Different Ways of Treatment: How to Get Rid of Drywood Termites in Furniture?

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The worst of enemies to furniture are small, similar in appearance to ants insects – termites.

Termites live mostly in countries with tropical and subtropical climates and feed on cellulose, which is the highest content in the wood. As well as dry wood, wooden furniture is the delicacy for these insects.

Termites, like ants are social insects. In natural conditions many species build huge castles, termite mounds and nests these in which millions of tiny inhabitants live.

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Termites are first to penetrate into the room from the land in which they dig tunnels, and then make their way to the furniture. The fact is that most termites are afraid of sunlight and their soft bodies are weak enough to live in dry areas.

This feature of termites makes their destructive work invisible and secretive for sight – but in reality often the furniture is just like the rotting stump. It looks intact, but any moment it may suddenly collapse.

Signs of dry-wood termites in your furniture? How to observe furniture?

Despite the fact that termites are quite difficult to be found, yet there are certain signs that can help you.

Since termites eat wood, it’s recommended to inspect all the wooden furniture that is in the house carefully.

These serious symptoms should be the warning for you.

  • The first and most obvious sign of termites is flying individuals, swarms. The only case where they can be detected is the moment when the termite flies out from one place to another to start a new colony.
  • Another sign of a termite – pellets/droppings/frass. Because the wood termites live in dry wood, during their life they will leave droppings. While checking do not forget to pay attention to the traces of droppings made by termites — small granules or even sand or wood chips in the color similar with the wood or slightly darker. The presence of droppings and frass speaks about their invasion. But do not worry with this, as it does not give a 100% guarantee that they are still living in furniture at the moment. Perhaps they have already moved to another place.
  • The appearance of small blisters on the furniture, as well as holes, tunnels.
  • A dull sound when knocking. Knocking on the wooden elements of furniture, you check the presence of voids, and pushing them with the screwdriver, you check them for strength. If the tree easily ruins and falls apart, you probably faced with the problem of dry-wood termites.

How to get rid of drywood termites in furniture?

Nowadays, there are many ways that will help to get rid of termites in furniture. Though they are not always effective, but before you call the professionals, try to get rid of them yourself.

There non-chemical methods (freezing and heating furniture, microwaving) and chemical’s.

First, you need to discover where the nest of termites is, and only then it is necessary to apply serious methods. To do this, you can make bait.

Arrange a cardboard trap. Take a couple of cardboard sheets, moisten them with water and fold one upon the other in the area of a possible habitat of termites.

Since the food of termites is cellulose (cardboard), for them it will be perfect bait. When termites flood the cardboard sheets, take them to a safe place and burn them.

Note: This trap will not completely solve the problem of termites. This option is good, for destroying a couple of hundreds termites. To inflict more serious damage, combine this technique with other ways.

How to kill drywood termites in furniture?

The first way of getting rid of termites in furniture is heating.

Place the affected wooden objects into the sunlight.

If termites are not in construction of the house but for example, in furniture or other object that can be taken from the house — place it in sunlight.

Dark is paradise for termites, and the sun’s heat and light will kill them.

Move your furniture into the open air on a sunny day, preferably for 2-3 days. This technique works best in conjunction with the cardboard trap to lure and destroy the termites.

The second method is freezing. If you live in a rainy region and putting furniture in the sun did not work, consider an alternative version of the destruction of termites – freeze your furniture.

Place your furniture (you may have to disassemble it) in a large freezer for 2-3 days. Although this method is difficult to apply the large pieces of furniture, it guarantees the death of the termites.

Swipe the microwave treatment. As heat kills termites, you can warm your house up to high temperatures, destroying insects.

However, such processing should be performed by a professional because the equipment for it is not widely available. Call a few companies dealing with pest control, and specify whether to apply this option in your home.

Another method is the use of special chemicals, for example boric acid. In fact, it is a basis component of many insecticides sold in stores. Boric acid kills the nervous system of the termites, dehydrating them.

The best way to kill termites with boric acid is bait. Apply boric acid or its solution onto the wooden elements (or another cellulose containing material). Place a bait with boric acid in the garden near the house or near the hearth, the destruction by termites.

After a few hours check and again add some boric acid. Nearby should be the corpses of termites. If it’s so, it means the lure is working.

You can use a repellent. Add 0.1% of permethrin (about 1 tablespoon per 10 liters) in the paint or varnish in the construction or painting of the furniture at home. As permethrin is safe for humans, there is no risk of toxicity there.

Foto 4You can purchase and use other chemicals to deter termites. Such chemicals are sold in all hardware stores.

You can use bait for termites, a liquid means for the destruction of termites.

Be careful with these chemicals. They can be toxic to humans.

It is therefore necessary to use methods of protection such as gloves, special clothing and possibly even a respirator.

It is better to read the instructions carefully. It is also very important to separate the infected furniture from the other one after treatment for termites no to move on it.

Effect from the treatment of furniture from drywood termites

All the methods described above are effective, but mostly the effectiveness depends on the degree of infestation. Such non-chemical methods as heating and cooling, however, can ruin your furniture.

Boric acid is one of the most frequently used and effective means for the control of termites. It begins to act in a few hours. As for the other chemicals, the effects could be different: from several hours to several days.

Prevention of furniture from termites

As mentioned above, it is best to handle boric acid or permethrin. You can also spray and polish your furniture with termite poisons (“Imidacloprid”, “Chlorfenapyr”, “chlorpyrifos”, “Fipronil, etc) at once.

Warning: it is better to do outdoors.

Well, the best of all options will be to buy furniture from special kinds of wood, which are not eaten by termites like cedar, redwood, etc., it will be a good idea to keep termite infestation at bay.

Here you can learn more information about effective treatment method called tenting (fumigation): dangers for termites, preparing for fumigation and cleaning after, how long does this procedure last?

Useful articles

If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:

Helpful video

This video shows how to get rid of Termite using Borax by yourself:


Foto 5Drywood termites may seem innocuous at first glance, but actually they pose a threat to buildings and furniture.

They can live in any wooden piece of furniture: chair, cupboard, table, etc.

That’s why you should remember that if the termites appear in any subject in your house, it means that they can spread to other areas.

To avoid unplanned expenses on getting rid of termites, it is better to do the polishing of all the furniture at once and to prevent their occurrence. But if they already appeared in your house, start to get rid of them as soon as possible to stop further damage.

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