The Best Borate Treatments against Wood Boring Bugs




Shell-Guard RTU is your best choice for protecting larger logs and timbers, and eliminating existing bug infestations.

You will be happy to know that you don't need to use water to apply borate treatment against wood decay and bug infestation. When it comes to treating a log home, the drier and more absorbent the surface is, the better the treatment will be. If you haven't done it already, this could be your perfect interior project this winter.

Remember, the borates will not work when applied over any finish, as this prevents the product from penetrating. It works only on the bare wood.


Our Shell-Guard RTU Borate wood preservative comes in borate/glycol formulations. The active ingredient in Shell-Guard RTU is disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, chemically similar to a combination of boric acid and borax, but with higher concentration of boron which is responsible for the effectiveness.

The borate is toxic to fungi that cause rot and decay, subterranean and drywood termites, carpenter ants and wood boring beetles. It is also toxic to beetle eggs that may be in the wood at the time of treatment or eggs deposited sometime later.


Applying Shell-Guard RTU

An application of Shell-Guard RTU should end powder post beetle activity (small round holes) within a few months to a year after treatment. However, if there is an existing infestation of old house borers (oval holes), it may take time, sometimes a year before total control is achieved.

Shell-Guard RTU is best applied using a compressed air, garden-type sprayer. You can use either a fan or cone spray tip, it really does not matter as long as you completely wet the log surface with the solution.

The amount of time it takes Shell-Guard RTU to dry depends on the density and porosity of the wood, and temperature and humidity. In warm, dry temperatures the drying time may be as little as a few days. Under humid conditions it may take weeks of drying time before a stain can be applied. You can check to see how drying is progressing by touching the treated wood. If the wood still feels damp, it is not ready for a topcoat.

Once the Shell-Guard RTU has dried, you need to inspect all the treated surfaces before applying a stain. Occasionally a white residue may appear over knots and other areas of the logs. These white deposits are created by a small amount of the borate crystalizing on the surface. Their appearance does not mean that the treatment will not work! Wipe this residue off with a damp sponge. If you stain over any white spots they will show through the stain.boratecloseups

Unused solution should never be left in application equipment overnight. Clean and rinse your equipment after each use.

New Log Home? Apply Shell-Guard Now

If you just built a new home and the borate treatment was not included in the package from the manufacturer, Shell-Guard will be your cheapest insurance against wood decay and bug infestation. If the weather prevents from applying it outside, the interior application as effective as an exterior due to the penetrating properties of the Shell-Guard products.

And how toxic are borates? Here's a chart comparing our borates to common household products:

borate toxicity

Last modified on Monday, 23 November 2020 17:19

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