How To Get Rid Of Bugs In The Basement

At Panther Pest Control, we know you can use a basement for various purposes — a place to store unused items, space where you do your laundry, store food, man cave, and more, but sadly, it can also be a breeding ground for several pests, like insects and bugs (not all insects are bugs).

Dark and damp environments, like most basements, are bugs‘ favourite to nest. Hidden from the world, insects feel safer and comfortable in a basement than in any part of your home.

Since basements are located underground, temperatures below are cooler, and humidity levels can be quite high because of the lack of ventilation. Pests love dark, cool and moist places — making basements the perfect location for hiding out and snacking away.

If you’re lucky, you might not have seen these little critters scurrying around your basement, but they’re likely still there. Most pests run and hide as soon as they sense visitors. However, a sure sign that pests might fill your basement is if you see spider webs around the area. This usually means that they’ve found a steady source of food!

If left unattended, pests that live and thrive in moist environments will spread.

Common Basement Bugs & Pests:

  • Mosquitoes;
  • Flies;
  • Centipedes;
  • Millipedes;
  • Earwigs;
  • Woodlice / Snowbugs;
  • Ants;
  • Termites;
  • Silverfish;
  • Cockroaches;
  • A range of insects.

Other Common Basement Pests:

  • Snakes;
  • Rats.

Problems With Bugs in Your Basement

Having bugs in your basement is never good, especially if you store food there and food pests attack. Although they might be small and seem more a nuisance than a threat, certain insects can cause irreparable damage, far beyond an itchy bite. Sometimes, ventilation could push air passing from the basement to your living areas and thus lead to pests triggering allergies that are difficult to explain.

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big nasty spider in the basement

Most spider bites aren’t technically dangerous, but seeing them in large amounts can be disconcerting. A single female spider can lay two eggs or even 1,000, depending on the species and time of year. Spiders love going into the basement because it’s warm and full of bugs to feed on.


For experts in the field, call us for professional spider exterminators.

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basement ants

Ants aren’t easy to exterminate. You might think spraying some insecticide on them will kill them, but without infiltrating the nest, your efforts are useless. Once ants make your basement their home, it’s going to be challenging to get rid of them.


Book ant pest control specialists for professional help.

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basement termites

Termites can cause a lot of damage to your home. They feed on wood and paper materials. If your home has wooden structures, a termite problem is the last thing you want. A few signs of termites in your home are discarded termite wings, wood damage, and mud tunnels.


basement cockroach infestation

One of the most common pests you can find in your basement is cockroaches (eggs spread fast). They aren’t just unsettling to look at, but cockroaches can also bite. They can also carry bacteria and can contaminate your food with E.coli and salmonella.


For professional cockroach control, do not hesitate to call our team.

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Basement centipede

Source: Wikipedia

There are over 20,000 known species of centipede. Often confused with silverfish, some are extremely poisonous, and others have a bite that causes discomfort with no real medical problems.

Still, some cause allergic reactions. If facing an infestation, you need to know to identify the poisonous from the non-poisonous species. Look at the number of legs the centipede has. A single pair of legs is a characteristic of most harmless species. The common thing is that they all love damp and dark rooms rich in humidity and prey, as centipedes feed on insects, bugs, arthropods, and more.

Book help from professional silver fish exterminators to make sure it’s gone for good.

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Millipede in the basement

Source: Wikipedia

Millipedes aren’t venomous, but some species produce fluids that can irritate our skin. They usually emit these fluids when crushed as a defence mechanism. Besides causing irritation, their fluids can be rather pungent. So, when handling millipedes, you should always use protective gloves or coverings to avoid any irritation.


earwig ready for the basement

Source: Wikipedia

Earwigs are great at finding their way into your home. So, don’t be surprised if you find them crawling straight into your basement through basement windows or crawl spaces. Not to mention, they love moisture, dirt, and leaves. If your basement is particularly dirty, earwigs will end up setting camp in your home.

Woodlice / Sowbugs

Woodlouse or woodlice or snowbugs

Source: Wikipedia

Woodlice may look like insects, but they are crustaceans. Hence, their attraction to damp and humid spots. Although they are harmless and don’t pose a threat to humans, having woodlice in your home indicates a humidity problem— which isn’t a good thing. Woodlice actively seek out sheltered, damp, and dark places, so a basement is a perfect place for them.

Silverfish / Lepisma

Basement silverfish lepisma saccharina

Source: Wikipedia

Although silverfish are relatively harmless, they can cause severe damage to your household goods. Since they love starchy materials, you’ll find them munching on books, stored food, and even clothing. You can imagine the horror and stress of finding your favourite items being eaten by these pests.

Having silverfish in your home can be challenging to remove because these bugs can live for long periods of time without food and reproduce fairly quickly. You would need to contact professionals to help you remove them from your home.


Crickets in the basement

Crickets might seem adorable, but they are, in fact, pests. When temperatures outside drop, they tend to search for warmth indoors. They are especially attracted to dark and damp areas— making basements the perfect spot for them. Your basement is probably infested with crickets if you hear chirping sounds and spot damaged fabrics.

