How To Keep Your Minnesota Wood Floors Pest Free
Having a beautiful hardwood floor spread across the main rooms of your Minnesota home can be wonderful for aesthetic pride, but it comes with dangers. Like all wood furnishings and fittings, hardwood is no stranger to rot, mold, and of course, larger natural invaders such as numerous species of wood-consuming pests.
Minnesota is no exception to these potential problems. Fortunately, this is where protective steps can make a huge difference in conserving your fine wood floors for a long, sturdy life. Let’s go over the essentials to protect your hardwood floors from pests.
Common Pests in Minnesota
Before moving on to preventing and fixing pest problems, here’s a quick overview of just what kinds of pests your floors can be attacked by in Minnesota. All of these are native to the whole country as well.
These tiny colony insects are often considered similar to ants, but they belong to a wholly different order of insects. Either way, they pose a significant long-term danger to any wood-furnished or wood-built home and can be challenging to spot. They’re particularly common in southern Minnesota.
Termites can enter your floors from any tiny access point to the outside world or can infest because some other piece of wood furnishing you brought in was already colonized by them. Once termites literally dig in, they keep on digging as they grow their nest, and they love moldy wood in particular. Their presence eventually means the slow destruction of your floors. Termites do stay well hidden, which can make them difficult to notice. However, they often leave signs of their presence in the form of small bore holes, sand-like piles of chewed wood, and, worst of all, soft spots in your floors where they’ve eaten through more thoroughly.
With carpenter ants, you’ll have a problem similar to that caused by termites, except that these critters are usually much more visible when they invade. Carpenter ants love to eat nearly any kind of wood but also openly scavenge around your home, making them easier to spot. These largish rust-colored ants are harmless to people but can make gaping warrens of holes in wood furniture, structural elements, and of course, hardwood floors. They’re also resilient to cold weather, making them immune to Minnesota’s hard winter conditions.
These compact critters like to make small holes in untreated wood and dig right in. A common sign of their presence is a powdery wood residue around any entry holes they make. With these beetles, you should be particularly attentive to small holes and piles of fine sawdust under your floor joists or any wood beams and raw wood furniture. The adults and their larvae love to eat their way through the wood and can eventually do precisely what their name suggests: turn parts of your previously solid hardwood floors to powder.
Minnesota Hardwood Floor Pest Prevention
The first and most important step you can take to prevent the presence of all three pests above is moisture control. Humidity is a natural attractor of beetles, ants, and termites in particular because it softens the wood, invites mold, and makes these insects’ lives easier. The bottom line is that any possible humidity sources or moisture leaks in your home should be eliminated or at least reduced as much as possible. For your floors, this means keeping them dry and regularly checking for and removing mold growth.
A second major prevention step is removing access vectors. This means keeping your home sealed as carefully as possible against the weather and plugging up any cracks or holes that can let critters and water in. Also, be very careful about not letting wild wood touch your home. To do this, keep any trees around your house carefully trimmed back along with their underground roots. Secondly, store firewood in a carefully isolated and dry area until you’re ready to use it. Do Not just dump firewood piles on or near your hardwood floors.
Third, carefully inspect any new furniture or construction wood that you bring into your home. Make sure it’s been treated for termites and other pests. If you do see signs of infestation, either have the object treated or get rid of it instead of laying it on or near your floors.
Finally, keep your floors themselves well-treated. We already mentioned checking them for signs of rot, mold, or pests, but you should also regularly have them buffed, sanded, fixed, and re-coated to minimize access points for mold or the little critters it feeds.
Minnesota Hardwood Floor Pest Elimination
If you’ve been unlucky despite your best efforts and see signs of termites, beetles, carpenter ants, or major pest-friendly conditions in your hardwood floors, your final option is elimination. This is when you should call in the services of a professional pest control service that can destroy or at least reduce your pest problem much better than most DIY efforts would.
Once you’ve used professional pest control to destroy your termite, ant, or beetle problem, call in the services of the skilled floor repair and renovation experts at Dave’s Floor Sanding. Dave’s can repair damaged areas of your hardwood floors against future invasions while leaving your floor surface looking lovely once again.