A Guide to Basement Bugs & Critters

December 1, 2021


Basements are great for storage, but they can also be a great place for bugs and critters to live. Why are basements such great places for pests to live? And which pests most often frequent the dark depths of a home basement? We have some answers. 


Why Insects and Wildlife Love Basements 


Basements are an ideal hiding spot for many insects and critters for a few reasons: 


Moisture. Many insects specifically need to live in moist environments, and because of the naturally moist environment of many basements, they are appealing places for moisture-deprived insects. 


Darkness. Dark and damp is a dream for an insect, and often a basement can provide exactly that type of environment. Unfinished basements often have ample places for insects and small critters to hide, and because they are usually less trafficked than the rest of a home, they are subject to less light interruption. This is a friendly environment for the nocturnal nature of many insects and animals. 


Temperature. Basements provide an ideal temperature for pests year-round: in the warmer months, basements are naturally cooler than other parts of a home, and in the cold months, they are warmer than the outdoors. 

Basement Bug & Critter Guide


Cockroaches 

Cockroach perched on leaf
These sewer-dwellers thrive in a dark, moist basement environment. Because of their ability to contaminate food with illness-causing bacteria, trigger asthma attacks, and their general unpleasantness, they aren’t an insect that you want in your home, basement, or otherwise. 


Spiders 


Spiders are perhaps the most notorious of basement lurkers -- it’s a space that suits them perfectly. This isn’t always bad; for example, cellar spiders don’t pose a physical threat to humans and they eat other pest insects like house flies. However, in North Carolina, we aren’t just dealing with harmless spiders: truly dangerous spiders like black widows and brown recluses are a real threat, and keeping your basement attractive to them can be dangerous. 


Termites 

Termite colony
Basements can be the perfect entry-point for subterranean termites; they are prone to have more access points than other parts of the house (with entryways from basement appliances and whatnot), and if it rests on top of moist soil, the basement is all the more likely to be easily accessible for termites. Termites’ ability to cause severe structural damage to homes over a period of years makes professional termite control essential to any homeowner concerned about a potential infestation stemming from the basement. 


Rodents 

Mouse standing
Mice and rats are suckers for basements -- especially in the winter. Their relative quietness, the opportunity for warmth, ample nooks and crannies to hide in, and the ability to scurry upstairs to grab some human food are all huge perks for these sneaky creatures. Mice and rats pose issues other than taking up space in your basement and eating up your food -- they are also spreaders of dangerous diseases, can cause damage to a home with scratching and gnawing, and have even been traced to causing house fires because of their tendency to gnaw on wiring. 


Prevention Tips For Basement Pests 


So are you doomed to a life of basement pests screwing around in your home? Of course not! There are a few things that you can do to make your basement less appealing to these insects and wildlife critters, brought to us by our friends at PestWorld:

  • Sweep or vacuum the basement to remove any sources of pest food, which includes small insects, crumbs and decaying organic matter.
  • When storing any food in your basement, keep all food items in tightly sealed containers.
  • Prevent moisture build-up by using a dehumidifier and repairing any leaking pipes and ensuring rainwater drains away from your home.
  • Remove any overgrown vegetation or shrubs surrounding your house, and store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off the ground.
  • Seal any foundation cracks or crevices with a silicone-based caulk, steel wool, or a combination of both. Also, make sure all windows and doors are secure.
  • Eliminate any potential basement bug hiding spots by getting rid of clutter and organizing storage units.
  • Consider opting for plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes to store ornaments, décor, and other items.

These tips will all help with keeping pests out of your home, but it is still a good idea to seek out professional pest control experts to help protect and maintain your basement when it comes to pests. A-1 Pest Control provides year-round pest control packages that can help fortify your home from many common basement pests and many others. Get in touch with us to start shielding your home today!

 

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