Century-old furniture and antiques have an amazing character, and every scratch on their surface tells a story. Unfortunately, in addition to the teeth of time, the condition of old furniture is also affected by wood pests, which often severely damage the structure of the material and leave behind unsightly marks. Find out how to deal with woodworms and how to give a piece of furniture destroyed by them a new life!   

How to get rid of woodworms?   

If the furniture you bought is still being eaten by pests, you need to start fighting them as soon as possible. Not only will the woodworms destroy your new acquisition, but they can also enter other furniture and start an infestation there. For woodworms and similar insects there are both homemade and professional ways. One of the simplest and cheapest, although quite unpleasant, methods is rubbing the furniture with onions. The pungent, unpleasant odor will drive the pests out of the wood, but it is worth doing this outside or in an empty room so that the insects do not settle on another wooden surface. This method should be used for at least two weeks to be effective. 

Another patent is to rub furniture with naphthalene or turpentine. Again, this involves a rather unpleasant smell, but these substances kill woodworms and allow you to get rid of insects quickly and effectively. You can also acquire such a preparation in a syringe and inject it into the holes hollowed out by the pests, this way you will speed up the process of exterminating the woodworms.

There are also professional chemicals available in stores that kill wood pests faster and more effectively than home remedies. With such chemicals you will get rid of not only adult insects, but also individuals at any other stage of development. 

How to mask traces of the presence of woodworms?   

The first step after getting rid of a woodworm infestation should be to sand off a layer of old varnish and carefully inspect the condition of the furniture. Holes and tunnels carved by pests, if they are in a visible place, can be filled with a special preparation using a spatula. After the surface has been sanded, it needs to be re-sanded and the remaining cavities filled, and finally the whole thing needs to be leveled once again. Then you can move on to painting the furniture with stain and varnish, which will impregnate the wood and prevent another invasion of pests, as well as protect the wood from damage and make it resistant to moisture. 

In the case of damage in an inconspicuous area, you don’t need to putty, you just need to strategically position the furniture so that the woodworm marks are at the junction with the wall or another piece of furniture. In this way, you will mask the problem of a past insect infestation without additional work.  

Once wood pests have been eradicated, you can never be 100% sure that they will not recur. However, there are preparations available on the market to facilitate prevention against woodworms. Some impregnations contain special substances that repel or poison wood tasting insects and effectively prevent future invasions. Also, remember to inspect wooden furniture regularly so that if there are new signs of woodworm, you can react as soon as possible.  

main photo: unsplash.com/Ryan Riggins

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Angelina Schultz

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