How to Treat Woodworm in Antique Furniture?

treat woodworm in antique furniture

Woodworm is a problem that can seriously impact homes and furniture.

Without proper care, the problem of woodworm will only get worse.

Fortunately, there a few things that you can do to solve the issue, especially with antique furniture and small infected areas.

By knowing the proper techniques as well as what woodworm are and how to identify them, you can be perfectly prepared to deal with the issue and get your home back to the best condition possible.

What are Woodworms?

Woodworm are beetles that borrow into and eat wood. They are small and are formed from the larvae.

There are many different kinds of woodworm, and some like attacking in and living in different areas and kinds of wood.

Most of them also enjoy damp or extremely dry areas, which is one of the things that can attract them.

Signs of Woodworm

Woodworms are small and can easily grow which, coupled with their tendency to cause damage, can be a terrible combination for your furniture.

Woodworm burrow into wood, and a sign of their presence, beside dead beetles and larvae, are little holes that extend into wooden surfaces, whether it be furniture or accents or beams and supports.

At times you may also notice some dust around the holes, which can be a sign of the first infestation.

This is actually not the dust as you may have felt, but it’s the droppings of the larvae that may look like fine sawdust.

With these things in mind, it is clear that woodworms are not good to have in the home, especially if you have antique furniture lying in your living room.

Also keep in mind that the prolonged access to wood can cause even more damage than typical. So its important that if any of these signs are seen, the proper next steps should be taken.

Before we get into the tips for getting rid of them, let us check why are woodworms attracted to your furniture in the first place.  

Why Are They in Your Furniture?

As I mentioned before, woodworm is attracted to overly damp or dry areas.

In rooms without proper ventilation, the beetles will be drawn to furniture to burrow.

Especially in rooms that are conducive to woodworm, older furniture can be easily targeted.

With that said, antiques that are older (with wood that is more brittle) is easier for these woodworms to dig into.

In addition, pieces of furniture that use thinner bits of wood are more likely to get infected by woodworms.

And, though it is not often talked about, if one item of furniture is close to another that had been infected with woodworm, it is likely to also be attacked.

When all of these things are combined, woodworm is likely, so it is best to regularly check to make sure such things are not happening.

How to Treat Woodworm in Antique Furniture?

When it is clear that there are woodworms in the home, there are a few things that you can do.

However, when attempting to get rid of woodworm, you should do your best to ensure that the wood does not get damaged.

Tips for Fixing the Small Infected Area

When only the small number of beetles are confined to a small area, such as furniture and sections of woodwork you can easily remove and refinish the area.

Applying the needed materials to pure wood is the best way to make sure woodworms are affected and removed.

That means that all wood infected by woodworm must be stripped of stain, epoxy, and any other things that may be coating the wood.

Once that is completed, insecticide and wood safe chemicals can be applied carefully to the areas of the wood that are being harmed by the woodworms.

Once that has been completed, there is also the option to apply a wood putty to the infected area.

This can help make wood look like it has not been damaged.

Then top coats (like primer, paint, stain and varnishes) for the wood can be reapplied and secured, though this should first be done after the insecticide has been allowed to work.

This allows for the best possible final result for wooden surfaces that have been hosting woodworm.

These steps are relatively simple to perform, which means you can easily fix the minor damages in your furniture and contained areas from woodworms if the infected area is small.

Tips for Fixing the Large Infested Wood Surfaces

Beyond the simple situations, homeowners are not as good at getting rid of woodworm as trained professionals are, for they have the needed equipment and proper training for the job.

For example, in situations where woodworm have infected wood so much that it is at risk of falling apart, homeowners should leave the work to other people.

With that said, if beams or supports become brittle or are so infested that they become likely to be so, you are not capable of taking care of the issue alone.

Instead, professional companies should be hired to take care of the problem.

They may suggest replacing parts of the home or furniture that are too damaged to be repaired.

They are also very capable of handling a wide variety of scenarios.

Getting rid of old vintage furniture and replacing them with newer items is a last resort.

How to Prevent Woodworm in Wooden Furniture?

While on the subject of woodworm, however, everyone should also know how to prevent them.

First of all, proper air flow is part of successfully keeping woodworms away from your furniture and other wood items at home.

Plus, you should also make sure that the spaces are not too dry and, subsequently, not too wet which is one of the greatest ways to stop woodworm from entering your home.

In addition to correctly ventilating spaces, you should also treat the areas of the home as soon as the woodworm is spotted.

This means that if an old chair becomes infected with woodworm, every wooden object around it should be treated with insecticides and other materials.

There can be many objects in your home that are susceptible to woodworm, and this technique should be applied if any become infested.

Also, regular checking and examining should be completed to ensure that there are no new woodworm and that all items of furniture and all accessories are free of the beetles.

By doing these things, you can reduce risk for woodworm exponentially and lessen their anxiety for future infestations.

The Conclusion

Woodworm is an issue that can affect many homes if not properly guarded against.

They are usually caused by beetles that burrow into wood, attracted by dry or damp conditions in homes.

Keep in mind that without the correct care, more than just the old furniture in your home can be damaged by woodworm.

Hopefully, by following the above tips to prevent and fix the problems presented by woodworm, your antiques can be safeguarded for the future.

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