Each time it rains, you may find that your basement becomes invaded by pill bugs, or Armadillidiidae. Although these tiny crustaceans pose no real threat, you probably do not want to have them crawling around your home. If so, use the following three tips for keeping pill bugs out of your home's basement.
Remove Wet Cardboard Boxes or Wood
There are two things that the roly-poly pill bugs love to ingest: dead organic material and water. And, if you have wet cardboard boxes or pieces of rotting wood lying around your basement, you are accidentally attracting the pests by providing an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of their favorite food.
To keep the pill bugs from seeing your basement as their favorite diner, remove any cardboard boxes or wood that you have stored in your basement. If you used the cardboard boxes to store your possessions, put them in plastic containers instead. The totes will better protect your belongings and will not attract the bugs.
Air Out Your Basement
As mentioned in the previous section, pill bugs love moisture. They need it not only as part of their diet, but they also need it to keep their hard shells from drying out. If the shells dry out, the pill bugs will die.
If you normally keep your basement closed up tight, the dampness and humidity will build up and the moisture will become trapped inside. This pent-up moisture will attract the pill bugs, especially after it rains.
To help keep your basement from becoming an oasis for the bugs, open the windows to air it out. You may also want to run a couple of fans after it rains to help speed up the drying process.
Fill In Any Small Cracks or Gaps
If your basement has small cracks or gaps, these could contribute to your pill bug invasions in two ways. First, even small openings are large enough for the pill bugs to crawl through, giving them easy access to your basement. Second, the cracks let water into your basement, providing an ideal environment for the bugs.
If you have any small cracks or gaps in your basement walls, fill them to block the bugs' access. For the cracks, you can apply a thin layer of epoxy to seal the openings. If you have larger gaps, waterproof silicone caulk can provide a seal that is capable of expanding completely to fill the space.
Even after using the above tips, you may still find that pill bugs have decided to call your basement their home. If so, contact a pest control company to have them inspect your basement and discuss your options for getting rid of the nuisance, as well as other measures you can use to keep them out of your home.