Your basement. The place you go to either looking for stuff you forgot you had, or to drop off stuff you wish you never had. It's damp, dark and hardly anybody steps in there. And because of that it's the hot spot for unwelcome guests. Bugs. Lots of them squirming, skittering and scurrying all over the place. It's estimated that there are around 10 quintillion live creepy crawlies that live above and beneath the ground and fill up the air. That's 10 followed by 18 zeros. That's a lot of insects. But you only need a few of those in your basement to turn your favorite place into a dreary pit you hesitate to enter after dark.
Basements attract insects because they lack natural light and are often more humid than the rest of the house. Lots of bugs from spiders and ants to
roaches and sow bugs crawl into your basement to hide, feed and multiply. And before you know it, you have a serious infestation problem right under your feet. Yet you don't know what to do about it. We're here to help. Here are a few things you can do to keep bugs out of your basement:
Seal Entry Points
Your basement isn't as sturdy and sealed as you might think. There are holes, cracks, and chinks in the wall around the window frame and water pipes. To find those cracks that allow bugs in, turn a bright light inside the basement at night then go outside. Check the windows, under the door and around the pipes going through the wall for shining light. Pipes, whether plastic or metal can leave cracks in the walls. If you find any light coming out, that's where bugs crawl into your basement. Seal them up with an eco-friendly caulk. For any space under the door, you can use a door sweep to block pests.
Take a closer look at the sides and top of the door. Chances are you'll find gaps along the perimeter of the frame. You can use weatherstripping or door-seal kits to stop insects from infiltrating your basement. Also, consider installing screens for your door and windows. You'll get the fresh air but not the insects.
Get Rid of moisture
Bugs love moisture. Damp and humid places attract mosquitoes, cockroaches, and silverfish. Mosquitoes especially look for water to lay eggs and breed. Other insects look for food where there's moisture. You can reduce moisture simply by sealing or fixing leaking pipes or installing a dehumidifier.
To reduce moisture check your downspouts and gutters for blockages and leaks. Seal or fix the leaking pipes especially those leading into or near the basement. Moreover, any moist patches around your house increase dampness in the basement area. You can get rid of these by adding some ash from the fireplace to the wet soil to dry it out. If you still have high levels of humidity inside your house, consider installing a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are not only effective in cutting back on dampness, they also eliminate mold which is a health hazard.
Keep the basement in good shape
A good basement needs to be clean and neat to help against bugs. So you decided to remodel your basement without paying a fortune for it. It looks great. It's dry, clean and holes-free. Then a couple of months later you go down there only to find it full of junk once again. A cluttered basement full of old furniture, rugs, and piles of newspaper is an open invitation for insects. Cardboard boxes of books and old magazines are both their source of food and breeding ground. Insects can multiply in big numbers before you can even discover them and by then it's hard to get rid of them. To nip this problem in the bud, you need to get rid of clutter, store away unprotected food, and throw away stuff you don't need. For any items you don't want to throw away, try keeping them in plastic containers or covering them with plastic to prevent insects from getting there. Without these resources, bugs cannot find a suitable place to live in your basement and will move on.
Insects become a serious problem only if they're allowed into your basement to feed and reproduce. But if you take precautions, clean up your basement and seal up any cracks and gaps in the walls, you'll prevent a small bug from becoming a huge problem. By eliminating the ways they can gain access to your place you can keep the bug issue at bay and claim your basement all to yourself and your family.