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How to Keep Your Basement from Becoming a Pest Paradise

Most of us know when we’ve inherited a pest problem. They crawl across our kitchen counters, we find them in our beds, or they get caught in our sinks and bathtubs. But there are some areas of the home that can get out of control before we even realize there’s an issue. Utility spaces, attics, toolsheds, and basements can all become hidden paradises for families of pests.
Before you need to call up a pest control service to handle an issue that’s way beyond self-repair, here are a few tips for preventing such a pest population catastrophe.
Identify Entryways
In order to set up camp and begin to breed, pests must first find their way in. This is easier for some pests such as ants and spiders, but raccoons, mice, birds, and rats can find their way in too. And when they do, they often wreak much more havoc in a shorter amount of time. Start by checking your windowsills, walls, corners, and doorframes for drafts. A draft is the easiest and quickest way to identify an entry from the outside. Next, move any furniture, boxes, or larger items away from the walls. If you haven’t taken a look lately, it’s possible that animals and smaller insects have been creating their own tunnels and entryways in your walls. Mice in particular are great at finding ways to nibble into your house. This will also help you identify if they are making their homes in your furniture and boxes. Since they often stay out of sight, sometimes the first indication of a problem is identified by looking for nests made out of cardboard or clothing, and droppings.
Take Preventative Measures
There are quite a few natural, no-hassle remedies that you can put into place to ward off pests. For example, spiders are not a fan of mint or citric acid, cockroaches don’t like hot sauce, and cedar can drive away moths. A thin line of diatomaceous earth or boric acid around the perimeter of the basement floor can prevent a wide array of insects from getting a foothold. But keep in mind, your own pets should be kept away from these areas too.
Fortify Your Fortress
The lack of a draft or what appears to be a tight seal might not always be as secure as you think. The best way to prevent pests is to ensure that your home is locked down tight. Install extra weather stripping and window seals, and close up cracks in the concrete, even if you can’t see how they might lead to the outdoors. An attached garage with a garage door that leads to the basement is also often a great way for these little guys to get in. If you have a direct line from your garage into your home, install or tightly seal an existing door between the garage and the rest of the house.
Pest control is all about prevention. Harsh chemicals aren’t always necessary, but sometimes bringing in the big dogs and pest control experts is mandatory. Before the problem gets to that point, try a few easy, inexpensive home remedies. Just as humans are particular about their preferences, many pests are as well.

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