Guide To Preventing Basement Pests◀ Back To Blog
November 3, 2017
Let's face it, homes usually fall into two categories: those with tidily organized basements, and those... without. Whether you've got a finished basement used as a living area or a simple dirt crawlspace, underground spaces offer unique challenges for homeowners and unique opportunities for pests. The simplest way for pests to find entrance into your home is at the ground level, and often times the basement is an ideal place for them to settle in, with storage areas, utility spaces, and often a few dark out of the way corners. Unwelcome intruders such as ants, mice, camel crickets, and spiders can make a basement a very unpleasant place, and some can even cause damage to you or your house. These critters can inhabit basements of all kinds, but for each, you'll want to find ways to minimize the attractiveness and accessibility of your basement as a potential residence.
Ants are perhaps the most common pests we think of when it comes to underground spaces, and while basements are often their entry point they can become a significant problem in your entire house, even to the point of causing structural damage. Mice love a good dirt crawlspace, but are just as happy to set up in a finished basement, especially if a pantry is handy; they can cause damage to insulation and wiring, and will get into anything they can, not to mention potentially bearing disease and leaving a very unhealthy mess wherever they travel. Camel crickets are likely after your fabrics. They will damage clothing and curtains and are often followed by other pests who find them to be a tasty snack. Spiders aren't usually a problem beyond the webs they leave, but there have been cases of venomous spiders getting into homes in New York, and generally, spiders are setting up shop where their prey already resides, meaning you likely have other pests to deal with as well.
First and foremost, preventing basement pests is about preventing easy entry. A thorough inspection of your foundation, the ground level outside your home, and openings for wiring and piping will likely reveal the most obvious routes of entry for pests. Using steel wool and caulking to close gaps will go a long way in deterring pesky pests from inviting themselves inside. Also, keeping the area immediately around your house clean and clear will go a long way, as most pests don't like open spaces, and won't be keen to cross them while looking for food or for a new place to call home; piles of debris, thick foliage, and even mulch should be kept to a minimum around the foundation of buildings. Another key step in making your basement unfriendly to pests is keeping humidity down. Rodents and even insects need water, and installing a dehumidifier in your basement will remove a significant draw of the underground space. These steps may be enough to prevent pests in the basement, but your safest bet in preventing pests, or removing those already infesting your basement, is to seek the services of a professional. Thomas Pest Services can draw on years of experience in pest control, providing applications that are both effective at preventing and removing pest incursions, and eco-friendly. Our Complete Care Program may be just what you're looking for to keep your home pest free from top to bottom, or vice versa.