Treating Wild-Caught Wood

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Not everyone can make the kind of quality wood furniture you find at Margate Furnishers. Here are a few tips and tricks for treating wild-caught wood!

We all know what it’s like to see a beautiful piece of drift wood or want to salvage a cut down tree and bring it into your home for some extra rustic flair. Be sure to read this before you do to prevent any unwanted guests in your home. This will also ensure the longevity of your new piece of décor.

Wild-caught wood – branches and bark slabs you legally collect from outside needs to be deloused before putting it into your home or animal enclosures. There are a wide variety of wood-boring pests who would just as cheerfully dig in to eat and breed in your fine wooden furniture as they have in that lovely branch you hauled in from your latest camping trip!

  1.   Strip off loose bark and all leaves and undesired twigs.
  2.    Soak in bleach/water solution (1/2 cups bleach per 3.5 liters of water) for 24 hours.
  3.    Rinse thoroughly and soak in frequently refreshed fresh water for 24 hours (you are leaching out the bleach in this step).
  4.    Dry the wood in the sun for 2-3 days. Keep it away from direct contact with the ground to reduce the chance of it being re-infested.

Smaller pieces of wood can be stripped as above, then ‘baked’ in a low oven for 2-3 hours at 93-121 C.

TIP: Keep in mind that ovens may not be calibrated correctly so adjust the temperature down if necessary and stay close to make sure nothing starts burning.

Branches, caves and other wooden furnishings you buy at pet stores and expos also need to be treated. Not only do you not know where that wood has been and who has done what on it, it may have been sitting in an area rife with reptile mites. Buying products which have been invaded by reptile mites while sitting in stores or storerooms is the most common way pet reptiles get mites. There’s nothing like getting more than you paid for!

Treating Big Pieces of Wood
If the wood you need to treat is too big for your bathtub (or you don’t have a bathtub), start hitting the car boot sales and summer-end sales at toy stores and larger chain stores like Game, etc. Look for sales on kiddie splash pools, and large watertight containers, including old bathtubs or water troughs (or buy a new water trough from a feed-and-grain/ranch/farm supply store). The splash pool is ideal as you can inflate it when you need to use it, and deflate it and easily store it until the next time.

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