How To Protect Hardwood Floors From Pests

Hardwood floor is one of the best flooring choices for most homeowners for its fascinating natural beauty. The floors receive significant attention in the market due to its resistance to heavyweight, durability, easiness to clean, and refinishability. Also, wood floors have insulating property, thus do not become chilly during winter. Despite being the best choice for underneath floor heating, hardwood flooring is not exceptional when it comes to hardwood pest infestation. Some wood pest such as termites, powder post beetle, carpenters ants, and some bugs may cause irreparable damage to your wood floors, making them spotty and aged. The cost justifies the need for effective maintenance and pest control.

Hardwood Floor Pest control

There are no strict control measures for hardwood pest, but individual pest control approach can do.


Termites are capable of wasting your wood floor pretty fast as they will eat anything that is woody such as the wooden floor, floor joists, sub floors, trim, and even furniture leaving only the finishes. According to a report by the National Pest Management Association in the U.S, termites costs above $5 billion in property damage. Subterranean and dry wood termites are the main types of concern in wood flooring. As much as the presence of termites may never be easy to identify, buckling or swollen floors, hollow wood sound, shaky and unstable floorboard, mud tunnels, sagging wood, and mold-smell are vivid indications of subterranean termite infestation. Alternatively, you may also witness piles of termite’s feces on your floor near their holes. Termites holes are always discolored from the rest of the wood.

On the other hand, dry wood termites live in dry wood above the ground. They eat the wood always along the grain. Visible cracks in the wood or veneer may be a sign of dry wood termites even though it may also be due to old age. Dry wood termites have wing thus the presence of wings on your floor may be a sign of infestation. Fortunately, termites can be controlled through the following ways:

1. Use of liquid termites barrier

Surround your building with an effective pesticide that will kill termites through contact or smell. You can also apply the pesticide on the floor foundation to keep off termites. Moreover, pesticides are mostly preferred since they may eliminate the entire termite’s colony termites.

2. Use direct chemicals

Application of direct chemicals control termites in tunnels and crevices will prevent infestation. The compound works instantly on the termites on the spot.

3. Use of bait with poison.

You can apply this method outside the house. The bait attracts termites that will spread it back to their colony, thereby killing the better portion of the colony.

4. Use of boric acid

It is much lower in toxicity but tampers with the termites digestive and metabolic systems thus killing them within a week.

5. Use of diatomaceous earth

It is 100% non-toxic but slices their waxy exoskeleton exposing the termites to dehydration and eventual death.

6. Biological means

You can use parasitic nematodes that invade the termites and feeds on them.

Powder post beetles

The beetle bores holes that are 1/16 and appears on hardwood floors surfaces, common in oak, and maple. These types of beetles can re-infest milled and seasoned wood. Treating a hardwood floor after infestation may prove to be of little help. However, preventive measures have shown significant protection. The eggs are laid on the unfinished wood surface, hatch and burrow into the wood floor. Active infestation is evident in powdery and fine dust associated with the new holes. You can also notice active infestation if the hole is fresh and not covered with floor finishes. However, elongated holes with floor finishes indicate inactive infestations. Fortunately, Powder post beetles can be mitigated by the application of wood sealant and boric acid to protect the wood floor.

Carpenter ants

They are large ants mostly found in most forests. They chew out inside the wood to make galleries like nests. The ants are more prevalent in old and damp wood. They are of more concern to homeowners as they do not feed on wood but damages the wood. The hardwood pest can be kept away through application of effective sprays and insecticides of various formulations. Baits, liquid concentrates, foams, and dust are some forms of ants control. However, you can also employ preventive measures such as avoiding moisture from the roof and plumbing leaks, sealing cracks, and opening around the foundation, especially where utility wires and plumbing pipes are fitted from outside.

Bottom line

 Many hardwood pest may cause damage to your flooring, but the three discussed above are known for rapid and costly wood floor damage. It is imperative to avoid damp on your wood floor, apply sealants and boric acid on unfinished flooring as well as frequent floor observation to identify any discrepancy.