I had the same problem when I bought my older house. I used a screwdriver that has an end similar to a tiny prybar. It worked great at removing the staples. You still have to be careful not to damage the floors. Most important, BE PATIENT. (My house had hundreds of staples in each room!) I also used a flat nose pliers when the staples broke as I removed them. You can purchase either at any home center. It is well worth the work because the floors will look great when you are done sanding. Good luck !