Nanotechnology has the potential to affect the field of wood preservation through the creation of new and unique metal biocides with improved properties. This study evaluated leachability and efficacy of southern yellow pine wood treated with copper, zinc, or boron nanoparticles against mould fungi, decay fungi, and Eastern subterranean termites. Results showed that nanocopper with and without surfactant, nanozinc, and nanozinc plus silver with surfactant resisted leaching compared with metal oxide controls. Nearly all nanoboron and boric acid was released from the treated wood specimens during leaching. Mould fungi were moderately inhibited by nanozinc oxide with surfactant, but the other nanometal preparations did not significantly inhibit mould fungi. Mass loss from Gloeophyllum trabeum was significantly inhibited by all copper preparations, while Antrodia sp. was not inhibited by nanometal treatments. Nanometals imparted high resistance in southern yellow pine to the white-rot fungus, Trametes versicolor. Unleached specimens treated with nanoboron or nanozinc plus surfactant caused 100% and 31% mortality, respectively. All specimens treated with nanozinc or nanozinc plus silver inhibited termite feeding, but the copper treatments were less effective against termites. Nanozinc possessed the most favorable properties: leach resistance, termite mortality, and inhibition of termite feeding and decay by the white-rot fungus. Published by Elsevier Ltd.