Furniture Treatment for Termites

Furniture Treatment for Termites

Can Furniture Be Treated for Termites?

Subterranean Termites & Furniture

Usually, if furniture is infested with subterranean termites, the termites gained access coincidentally through termite tubes from the structure. As most furniture is hardwood, the furniture is not the preferred food source for subterranean termites.

Drywood Termites & Furniture

Drywood termites, however, will readily infest furniture, so most infested furniture observed is likely being attacked by drywood termites. The tell tale sign of drywood infestation is drywood termite pellets or small ridged droppings of the color of the wood being attacked.

Drywood termite infestation can also occur in furniture which has been transported from regions which have drywood termites and this can lead to an infestation of the structure.

Surface Treatments

Most infested furniture can be treated by surface treatment provided the product will penetrate into the wood. This treatment will control both subterranean and drywood termites.

Heat Treatments

Another method is the use of heat. Using this system, the furniture is heated beyond the point where termites can survive. This works well provided that care is taken to make sure that glue joints will not fail. If glue joints fail, the furniture must be reglued. Also, certain types of furniture may have plastics which may distort on heating.


A third method of treatment is fumigation. Fumigation involves the use of penetrating gas lethal to termites. The furniture is typically removed and placed into a container or chamber which can be sealed. An EPA registered gas such as sulfuryl fluoride is introduced and the gas penetrates the furniture, controlling the termites. Special precautions must be taken to make sure that there is no access to the container during fumigation. Special licenses and training are required to fumigate and is not something that a homeowner can do. After the proper time has elapsed, the container is opened to allow air to enter. After it is determined that there is no more fumigant present, the furniture is removed. As the fumigant is a gas, there is no residual in the furniture. Reinfestation is possible.

When Drywood Termites Infest Your Furniture

By DoMyOwn staff

When Drywood Termites Infest Your Furniture

Hey, wait a second! That’s MY armchair! — Here’s what you can do to reclaim your recliner when Drywood Termites or other wood-destroying insects take over the sitting room.

How Did They Get There?

Since non subterranean wood destroyers like drywood and dampwood termites and powder post beetles are able to live above the ground without ever having contact with the soil, these unpleasant pests often hitch a ride on infested furniture or other wooden objects to geographic areas where they would not generally be found.

True to its name, the Drywood termite prefers to live in dry, non-decaying wood. Further, Drywood termites do not require an excessive moisture content to survive as do their subterranean cousins, making it more likely that drywoods (and not subterraneans)will be the type to infest your indoor furniture.

Signs of Infested Furniture

One tell-tale sign of Drywood Termite infestation are piles of tiny, light- to golden-brown colored fecal pellets either inside or under the infested furniture. These pellets fall directly from entrance holes to galleries in the surface of the infested piece of wood. You can recognize Drywood Termite feces by its elongated shape rounded on either side, and its six flattened surfaces all around.

See the middle of our main termites page for more signs of termites.

How To Treat the Infested Furniture

You will have great success using a wood insecticide and preservative such as Boracare or Timbor. If the furniture is painted, sealed, or varnished, it will need to be stripped bare before using these products. The chemical that you choose should be sprayed directly to the infested surface and allowed to penetrate the wood. (Always read the product label for specific instrution before application). The treatment should kill all active termites or beetles and last the life of the wood.


A wood preservative for the protection and treatment of lumber against fungal decay and wood destroying insects.

Provides prevention and control of Termites, Carpenter Ants, Powderpost Beetles and Wood Decay Fungi.

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Termites in Wood Furniture – Signs, Prevention & Removal Tips & Gu style=’display:none;’> 0 Comments

Termites are destroying insects which make a disaster when they infest a house especially when they find a way to the wood furniture. Most of termites get fed by wood, for that, they infest wood furniture and start forming colonies inside it.

Types of wood destroying termites:

As you know the common types of termites in North America are:

Formosan termite, eastern subterranean termite, Drywood termite and Dampwood termite.

