For as long as I can remember, I have loved basements. Growing up in a house with three brothers, the basement was always reserved for all manners of fun: fort-building, basketball-shooting, television-watching, guitar-playing and every other form of tomfoolery imaginable. In the Heffernan household during the nineties, it was quite common to hear my mother exclaim, “Go do that in the basement!” whenever my brothers and I got too wild above ground.
However, I’ve always had one complaint for basements – their proclivity for insects. I still get shivers thinking about all the spider webs that populated the basement crawl space of my childhood home. Generally speaking, I don’t consider myself an out-and-out coward but to this day when a creeping centipede interrupts one of my “man cave” Xbox360 sessions, I get jittery. To educate my fellow queasy basement dwellers, I’ve conducted some research into the reasons why bugs are so fond of basements.
Besides the obvious – the fact that basements are underground – water is a major reason for insects’ soft spot for basements. Basements are often full of moist cellars, leaky pipes, washing machines and sinks. Not to mention that your basement is likely the most susceptible part of your house to flooding during rain storms or when the winter’s snow melts. It is quite common for water to leak into basements from cracks in the foundation of your home.
Another reason is the plethora of darkness pests can often find in the nooks and crannies of basements – ideal places for reproduction. By ridding your basement of access moisture and re-configuring your basement’s lighting, you will decrease the likelihood of your home having problems with spiders, cockroaches, pill bugs and the aforementioned centipedes (eek!).
The basement is also the first spot that termites will strike your house. Even in the winter, termites can invade your basement because they are below the frost line. Unless treated, termites have been know to cause homes to become structurally unstable. Anywhere in your basement where wood comes in direct contact with soil is particularly susceptible to termite infestation. It’s a good idea to remove any loose wood debris from your basement floor such as construction scraps or fire logs.
With spring in full bloom, fortifying your basement against pests should be on the top your chores list. If you are experiencing basement bug issues, you can always contact Ehrlich to set up an appointment with a skilled pest control technician.
Do you have any stories about bugs and basements? If so, share below in the comments.