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Does Bug Spray Hurt Hardwood Floors?

Does Bug Spray Hurt Hardwood Floors?

If you want to get rid of bugs around the home then one of the easiest ways is to use a bug spray, but you may be apprehensive to use such sprays on hardwood floors in fear of staining or damaging the wood. So, does bug spray hurt hardwood floors or is it okay to use?

In our experience, some bug sprays can remove finishing on hardwood floors. This is due to the chemicals in the spray reacting with the chemicals of the sealant which results in a stain or discolored area.

So what is the best way to use bug spray if you have hardwood floors, and how can you tell if your floor will be affected or not? Let’s take a look at our favorite methods of using bug sprays safely alongside hardwood.

How To Prevent Bug Spray Damage

Despite the fact that some bug sprays can cause damage to hardwood, not all of them do. The issue is that it is very difficult to tell which sprays will have an effect and which ones won’t.

Read The Label Carefully

The first thing you should do when considering which bug spray to use is to read the label properly.

Some bug sprays will indicate what flooring they are suitable to be used on, and this is the easiest way to know whether your hardwood floors will be safe or not.

Spot Test

If the instructions don’t point out if the spray is suitable for hardwood – which is surprisingly common – then a spot test is the next step.

In fact, even if the spray does indicate use for hardwood floors, we recommend conducting a spot test anyway because there are numerous types of floor sealants with many new ones coming to the market.

To do a spot test simply find a small area of hardwood floor that is out of the way and not noticeable. once you’ve found the right spot, apply a small amount of bug spray directly to the floor and leave it for half an hour or so.

If the spray has caused any visible damage then it is clearly not safe to be used in the rest of the house.

Should You Apply Bug Spray Directly To Hardwood Flooring?

It is usually recommended to apply bug spray to baseboards and especially those which contain gaps where insects can travel from.

This is easy to say but in practice, it is difficult to contain the spray to the baseboard entirely without some getting on the floor. In any case, you should always try your best to apply the spray to baseboards only and not your floor, but how can you make this easier for yourself?

Use Paint Sheets To Cover The Floor

The best way to keep the floor safe while applying bug spray to baseboards is by using paint sheets to cover the floor. This not only limits the amount of spray that ends up on your floor but it keeps the spray in the area where it is most effective.

If you can manage this successfully then you will have no complications with your flooring.

How To Repair Bug Spray Stains On Hardwood Floors

If you have already used bug spray on your floor and a stain has appeared, it is likely that the spray has removed the finish of the floor.

If the sealant is removed then it may cause the floor to be a slightly different color and it will also leave the floor vulnerable to scratches and moisture, so it must be addressed as soon as possible.

DIY Approach

If you want to tackle the stain yourself then we’ve got you covered with the best method below.

Sand The Floor

The first step to resealing the stain is to sand the stain to open the grain, allowing for the sealer to properly penetrate the wood. It is best to do this with a sanding machine rather than sandpaper.

Remove Debris

After sanding, there will be an accumulation of dust and debris that will need to be removed before the sealant can be applied. It is crucial to remove all of this to ensure the finish looks professional.

First use a vacuum to get as much of this up as possible, and then a damp rag afterwards to pick up any stubborn particles.

Apply Sealant

Once the floor is sanded and completely cleaned you can apply your sealant.

Whether this is oil or polyurethane-based, follow the instructions to apply it.

Contact A Professional

While it might seem easy to reseal a floor, it is actually difficult especially when only a small area of floor needs to be repaired.

While the steps above can work in plenty of scenarios, sometimes it is better to speak with a professional and get their opinion first. It’s also worth doing this if you don’t know the exact sealer that was used for your entire floor.

If you aren’t confident in either the method or the type of sealer that was used, you will save yourself a lot of headaches if you decide to get a consultation.

Final Thoughts

A lot of bug sprays can interact with the finish of hardwood floors which can lead to damage and discoloration.

Whilst you can spot test and carefully read the instructions beforehand, it is sometimes inevitable that your floor may be damaged from a bug spray. In this case, the best option is to contact a professional to assess the damage and re-seal the floor properly.