Damp basements are wonderful places for all types of bugs to settle in and thrive

Jul 30, 2014

Many bugs live out their lives in the cool, dark and oftentimes damp environments of basements. Most of these bugs are not the cute little ladybugs that we adore nor are they these little fuzzy May Bugs either.  This basement bug world is found all across the globe in varying climates and in basements of different sizes, styles and materials.

Your basement is an environment that supports life; the life of a teen gamer for example or a sports lover or a crafter. The basement also supports the life of the tiniest, individual creatures among us. There can be a veritable stand-alone ecosystem in your basement if the conditions are right. Key ingredients for basement bug ecosystems are dampness, darkness and food (cardboard, other insects, mold, human or pet food etc.).

Getting rid of the dampness, moisture and other items in your basement that keep the bugs happy will allow you to get rid of the bugs themselves. We can help with that!

Below are just a few of the little creatures that may be sharing your home with you.

This is a silverfish. According to Orkin, these bugs are capable of thriving in most climates but prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing and are commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds. Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. Cellulose, shampoos, glue in books, linen, silk and dead insects may be food sources.
This is an Earwig – the bug of many childhood nightmares! Thankfully, earwigs are not known to climb into the ears of people. They are active at night and hide in cracks in damp areas during the day, moving into homes to find food or due to a change in weather. Dampness is a key factor in whether or not your home may have earwigs. Keep your foundation free of mulch, dead leaves, and other organic material so that earwigs will avoid it. A dehumidifier in your basement can also help to get rid of earwigs.
Sowbugs (like a pillbug) are more closely akin to shrimp and crayfish than to insects. They do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases, nor do they infest food, clothing or wood. Sowbugs and pillbugs are scavengers and feed mainly on decaying organic matter. Sowbugs and pillbugs thrive only in areas of high moisture, and tend to remain hidden under objects during the day. A frequent hiding place is behind the grass edge adjoining sidewalks and foundations. Univ. of Kentucky Dept. of Entomology
Cellar Spiders – Yuck! Cellar spiders are frequently found in dark, damp places such as cellars, basements, crawlspaces, and outbuildings. They typically construct a loose, irregular-shaped web in a dark corner. Cellar spiders continually add to their web, which can result in extensive webbing.