Tim-bor is a borate-based wood treatment that is designed to
kill a variety of insects that try to eat the wood, including termites. It's
made by a company called Nisus. It's usually best applied by professionals:
it comes in powder, spray, and liquid forms. The reason it's better to have
a pest control company apply it, as opposed to doing it yourself, is that
you may not get it all over all the wood in your house or all the places you
need to put it. It won't do anything for untreated wood, which would still
be there as a food source for any termite colonies.
Tim-Bor works by using borates. Borates are a natural chemical that has very
low toxicity for mammals and plants, but is extremely deadly to insects.
The idea behind this type of treatment is to soak the borate into the wood. Any insect that tries to eat it will ingest borate, which slowly kills it (borates mess with the digestive system of insects and prevent them from eating properly).
This one is best used as a preventative, and it's something that ideally would be applied while your house was being built. The reason is that not all the wood will be exposed once it's fully constructed. So if you don't get all the wood, you're not going to get rid of a termite colony if you've already got one. It's a slow acting product, so the termites will be able to go back into the colony and spread some of it, but that's nowhere near a perfect solution. If you're in a high risk area for termites, or if you're rebuilding part of a house that has been damaged by them already, however, then a borate treatment is an extremely good idea.
Study by University of California - Riverside Professors
A study by two professors at the University of California evaluated a number of products on drywood termites, including Tim-Bor (you can read it here). They evaluated both the "dust" form (powder) and the liquid.
Powder: They found that the powder version of Tim-Bor was deadly to termites even with a brief exposure. They found that it was highly effective as a localized treatment, and it was one of the top three products they tested. It also spread well to un-exposed termites, letting one termite kill another through contact.
Liquid: The Tim-Bor liquid version didn't fare as well. It took "prolonged exposure" to kill termites, but it did deter them from feeding on treated wood.
Sources and Useful Links:
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