Western red cedar is known for its durability and attractive finish. It also offers another benefit when it first arrives from your specialty lumber supplier in Memphis, TN for use on your deck or other construction project—insect control. Flying insects, especially moths, are naturally repulsed by cedar.
For the same reasons your grandmother used cedar blocks to protect her clothing, you can also employ the repellent properties of western red cedar to control insects in your Memphis, TN backyard. Here is an explanation of how cedar works against pests while offering you a strong construction material.
Properties of western red cedar
Western red cedar offers natural resistance to moisture, fungus and insect damage. These properties make it a popular choice for interior and exterior construction. Its resistance to insects and fungus comes from its cedar oil, which is toxic to these life forms.
The oil acts as a respiratory inhibitor and neurotoxin against flying insects like flies and mosquitoes. It has also been shown to dissolve insect eggs and larvae, so if pests build a nest within your deck, it will not be long-lived. That strong smell associated with cedar that so many people enjoy works to warn insects of its toxic power. In addition to repelling flying insects, western red cedar also has built-in resistance to termites.
How cedar is used as a repellant
When fresh cut wood first releases its scent, the insect repelling begins immediately. Not wanting to be affected by its capabilities, insects escape from the area. These properties are well-known when it comes to cedar chests and cabinets, which are rarely affected by insect infestation. When decks, sheds or fences are made from western red cedar, those yards have fewer bugs.
If you want the insect repellant properties of cedar in other living areas, you just need to purchase cedar oil. Since the ingredients are not dangerous to people or animals, you can fill shallow dishes with the oil and disperse them throughout your home to extend your anti-insect shield.
A word of caution
The strong aroma has been known to trigger asthma attacks, so be careful when building around people with respiratory issues. While its repellent properties are strong, they are also not perfect. You will likely still have some insects proceed through to your yard despite the presence of western red cedar. Those allergic to flying insects will still need to use their usual forms of insect protection and treatment.
Also, the repellent effect will wear off in time as the wood ages and the oils dry up. If you wish to continue enjoying this fragrant form of bug control, invest in cedar oil to keep on your porch and continue living with fewer insects.
Western red cedar is enjoyed for many uses including exterior siding, fences and decks. The insect repelling properties are just another bonus with this durable softwood. If you are interested in using western red cedar for your next project, contact Bolen-Brunson-Bell Lumber Co., your trusted specialty lumber supplier in Memphis, TN, to see our inventory and make your purchase.