Picture of Stock & Noble

Stock & Noble

Termites on Timber fence
Stock And Noble Divider 2 - Stock and Noble

Termites seem to have a special affinity for Australia. Typically, when builders construct homes in our region, many preventive measures are taken to ensure these tiny little bugs stay as far from the property as possible. However, the same cannot be said for fencing. Usually, there are no preventive strategies or discussions about termites that take place with your supplier or Fencing contractor before you build your dream equine property. 


If you already have Timber fencing at your horse property or are considering it in near future this article is for you. Most equine properties have nice shade and enough moisture for termites to survive and thrive.  


It would be probably right to say that these tiny creatures pose the biggest threat to your Timber fencing. If the preventive or curative measures aren’t taken well in time, you might even have to replace your entire fencing. This costs you time, effort, and money as well as the stress of either treating your fences or moving your horses while the fence is getting replaced. 


At Stock & Noble, we provide the finest fencing solutions to our clients across Australia and New Zealand. Based on our expertise and experience with our clients owning Timber fencing and termites we would like to share some key insights on how to deal with the problem of termites on your horse property. 


In this article, you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions on termites by horse property owners: 

  1. How to check if my horse property is vulnerable to termites. 
  2. The most common problems caused by termites on a horse property. 
  3. How to look for the signs of termites on my horse property. 
  4. How to solve the problem of termites on my horse property. 


In the end, you will know what to do when termites destroy your timber fences, and how to eliminate them and protect your fencing, You will also learn effective ways to completely avoid the problem of termites on your horse property. 


How to check if my horse property is vulnerable to termites? 

Termites love timber. So, the answer is fairly simple. If you have timber fencing, you will likely face the problem of termites. 


Timber is one of the most popular horse fencing solutions, especially if you seek the natural and traditional look of post and rail fencing. However, there are hidden problems with Timber fencing you should be aware of before saying yes to this horse fence.


One of these problems is that it’s the favourite home of termites. Your property will likely attract termites if you have: 

Raw Timber Post and Rail Fencing 

This fencing is probably going to be the biggest attraction for termites. Since there is no chemical barrier of Treated Pine or natural resistance as seen in certain varieties of hardwood.  

If you live in a termite-prone area, these white ants would travel through burrows and can easily start making the fence hollow before you realise it. The look and structural integrity of the fences could be compromised leaving you with no option but to replace the fences. 


Treated Pine Post and Rail Fencing 

Pine with H4 treatment is indeed designed to resist moisture and termites. However, the resistance is likely to be effective only till the Timber post or rail doesn’t get compromised.  

Since Pine is a soft wood, often it tends to get too cold in winter and too hot in summer. This can lead to the wood being cracked in the middle and thus create a perfect home for termites.  

They would get into the middle of the broken area and start eating the wood, leaving weakened posts and rail fencing.  


Some horse owners do not prefer Treated Pine due to the fear of chemical ingestion by their horses. Especially if they have cribbers on the property. 


Hardwood Post and Rail Fencing 

If you have fallen in love with Timber and want it for your property, then Hardwood is probably the safest option. It’s claimed to be naturally resistant to termites. However there are a lot of varieties available in Hardwood, some would be great at resisting termites as compared to the other.

Since it’s a natural product it’s full of surprises. As experienced by one of our clients who moved to Hardwood after a bad experience with Pine. The Hardwood on their property initially worked well against these white ants. But within 10 years it was destroyed again.  

Before you sign onto Hardwood, it’s best to speak to your Fencing Contractor about the experiences of other property owners in your location. And choose the best quality that is available and proven to be effective. 


The most common problems caused by termites on a horse property 


1. The Horse Fence will become weaker

If no measures are taken to stop the growth of termites, they will eventually eat away the fence from the inside, leaving it hollow and extremely weak. 


2. Fencing will become unsafe for horses 

As the timber fencing loses its strength, any interaction with large animals like leaning or chewing can break it down.  

