Bugs in the Basement or Crawl Space

Are You Sharing Your Home with Unwanted Guests?


Bugs in the basement or crawl space usually lead to bugs in the house. Having bugs in your basement or crawl space doesn’t mean you’ve done a bad job keeping the house clean! But it could be a sign of possible foundation problems.

It’s a fact. Bugs and pests are attracted to moisture and darkness. Unfinished basements and crawl spaces often serve as an ideal breeding ground for insects.

Crawl space moisture or a wet basement is often an indication of foundation issues. A damp basement or crawl space is an attractive home for bugs. Most of these common basement bugs need moisture to thrive.

Pill Bugs or Roly Polies and Sow Bugs

pill bugPill bugs and sow bugs look like tiny armored bugs, measuring less than one-half inch long. A pill bug will curl into a ball when touched; a sow bug cannot do that.

Neither is dangerous to homeowners or the structure itself, but their presence indicates a damp basement or crawl space.




centipede in crawl spaceCentipede may have been a great video game years ago, but having actual centipedes in the basement or crawl space is a problem.

Centipedes actually have a poisonous gland, and if you are bitten, the bite area can be affected with mild pain.


millipede crawl space pestLonger than centipedes, the millipede looks similar to brown worm. They can slip into basements through foundation cracks and are drawn in by moisture.


earwig in basementEarwigs are small, flat insects with large pincers that can make them look threatening.

They will enter basements through foundation cracks and come in under doors and windows that don’t fit properly.

Silverfish and Firebrats

silverfish in crawl spaceBoth silverfish and firebrats have slim, scaled bodies. Silverfish are named for their coloring while the body of a firebrat is mostly gray. Both have two long antennae.

Their reproduction depends on humid conditions, which can occur in a leaky basement or unsealed crawl space.

Silverfish find their way into dark places inside your home, like closets, where they’re known to destroy clothing.


bugs in basementSince cockroaches can spread disease to humans and like to multiply quickly, they need to be eliminated immediately from a basement or crawl space, before the problem grows.

Roaches like damp, dark spaces and are nocturnal.Once they find their way in, roaches tend to not isolate themselves to the crawl space or basement, usually making their way into the living areas of the home.

Carpenter Ants

ant in basementAbout the same size as a termite, the carpenter ant has a dark body and distinctive waist. They will nest in moist, decayed wood often found wall spaces that have been damaged by moisture or under rotted subfloors.

Whether you live in Colorado, Tennessee or Missouri, basement bugs are common.Even the brown recluse spider can be found in basements in several states as far north as Ohio as south as Georgia and westward into Texas, where four species of the brown recluse spider have been discovered.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in the Basement for Good

A pest control company or exterminator can help get rid of bugs in a hurry, but that doesn’t ensure that the bugs wont return down the road.

The best first step to get rid of bugs in the basement or crawl space is to eliminate water intrusion completely, so the bugs will no longer be drawn in. Here’s how it it’s done at Olshan:

  1. Exterior Water Management – This affordable water management solution is tailored uniquely to your home. A drainage system is installed, helping to move water away from the crawl space or basement. No water, no bugs.
  2. Encapsulation – By encapsulating the walls and/or floor of the basement or crawl space using a moisture-resistant barrier, homeowners are able to eliminate moisture, reduce humidity and detour pests by blocking access to the home from the foundation.
  3. Dehumidifiers – A basement or crawl space dehumidifier reduces moisture and circulates fresh, clean air throughout the home. By improving indoor air quality, insects no longer have an ideal environment to reproduce.

Just Kill Them Now! Top 3 Pest Control Companies

We get it, bugs are gross. If you need a long term fix, we can help. If you need an exterminator, here are 3 of the top choices according to research using customer reviews from Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Google Business, Yelp and the BBB.

  1. Orkin
  2. Terminix
  3. Ecolab

To keep these pests from entering your home long term – contact a qualified foundation repair specialist.