A recent study of ultraviolet laser cleaning of silica glass surfaces contaminated with medium density alumina particles has shown a systematic type of laser-induced surface damage. This is characterized as a pit which increases in diameter and depth with increasing irradiating fluence. The damage pit occurs at lower fluence levels when smaller contaminant particles are used. The pits are due to laser ablation of the particle coated glass surface. The threshold for this laser ablation is well below that for a sample of the glass in its uncontaminated condition and the efficiency of ablation is estimated as being about 1000 times greater than that for silica. This laser damage is difficult to visualize by standard optical microscopy and could easily go undetected in laser cleaning studies. It may have general implications in the application of the new laser cleaning technologies to a variety of surfaces, including dielectrics and semiconductors, where medium to high densities of contaminant particles are present. It is also significant in suggesting processes by which glass may be rendered more readily machinable by laser ablative methods.