Rattan is a natural plant that grows in a vine-like manner. It is native to tropical areas such as Africa, Asia, and Australia. There are more than 600 species of rattan, but they are all strong and fibrous. It is a good choice for furniture as the plant is lightweight, durable, and flexible. These qualities make it perfect for weaving.
You can find both natural and synthetic rattan fibers. Natural rattan should only be used indoors. If you wish to use it outside, you should bring it in as soon as you are finished with it. Synthetic rattan is steadily growing in popularity due to environmental concerns about the sustainability of natural rattan. Synthetic fibers also tend to be more durable and can hold up to the elements better, meaning it can be stored outdoors.
Rattan furniture is created through weaving the strands together. This process creates a lot of spaces and cracks for bugs to hide in. They are attracted to the many dark spaces and will quickly make themselves at home inside your furniture.
We have rounded up a selection of the best ways to prevent bugs and roaches from invading your wicker and rattan furniture. It is vital to clean your furniture regularly, and we advise using a small toothbrush to get into all of the crevices. You can also apply a sealant to the furniture. This will help to weatherproof the rattan fibers and can also act as an insect repellant.
The bugs will also be attracted to the cushions on your furniture. Removing and cleaning the cushions in between uses will help to reduce the number of bugs on and in the furniture. Again, you may opt to spray a sealant on the soft furnishings too.
Does wicker attract roaches?
Wicker is the name for the style of weaving used to make the items of furniture. It is often used in conjunction with rattan fibers, but can be done with a huge variety of synthetic and natural fibers. It is one of the oldest methods of making furniture in recorded history. One of the oldest surviving pieces of wicker furniture is a chair dating back over 3,000 years. This ancient creation was discovered in King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt.
Wicker does tend to attract bugs and roaches. This is due to the weaving methods which create a large number of small holes and crevices. Insects, especially roaches, love to fit into these small gaps and hide in the dark space. The spaces also provide the perfect environment for them to store food for later. This means that once you have spotted roaches, they are unlikely to be leaving your furniture any time soon.
The cracks in the woven structure also create a perfect hiding space from predators. The shape of the weaving also means that wicker furniture is difficult to clean and so it can be hard to remove the dirt that will begin to attract critters. When you combine all of these factors with potential moisture and bacterial contamination due to exposure to the elements, you create the perfect environment for roaches and other bugs to thrive in.
How do I protect my patio furniture from spiders?
There are many simple steps that you can take to protect your patio furniture from spiders. One of the biggest things that attracts them is food waste and garbage. Ensure you clean up any trash left behind as soon as possible. This will mean there are far fewer places for spiders to hide.
Spiders love dirty environments, so ensure you dust and sweep regularly. This is important to do even if you do not use your patio often. As you do this, check around your patio for any cracks and crevices. Spiders love to hide in these places, so we recommend filling them in. This can be done with some Polyfilla paste which can be found at any hardware store.
Any clutter at all will provide a good environment for spiders to hide in. If you have kids, ensure their toys are tidied away. If you want to store stuff on your patio, a good idea is to buy a covered bin or box. This will allow you to have a clean and spider-free environment.
Spiders enjoy dark environments, so a simple way to flush them out of your patio is to leave the lights on. This will force them to travel to the darker areas of your garden and away from your furniture.
You could also consider planting some naturally spider repelling plants. Good choices include mint, lavender, rosemary, and basil. Spiders hate these scents, but most humans love them. It is a great way to naturally brighten up your patio too. Larger plants are good for spiders to build webs in, so try to stick to smaller potted plants.
According to old wives’ tales, spiders hate chestnuts. You can consider placing a line of chestnuts underneath your wicker furniture to keep the pesky arachnids at bay.
What can I spray on outdoor furniture to keep bugs off?
Bugs and insects cannot stand citrus scents. When you are washing down your patio, a cheap way to repel insects is to create a cleaning solution from lemon-scented dish soap and warm water. Spray this over your patio flooring to keep those pesky insects away. You could also scatter some citrus peels, such as lemon or orange, around the wicker furniture. Just take care to remove these and dispose of them before they start to turn moldy. Cedar chips will work in the same way.
If you have any essential oils lying about the house, these can be sprayed over your patio furniture. Simply add a few drops to a spray bottle of water and douse your furniture with it. Rosemary, basil, and mint are the best options. Geranium, thyme, cloves, citronella, and lemongrass are also highly effective bug repellants. Insects will stay away and your patio furniture will always smell fresh. Some people choose to do this with vinegar, but this is not a pleasant scent to have covering your patio.
For a more skin friendly spray, we have another DIY recipe. Combine 1 cup of water with ½ cup of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Add in 30 drops each of clove, citronella, tea tree, and lavender essential oils. Pour this into a 16 ounce spray bottle and go to town on your furniture. Take care when using this as lemon juice can have a bleaching effect when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. If you have fabric cushions on your patio furniture then be aware that this could happen. We recommend spot testing on any fabrics if you are concerned about their appearance.
There are many insect repellant sprays designed for use on outdoor furniture. They tend to be more expensive than the DIY sprays mentioned above, but are very effective. These are commonly mint scented but there are others available.
If your patio is covered, you could even consider a plug-in insect repellent. These work by emitting electromagnetic and ultrasonic waves. Bugs and insects do not like these and will stay away from your patio area.