Pests that can damage hardwood floors

January 2nd, 2019
Pests that can damage hardwood floors

Hardwood flooring is an expensive investment that should be taken care of adequately. While it is beautiful to look at, there are also several inconveniences you need to look out for if you want to keep your hardwood flooring looking new for years to come. Over-sanding, water damage, and moisture are just a few things to keep an eye on. These things can be difficult to control, but one nuisance you should also be aware of are pests. Unfortunately, there are little critters that enjoy your hardwood even more than you do. Here are some signs to watch out for and what they could mean:


These are wood-boring insects that can damage both hard and softwood. They ruin hardwood when their larvae embed themselves into the wood through tiny surface cracks. Adult beetles lay eggs on the surface of the wood, and then the larva forces its way through. The wood acts as a kind of womb where the larva is kept hidden and grows. Once it is mature, the beetle emerges from the wood, which leaves behind holes. Powderpost beetles can also cause damage inside of flooring as well.

The presence of fine, flour-like powder falling out of holes in wood is a characteristic of powderpost beetles. They like to breed in dry and dead hardwood and usually enter lumber that was stored or left to cure.


Considered one of the most destructive bugs when it comes to damaging wood. They do not just live in wood – termites also consume it. Their bodies turn wood fibre into sugar, which they use for energy. A colony of termites can destroy the structural integrity of an entire house in just a few years. They eat wood from the inside out, which makes it difficult to detect their presence. It can take homeowners a while to detect termites, which is what makes them especially troublesome.

If you hear of neighbours with a termite infestation, you should definitely have your home checked out. It is uncommon for these critters to stay confined to one location. There are few signs of that indicate a termite infestation. One is discoloured streaks on trim or walls. This occurs when termites use shelter tubes made of their saliva and feces to help keep themselves insulated and as a means of transportation. They need moisture to survive so without these shelter tubes termites would not last long.


This type of insect is more of a concern for homeowners with rustic wood flooring. Carpenter ants typically appear when wood flooring is old, has experienced water damage, or been attacked by pests before. The ants that you are used to seeing usually nest underground and are quite small. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, are large and nest above ground throughout homes. Summer cabins with pipe leaks are susceptible to carpenter ant invasions.

Winged ants creeping out from walls, ceilings, or hidden crevices is a sign of a carpenter ant infestation. They may also leave behind shed wings near baseboards, vents, and window sills. You may even hear a rustling noise coming from inside a wall or hollow door.

Because these pests like to stay hidden, it can be difficult to tell if they are in your home. If your hardwood floors are showing signs of a pest infestation, call Gilpin’s Pest Control. Our experienced professionals can quickly identify the problem and effectively apply the right solution so that your home is entirely yours again.