Dark, damp basements make a brilliant base for pests
When thinking about pests, it’s easy to forget about basements.
You hardly go down there, so surely there’s nothing down there to attract pests right? Unfortunately, some pests like the cracks, crevices, dark voids, and damp environments offered by many basements, where they will be undisturbed and allowed to flourish freely.
Here are just some of the pests you might find if you venture to your basement, and some top tips to help prevent them from setting up their home there.
House centipedes commonly invade homes to escape cold weather. Centipedes congregate in dark, damp places with plenty of small crevices and cracks, like basements, where they can prey on other insects, including spiders, beetles, moth larvae, ants, and worms.
To guard against centipedes taking over your basement:
- Prevent other insects invading.
- Keep your home basement and sanitary.
- Cover exterior vents and holes.
- Seal cracked pipes and loose doors.
- Seal crevices and cracks in walls.
- Remove brush, firewood, and mulch from enar your property.
The European earwig seeks out dark places rich in moisture, so are attracted to the narrow cracks in foundations, under floorboards, and in other tight spaces around the home. Damp and dark basement areas with multiple cracks in the foundation provide perfect hiding places.
To prevent an earwig infestation in your basement:
- Remove any decaying vegetation around your home.
- Clear leaf piles, grass clippings, and compost.
Rats and mice invade homes seeking food, water and warmth, squeezing through tiny holes and cracks. In urban areas, rats colonize in under concrete and in wall voids, often setting up home in basements, before following the scent of food to your kitchen.
Rodents contaminate food, can introduce parasites, and can transmit serious diseases. Rats and mice will also do physical damage to your home, gnawing on materials, burrowing through walls and chewing through electrical wiring.
To prevent a rodent invasion in your basement:
- Seal any cracks or holes with caulk or foam.
- Fix HVAC units.
- Clean and rotate dumpsters regularly and make sure trash cans are covered tightly.
- Keep your basement clean and sanitary.
Spiders like to build webs in dark, moist environments like basements, from which they’ll then creep into all corners of your home.
While spiders are not known to transmit diseases to humans, their presence can be alarming for many people, their webs are also considered unsightly.
To prevent a spider infestation this summer:
- Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior.
- Replace broken window and door screens.
- Keep your home clean and free of insects.
- If you do see spider webs, remove them.
Wasps and Bees
Stinging pests like to build their homes in the dark where they are rarely disturbed. As a result basements can be a problem area for these particular pests.
To help keep wasps and bees at bay from your basement:
- Keep a light on in areas where wasps may nest around your basement, as they prefer to rest in the dark. Use a yellow-toned light as white light attracts flying beetles and wasps.
- If you do find a wasp nest on your property, call a professional pest control service to ensure it is safely destroyed.
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