraft.

At the onset of an infestation, a thorough cleaning of the deck and the areas below the deck should be implemented. Any moist surfaces should be dried to deter additional termites. Fumigation or spray efforts can be used to administer pesticides. Many property owners use gel or powder bait stations that require the products to be inserted into the ground.

Because the infestation won't support this type of product, you may need to consult with a pest control contractor who handles treatment procedures aboard water vessels. For a severe infestation that does not respond to commercial fumigators or sprays, a barrier may be used to shroud your boat. This barrier will be used in conjunction with a strong fumigation product that is not typically sold in retail stores.

All food products and beverages need to be removed from the boat prior to the application of extermination products. If any wooden components are damaged, removing them and replacing them will be necessary. This includes the wood that comprises the frame and deck of your boat and any furnishings or fixtures that you previously added to the watercraft.

To learn more, contact a termite control company.