Termites Guide

Can termites infest my house from furniture?

A user submitted this question:

"I brought a desk to my house from work that they didn't want because it was old, but a few months ago they had termites I think. The building was treated. If they didn't get the desk, can termites get in through that? It's not made of solid wood."
Yes, termites can invade your house through used furniture.

In fact, furniture is actually one of the most common ways of spreading them around the country, and is how many species of termites get into new regions that they aren't native to.

Some kinds of termites can't live in furniture (subterranean), but a specific kind of termite called the drywood termite actually builds colonies in furniture fairly frequently.

Basic Info About Termites

How to Inspect for Termites

Termite Pictures

Ways to Protect Your House

Liquid Treatments

Bait Treatments

Borate Treatments


Termites can fit a small colony into any furniture made of wood. You will be able to tell if there is a colony inside a piece of furniture in a couple of ways. First, the termites bore little tiny holes to get in and to dump excrement out of. They seal them up with what looks like mud, but it will not have the same color as the rest of the furniture. Second, you will periodically see little round pellets around the furniture, which are termite feces. They drop it out of the colony and then reseal the holes.

If a piece of furniture is infested, you can either trash it (which may not be a big deal if it's old or used) or have it treated. Treatment will require a pest control company. Usually they will drill a hole in it and pump in pesticides in liquid or foam form. It may not be worth it if the furniture is cheap. However, you CAN'T just let things be, because if you do, they will migrate from the furniture into your home in general. If you have already had the furniture inside, you should get your house inspected as well.

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