Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bugs in Your Basement
If you have a basement, you have bugs – a simple fact. The dark, warm, moist area is very attractive for bugs and an ideal home for them. While a few bugs are normal, it can still be annoying trying to get rid of them all the time. Rather than using an insecticide that could have some harsh chemicals, I’ve rounded up a few natural methods you can implement to get rid of the bugs in your basement naturally.
How can I get rid of bugs in my basement naturally? Though sometimes going the chemical route is easier and faster, choosing a more natural method to get rid of bugs can be better for your health and your peace of mind. When you’re ready to start moving those bugs out of your house, give one of these methods a try:
- Sticky Traps
- Reduce Clutter
- Find or Create a Peppermint Oil Spray
- Use Diatomaceous Earth
- Spray Vinegar Water Around the Area
Whether you try one or all of these methods, you will surely find a way to get rid of the bugs in your basement. To learn more about what makes these methods effective and how you can start applying them, keep reading.
Sticky traps are extremely useful for getting rid of unwanted pests – they will stop virtually anything that comes across them. Usually, small sheets of plastic are covered in an adhesive substance, sticky traps are often strong enough to catch mice and rats.
As insects encounter the trap and walk across it, they will get stuck in the adhesive and eventually die. You can take these traps and place them around the basement – typically in dark corners and along the walls. Be careful to keep them out of the way of foot traffic as they might not be so fun to remove from clothes and shoes.
Once the traps are full, simply throw them away and set out new ones. It’s important to note how often you set out new traps because being too effective could mean there’s a bigger issue. Continuously replacing the sheets could help you identify an infestation that needs to be handled by a professional.
Most insects prefer dark and moist conditions. By removing the moisture from their area, you might make it uncomfortable and inhospitable to many different insects. Dehumidifiers work to remove the excess moisture in the air, helping to decrease the humidity levels.
Depending on the size of the area and the humidity levels, you can easily find a dehumidifier to help control the moisture in the air. Once you find one that works, simply plug it in and let it run for a few days. You will likely start to notice a difference in the air immediately.
Though a dehumidifier probably won’t get rid of your bug problem completely, it will help to keep new bugs from taking up residence in the basement.
Bugs thrive in clutter. Stacks of books, file boxes, old magazines, and all the other nooks and crannies in your basement are ideal places for insects to make their home. The good news is, with this method of getting rid of bugs, you can probably get rid of the things you don’t need anymore too!
Reducing the amount of clutter in your basement and your home gives spiders and insects fewer places to hide. It could be a good idea for you to institute a once-a-month cleaning time for your basement to reduce the clutter, dust, sweep, and even vacuum.
This is an effective method of getting rid of bugs – as long as you keep it consistent. You can’t just go down, clean it out, and then stop. Regularly cleaning the area is what will prevent bugs from sticking around.
Find or Create Peppermint Oil Spray
The smell of peppermint is unbearable for insects. Peppermint is extremely strong, it can even keep mice away and bugs absolutely hate it. Luckily, if you use the right solution, it can be pleasant for us to use around our house and you can keep the bugs away at the same time.
You can find peppermint oil at your local grocery store, just look for 100% pure peppermint oil with no additives. Now you have a few different options:
- Take a cotton ball and put some peppermint oil on it before placing it where you often see insects – on window sills, near doors, even near air vents.
- Take some hot water and mix a few drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle (5 to 10 drops of oil per ounce of water). Then take the mixture and spray it around the house – spray countertops, furniture, blinds, corners in the home, and closets.
When using peppermint oil, be sure to practice on smaller areas of the home to make sure it doesn’t do any damage. Once you start using peppermint oil, you should see an improvement in the population of insects around your basement and home.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized plants. You can find it at your local home and garden retailer, it is not harmful to your family or pets, and it’s quite effective. Not to mention, it’s also an inexpensive option.
Spread the powder in the corners of your home, along the walls, under windows and doors, and in areas where you’ve seen insects. As the bugs walk through the powder, it coats their body and begins to absorb the oils and wear away their protective shells. Soon the insects will lose too much moisture and die.
The diatomaceous earth works on many different types of insects, especially ones that you find in your basement. If you’re looking for a quick, effective, cost-effective means of getting rid of the bugs in your basement, diatomaceous earth is a great choice.
Spray Vinegar Water Around the Area
Similar to the peppermint oil mixture, vinegar water is a natural repellent that is inexpensive and effective. Use a spray bottle and create the vinegar-water mixture with the vinegar at 70%. You’ll follow the same process of spraying around window sills and doors and areas where you’ve seen bugs.
Though this mixture will not smell as good as peppermint oil, it’s effective and easy to use. Not to mention, you likely already have the ingredients at home. Again, it’s important to try the mixture out in a small area to ensure there won’t be any damage before using it more widely.
What Kind of Bugs Are in My Basement?
Though you can find many different types of bugs in your basement, you are more likely to find spiders, centipedes, cockroaches, earwigs, and silverfish. Luckily, none of these insects are particularly dangerous, but they can still be a little scary when you see them.
When trying to rid your basement of these bugs, you should make note of how often you are implementing different methods to be sure that there isn’t a bigger issue at hand. Sometimes the natural methods discussed earlier can expose infestations that we may not be expecting.
If you think you may be putting out sticky traps and/or going through a lot of peppermint oil mixture, it could signal that it’s time to have a professional come out. The exterminator can determine what the problem is and establish a strategy to both get the bugs out and prevent them from coming back.
What are common pests that will try to get into my basement?
A few common pests that will invade your basements are spiders, earwigs, termites, carpenter ants, flies, roaches, crickets, centipedes, rodents, millipedes and silverfish.
Non-Natural Methods For Ridding the Basement of Bugs
Sometimes natural methods don’t work and you need something stronger – if that’s the case, chemical sprays are always another option. These sprays have improved in recent years and are less harsh and harmful to your family and pets.
You can either go to the store and pick up a spray that you can use yourself, or you can call a local professional exterminator and set up a seasonal insecticide treatment. The seasonal treatment will have your exterminator come out and spray along the walls, vents, doors, and windows every so often to help reduce the bug populations and kill bugs upon their entry to the home.
Why Is It Common For Bugs to Be in My Basement?
The atmosphere in your basement is extremely inviting for bugs and insects. They enjoy cool, moist, dark areas that are free from lots of traffic and have access to a steady food source. It is also easy for bugs to get into the basement because of how the home was built and its access to the outdoors.
Because of all of this, it is completely normal for bugs to find their homes in your basement. A few bugs here and there should not worry you, but if you start seeing more, call a professional to come out and take a look.