Published on July 28th, 2015 | by Henri


Bugs keep returning to basement

Q.  For the past 3 years, we have been inundated with rolly-polly bugs in our basement during the summer. We have a standard poured concrete basement and the house is 11 years old.

I have not been able to determine exactly how they enter, other than it seems like they either come in where the wall meets the floor, or, they just come through the walls! There are no obvious cracks for them to enter. I have tried over-the-counter bug sprays around the interior wall/floor seams, but all this does is kill them after they enter.

I have also put down a band of bug spray all around the exterior where the earth touches the foundation, but this has had no effect. Now the weather is warning up, they are coming in again. Do you have any suggestions?

A.  My guess is that the rolly-polly bugs are sowbugs or pillbugs, depending upon where you live, as they are not common in cold regions. To be sure, collect a few in a plastic container and take them to the extension service of your local university or to a pest management professional for identification.

Both sowbugs and pillbugs like moisture and feed on decomposing vegetable matter. Do you store firewood close to the house or have heavy organic mulch against the foundation? They can enter the basement from there, and they will be happy in it if it is damp.

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