Typically, when you think of cedar, what comes to mind is its spicy signature aroma. That scent is what gives Aromatic Cedar its reputation for repelling moths, among other insects and vermin. But Aromatic Cedar isn’t just useful for preventing your woolly clothes from being mistaken for a snack. The lightweight, workable wood can also be an excellent choice on projects where staving off rot and insects is a top priority.
Cedar Prevents Infestations
The biological name for Aromatic Cedar is actually Juniperus Virginiana. This wood’s natural oils produce a vapor — or aroma — that, when used in a tightly sealed space, acts as a repellent to moth larvae, and other insects. As such, Aromatic Cedar is the preferred wood when building closets, clothing chests, and other sealed-off furniture where wool and silk fabrics may be stored.
However, it’s worth noting that this wood is not a remedy for an ongoing moth or insect issue. The cedar vapor does not deter or kill off mature larvae, adult moths, and their eggs. So, if you’re already seeing moths, building a cedar container for your clothing is your second step, after exterminating the insects from your belongings.
It’s Best Without Stain or Varnish
The beauty of Aromatic Cedar is that it is low maintenance — so low that using a stain, paint, or any coating isn’t necessary, especially if the main reason for using this wood is for its aroma. In addition to Aromatic Cedar’s moth-prevention abilities, the wood also absorbs odors leaving your belongings smelling fresh. When stained or painted, however, this is not possible.
Additionally, this wood’s oils soften stains and other sealants, making them sticky. This might make the clothing chest you built difficult to open or doors stick shut. While Aromatic Cedar is most potent when used in tightly sealed spaces, you want to avoid making them so tight that you cannot retrieve what’s stored inside.
Outside, Aromatic Cedar Is Best In Small Doses
This wood is a table saw’s best friend; it’s pliable enough that it’s easy on tools and your hands. And its aroma is what protects it from outside elements, giving it a longer lifespan than other woods. But, Aromatic Cedar is an especially knotty wood, with a narrower diameter and is best used in building fence posts, for instance instead of decks. So, while it is believed to ward off termites, among other insect foes, Aromatic Cedar shouldn’t be your first choice for expansive, outdoor woodwork.
Aromatic Cedar is a pleasing choice of hardwood on projects where protection from critters and nasty weather is imperative. To improve your odds of reaping this wood’s many benefits, keep projects small and contained — a plank of cedar nailed to your bedroom wall is no match for clothes-hungry moths, but an unstained chest of drawers is.