6 Ways to Spider-Proof Your Basement, According to Experts
Keep the subterranean level of your house arachnid-free with these tips.
Of all the bugs and critters that can find their way into your house, spiders tend to have the lousiest reputation. It's not fair, really. Not only do spiders help take care of other pests as skilled hunters, but they also tend to stick to areas of the home that are relatively out of the way—like your attic and basement. Fortunately, this is good news for anyone who's arachnophobic and would like to avoid any surprise confrontations. But if you're looking to cut back on the number of cobwebs in your cellar, there are a few simple things you can do. Read on to discover the best ways to spider-proof your basement, according to experts.
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Keep other bugs out.
Let's be clear: Spiders are great natural hunters and perform the taste of being a thankless form of natural pest control just by being around. But if your home suffers from any kind of bug infestation, it might make it more likely for arachnids to stick around your basement.
"Keep in mind you are not only trying to keep spiders out, but their food source: other insects," Judy Black, BCE, vice president of quality assurance and technical services at pest control company Orkin, tells Best Life. "Inspect the outside of the home and seal any openings that insects could use to get in on the ground floor. If you have them, make sure exterior doors and hatches are closed tightly and replace any damaged weather stripping to ensure there are no spaces where they can slip through. And you should also repair any damaged screens on vents and basement windows to keep bugs from making their way inside."
Keep things tidy.
Basements have a habit of collecting unwanted objects and piles of storage by their very nature. Unfortunately, experts say these kinds of messes can make your lower level that much more enticing for spiders.
"Keeping your basement clean and free of clutter is key," Jim Skinner of A&C Pest Management says. "Spiders are attracted to dark and undisturbed places, so keeping your basement neat and tidy will help deter them. And vacuuming regularly can also help to remove spiders and their webs."
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Clear the area around your home.
It's one thing to use your yard to enjoy a little slice of nature right on your property. But if you allow things to get a little too wild right outside the walls of your home, you could be inviting spiders and the insects they're hunting into your basement.
"Rake mulch away from the foundation," suggests Black. "Move firewood away from the house, as it can become an ecosystem of its own. And at the very least, trim the grass that grows next to your home's foundation to ensure you're not creating an outdoor habitat that's too close for comfort."
Use the power of plants.
Plants and flowers can be pleasant to look at and smell, but they can also be a serious deterrent for some animals. And according to experts, it's no different when it comes to spiders. By changing the makeup of flowerbeds, your garden could actually become an easy way to help keep arachnids away.
"To deter spiders from entering your home, consider planting mint, rosemary, or garlic near the basement entrance or around the foundation of your home," says Skinner. "Spiders are not attracted to this scent and will avoid it."
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Invest in good traps.
Normally, the easiest way to deal with spiders is to deprive them of the food they crave. But if you're concerned there are potentially venomous species hiding out in your basement and storage areas, you might need to take things a step further with removal strategies.
"Sticky traps are a quick way to remove hunting spiders and males that are seeking mates," says Black. "Place the traps in the corners of the basement where they're more likely to hide out," adding that these will also have the added benefit of catching other insects that are prey as well.
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Spray for prey.
Spiders are unlikely to hang out anywhere they can't find a decent meal. If you're struggling to get that fly, moth, or mosquito problem under control, experts say calling in pest control to take care of the issue can do wonders. Just make sure you're addressing the right problem by focusing on the base of the food chain.
"Insecticide will control spiders when applied correctly, but the best way to control spiders is to limit the food the spiders are feeding on, which are other insects," says Black.