Termites are one of the most dangerous pests that can eat into your expensive wooden furniture without being noticed and convert it into dust, which may also be a cause of allergies and asthma attacks. Usually, by the time one realises that there has been a termite infestation, the damage has already been done. These insects usually make their entry into your home through wall panelling, ceilings or external walls and settle around the damp and neglected areas of the building. Hence, it is necessary to take adequate precautions, especially during the monsoon season (that is when termites are most active), to protect the wooden items of your home from termites. Here is a comprehensive guide that will help you make your wooden furniture termite-resistant.
1. Use only high-quality BWR grade plywood
Pro Tip: For added protection of the wooden surface, use 0.7-millimetre-thick laminate as liners for the insides of wardrobes, cabinets and drawers – each added layer will increase the termite-resistance of the furniture.
2. Apply anti-termite chemicals
Pro Tip: Opt for herbal anti-termite chemicals that are odourless, ecologically friendly and non-toxic.
3. Protect from moisture:
Tip: The routine cleaning of your wooden furniture should include a gentle wipe with a dry microfibre cloth or the use of non-toxic cleaners for deep cleaning. Avoid wiping with a wet cloth, as it may cause dampness. Do make it a point to clean all the hard-to-reach areas of the rooms and ceilings regularly.
4. Prevent contact of furniture with soil
5. Pest control
Usually, most pesticides used during the pest control exercises are toxic. Consider opting for a service that uses non-harmful chemicals. It is also imperative to take all the standard precautions while getting a pest control operation done in your home.
Tip: Termites often go undetected; in case you see traces of powdered wood around wooden furniture, or hear a hollow wood sound when you tap the furniture, or see mud tubes on the walls, go for pest control immediately.
6. Termite-resistant polish
7. Home remedies
- Sunlight works as a natural disinfectant. If possible, consider exposing termite-infested furniture to strong sunlight continuously for two or three days.
- Create a cardboard trap by placing a couple of wet strips of cardboard (stacked one on top of the other) in the affected area. Termites will get attracted to the cardboard within a few hours, as they feed on cellulose, which is present in cardboard as well as wood. Once the termites come into this cardboard trap immediately discard or burn the cardboard. Then repeat the process. Note that this is not a permanent solution but may reduce the number of termites.
- Boric acid is a common treatment used to control or kill termites. One can spray a borax solution on the affected area or use it as a coating on the wooden furniture. Make a solution using 1 teaspoon of borax in 250 millilitres of hot water and mix it thoroughly, put the solution into a spray bottle, and spray it wherever necessary.
- Natural aloe-vera juice can be extracted by crushing the whole leaf of the plant and soaking the mass in water. This is rubbed over the wooden furniture. It creates a layer that termites cannot cross.
- One can apply a mixture of one part white vinegar and four parts olive oil on wood. This mixture acts as a barrier that is believed to repel termites.