4 Essential Tips for Pest-Free Backyard Furniture
Everybody wants to make the most of their outside space. Well, almost everybody. If you’re one of the ones who don’t, this article probably isn’t for you. If you’re one of the majority, it most certainly is. So, you’ve decided that the cheap plastic outdoor furniture down at the local hardware place isn’t going to cut it for the backyard you have planned. You want something a little more attractive. Your decision? Wicker. In the world of outdoor furniture – timeless style.
Exceptional wicker pieces are obviously going to be more expensive than their poor plastic cousins, so you need to know how best to look after it, and keep it looking clean and elegant. In other words, you need to know how to protect your investment.
How exactly you do that depends upon the materials used in the production of the outdoor furniture. Are they traditional, plant-based, ie. rattan, or synthetic? If that word “synthetic” has got you thinking about those poor plastic cousins again, think again – synthetic wicker has come a tremendous distance in recent years and are now far more sophisticated in appearance and quality.
Furthermore, synthetic wicker ticks all the “Easy” boxes when it comes to maintenance, and that includes keeping your wicker pest-free. Remember, we’re in the great outdoors here (ok, your backyard, at least) – an area we share with a whole ecosystem, and that includes pests that are more than happy to destroy your wicker furniture to keep that ecosystem ticking along just fine, thank you very much.
An essential part of that ecosystem is organic debris. The air in your backyard may smell fresh and sweet but it’s filled with microscopic pieces of this stuff – tiny organic matter that whirls around on a summer breeze and then, thanks to the Law of Gravity, gently comes down to earth, settling on anything in its way. Yes, your wicker furniture.
Before you know it, your elegant wicker, with all its nooks and crannies, and now a perpetual food supply, has become a bug’s penthouse paradise. Here’s how you can stop them taking up permanent residence – our 4 essential tips for pest-free backyard furniture.
No, this is not the time to put on your old Beatles LP and play “Twist & Shout” at full volume (though it could be…). On a regular basis, you need to give your wicker furniture a good ol’ shake. Get the majority of that organic debris out. And we’re not finished there.
After that, get a hand brush on it, working the bristles into the crevices. Next up, a good dusting. Finish off with the vacuum and its trusty brush attachment. In other words, just because it’s outside, it’s still furniture, so give it the same treatment you would if it was the lounge sofa.
If you have natural wicker, you’ll need to be bathing it carefully. A damp cloth and a little soapy water should remove anything left after the “shake.” Always remember to wipe off any excess moisture with a dry cloth.
Declare Chemical Warfare On It
Rest easy, we’re not talking about WMDs here. Natural wicker is prone to the dreaded mold and mildew, so a very weak bleach solution is required. Always test the solution on a usually unseen part of the furniture to check for color changes.
If you have synthetic wicker, this shouldn’t present as nearly as bad an issue, so you can be a little more energetic with your method.
Easy now. One of the best pieces of equipment for ensuring your wicker furniture stays pest-free is the trusted family hairdryer. It has to be stressed that moisture is not wicker’s best friend, so a good blast with a hairdryer will ensure your furniture is as dry as a Texas summer.
Your Labour Of Love
Now, you may feel a little self-conscious climbing all over said furniture with a hairdryer in one hand and a toothbrush in the other… You may even be fearing your neighbors are just happening to glance out of an upstairs window, seeing your efforts, and saying to their spouse, “You’ll never guess what they’re doing now!”
However, this is a labour of love – to regularly shake it, bathe it, declare chemical warfare on it, and blow it – to keep your wicker furniture as clean and elegant as it was the day you brought it home, and, more importantly, keeping it pest-free. Have you got a secret of your own for keeping your wicker outdoor furniture pest-free? Feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your fellow wicker admirers.