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Eradication and Treatment of Borer in Antique Furniture

Updated on June 19, 2013

 Borer is a termite or woodworm that attacks and burrows into furniture timbers.  Unless checked, borers can wreck a fine quality piece of furniture that you have paid top dollar for and there is also the risk of them getting into other pieces you own.  Their presence can be detected by small holes in the back and undersides of carcase furniture, and in legs and rails of tables and chairs.  Of course in many pieces the borers have long since gone: and in some countries such as the United States borer holes are regarded as an infallible sign of age, to the extent that some fakers even simulate them.

If borers are still active, a fine powder will fall to the floor when the piece of furniture is tapped.  The standard treatment is to inject ordinary household kerosene into the active borer holes, and repeat once or twice every few days.  Patent borer chemicals are also available from many hardware shops.  If you are still not satisfied, it is possible to have the piece of furniture by pest exterminators.  Most furniture that is imported has to be fumigated before being cleared to leave the wharves.  Unless the borer has caused grave damage to the structure of the piece, the purchaser should have few reasons for concern when buying pieces brought in by container.  When buying furniture from auction house always give the piece a good eye over and check for any borer holes.  You don't want to waste your money on buying a piece of furniture that will just crumble apart.


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