Bugs, bugs everywhere


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Old 01-20-14, 02:32 AM
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Bugs, bugs everywhere

I wanted to see if there was anyone on these forums who could give me some ideas of what I can do to get rid of my bug problem.

I have a pretty nasty insect/bug problem in my basement. All kinds of bugs, insects, spiders, whatever decides to come in. The worst are the Jerusalem crickets, so many of them.

I was wondering if anyone had some ideas on what I could do to get them to stop coming into my house.

I have tried bug spray (Ortho Home Defense Max), spraying it all the way around my foundation a couple times in the spring. Didn't seem to do anything. I have tried spraying inside my basement, but could only use it in hard to reach places because of my dog.

It is definitely worse in the summer. Every time I go down there in the summer I have to wear shoes, otherwise there'll be a nasty crunch when I step on a Jerusalem cricket. Or some other bug. Gross.

Spiders are down there too. I'm sure we have some nasty spiders in Wyoming, and I'm afraid my dog will get bit someday because she sleeps down there all the time.

I was considering moving my home office down there, as the room it's in now upstairs will need to be used as a bedroom soon. Then I remembered the bugs down there.

I know of only one small hole, just above the foundation where a water line exits the house, that bugs could enter through. I have been meaning to seal it, but it is hard to get to from the inside. But I can't believe all these bugs are getting in through that small hole, especially the Jerusalem crickets, as it's a couple feet above grade.

SO, long story short, help me with some ideas to be rid of the bugs!

Thanks in advance!
 
  #2  
Old 01-20-14, 06:05 AM
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Is the basement finished or unfinished? Can you see the overhead floor joists? If there is a ceiling, is it a drop ceiling? Exposed concrete floors or what? Describe exterior of house. Single, detached? Duplex? What kind of siding? How many stories? Accessible attic?

You’ll need to spray the basement to some extent. That extent will be determined by the answers to the first paragraph.

I would suggest buying a concentrate that you will mix with water and apply with a compressed air sprayer or a trigger spray bottle or equivalent.
What you want is a “residual” spray; meaning a spray that when dissolved will leave a chemical residual in place that the insects will contact. An unfinished basement can be treated more liberally than a finished basement. Keep the dog out of basement until treated areas are thoroughly dry. Keep spray off of areas that dog sleeps on, etc.

Active ingredients (not brand names) that will work: Lambda-cyhalothrin; bi-fenthrin; cyfluthrin; Not in any particular order.

Bugs can get in many different ways that we can’t even see. Once they are in, especially crickets, they will breed and have their life cycle indoors until you do something about it. Treating the exterior perimeter, high and low, of house will be necessary in season as well. Interior can be treated less often if exterior is treated regularly, but initially the basement needs to be treated once or twice anyway. Update us with more info and we’ll get back with you.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 06:43 AM
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Thanks a bunch for the info. I'll try to give some more detailed information on the layout, so please bear with me as this may get a bit long winded.

The basement is a mish mash of finished, un-finished, and partially finished. It's an old house that has been added on to and worked on a lot.

The finished room I don't really have problems with, and I plan on putting a door on it to really close it off. It has wood floors with a wood subfloor. I do not know what is under the subfloor, either dirt or concrete. I plan on replacing the wood floor. This room is turning into my computer/server room.

The partially finished room is the first one you walk into when you go down there. The walls are wood paneled, some kind of thin pine. There is no ceiling, the floor joists are visible. The floor is bare, rough concrete with pieces of carpet laid on top in places. This is the space I have the most problems with, and also the space I need for my home office. I do not plan on "finishing" it.

Right next to (or at the end of) this main partially finished room is a totally un-finished, dirt crawlspace barely two feet high. Originally the wall separating these two spaces did not go all the way up, leaving a couple feet of open space between them. I took about half of this wall down in an attempt to dig out the rest of the basement, but had to abandon this idea after finding out the foundation isn't deep enough.

The bug problem was the same before and after me working in there and taking some of the wall out.

I plan on leveling the crawlspace and putting a sort of floor in there, giving me some much needed storage space, as well as providing easy access to the other side of the house.

Once I do this I can easily get to the foundation, which is where most of the bug/mouse entry points are I believe.

I think if I can get into this crawlspace and seal up the foundation and the other side, then put the wall separating the crawlspace and partially finished room all the way up this will help a lot.

What do you think of "natural" pest control? I've been reading a lot about using peppermint oil.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 10:12 AM
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I agree with everything PAbugman suggest but why not just close it off and use a fogger type bug bomb to kill existing populations and then treat the exterior of the home with liquid insecticide?
 
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Old 01-20-14, 05:25 PM
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I still like the idea of spraying a residual insecticide into and onto areas that are not accessible to the dog.

Key areas to treat:

Top of foundation wall where it meets the overhead floor joists.
Move pieces of carpet, spray the concrete and replace carpet.
Under appliances and furniture that dog has no access to.
Fan spray into crawl space as far as possible; then adjust nozzle to pin stream, pump up and spray the top of foundation wall and the dirt floor as far as you can.
Compressed air sprayer would be necessary for this type of crawl space treatment.

When dry, pets won’t absorb the sprays; when wet is the highest risk and exposure. Everyone has pets anymore so we are trained and aware of these risks.

Kerry gives good advice in minimizing interior treatment and exposure. The aerosol foggers do not have a residual effect; The aerosolized spray must contact the insect which is limiting but a crawl space, once closed off would be the right type of environment to do this. I would suggest a residual treatment with compressed air sprayer followed up by aero fogger in the crawl to get whatever is living between floor joists out over the crawl space.
The total-release foggers do not impress me as they simply go up and then down while furniture and such acts as an umbrella. When people want to use an aerosol fogger I suggest to them to buy the type of fogger that you can control and aim (flying insect spray). In a closed crawl space or unfinished basement I often suggest using the “yard-guard” aerosols as they are powerful enough to give you depth into the crawl space; then close door when done.

The crickets will probably be a once time treatment in the basement as long as you stay consistent with exterior treatment in season. Spiders seem to re-infest more often.

The only citrus oil that seems to work is “Demize” and we use that in flea treatments. It is one of the few chemicals that really does kill the eggs and pupae but requires thorough preparation by homeowner and treatment by the bug guy. No residual; must be tank-mixed with a residual. It also has a danger label due to eye hazard. Otherwise I’m not aware of any oil or such that works to any extent.

Keep us posted with progress and results.
 
 

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