How To treat Bamboo Against Termites

The 1,200 to 1,500 bamboo species in the grass family Poaceae are among the fastest growing plants on earth. Bamboos spread by underground stems called rhizomes and are either clumping or running. The short rhizomes of clumping species spread more slowly than the long, vigorous rhizomes of running species. Bamboo as the great potential as solid wood substitute materials, each particular species has different properties and qualities. Its rapid growth is acknowledged as one of the eco-products on the environment.

The bamboo is generally thought to be a plant more associated with growing in subtropical and tropical regions like Southeast Asia. The unique nature of bamboo has attracted researchers to investigate and explore, especially in the field of quality and durability enhancement of bamboo products.

Bamboo is a plant with many advantages and is used for many purposes from cradle to grave and is found in vast areas throughout the world. Because of its fast growing nature, it is an easily renewable raw material which has attractive and unique appearance and toughness. The bamboo dependency could directly reduce the deforestation or degradation of forest because of its short rotation.

The woody plants simply take a long time up to 20 years to reach their maturity, while bamboo only takes less than 4 years to reach their maturity. The use of bamboo in some of the tropical countries like Indonesia and Malaysia is still at the minimum level, while in the other countries (China and Japan), it is a source which contributes to the growth of the economy. Value of world trade of bamboo has reached 4 billion U.S. dollars and is monopolized by China. Bamboo properties of being lightweight and high-strength are recognized as the source of raw materials that can be processed and shaped into the form of a number of commodities.

Termites and Bamboo

Termites are the most aggressive insect enemy of bamboo and are therefore of considerable economic significance. The main food of most termite species is bamboo, wood and other plant material. They are among the few insects capable of utilizing cellulose as a source of food. Bamboo susceptibility towards biodegradation agents, particularly termite has been studied over the years. Laboratory evaluations of the natural resistance of different bamboo species using Coptotermes formosanus and Coptotermes gestroi revealed that none of them were highly resistant to termite attack.

Natural resistance of bamboos to termite was more or less comparable to that of some of the moderately durable commercially important timber species. Furthermore, the outer layer of bamboo is highly resistant and termites normally invade bamboo from the cut end portion only. The mechanism of termite attack on bamboo is through the middle and then progressed to attacking the bamboo meal, which was the bamboo culm. Termite attacked the center of the culm by making a hole, thereby penetrating inside of the culm.

 Anatomy and treatment properties of bamboo.

The anatomical characteristics of bamboo have the characteristics of the bamboo itself, organizing the cells between the bamboo eyes arranged in a vertical direction, unlike radial distribution (parenchyma). cell) and ray cells, so the treatment and water cannot penetrate in the direction of the ray. After bamboo maturation, due to sedimentation of resins, the accumulation of baits (thylose) makes the pipes (catherer) and filter tube (sieve tube) no longer permeable. Horizontal.

The outer surface of the bamboo is covered with a thin layer (hard) made of silicon and wax, so the treatment chemicals cannot penetrate in the radial direction (radial). Due to the structural differences, bamboo treatment is more difficult than wood treatment. Viewed vertically, the organization of the bamboo cells is made up of parenchymal cells and vascular bundles – consisting of sclerenchyma and sclerenchyma – formed from the head to the top of the tree. so the vertical flow is very fast.

However, the vascular bundles are unevenly distributed in the trunk of the bamboo, in the outer ring the bamboo distributes many small vascular bundles, the middle distributes a few large vascular bundles. The further away from the pipe, the less the permeability level, this creates the uneven distribution of the treatment chemicals in the bamboo. The pipe accounts for 10% of the volume of the bamboo tube, so the chemicals for osmotic treatment to other organizations around the pipe are weak. A treatment that cannot penetrate to the parenchymal organization will provide an opportunity for early invasion of the fungus.

Termite attack

Termites are small ant-like insects which live in colonies and feed on plant material. They are also attracted to the starch in bamboo but unlike beetle have enzymes which also enable them to break down the cellulose. Because they live in large colonies they can cause rapid damage. There are two generic types of termites: subterranean and drywood. The former live in the (preferably damp) ground whereas the latter make their nests in the timber itself. Subterranean termites are translucent so build tunnels or find hidden paths to avoid sunlight.

Time of attack

It is essential for effective bamboo preservation to know the time when bamboo may be infested by deleterious organisms. In practice the 1st signs of attack are often neglected and much bamboo is treated which is already badly infested or even deteriorated. This is not only an economical waste but it may cause danger if the strength properties are already reduced. A prophylactic treatment in due time will enhance quality.

Treatment method against termites for bamboo

Termites are among the most destructive insects in homes. The good news is that you can keep these insects away from your home by following the treatment procedures and precautions listed above.Termite innards contain single-celled protozoa and bacteria that produce enzymes that break down cellulose into sugars that termites consume as food. Termites extract water from the wood they eat. They can feed on wood with as low as 2 1/2 to 3 percent moisture, but prefer wood that has 10 percent moisture content. That accounts for their infestations under eaves and building foundations.

The best way to prevent termites from eating their way into bamboo is to buy bamboo or bamboo laminates and other products pretreated with borates, derivatives of boric acid. Borates kill the protozoa in termite guts that enable them to digest cellulose. If they eat bamboo treated with borates, they starve to death. Evidence has shown that termites are able to detect borate in wood and go elsewhere.

Commercial borate formulations come in powders that mix with water and borates mixed with glycol to help them penetrate deeper into wood. If you live in an area that has problems with terminates, inspect your bamboo annually for termite activity and seek professional treatment if you find it.

Useful tips to prevent termite attack on bamboo:

  • Put the bamboo materials at least 6 inches off the ground. You can easily monitor termite lines going up to your home.
  • Preserve the bamboo using these chemicals:
  • Copper sulfate
  • Boric acid and borax combination
  • Sodium Penta Chloro Phenate (NaPCP)
  • Zinc chloride
  • Copper chrome-boron
  • Ammoniacal Copper Arsenate
  • Pentachlorophenol (PCP)
  • Copper / Zinc Soaps
  • Trichlorophenol (TCP)
  • Creosote
  • Use waterproof sealers on all the bamboo materials before applying the paint or final coating of lacquer.
  • If termites still appear after all these treatments, special insecticides might also be used to eliminate them from the bamboo material.

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