  • Formosan Termite are always found in soil, rarely venturing above ground. They find better conditions in the soil where there is high moisture and cool air.
  • Eastern Subterranean Termites are wood destroying and have a dangerous destructive behavior, but they rarely infest furniture. This particular type of termites prefer infesting the structural wood because Eastern Subterranean Termites tend to form huge colonies, consuming a lot of wood.
  • Dampwood Termites LOVE wood furniture and if they find their way into your home they’ll undoubtedly be drawn to your wooden home furniture.
  • Drywood Termites likes infesting dry wood (hence the name.) This means Drywood Termites exist where outside temperatures are is quite high and that Drywood Termites have no special need for moisture, unlike other kinds of termites.

While most of wood furniture is dry and it exists in ambient temperature then it becomes a perfect home for Drywood termites to build their nest.

  • Dampwood termite: Dampwood termites are less likely to be harmful for wood furniture than Drywood termites. These termites, want a wet location where there are high levels of moisture and humid air, dry wood furniture is not appropriate for them.

But Dampwood termites have a special attraction to wood, especially the new kind of wood in furniture when the furniture is cold and they say “it’s better for the wood’s persistence”. Yes it’s great for wood persistence unless it doesn’t get attacked and destroyed by Dampwood termites.

Signs of termite activity in wood furniture:

The termites’ existence in wood furniture is a dangerous phenomenon that can bring many disappointing results to the homeowner, that’s why such destructive behavior has to be detected. Here are some signs that may help you detect termites in wood furniture.

  • Wet spot: W hen forming a colony, the nest of termites looks like a wet big spot from outs >Dirt or mud tubes: To move safely from the native colony to a food source or secondary colonies, termites build a mud tube with moist soil pellets. This mud tube is provides a safe trip to the termites and it is necessary for any colony. So, if you find a mud tube on your wood furniture, try to cut it to check if there are termites, or follow it to find the location of the colony.

Dirt or mud tubes are major facts of termites’ existence.

  • Cracked wood: Any cracks in the wood could be due to the old age of furniture or possible hot temperature problems. But it is also important to check if some cracks in your wood furniture may be a signs of termite infestation.
  • Small holes: Small holes in the wood are the ends of galleries ins >Fecal pellets: Termites’ feces is very recognizable, so if you discover some fecal pellets near to your wood furniture, you should contact an expert to make sure if it is a sign of termites’ existence or not.

The termite infestation in wood furniture makes a horrible damage that may lead to total disposal of the furniture. I mean, a colony of million individual of Drywood termites can consume 10 ounces (around 280g) of wood a day. In that case, if you have a dry wood desk which weights 100kg, it will be all eaten in just 1 year. Therefore you should start thinking of working ways to get rid of wood destroying termites.

How to remove termites from wood furniture:

The control of termites in the soil could be done by several ways that we cited before, such as baiting. But when the termites infest wood, especially wood furniture inside the house, the situation gets critical and needs a professional intervention to control the termites and, totally remove them. You may start thinking of many ways, but here are a few to help you:

  • Moisture decrease: Decreasing the moisture may prov >Orange oil: Orange oil is extracted of orange peels. It is a great natural remedy which is able to kill termites by simply injecting the oil through the holes in the wood furniture and, typically, in few hours, termites will be all dead. One thing to keep in mind with this method, its that orange oil is flammable. Some people prefer the risk of flammability to the risks of using synthetic chemicals.
  • Electronic termite control: You can use electric current (90,000+ voltage push) to exterminate termites. This current with high voltage and high frequency will get through wood and kill the termites immediately. It is a useful way but you need to be safe and don’t dispose yourself to any electric danger.
  • Liquid nitrogen: Everybody knows that nitrogen get liquid at -328°F (around -200°C) and this very cold liquid will kill the termites as they can’t resist to a temperature under -20°F. Simply, buy liquid nitrogen and inject it through holes and cracks in the wood furniture.

How To Get Rid Of Termites in Furniture

Photo by born1945 Termites don’t just infest the gardens, walls and floors of your home, they will also eat the any wooden furniture that you own. Valuables such as antiques are especially at risk to termite problems and are likely to be damaged if they are not protected. Termites will eat wooden chairs, tables, wardrobes, chests, bookcases, shelves – you name it! If it’s wooden and you’re got an infestation then you need to protect these items. Fortunately it’s relatively easy to protect furniture from termites.

