Furnitures are not just a part of our homes but a part of our lives too. Not only do we take the pride in the furniture we own, many of them stay with us for a lifetime too. That is where we read our morning newspapers, year on year, host our guests in good times or bad, and see our kids grow playing around. And like these furniture deserve, they need to be looked after as well. Especially wooden furniture as they are the most vulnerable to the forces of nature. Apart from suffering cracks, these can get infested by woodworms.
- What Are Woodworms and What Do They Look Like?
- Where Are Woodworms Mostly Found?
- How to Detect An Active Woodworm?
- How to Prevent Woodworms?
- What to do in the Event of Woodworm Infestation?
- How to Treat Woodworms Naturally?
- DIY Recipe for Polishing Furniture
- Precautionary Tips for Using Homemade Furniture Polishing Recipe
What Are Woodworms and What Do They Look Like?
Woodworm is a generic name used to refer to wood-eating larvae of many species of beetles. One of the most common woodworms is the Common Furniture beetle.
Adult female beetles lay eggs on wooden surfaces that fall in small pores and crevices and hatch as wood-eating larvae. These larvae are white in colour and have curved bodies that feed on wood from inside, slowly making their way out as they grow into adult beetles. Once outside, adult female beetles lay the eggs and the cycle continues.
Where Are Woodworms Mostly Found?
Since the primary diet of woodworms is wood they are found in all kinds of wooden furniture and wooden surfaces. These include –
- Wooden tools and instruments
- Wooden joists or beams
- Structural timbers and joinery
- Musical instruments made from wood
- Roof timbers
- Painted wooden surfaces or ceilings
- Decorative woodwork
- All manner of wooden furniture
How to Detect An Active Woodworm?
It is difficult to detect woodworm infestation as the damage done by these creatures are inside the wood and the signs of damage done by them do not appear until for many years.
The best way to tell if there is a woodworm infestation is to look for small round hole of 1mm to 2mm. If there is residual of fine and powdery dust around these holes, it is a tell-tale sign of woodworm infestation.
How to Prevent Woodworms?
To prevent woodworm infestation you can take the following steps –
- Buy good furniture made from high-quality hardwood.
- Keep your wood dry. Woodworms are attracted to damp wood.
- Remove infested wood from your home as the wood worms can spread to other uninfested wood present in your house.
- Sealing your wood with varnish helps keep woodworms at bay.
- Always checks for signs of infestation before buying any second-hand or antique wooden goods.
- Keep your house properly ventilated.
- Replace or treat timber which has woodworm infestation.
- Use fly traps to catch adult wood boring beetles so that they don’t get a chance to breed on any furniture or wooden goods.
What to do in the Event of Woodworm Infestation?
Woodworms can be an annoyance and can destroy precious furniture and other wooden goods. A step by step procedure to get rid of woodworm infestation
- Check for wood damage. Look for holes, fine sawdust around damaged wood to check if woodworms are present and have infested your furniture.
- Ascertain if the furniture can be saved. Since woodworms are so small in size, most of the time they eat only the upper layers of the wood, while the core of the furniture remains undamaged. This saves the structural integrity of the furniture. If however the wood structure seems fragile due to the wood damage it’s best to discard it.
- Buy a woodworm treatment solution. Follow the directions on the woodworm treatment solution bottle/tube. They’re usually concentrated and have to be diluted in water before use.
- Use the woodworm treatment spray and spray the solution over the damaged area to kill any woodworms living inside.
How to Treat Woodworms Naturally?
Instead of buying commercially available woodworm treatment solution you can also make your own at home. Just follow these simple steps –
- Keep your apartment well ventilated and healthily dry. Dampness attracts woodworms.
- Melt beeswax and use it to fill the holes in the wood caused by the woodworms. You can tint it into the color of the wood before doing so to make the damage less noticeable. This can repel woodworms but is not a long-term solution.
- You can also conceal the damage caused by the woodworms using wood putty.
- Mix sawdust with some wood glue till it reaches the consistency of a paste. Smear this paste onto the holes in the wood and wipe away immediately with a damp cloth. Leave the wood to dry.
- It’s a good idea to treat the rest of your wood with this solution even if the woodworm is no longer present. Pre-treating your wooden furniture will prevent infestations in the near future.
DIY Recipe for Polishing Furniture
Using a natural wood polish for your furniture has many benefits. It’s an easy recipe which requires the following ingredients –
- ¼ cup of white vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3-4 drops of lemon essential oil
- Mix all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
- Either spray onto a cloth and use it on the furniture or spray it directly on the furniture and clean with a cloth to give a shine to your furniture.
- Store the natural wood polish in a dark and cool storage space. Replace the spray solution every month.
The aforementioned natural wood polish works wonders on your wooden furniture. It will help clean, moisturize and protect your furniture.
Some of the benefits of using this recipe include –
- It’s cheap compared to commercially available wood polishes. The ingredients used are readily available and cheap.
- It’s an natural wood polish which means that it’s free of harmful chemicals.
- Commercially available wood polishes contain fragrances which can trigger allergies. This natural wood polish contains a natural lemon scent which won’t trigger any allergies.
- It’s an environmentally friendly product. Store bought wood polishes can contain corrosive chemicals which can harm the environment.
Precautionary Tips for Using Homemade Furniture Polishing Recipe
Using the above mentioned homemade furniture polish is a great way to protect your furniture from wear and clean it to give it an amazing shine and fragrance. However, there are few precautions one must adhere to when using homemade furniture polishing recipe
- Never reuse chemical containing spray bottles. The residue of the remaining chemicals can react with the vinegar and oil in negative ways so it’s best to use a new spray bottle or one which previously did not contain any commercial chemical product.
- Properly label your spray bottle in which you’re going to store the wood polish. Mention the date at which you made the polish since it has a shelf life of a month.
- Shake well every time before you use the polish.
- Using cheap olive oil does not compromise the quality of the wood polish. So even old olive oil which you’re about to throw away can be utilized to make the wood polish.
- Even though the polish is considered safe to use around children it’s still a good idea to store it safely out of the reach of children and pets.