A great deal of ongoing research is being been directed at materials that can be placed around the foundation as physical barriers to termite invasion. Although these methods primarily target new construction, in some cases, application to existing houses appears to be feasible, though more expensive. Availability of these products in the continental U.S. is extremely limited and not all of these methods have been approved for use in North Carolina as the sole means of termite control for homes under construction. You will need to discuss such methods with a builder who is familiar with them or feels comfortable with their use. The following materials are currently being investigated or marketed in various areas including Australia, Hawaii and California.

Note: Mention of a particular product does not constitute an endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.
  1. Stainless Steel Mesh - Termi-mesh® (Termi-Mesh Australia Pty Ltd.) is stainless steel mesh (apperture of 0.66 x 0.45 mm) that is wrapped around foundations, pipes, posts to prevent termite intrusion. The product is marketed in Australia and, more recently, in parts of the United States, particularly in Hawaii. Termi-mesh was installed in a house in western NC during 1999. State regulations do allow the use of this product as a substitute for a conventional (liquid) or bait termite treatment in new construction.

  2. Sand - Tests have shown that a layer of sand with uniform size particles (roughly 16-grit) placed along the foundation (to a depth of at least 4 inches and trailing outward about 20") can deter movement through the soil. These particles are too large for termites to move with their mandibles ("teeth"), yet they are too small for the termites to crawl in between them or to build stable tunnels. Research in this area suggests that termites may on occasion breach these barriers and so routine inspection is still critical. The sand barrier should not be used as the sole means of termite protection and it is not currently approved as a "standalone" termite treatment in North Carolina. Therefore, people interested in such non-chemical preventive termite control measures should consider other methods.

  3. Stone - Granitgard® (GranitGard Pty, Ltd.)consists of finely graded stone particles which are laid beneath the concrete floors of new buildings or around foundation footers. Research has shown that termites cannot penetrate it because the particles are too large and heavy for them to shift, too hard for them to dissolve with their saliva, and too closely packed to provide a way through it. This product is not approved in North Carolina for use as the sole means of termite control for new construction. Granitgard® is mined in Australia. Additional information can be found through the Australian research agency - CSIRO