Whether you use your basement for storage, a play area, or entertainment purposes, bugs and other pests are bound to find their way in. Basements are partly or entirely underground, giving easy access to insects that dig and burrow under the soil. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Many pests enjoy the darkness a basement provides, offering them safety from humans and other predators in which they hide.
In Northern California, our basements provide a dark, damp, and cool place to reside. While a small number of insects is no cause for concern, a minute situation can quickly manifest into a full-blown infestation. Learn what the most common types of pests in your basement are, why they are such a nuisance, and how a pest control service can help prevent them.
Common Basement Insects
Some of the most common insects you might find lurking in your basement include:
Probably the most common insect found in basements is a spider. Spiders love basements because they present them with a dark and damp place with an abundance of food sources. They especially like basements that are full of clutter and mostly undisturbed.
Here in northern California, we have our share of spiders, including the infamous black widow and tarantula. Fortunately, these two are scarier than their actual bite. A tarantula’s venom is much like a bee sting. Black widows, while they can be deadly, typically stay out of sight. A few other common spiders commonly found in your basement include:
- American house spider
- Domestic house spider
- Brown recluse -also venomous
- Wolf spider
These resilient pests can enter through the smallest cracks in your property. They are nocturnal and enter our homes seeking food, water, and shelter. If you have a kitchen in your basement or it houses an area where you eat, cockroaches are sure to discover it. They can damage your clothes and other belongings as well as leave fecal droppings and dead skin along their trail.
Those allergic to these vile creatures can suffer from asthma and upper respiratory conditions.
Silverfish mostly dwell in dark and damp spaces such as your bathroom, kitchen, or basement. Because of their secretive nature, they can be hard to find. They are tear-dropped and covered in shiny fish-like scales with three long bristles on their rear. But if you notice holes in your wallpaper or yellow stains on your fabric, chances are you have an infestation and might require silverfish control.
Beetles are typically black or dark in color, with three pairs of legs and two pairs of wings. When they move inside, they find their way into our homes through cracks and crevices and hide in damp basements or under objects on the floor. Sometimes considered beneficial as predators preying on insects such as ants, aphids, and maggots, some species can be quite destructive.
When an ant nest is close to your house, they inevitably find entry points through the holes and cracks in your foundation. These tiny little creatures are social, so if you see one scurrying across your basement floor, chances are they are on their way back to their colony, where the queen and billions of others await. When these annoying pests are involved, you don’t want to wait to invest in ant control.
When it comes to creepy crawling insects lurking in your basement, termites are one of the worst to find. Termites cause over 5 billion in damage annually in the United States alone. There are three different kinds of termites in Northern California; damp wood, drywood, and subterranean. Subterranean termites prefer the moist environment of our basements and cause the most damage to our homes. Termites resemble the look of ants but have shorter legs, a thick waist, and straight antennae.
Centipedes look creepy with their enormous amount of legs. With their flat appearance and yellow-brown color, they move super fast and are often hard to detect. They prefer the moisture of damp basements and bathrooms. Ad while they are not the nicest critter to look at, centipedes feast on other insects such as flies and spiders and can often help keep other bug infestations at bay.
Different basement pests can cause different types of problems. Some carry harmful and dangerous diseases; others can induce allergies, and many can cause structural or other types of damage to your home. Let’s start with those that carry diseases.
Some insects carry diseases that can spread to humans and/or our beloved pets. Cockroaches feed on human waste and transfer pathogens, making them secondary carriers of many forms of mold, fungus, bacteria, and disease. Bacteria dropped on top of food sources can cause salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. Cockroaches have also been known to carry intestinal diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever.
Certain beetles, termites, and ants can all cause structural damage to your home, each in a different yet costly way.
Termites eat away at your wood structure, causing it to decay and break down. Subterranean termites create mud tubes on or near your walls, causing damaged wood paneling, paint blisters, and hollow-sounding wood. They also like to feast on substances containing cellulose, which is found in drywall.
The larvae of beetles can cause extensive damage to your carpet, furniture, and clothing. This is because they feed on natural fibers such as fur, silk, wool, and even feathers scavenging for food in the dark. Infestations often go unnoticed until it’s too late and the damage is widespread. Making things worse, they can be hard to detect because many species are able to camouflage their bodies, making them impossible to see with the naked eye.
Most ants are foraging for food, but carpenter ants seek refuge in your wood and can cause severe damage to your home. They dig into your structure, looking for a place to build their nest. In doing so, they create tunnels throughout the wood, comprising the structural integrity and foundation of your home.
Damage to Your Garden
Certain types of insects can also do quite a lot of damage to your garden. There are types of beetles that are notorious for destroying trees. Have a vegetable garden? Beware of aphids, tiny pests that love to rip apart plants and destroy the leaves of your vegetables. So an infestation in your basement may not only be detrimental to your home’s foundation, but once these buggers venture outside in the warmth, your home may not be the only thing they damage.
Most of us are aware of the allergic reactions caused by stinging insects such as bees and wasps, but did you know that cockroaches’ feces and shedding body parts can also trigger upper respiratory allergies? With our year-round seasonal temperatures, cockroach allergies are quite common in Northern California. The National Pest Management Association reports that 63% of homes in the United States contain cockroach allergens. These allergens cause symptoms much like those that stem from pollen allergies, including:
- Nasal Congestion
- Ear and sinus infections
- Itchy, red, watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
In many cases, these symptoms become chronic, lasting beyond typical seasonal allergies.
Danger to Pets
Insects not only harbor disgusting bacteria and transmit diseases to you, but they can also cause harm to your beloved pets. We all know the dangers of fleas and ticks with dogs, but other bugs, including spiders and ants, can also cause harm. Pets like to play with bugs, attacking them with their paws and watching as the insect falters, but some species of spider and other insect bites can cause severe inflammation, pain, and neuromuscular damage.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional Pest Control Company
Most people think they can handle a pest infestation on their own. Between all the products on the market, TikTok, and DIY YouTube videos, doing so seems easy. But the truth is, the damage caused by insects varies. Trying to combat an infestation yourself is dangerous and can lead to increased damage or even sickness. Insects like cockroaches and ants reproduce rather quickly and can lead to an unexpected infestation fast. Leave pest control up to the trained and experienced professionals who have the equipment and necessary protection to handle such a crisis. Investing in a professional pest control service can save you time, money, and stress.
For All Your Pest Control Needs, Contact AAI Pest Control
At AAI Pest Control, we have over 35 years of knowledge and experience protecting the residents and businesses in Northern California from damage and harm caused by pests. Our professional exterminators provide ant control, beetle control, spider control, silverfish control, and other types of pest control for all of your rodent and insect removal needs. Contact us at 209-545-0789 today or visit our website and get started.