The process for protecting furniture from termites is as follows:

  • First you need to take any of the infested furniture and place it outside the house when the weather is good. Ideally this should be in a place with fresh air as you will need lots of ventilation, an alternative place to use could be the garage but be prepared for a mess. Lay down lots of newspaper underneath the piece of furniture.
  • Next take use a spray can of termiticide (such as the Terror spray shown below) and apply it generously to all of the item. Quickly leave the location once you have done this so that you don’t inhale any of the toxic fumes.

  • Return an hour or so later and you should notice several dead termites on the newspaper, but this may not always be the case as some of the termites may be still inside the furniture.
  • Now it’s time for the inspection. Look at all of the furniture and try to see any holes or cracks where the termites are likely to have gained entry into the item. Remember to look on the bottom of the feet of the furniture as termites often gain entry through these points.
  • More steps to protecting your furniture from termites

    • Put on some rubber gloves and take out a syringe full of liquid termiticide (such as the Termidor termiticide listed below). Inject the liquid termiticide into any of the holes or cracks that has been discovered on the furniture.
  • Return after a day or so once the termiticide has dried so you can perform the last optional step. This step is optional because it may damage the look of your furniture if you’re not careful, so only do this if you feel comfortable about using the technique. Take some wood sealant and apply this to any of the cracks or holes that you discovered, helping to prevent termites from entering this piece of furniture again.
  • Once the sealant has fully dried replace the piece of furniture to it’s original position in the home.
  • That’s it! You’ll have now eliminated and protected all of the termites that were eating their way through your possessions.

    Just as a side note you may also want to consider using the freezer method on smaller items of termite infested furniture. First make sure the wood is strong and of the type that can be frozen. This is so it will not split or crack when the temperature is lowered. Next bag the item in an air tight plastic bag. Place the item inside a freezer for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, take the item out of the plastic bag and any of the termites that were inside the furniture will now have frozen to death. The air tight plastic bag is used to stop any mould growing on the furniture when it is thawing.

    Pests Removal

    10 Best Ways to Get R > In Pest Removal Guides by John Barron September 4, 2018

    Termites love wood. Not morning wood, just the regular type. If you’re reading this, there’s a high chance that you’re aware of this and you’re looking for a way to kick them out from your wooden furniture for good.

    This is definitely an achievable goal. Here is a 6-step procedure you can follow to end their dreams of building a termite empire once and for all:

    1. Identify the type of termite infestation

    There are three types of termites. The type you’re dealing with will ultimately determine the scope of action you need to take in order to exterminate them completely.

    • SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES – These pests can be found in soil and in wood. They are double the danger because they can not only eat through your furniture but also through your house foundations. Why do they stack up under houses? Mainly because they prefer moist areas, where they tend to build colonies and spread like wildfire. They leave mud tube formations on walls of the house, and that’s the easiest way to identify them.
    • DRYWOOD TERMITES – If you only have drywood termites you’re in a bit of luck (ironically). They will ONLY eat through your furniture.
    • DAMPWOOD TERMITES – These termites are only interested in super-moist environments. If you have major plumbing leaks and your furniture is really moist as a result you might be dealing with dampwood termites. Otherwise it’s probably the other two categories you should be worrying about.

    Check out how each of these termites look in this article .

    2. Recognize signs of a termite infestation

    The most common signs of a termite infestation in a house are:

    • HOLES IN THE WOODWORK – They’ve started eating through woodwork, leaving holes in it and ruining its structure. Tap or push the furniture with something from a safe distance and see if it falls or not. If it falls, you have a termite problem.
    • DISCARDED PARTS – Discarded wings and wood-colored droppings will be found near the spots where the furniture is cracked.
    • MUD TUBES IN WALLS – Small mud tubes are a definite sign of the subterranean termites

    3. Expose infested furniture to sunlight

    There’s a good reason why termites make moist and/or dark areas their home. They HATE sunlight and they hate heat! Exposing your furniture to sunlight for a few days (2-3 days at least) gets rid of them completely in many cases. Plus, the heat will remove the moisture from the furniture, making it a less appealing home for termites.

    4. Use cardboard to lure termites out of furniture

    Cardboard has a woody smell that termites love with a burning passion. And passions can be deadly. You can make enhance the smell of cardboard by pouring some water on it and moistening it. Then place it close to the infested furniture. The termites will come out and unto the cardboard. Then you can burn them or dispose of them in any way you prefer.

