How To Eliminate Woodworms From Furniture

Everything you need to know about woodworms and other insects that are harmful to furniture and wood, as well as the methods that can be used to eliminate them permanently.

The definitions moths and woodworms are used generically to refer to wood parasites, as if they all belonged to a single species. In reality, there are different varieties of insects that belong to different orders and are xylophagous, that is, they feed on fibers of living or dead wood, and not all of them behave in the same way or react in the same way to pest control treatments. Before proceeding with the description of the methods to eliminate woodworms , therefore, it is better to deepen the knowledge of the most common species in our country.

What are the woodworms of the furniture like?

The premise from which we must start is that there is a notable variety of xylophagous insects and that these are more or less equally divided throughout the globe; this means that in our country there are only a few species, and it is on these that we will focus in particular.

The most common woodworms in Europe, and therefore also in Italy, are above all those belonging to the Anobid beetle family, in particular the Anobium Punctatum and Xestobium Rufovillosum, respectively known with the common definitions of Woodworm of furniture and Clock of Death.

The former feed on the pulp of the wood and reach a maximum length that does not exceed 5 millimeters; they prefer the soft wood of the interiors to the hard one exposed to the elements, and they especially love that of the furniture, from which they take their definition. The females of this species deposit their eggs in very small holes that the males dig superficially in the wood, the larvae then feed by digging tunnels and leaving holes only when they come out; the furniture that is attacked by this species, therefore, begins to show holes only when the infestation is already extensive.

The Death Clock, on the other hand, owes its mournful name to the rhythmic sound it emits by beating the head against the galleries; the males of the species usually produce a light thud with a regular cadence, in fact, which they use as a sexual call for the females. This woodworm especially prefers woods with hard essences, such as oak, ash, chestnut and beech; moreover, like the Woodworm of the furniture, even the Death Clock does not produce flickering holes.

The Hylotrupes Bajulus is a widespread species all over the world, but this belongs to the order of the cerambicid beetles; these woodworms are very large, in fact the adults can reach 25 millimeters in length, lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices of the wood and tend to dig very deep tunnels.

Another known threat to wood are termites, however these insects belong to the order of isoptera and consequently are more similar to ants. Two varieties in particular are very common in our country, Kalotermes Flavicollis and Reticulitermes Lucifugus; both prefer the wood used to create the support structures, so they attack above all the beams, roofs, boards, shelves and furniture in contact with the walls and susceptible to humidity.

Last, but not least compared to the previous ones, is the Lyctus Brunneus, or common Lictide, defined by many as the “Wood Professional”; this woodworm, in fact, is extremely methodical and begins to attack the wood starting from the floors and then slowly ascending along the walls and furniture reaching the roof. Furthermore, along its path, it does not disdain anything and dines with any type of wood, regardless of hardness and moisture content.

How to eliminate woodworms

As you will have easily guessed by reading the characteristics of our local woodworms, it is very difficult to discover them except when the infestation is now extensive, because the holes they dig are only for exit and not entry. The only alternative way to identify them before the holes appear, therefore, is to hear the noise they emit when they chew the wood by digging tunnels inside it.

Whatever the event that leads to the discovery of the infestation, therefore, the problem must be addressed immediately. In this case, the first questions that arise spontaneously, and to which we are going to answer, are the following:

♦ How to eliminate woodworms from wooden furniture?

♦ How to close the woodworms?

♦ How to close woodworm holes?

The natural natural remedies against the worms are the first thing that you plan to use, especially taking into account that these are still widely used by carpenters specialized in the restoration of antique furniture.

The so-called “natural remedies”, however, although effective, often involve the use of alcohol, kerosene, diesel or even petrol, so they are potentially risky; Furthermore, dealing with wood borers with grandmother’s remedies may not be the best choice, especially if the infestation has come to touch the wood of the window frames or the load-bearing structures, such as the support beams and the ribs of the roof.

The best solution is to use specific products; the options are different, permethrin-based insecticides or carbon dioxide can be used; to perform the treatments, the furniture must be wrapped in PVC in order to seal it and then connect a pump to extract the air completely, saturate it with the anti-woodworm substance and let it act for at least one or two weeks depending on the case, then can remove the PVC and leave the furniture exposed to the open air for at least 48 hours.

If the infestation has hit the frames or structural wood, instead, a compressor will have to be used to pump the specific anti-woodworm product directly into the tunnels, until they are completely saturated. In the latter case it is preferable to contact a professional, in order to guarantee the success of the intervention.

The closing of the holes

Once the infestation has been completely eradicated, it is possible to use putty or epoxy resin to close the holes in the tunnels , the latter is more expensive but offers a much better yield and is more durable. Once all the holes have been filled, after having properly sanded them, you can then apply a coat of paint in order to uniform the surface color.

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