Natural fumigants protect wood against termites
Forest Products Laboratory researchers discovered that essential oils from some common plants such as dill, rosemary and lemongrass can be used as fumigants to kill termites. Subterranean termite infestations occur in every state in the contiguous United States and are responsible for damage to wooden structures and products in excess of two billion dollars annually. Environmental concerns have increased the demand for natural, environmentally-friendly pesticides. Essential oils have relatively low toxicity and some are exempt from regulation by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) making them an ideal natural pesticide for wood products in storage or in-service. Historically, essential oils have been used to control insect pests in agricultural and food storage applications but little research had been directed toward their use to protect wood products.