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How to Avoid Pests in Your Basement

basementPests often make themselves at home in your basement, whether it’s finished or not. All kinds of insects and rodents can thrive below ground where it’s damp, dark, and humid. This area also tends to have less activity than the floors above, making it a comfortable home for crickets, spiders, millipedes and other critters. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you avoid and get rid of pests in your basement, keeping it as clean and sanitary as possible.

Seal Off Cracks and Crevices

The best way to avoid pest problems in the basement is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Perform a detailed inspection of your basement and the outside of your house, and using a silicone-based caulk, seal off any cracks, holes, or other points of entry you find. You may not be able to prevent all unwanted visitors, but you can make it difficult for them to find a way inside. If you have a crawlspace, encapsulating it with plastic is an effective solution that can also help you save on energy costs and improve your home’s air quality.

Remove Outside Debris

Along with sealing off potential places of entry, one way to reduce insects and rodents in your basement is to get rid of anything that may be attracting them to your home. Keeping organic materials like mulch, leaves, and foliage at least two feet away from the exterior of your home can stop some critters from making their way inside. In general, try to keep the exterior of your house as unappealing to pests as possible.

Clean Regularly

If your basement is unfinished or you don’t spend a lot of time there, clutter can build up fast. One way to prevent large infestations and pest control efforts down the line is staying on top of cleaning. Clutter and messes give rodents a place to hide and insects a place to lay eggs. Keeping boxes and other items neatly organized as well as regularly cleaning (and vacuuming if possible) your basement can go a long way toward avoiding serious pest problems.

Use Smart Storage

The basement is a common storage space, offering an out-of-the-way location to put unneeded items. Unfortunately, stacked cardboard boxes can also be a haven for all kinds of insects and pests. To prevent this, neatly store items in plastic tubs with secure lids. This eliminates hiding places for bugs and rodents, and helps keep your important items in great condition.

Get a Dehumidifier

The damp, musty air in many basements and crawlspaces can attract insects and negatively affect air quality in your home. Use a dehumidifier to make this area more unappealing to bugs, along with the benefit of removing odors and bacteria caused by excessive moisture below ground.

Set Traps

One of the best ways to remove pests from your basement is by using traps, like the Kness Stick-All® Glue Trap or Snap-E® Mousetrap. Set these in areas you commonly encounter insects and rodents, and they’ll be gone in no time. If you’re not sure where to put the trap, placing it along the walls and in corners is your best bet.