Basement Bugs and Moisture
Even to the untrained eye, many signs of a leaky foundation can be pretty obvious: dampness, pooling water, and cracks in the walls are all indicators that something is amiss. But did you know that the presence of bugs in your home is also a bad sign?
The tiny creatures that you might see in your house indicate can that something bigger is happening at a foundational level. This larger issue is most likely a leak causing excess moisture and dampness. If you see any of the invertebrates below, it’s not your cleaning skills that are the problem – it’s your basement!
Centipedes are at the top of their itty-bitty domestic food chain, eating smaller insects much like spiders do. While they do enjoy damp environments, centipedes are mostly attracted by the other moisture-loving bugs that have made their home in your basement. They’re also fast-moving, so running around trying to swat them with a newspaper is a useless endeavor.
Keeping your basement clear of clutter is a good way of preventing centipedes from laying eggs and multiplying. Sticky traps and chemical insecticides are others, but if you really want to get rid of centipedes, you have to get rid of their food. This means drying out your basement!
Simply trying to spot a silverfish is difficult, so you can imagine how hard it is to actually get rid of them. These inch-long bugs love fabric, paper, starches, and damp places; you’ll sometimes see them in your bathroom if you get up in the middle of the night. Unlike the other bugs listed here, they can cause damage to your personal possessions, chewing on books, linens, silk, and upholstery.
Killing them is very difficult. You can try using a spray or insecticide, but that won’t solve the bigger problem, which means you’ll only be inviting more silverfish later.
Earwigs love a damp environment with plenty of food. They can get into your home through… well, just about anything, and there’s no crack to small for an earwig. It can be especially bad when the temperature starts to fall, as the earwigs come to your home looking for warmth. They also inhabit old boxes and papers, so they often act as stowaways when you move.
Getting rid of them is hard, so you have to take away their home. Wet basements are the perfect environment in which they thrive, which means that creating a tight seal and stopping up any gaps is the best solution.
These armadillo-like crustaceans (yes, like crabs and lobsters!) are also known as sowbugs, and you’ll know them if you’ve ever spent time in the garden. Living in damp soil and under large rocks and logs, they’re handy for composting organic waste. However, because they love moisture, they’ll move indoors if their regular environment gets too dry.
While they aren’t as inherently disgusting as the other bugs mentioned here, they are indicative of wider problems like rotting wood. If you have woodlice in your basement, it’s a sign that there is too much moisture and humidity. Solving the moisture problem is the best way to solve the woodlice problem, because they are rather difficult to remove.
In case you don’t want to let a team of spiders loose in your basement, the best way to deal with the unwanted critters is to deal with the moisture. Make the basement less cozy for them and more cozy for you. Inspect the walls of your foundation inside and out. Seal off any gaps around window and door frames, and patch up any cracks in your foundation.
If you’re still having trouble with moisture and the bugs that love it, call the waterproofing experts at Ashworth Drainage today. While we’re not exterminators, our solutions to your leaking basement are often the solutions to your bug problems, too!