Future wood treatments may deliver a one-two punch in the fight against termites and wood fungus. Researchers are examining the effects of naphthalenic compounds in wood. The compounds, similar to those used in mothballs, have been able to control wood eating pests as part of field tests in the termite stricken states of Mississippi and Louisiana.
Some tests have also shown promise for preventing wood decay. This could provide an alternative to current wood treatments using heavy metals such as arsenic, chromium and copper, compounds that accumulate in the environment. In contrast, naphthalenic compounds are biodegradable, organic, and have a low toxicity.