Of Termites and Teak: Do They, Or Do They Not Eat It?

One of the oft-quoted benefits of investing in teak wood furniture has practically become common knowledge by now: termites simply do not like teak. If teak is resistant to the little buggers (or, at least, the little buggers typically avoid it), then that means teak furniture is termite free and we will never ever have to worry about it, right?

I think you see where I’m going with this.

The truth is that termites WILL eat teak wood if they must, even if that particular gustatory experience isn’t especially pleasant for them. It’s sort of like trying to feed your kids nothing but asparagus for a week: eventually, they’ll cave and eat the stuff, even as they protest “but you can’t make me like it!”

Worker termite

The termite: nature’s picky 3 year old. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


It’s better to learn this now than to find out the hard way later, like many garden furniture and boat owners have.

Generally speaking, termites will attack the sapwood but not the heartwood of teak (heartwood is what most teak furniture is made from), but it’s still a good idea to take some precautions to insure your furniture’s continued beauty and longevity.

Agricultural Research Service scientists have ...

It’s like Coupon Night at a Vegas buffet! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, what can we do to keep termites away from our lovely furniture?

1.) Get an annual termite inspection. But make sure, when the inspectors come to survey your home, that they check the area AROUND your house as well as the structure itself. If they notice any termite activity in a nearby tree or the fence that lines your front yard, for example, they should note it and act accordingly.

2.) Have a “spare” hunk of wood somewhere in your yard away from your teak furniture. This wood should be somewhat moist, but dead. In case termites do make their way to your home, this more appealing option will be their first choice for feasting on.

English: Wooden stumps extracted in 2007 from ...

Mmmmm… delicious junk wood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3.) Organic orange oil can be applied to your furniture. The citric acids in orange oil irritate and can kill termites. However, be careful: many experts suggest that orange oil can be quite flammable, and may only be effective for a matter of weeks before the effect wears off.

With a little vigilance and some preparation, you can guarantee that your teak furniture will be safe from termites forever. Don’t let a termite attack happen to your beautiful teak!

English: Close of a teak table made of old Ind...

Keep this table looking its best (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About This Article

This article was written by , a freelance writer, journalist, and outdoor afficianado. He wrote this article on behalf of Patio Productions. Check out the Patio Productions Facebook Page for more content updates and fascinating articles from around the web!

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