Boat in a Tent
While airborne termites do not do as much damage as subterranean termites, they are never-the-less a problem for boaters. Even fiberglass boats use wood in their construction for bulkheads, stingers, interior and core.
I find evidence of termites and / or termite damage on roughly 5% of the vessels I survey and recently received an email asking for termite confirmation (via a photo) and for a termite company referral.
Termite “kick out” is brown and black particles that are similar in appearance to saw dust. The “kick out” accumulates directly below the termites’ holes. Airborne termite wings are another indication of termites aboard the vessel.
While airborne termites eat slowly, and the damage they cause is often not of structural significance, they are often significant at the time of sale. They arouse fear due to the uncertainty surrounding them.
How much damage was done? How do I get rid of them? How much will it cost?
There are numerous methods for treating termites. Orange Oil treatment, localized chemical extermination, microwave and whole boat fumigation. Products can be purchased for the do-it-yourselfer and there are numerous professional exterminators available.
Perhaps the most important lesson is to address them as quickly as possible, limiting the damage and reducing the cost of treatment.
While there is no legal requirement to address termites, as there is in real estate, they have caused problems with sales and are fairly easily detectable. If you see “kick out” or termite wings or bodies, be pro-active. Determine the extent of damage, repair as necessary, exterminate appropriately and remove the remnants to allow detection of any future infestation.
One San Diego exterminator said the average price for taping and sealing a 100’ vessel is $4,500 but prices vary depending on the size and difficulty of sealing off the vessel.
Termite Kick out Termite Kick Out
Termite holes from below