The fencing will fail to provide a safe enclosure for the horses. There’s a possibility that the horse might escape through the gaps or get injured due to the broken ineffective fence. 


3. Horse fence will impact the look of your property 

As the colony of termites grow larger timber fences will start deteriorating, eventually breaking and splitting up from the middle. A dilapidated appearance is not the look you want from your traditional natural post and rail choice of fencing. 


4. Might need to replace the entire fencing 

When termites take over your property their presence it’s difficult to detect and hence, sometimes it takes years to figure out that your timber fencing has been seriously compromised. It’s often too late to be saved and you might be left with no option but to replace the entire horse fencing. 


 5. Your home could be the next stop 

As the colony of termites grow larger, they need more food and if your home is closer to the property, it could be their next source of nourishment.  

How to check if my horse fencing has termites? 

Since termites like to live inside Timber, they would burrow through a fence post for a long time before there are any external signs. So, it’s hard to determine their presence, however, there are a few ways that might help. 


Look for droppings

If you have a Timber fence, keep an eye out for any piles of droppings around the fence. They are an indication of termites eating away at your fence from the inside. 


Check if there are any wings  

Some termites have wings, so look for small insect wings fallen around the fence. These are signs of termites living there. 


Tap the wood 

A good test could be to tap your rail or post. If it’s been emptied by termites, the wood will sound hollow.  


Inspect for nests 

Termites love moist areas where it’s shady and cool. While surveying your fence, look for small mounds or nests, especially around such areas. 


How to solve the problems of termites on my property? 


1. Do regular vigil and physical checks 

Pine, Treated Pine or Hardwood, no matter which timber fencing you have on your property, we recommend conducting regular checks and looking for any signs of termites yourself. Even better would be to contact a professional termite control agency at least once a year and conduct a thorough inspection of your property. 


 2. Call a professional pest control service 

As soon as you notice termites on your fencing, contact the professional termite and pest control company to inspect and treat them. The more you wait, the bigger this problem will become, costing you more time and money. 

It’s typically advised not to try and control the termites yourself. The reason is that larger colonies of termites can travel up to 100 metres from their home base to find sources of food. Some pest companies believe that if you try and contain them before you call the professionals, the ants can block everything off making it much harder to control or eliminate them. 


3. Remove dead wood from your property 

If you spot any branches fallen from the trees or any other dead wood on your property, check for termites and remove them regularly. 


 4. Choose alternate fencing 

If there is no timber, there are no termites. It’s as simple as that. Choosing alternate fencing is probably the easiest solution to avoid the problem of termites on your horse property forever.  

If you are a new property owner looking for a beautiful and horse-safe fencing solution but desire the look and feel of traditional post and rail fencing then you can consider Steel Post and Rail,Horserail or any other material that termites cannot live in or eat.  

Have a thorough discussion with your fencing supplier before committing to the fence for years. 


Request A Call


Are you confident to deal with termites on your horse property? 

Termite is a common problem with Timber Fencing. You wanted to understand how to detect and treat them on your horse property. 


Now you know how to check if your property has white ants. You also learnt how big a problem these tiny creatures can create on your property. And the best way to solve as well as completely remove this problem is to choose termite-proof fencing solutions like Steel or Composite. 


Based on the real-life examples of clients that have had unsuccessful experiences with Hardwood and Pine we will be reluctant to put those as viable solutions against the problems of termites. 


Timber Fencing is stunning but the stress of ongoing checks and maintenance, and the expenditure on termite inspection and control should be considered before investing in a forever property. What would help in bringing clarity to your decision further is learning the difference between Steel and Timber horse fencing. You will be able to better evaluate which fencing is more suited for your life, your animals and your vision.  


If you’d like to learn more about how effective alternate fencing solutions are against termites, speak to our expert. We would answer your questions and help you create a safe and beautiful equine property, which is free of termites and stress. 

Share this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *