Common Basement Bugs That You Need To Watch Out For

Published : April 24, 2020

Like all other creatures, bugs have their rightful place on earth. But no one wants that place to be their home. If your home has a basement, then it can serve as a warm shelter to a wide range of bugs. Most basement-dwelling bugs are harmless, except for a few mosquitoes and spiders. The majority of basement bugs go through their short lives without you noticing them. One basement bug hunts for another, bringing to close the circle of life in your basement. In this article, we will walk you through common basement bugs and possible ways to get rid of them.

Common Basement Bugs & Their Lifespan


Life Span


2 years

Mold Mites

9 to 30 days


5 to 6 years


1 to 3 years


2 to 8 years

Brown Recluse Spider

1 to 2 years

Sow Bugs

2 Years

House Cricket

3 Months


Male-10 days; Female-42 to 56 days


Brown rat-2 years; Black rat-12 months


Basement bugs need a damp place. With a constant supply of food, moisture, ideal temperature, and hiding places from predators, these bugs can turn your basement into a breeding ground or a spooky place.

Common Basement Bugs And What To Do About It?

Here, we have listed some of the common basement bugs and how you can prevent them from further turning your basement into a spooky place.

1. Termites 

Termites appear in big colonies and carve nests using wooden parts of your house. This is a serious problem that you need to deal with. The major reason for termite infestation is the rarely used or unused wooden items stored in your basement. The termites feed on the furniture and grow in size.  

There are different forms of termites such as damp wood termites that eat only wet wood, dry wood termites that have small colonies and feast of dry wood and softwood.

There are also subterranean termites that have colonies that house millions of them. Among subterranean varieties, the eastern subterranean termite is the most dangerous and hard to detect. You may require immediate service from a pest control professional.

If you think you have termites in your house/basement you should:

  • Surround your house with a pesticide barrier

  • Fill up a powder dusted with boric acid powder and spray (Do-It-Yourself Option)

  • Immediately call an exterminator

Important: Termites are quick eaters and work 24 hours a day. They keep munching wood all the time. This is why a termite colony can turn out to be a nightmare for all the wood you own. 

2. Mold Mite

If any part of your home appears to be damp or has moisture, there are high chances that you may be housing a colony of mold mites.

Mold mites are about the size of a pinhead and cannot be spotted by an untrained eye. Typically, these bugs feed on food like cheese, meat, nuts seeds, flour, grains, and other kinds of agricultural products.

These bugs can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. It is important to make your home an inhospitable place for them by getting rid of their food source. If the infestation is limited to a small area, then use a combination of vinegar solution & water to kill the molds. 

3. Centipede 

Centipedes are predatory bugs that are usually harmless, but they can bite if you try picking them with your bare hands. They prey on mostly moths, crickets, and small spiders.

Killing centipedes would turn out to be messy. Instead, use a paper piece to pick them up and release onto a place where they belong. To prevent these bugs from entering your home or basement, keep your place clean by removing debris that would attract their favorite prey like cockroaches, flies, crickets, etc.

4. Earwigs 

These insects are harmless and the most misunderstood & feared. Earwigs were once assumed to lay eggs in human ears, and hence the name. 

These basement bugs get attracted to moist areas and are commonly found in cracks in your home. In summer, earwigs can be found in the garden. It is in the winter when they enter your home to get some warm shelter. 

Getting rid of these bugs is a simple process. Simply remove rotting wood around your home and seal up any cracks they use as an entrance.

5. Silverfish 

This basement bug gets its name because of its color and fish-like wriggling characteristic. Silverfish are slippery insects that are commonly found in all homes across America and hang out in drains and dark corners. 

Similar to centipedes, silverfish are scavengers who consume flies and spiders. They are considered as your home’s night time cleaning-up squad. Though this basement bug acts as an extinguisher of other pests, it can turn out to be a nightmare as they reproduce quickly and can cause an infestation. Silverfish are nearly impossible to catch and even harder to kill, so just wash them down the drain or find a way to ignore them. Other methods can be,

  • Using a dehumidifier

  • Sealing cracks and any opening in walls

  • Clearing damp leaves or debris around your home

6. Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spider is the most venomous insect in North America. They are found in the bedclothes or clothes left on the floor or even in your basement. Their bite goes unnoticeable in the beginning but gradually develops into a serious wound.

A sticky trap is the best way to control brown recluse. This trap comes in handy as spiders get caught in it, thereby enabling you to kill it all at ease.

7. Sowbugs

Also known as woodlice, sowbugs serve a useful purpose in our gardens where they generate compost and loosen up the soil. If it is dry outside, sowbugs invade a damp basement in huge numbers. Getting rid of these pests can be a time-consuming task. The best you can do is to:

  1. Remove moisture from places such as wood debris, rocks, grass, basement windows, and other points of entry

  2. Store firewood off the ground

  3. Ventile basements and subfloor spaces which will help eliminate moisture

  4. Seal cracks and openings in the foundation wall, around the door, and in the basement window

8. House Cricket

Crickets can be extremely annoying as they can keep you up all night. Unlike other basement bugs, crickets are not attracted to moisture. Rather they love hiding in dark places, which helps them feed on pests easily. 

They feed on the dried organic matter, including cotton and wool. House cricket would indicate that your basement could indicate you have cracks in your foundation, which makes it easy for them to get in. All you need to do is to seal up cracks and any other easy entry ports.

To conclude

Basement bugs are gross. Keeping them out of our basement is never impossible. In addition to sealing up the cracks, and sucking the moisture out of the air, redirect the light and cut down the dark places. If you have failed in stopping the basement bug infestation, consider reaching out to the professionals offering pest control services. 

To help you reach the right professionals, Consumera has listed top pest control service providers in the US. Simply browse through the website and find the right solution for you. 

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