How to get rid of bugs from wood

Written by lori lapierre
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How to get rid of bugs from wood
Many bugs feed on, or bore into, wood of any kind. (fire bugs image by Tomasz Plawski from Fotolia.com)

Many types of bugs can bore into wood and make it home, from termites and carpenter ants, to more unique varieties such as beetle bugs, powder post beetles or even bed bugs. While the easiest method of keeping them out of the home is to avoid bringing in infested wood, at times the insects are in the wood before it is made into furniture, and then bore themselves out. Here are a few methods to removing bugs from wood, whether it is firewood, furniture or a log home.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wrap a wood item--such as a coffee table or shoe bench--in heavy plastic and place it outside in the sun on a hot day. The temperature inside the plastic will rise significantly, forcing the bugs to come out and off of the wood, and killing them inside the plastic.

  2. 2

    Freeze the wood for some time, killing insects in and on the wood. This can be done by placing the wood in a chest freezer or commercial freezer, if you have access to one, and leaving the item in for at least 72 hours. If necessary, thaw the item and repeat the freezing to kill any persistent bugs in the wood that seem resistant to freezing.

  3. 3

    Fumigate the wood. Cover the wood in plastic and introduce a "bug bomb" or "fogger" that sprays insecticide. Containing it in the plastic will prevent the insecticide from spreading into the air; additionally, the insecticide will work only on the bugs in and on the wood that you need to kill.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle or spray insecticides for wood-eating or wood-boring insects on the wood. Tim-Bor or Precise Foam penetrate wood surfaces to get at any bugs hiding inside the wood. Termidor can be injected into the wood to kill bugs. All three require a licensed insect exterminator to handle the insecticide. This method is especially helpful for termites and carpenter ants taking up residence in a log home or wooden sections of older homes.

Tips and warnings

  • If the bugs are boring into the wood of your home, have an inspection done by a certified, knowledgeable exterminator. Knowing what type of bug you are fighting can help you in finding the best solution to the problem.
  • Some bugs are highly attracted to dry or wet rot on wood; allow air flow for any type of wood that is affected by bugs, such as firewood or even a wooden house. Do not overstack wood. Remove anything around the wood that would cut off air flow (such as bushes) and keep wood oil-stained or varnished to prohibit bugs from boring into it.

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