Will Pressure Treated Split Rail Fences Attract Insects?

When it comes to choosing the ideal fencing option for your property, many factors will come into play, including durability, aesthetics, and maintenance. This is a valid concern, as nobody wants to invest in a fence that will become a breeding ground for pests. By understanding the nature of these fences and the properties of pressure-treated wood, we can make an informed decision about whether they’re the right choice for our properties.

Does Pressure Treated Wood Repel Insects?

Pressure treated wood is known for it’s ability to resist decay, rot, and insect damage. The chemicals used in pressure treating, such as copper-based compounds, act as a deterrent to insects rather than killing them. These compounds are infused into the wood under high pressure, ensuring that they penetrate deep into the material. As a result, pressure-treated wood becomes unappetizing and repellent to pests.

Moreover, pressure treated woods repellent properties can also extend to termites, ants, and other wood-boring insects. These pests are deterred by the chemicals in the wood, making it a less appealing food source for them.

In rare cases, some species of insects may still be attracted to the wood, particularly if it becomes weathered or damaged. However, the likelihood of a widespread infestation is greatly reduced when using pressure-treated materials.

How Does Pressure Treated Wood Compare to Other Types of Treated Wood in Terms of Insect Repellent Properties?

  • Pressure treated wood uses a high-pressure treatment process to infuse chemicals into the wood, making it resistant to insects.
  • This type of treated wood is highly effective in repelling common wood-boring insects such as termites and carpenter ants.
  • Pressure treated wood is known for it’s long-lasting insect repellent properties.
  • Compared to other types of treated wood, pressure treated wood provides superior protection against insect infestations.
  • It’s important to choose the right type of pressure treated wood for specific applications and insect repellent needs.

However, over time, the chemicals in the pressure-treated lumber may start to break down, making it more susceptible to insect infestations. It’s important to take necessary precautions and regularly inspect the wood for any signs of bugs or damage.

Can Bugs Get Into Pressure Treated Wood?

However, over time, the chemicals that were used to treat the wood can break down and become less effective, leaving the wood vulnerable to insect infestation. This is especially true if the wood is exposed to moisture or other elements that can accelerate the breakdown process.

Insects such as termites, carpenter ants, and beetles are attracted to the cellulose in wood, which is their main source of food. While pressure-treated wood has been treated with chemicals to deter insects, it isn’t a foolproof method of prevention. If there are already insects present in the area, they may still be attracted to the wood.

Split rail fences, which are typically made from pressure-treated wood, can provide a source of food and shelter for insects. The cracks and crevices in the fence can be an ideal spot for insects to hide and reproduce. In addition, if the fence is in contact with the ground, it can provide a direct pathway for insects to access the wood.

First, make sure to inspect the wood regularly for any signs of damage or infestation. Look for small holes, piles of sawdust, or tunnels in the wood, which can be indicative of insect activity.

Second, keep the surrounding area clear of debris, such as leaves, debris, and other organic material. This can attract insects and provide them with a breeding ground.

Third, consider applying a sealant or protective coating to the wood. This can help to further deter insects and protect the wood from moisture and other elements that can accelerate it’s breakdown.

Common Types of Insects That Infest Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood is treated with chemicals to protect it from rot, decay, and insects. However, certain insects may still be attracted to pressure-treated wood, especially if they find it conducive to nesting or feeding. The most common types of insects that infest pressure-treated wood include termites, carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and wood-boring beetles. These insects can cause damage to the wood over time if not properly addressed.

Source: Will Termites Eat Pressure Treated Wood? – LinkedIn

In addition to weather considerations, another important factor to consider when building a fence is the choice of wood for the posts and rails. While cedar, cypress, pine, spruce, and redwood are popular options, their reaction to climatic conditions can vary. To ensure durability and protection against extreme weather, many experts recommend using pressure-treated wood for fence rails. This type of wood is specifically treated to withstand the elements, making it a reliable choice for long-lasting fences.

Do You Need to Use Pressure Treated Wood for Fence Rails?

Pressure treated wood is a popular choice for fence rails due to it’s ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. It’s specially treated with chemicals that protect the wood from rot, decay, and insect infestation. This makes it an ideal option for homeowners who live in areas with high moisture levels or where termites and other pests are common.

When it comes to split rail fences, pressure treated wood can provide added durability and longevity. Split rail fences are typically made up of horizontal rails that are connected to vertical posts. These rails are often exposed to the elements, making them susceptible to damage caused by rain, snow, and temperature fluctuations.

The chemicals used in pressure treating the wood create a barrier that prevents moisture from seeping into the wood fibers. This reduces the risk of warping, cracking, and splitting, which can compromise the structural integrity of the fence.

Furthermore, pressure treated wood is effective at repelling insects such as termites and carpenter ants. These pests are attracted to untreated wood because it provides them with a source of nourishment. By using pressure treated wood for your split rail fence, you can deter these insects from infesting your property.

It’s important to note, however, that not all pressure treated wood is created equal. Different grades and types of pressure treated wood are available, so it’s essential to choose one that’s suitable for your specific needs.

The treatment process provides added protection against moisture, rot, decay, and insect damage, allowing your split rail fence to withstand the test of time.


While the chemicals present in pressure treated wood may deter some insects, there’s no guarantee that it will be effective against all types of pests. Ultimately, the level of insect attraction will depend on various factors such as local insect populations, environmental conditions, and the specific type of wood treatment used. Therefore, it’s advisable to consider other measures alongside the use of pressure treated wood, such as regular maintenance and upkeep, to minimize the risk of insect infestation.

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