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Treated Wood and Wood Preservatives

Insects and mold can damage wood over time. To prevent that damage, wood is often treated with pesticides. Treated wood is commonly used to build telephone poles, road signs and marine pilings as well as decks, play structures and raised garden beds. Several wood preservatives are registered with the EPA, each with different uses and potential risks.

Wood preservatives can extend the life of wood and reduce the need for forest resources, but proper use is important. Some preservatives can slowly leach into the surrounding soil or water. Sometimes, touching the wood can leave residue on exposed skin. Use the resources below to learn about selecting and using treated wood properly.

Keep these tips in mind:

For more information:

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)

Last updated April 27, 2017

Related Topics:

What are pests?

Learn about a pest

Identify a pest

Control a pest

Integrated Pest Management

What are pesticides?





Natural and Biological Pesticides



Other types of pesticides

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