    5. Spray the furniture with boric acid

    Boric acid is completely non-toxic, non-staining and safe for spraying furniture. But it’s deadly for small pests like ants and termites. It’s been used for decades to get rid of termites in wooden furniture.

    There are commercial sprays like Terro Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer available that work great. I like this aerosol spray because it’s easy to spray the solution into small crevices and holes where the termites are hiding.

    Alternatively, you can make your own spray by mixing borax powder and water. Spray the furniture a couple of times and you’ll definitely see results.

    6. Give the termites an oil bath

    Some oils are harmful to termites . Vetiver, orange oil (image on the right) and neem oil are the most effective essential oils. Vetiver and orange oil kills termites on contact. Neem oil is a slower killer. It starts to work when the termite ingests it. in fr

    Some other oils that can help are: cinnamon, lemon, tea tree, cat mint, bigarade and vetiver oil.

    Just like boric acid, you can make a spray from one or a combination of these oils and spray the infested furniture. Or you can pour it into the holes. It would be preferable to use both methods repeatedly until all termites are gone.

    I also recommend using a carrier oil (I typically use olive or coconut) to dilute it when using essential oils or it can sting if you touch the surface before it dries out.

    7. Seek professional assistance

    In case of more serious termite problems it’s best to call a pest control service. They can use many options to remove termites: sprays, cold/heat treatments and even electrocution.

    How to prevent termite infestations in furniture

    If you don’t have a termite infestation already, you can prevent one with these simple tips. And if you have termites crawling around already, once you get rid of them also use these tips to your advantage.

    1. Get rid of excessive moisture

    The number one reason for termite infestations is increased moisture. Coupled with darkness it can lead to a spread of termites especially in rooms that you don’t frequent very often.

    Make sure to fix any leaky pipes and condensation or dampness seeping through the walls. Leaks from the air conditioner unit and offshoot air should also be funneled away from the house. For those living in humid climates, a dehumidifier can also be a major asset in preventing termites.

    2. Protect the furniture with wood treatments

    As a kid I used to bite my fingernails all the time. Finally, my mom was fed up with it and bought some awful tasting nail polish. Suddenly my nails were no longer tasty and I stopped biting on them.

    Wood treatments can prevent or eliminate termite infestations for that same reason. Aside from termites, they also work against carpenter ants, fungi and various beetles that like to chew on wood.

    Bora-care is arguably the best protective mixture for wood. It protects against all types of termites. All you have to do is either spray, roll or brush it on the wooden surface.

    How does it work? It makes the pH very alkaline. That was the bugs don’t want to eat it. This can make them leave altogether and go somewhere else. But since they’re in your house already it’s advised to first kill them with some other method and then apply Bora-care.

    Having said that, this isВ a life-time solution. Once you’ve placed a layer of Bora-care on the wood, it penetrates into its deepest corners and stays there permanently. Plus, it’s perfectly safe for humans and pets, so you don’t have to leave your home will applying the treatment.

    3. Clean up your home and garden

    I don’t want to assume that your place is messy so don’t feel offended by me saying this. The point is that a messy place feels safer to pests and they’re more likely to make it their home.

    That is the case not only with termites but scorpions, ants, worms etc. By keeping the garden and rooms in your home clean you can minimize the risk of termite infestations.

    Final Thoughts

    If you’re reading this article, you can probably still save your furniture by eradicating the termites. Even if that’s no longer possible, you still don’t want them to jump unto some other piece of furniture.

    So the correct answer in either case is to kill termites once and for all. I suggest using boric acid spray if you’re new to do this, because it will definitely produce reassuring results. Furthermore, if you can expose your furniture to direct sunlight for a few days it could also help clean things up naturally. The cardboard method is also incredibly easy and you might have some luck with that too.

    Either way, try a few of these methods and see what works the best in your situation. But act fast, or that fancy antique table will lament your indecision.

    Hi, I’m John

    Welcome to my blog. I worked for a pest control service in Arizona for 5 years. I’ve also had my fair share of pest issues in the past. Now, I’m happy to share tips on this blog and help others. Hope you find it helpful.

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