How to Fumigate a Boat for Termites

Nothing seems quite as peaceful as drifting across the water in your favorite boat. Yet, when termites invade your watercraft, they can ruin the mood completely. One minute you think you have the rest of the day to relax. The next, you know it is time to find out how to fumigate a boat for termites. Here’s what you need to know and what steps to take next.

“Do I Really Have Termites on my Boat?”

You might be surprised at the thought of termites on your boat. After all, termites are land creatures, right? Yes, but they do fly, and they can fly from the shore to your boat. Also, you probably have your boat onshore at least part of the time, and it can get infested then. So, do you need to fumigate your boat for termites? Maybe.

Before you do anything drastic, it pays to take a moment to check out your theory. Was your first hunch correct? Do you have a termite problem? Try these inspection techniques:

  • Knock on the wood and see if it sounds hollow.
  • Look for discarded wings.
  • Look for tiny round termite droppings, also called frass.
  • Press on the boards to feel for softwood.
  • Check the wood for visual signs of damage.

Suppose you still don’t feel sure. Maybe you have termites, and maybe you don’t? You can always have a pest control specialist do a professional inspection. Then, you know for sure, and you can have them do the fumigation on your boat, too.

Preparing to Fumigate a Boat for Termites

Let’s say you found undeniable evidence of termites. The first step you need to take is to clear all your gear out of the boat. When the boat is empty, the treatment will reach every nook and cranny more easily. Then, call a termite control expert to perform the fumigation.

Now, it’s time to create the tent. Your pest control professional will use as many tarps as needed, depending on the size of your boat. They completely cover the boat all the way to the waterline. At this point, they drape the tarps over the boat. Next, they pull them tight and use duct tape to seal the seams. When they have made your boat as nearly airtight as possible, they prepare to release toxic gas inside to kill the termites.

boat fumigation and ongoing termite control

Time to Gas the Termites!

Pest control professionals usually use Vikane gas to fumigate a boat for termites. They use this toxic gas to eliminate termites from homes and commercial buildings with significant infestations. Luckily, it works just as well for boats. This poisonous gas not only kills termites immediately. It also penetrates well to reach the entire tented area with its poison.

The tarps will need to stay in place long enough for the gas to reach and destroy all the termites in the boat. The fumigation could take a few days. However, when you remove the tarps, you can be sure no termites remain inside the wood of your boat.

How to Avoid Termite Trouble in the Future

Unfortunately, you can’t eliminate the possibility that termites will come onto your boat. That’s why it’s so important to do regular inspections. Whenever you see signs of termites, you will need to take the above steps to get rid of them again. There’s a bit of good news here, though. By dealing with termites before you have a massive infestation, you can preserve your boat and use it for many years to come.
For help to fumigate a boat for termites, contact us at A-1 Bonded Termite. Our termite specialists have extensive expertise in identifying and treating termites safely and effectively. Then, when we finish, you can drift back across the water and enjoy the ride.