Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We received dozens of emails in response to our story about our friend's woodworm problems. Here are a few of the suggestions.

From K.B.: We had bugs in our front door. The local exterminator put the door in a gas fumigation chamber overnight to kill the bugs. It cost $40 ten years go. Also, I worked on a project in Key West. The building owners rented a freezer truck to freeze/kill any possible termites in their furniture before moving to the new building.

From M.P.: Some years ago I purchased a butter mold and treen paddle. After a month or so I spotted sawdust. I dampened the items and microwaved them. Never have seen any more sawdust. I know it's hard to get a table in a microwave, but I think it would cure the problem.

From K.H.: A quick holiday word to the wise: I have many early American primitive pieces (some 18th-century). A few years ago I set my Christmas tree up on a Sunday afternoon. On Monday morning I was watering underneath the tree when I heard tiny little clicky-type noises. Never having dealt with the woodworm issue, I wasn't sure what it was. One of my sons insisted it was the tree "sucking in the water." I decided to call the California Dept. of Agriculture. The person I spoke to informed me, "That sounds like wood-boring beetles, Ma'am, and you should get that tree out of your house ASAP--they can spread out around the house and bore into anything wooden." Needless to say--I did.

From L.H.: Seriously, spray every month for two years? Call an exterminator as a last resort? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to call that exterminator first and be done with it? Treating every month for two years seems to be exposing yourself to a lot of bug spray, not to mention the cost of the bug spray every month for two years.

Note: The exterminator wanted $140 here.


Jeremy said...

I had an antique wood chest of drawers imported from Europe complete with active woodworm. I tried two professional exterminators, neither of whom apparently had any idea what they were dealing with. They just used their standard sprays on it, which of course didn't work. I finally was able to get it fumigated in a chamber. The other thing that works is borate-based insecticides, which leave a residue that newly-hatched worms ingest. It can be purchased on-line, though cannot be shipped to some states.

Anonymous said...

Loved the clever comment that it might be a problem to put a table in the microwave.

Anonymous said...

I believe they are powder post beetles. About 30 years ago I had them in my home which has lots of wood paneling. I had found very fine sawdust. The exterminator diagnosed the problem and killed them with an insecticide of some kind.They leave tiny round holes. They were back the next year. He sprayed again and that was the end of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Stop the train..
I finish,.... refinish.... and design and build antique reproduction furniture.. Personally on some of my more primitive designs , I have actually hired these little kritters on a contract labor agreement . It read: when you're work here is done , YOU DIE.
O.K. HEre is the solution:

KILLS every thing and you can spray a piece thoroughly beefore you strip

You can buy this Ortho @ Home Depot About $12.50

LER said...

If using poison to kill woodworms
doesn't appeal try this...
We have found that heating the infected piece above 120 degrees for a few hours kills the critters. We cured a stack of old walnut lumber by turning our old u-haul truck into a makeshift kiln with an electric heater on a 95 degree day.

Anonymous said...

to K.H......Just a note about your Christmas Tree. When my husband and I were first married, we purchased a real tree. After a day or two, we also started hearring clicking noises. They turned out to be the Pine Cones popping open. When they opened some kind of flat seed looking things came out of them. Other than a mess, they did not hurt anything. I have never run across this again and now we have an artificial tree.

Adrienne said...

We had a beautiful carving from Ecuador the turned out to have "bugs". Think they were termintes. I enclosed it in a large black trash bag and set off one of those spray bombs. I left it in there for a couple of days and voila, no more bugs. Probably the same would work for the Ortho
12 month defense and a large black trash bag.