No matter how big or small your pest problem is, in case of worry, call us for a professional pest inspection of your property. Along with our specialised services, we offer heat treatments and a fogging service.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in the Basement DIY?

If your basement is filled with pests, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of them. Other than calling a professional pest control service, here are some things you can do to get rid of bugs and pests in your basement.

Stop Moisture Sources

The abundance of water is the first and most important condition for life to flourish. Thus, your best move is to fix the underlying cause, such as reline or repair sewer, leaky pipes, poor drainage, gutter leaks, or any other water source that increases moisture levels in your basement.

Use Dehumidifiers

Stopping sources of moisture is not enough to fully get rid of it. If your basement doesn’t have the best ventilation, then consider the help of dehumidifiers.

Remove their Food Source

The first step to getting rid of bugs and pests in your basement should start with removing their food source. However, this all depends on the insect you’re dealing with. For example, a spider won’t eat human or pet food because they survive off of insects. On the other hand, Roaches like human food and don’t need much to survive. So make sure not to leave food out in your basement and always clean the tiniest of crumbs.

Block Entry Points

After you’ve removed the source of food, it’s time to seal all cracks and holes in the foundation of your home. You want to keep pests from entering. So, close off spaces around all windows and doors because some insects, like cockroaches, can get in through tiny cracks.

Use Aroma Oils

Some aromatic oils repel insects.

For example, peppermint, lavender, and lemon essential oil are known to repel spiders. Try spraying these oils around your basement. Remember to spray along the ceiling and the floorboards. You can use these sprays around other parts of your house.


Garlic may taste delicious in your favourite dishes, but bugs hate this vegetable. Other than their antibacterial properties, they are also toxic to bugs and can help repel them. A good way to use garlic to get rid of basement pests is to make your garlic spray. Simply add a few cloves of minced garlic into a mixture of mineral oil, dish soap, and water.

Water & Salt

Saltwater can be effective in killing pests. Making your salt and water spray can save you from having pests making a home in your basement. Although it might seem like salt and water aren’t very effective, they can cause dehydration and eventually kill the pests.


Vinegar has proven to be a potent cleaning agent, as seen in many DIY videos, recipes and numerous cleaning hacks. However, did you know that you can also use it to repel insects? Many people use vinegar to eliminate indoor pests such as fruit flies. Diluting vinegar in water can make for an excellent insect repellent.

Set Up Traps

Suppose you’re unsure whether you’ve caught all insects, bugs, or other pests, set up traps and bait around the basement. Use ant bait stations, which allow ants to enter, pick up insecticide bait, and carry it back to feed the queen. This form of green pest control diminishes problems with pest reproduction, but it’s far from absolute efficiency. Also, it can take several days for the queen and colony to adapt away from this route.

Another trap you can use is sticky traps that are sticky on the bottom. Once a pest steps on a sticky trap, it will be impossible to move and get free.

Light Up

Despite contrary belief, you can use lights to your advantage to repel pests. Using yellow light instead of white light can help you keep pests at bay and away from your basement. Many hardware stores sell “bug lights” that help keep insects away. Regular lights will attract bugs and pests, even backlights which can emit UV light.

Preventing Bugs From Entering Your Basement

Are you looking to prevent these critters from entering your home? Don’t fret. You have several options to make your basement a pest-free environment, which can go as far as to hurt your value in a property valuation, so beware!

Here are three things you can do for prevention.

Make an Insecticide Barrier

Creating an insecticide barrier helps secure pests from spreading throughout your entire property. This can work well if your home is prone to flooding or leaks. This way, insects won’t escape elsewhere when their home is underwater.

  • Spray nearby windows and doors.
  • Spray outside the property.
  • Spray cavities, like cracks and gaps.
  • Spray nearby power outlets, pipe compartments, gas tubes, nearby elevator shafts and any other pathways to your home.

Keep Your Basement Dry

Insects love a moist basement. Termites and roaches are attracted to damp and wet environments. So, you must keep your basement cool and dry to reduce the chances of insects infiltrating your space.

  • Fix any leaks or cracks.
  • Bring in a dehumidifier or install a ceiling fan.
  • Clean up any standing water.

Clean Your Basement Often

Roaches love to hide in piles of clutter and rubbish. It’s important to keep your basement clean, so it doesn’t attract pests. So, make time each week to tidy up your basement and monitor for any pests. “Alternatively, if you don’t have time to clean, you could opt for professional cleaners to keep your basement tidy,” comment experts at Calibre Cleaning Services. It’s a small price to pay if it means preventing roaches from inhabiting your home.

So, make sure you:

  • Remove any food or crumbs.
  • Throw out your trash often.
  • Declutter and get rid of junk.

Getting Rid of Insects & Pests in Your Basement, Final Words

Pests are never fun to deal with. They can be unsettling, destructive, and challenging to remove. Leaving your pest problems unchecked can create more problems for your home and health. When it comes to pests, you need to tackle the issue immediately. With professional help and preventative measures, you can have a pest-proof home.

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