Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

Penn State’s New Invention For Wood Treatment

Scientists from Penn State University have invented a new pest-killing treatment for wood to prevent destruction from various wood destroying pests.

“Methods of killing pests and pathogens – known as phytosanitation measures – are required for all solid-wood packaging material, such as wooden-constructed shipping pallets, used for import/export commerce worldwide,” said John Janowiak, professor of wood products engineering at Penn State.

These measures are mandated by the United Nations, and their goal is to significantly reduce the risk of introduction of alien invasive insects, and pathogens that can kill native urban and forest trees.

Currently, the solid wood packaging industry is using kiln heating and methyl bromide treatments. Under the United Nations, the international community is required to phase out the use of methyl bromide. That is why an alternative treatment measure is needed.

Dr. Kelli Hoover, and Dr. John Janowiak, initially tested microwave treatments. However, they found that they did not heat deeply enough into the wood.

They next began testing radio frequency waves – another form of dielectric heating – that can penetrate several meters into the wood. This allows for them to treat many different wood species and sizes, in large batches.

Conventional kiln heating uses a lot of energy and requires that the wood be heated for 30 minutes, so that the core temperature of the wood is raised to 56 degrees C. This is what is needed to kill insects and nematodes.

Janowiak and Hoover’s new treatment method achieved the same results within one minute!

Penn State is pursuing U.S. and international patent rights on the unique aspects of the treatment. They hope to partner with an equipment manufacturer who will license the technology.

This is very exciting news. It is way too early to make any predictions, but Termite Terry is already writing letters to the professor and asking him if there is any possibility of using this as an alternative treatment on homes and buildings.