Basements can be a little creepy. As secure and happy as we feel in most of our homes, we often have a very different view of the basement. After all, it’s usually dark, quiet, and cold, and perhaps more than anything else, we often find bugs there. Why is it that bugs show up so frequently in the basement? More importantly, what can we do to banish them from these valuable spaces that can provide so much value and use in our homes? Here are some things to think about.
Bugs are there because you aren’t.
What’s the first thing bugs usually do when you enter a room and turn off the light? Typically, they scamper or fly away. They naturally prefer not to be disturbed, so when you spend more time in a space, they will spend less time in it.
This is pretty easy to address. Just do something in your basement. You might want to set up a hobby there or install exercise equipment. You may even want to set up a man cave or just a casual den to watch TV. The more you do in the basement, the less the bugs will do.
It’s in their path.
Bugs often end up congregating in your basement because they have just come in. There may be cracks in the foundation or gaps around windows that have allowed them to make their way in. From there, they may disperse out into other areas of the home to seek food or a more suitable area to nest.
You can take some exclusion measures to help keep the insects away, and maintenance is key here. Install window well covers to reduce the ability of insects to access your home. Have small cracks caulked, and get a contractor to do more in-depth gap repairs.
The space is comfortable for them.
Outside of your home, where do you often find spiders, beetles, and so forth? Typically, you expect them in moist, dark places like under rocks or in tall grass. The more closely your basement resembles those conditions, the more likely you’ll have bugs.
Lighting can be a pretty easy solution. Low-watt LED bulbs can be placed in the space to illuminate it at a very low cost. This will remove the darkness that the bugs are seeking. You can address moisture fairly easily as well. Simply place a dehumidifier in the basement and set it up to discharge into a floor drain. This will also help prevent mold problems in the entire house.
Bugs bring other bugs.
The creepiest thing most people can think of in the basement is a spider, and they usually want to know why it came in to begin with. The answer is typically to seek out prey. That’s why spiders spin webs and then wait patiently.
They won’t stay if they don’t eat, so often the measures you take to exclude other bugs—such as installing window well covers and sealing up cracks—will also keep out other bugs that are there to prey on them. You can also eliminate the food source for those prey insects with simple sanitation measures, such as tightly sealing stored food and thoroughly cleaning any spills.
It’s amazing how one little bug can prove so unsettling that we don’t feel at ease returning to the place where we saw it. Many of us have written off our basements as undesirable just because of bugs. However, understanding the problem and using the simple measures outlined here can go a long way toward making the space usable again. If you have a persistent problem with bugs in your basement or anywhere else in you house, don’t hesitate to contact us!