Insect proofing basement - safety concerns

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Old 06-18-17, 05:33 PM
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Insect proofing basement - safety concerns

Just want to check with the pros here before I poison myself....

So it seems I took care of the springtails, though I see another round showing up on the outside.
Before they come in...and actually just as a general prevention against any other minor insects, including spiders, etc... anything that may be coming indoors....What would you say if I treat the entire perimeter - not only on the outside (which I do on regular basis) but also inside.

I am thinking spraying Talstar or other persistent/residual insecticide all around the basement.

I have never seen any insects in the living spaces (rooms) but from time to time I would see a spiders or such in the basement...especially that some areas of the basement are unfinished and very little movement (i.e. just storing some things in one corner...or tools and spare parts in another corner).

Is that safe for areas that obviously I will be going into from time to time and getting some objects from there....?
Should I limit the spraying to wall, floors, ceiling and any cavities only ?
Do the insecticides transfer from surfaces to objects ?

Those areas are with no Sunlight (only artificial light) and of course no water...so I expect the active ingredient to stay pretty much active for a long time....very little degradation.

If OK...how should I apply it ? Just use a regular sprayer ?
I am a bit concerned for over-spraying as those things have a wide pattern.
Maybe I should use a small spray bottle like for Windex or Hair Spray ?
Is it better to wet the surfaces or deliver fine mist ?

Keep in mind there is also furnace nearby....I guess I should keep about 10 ft away from it....lest it picks up the poison and vents it throughout the house.

Thanks!!
 
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Old 06-18-17, 06:12 PM
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Are the insects causing a problem?
 
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Old 06-18-17, 09:45 PM
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no real problem.... however, if I can safely guard against anything that might enter the living space - I'd be willing to treat the basement.

PS: I realize there might be other areas for the insects / spiders / etc... to enter but for now just focusing on the basement
 
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Old 06-19-17, 06:33 AM
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You can seal cracks and openings where they might enter but you'll never keep insects completely out. Insecticides can kill/control bugs but you have to be mindful of the chemicals you are using in your home and if it's worth it for insects that are not causing a problem.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 09:18 AM
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Dane hit the point I wanted to make - you have to do a tremendous job of sealing all the entry points. Anything short of this is not going to be effective most of the time.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 09:30 AM
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I appreciate the input....my thinking was somehow like the approach with mine fields.....I don't think one can seal every single crack and gap....especially that buildings settle and there is always some movement between structural elements that eventually lead to super small cracks that are enough for insects.... so if I can't seal the area hermetically then I can setup a mine field for them.

Spraying the interior basement along the edges probably would take only an hour every month..... so it seems like a very small effort.....however, my main concern is safety and health....

I am not going to risk it just so I can say there isn't a single spider in my house.

So..... do you still believe I shouldn't be treating the basement area ?
 
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Old 06-19-17, 09:48 AM
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Treat the outside before they can even get into the house!
 
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Old 06-19-17, 10:03 AM
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Spiders are beneficial animals, I would not be trying to get rid of them. If you get rid of the insects the spiders are eating, the spiders will leave of their own accord.
 
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Old 06-20-17, 03:18 PM
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Talstar and its active ingredient bi-fenthrin are labeled for interior and exterior usage. Bi-fenthrin comes in other trade names, too. I assume that you have Talstar brand already. If so, the label should give you good directions on mixing and application for interior and exterior. Also good on ornament plants when needed. Donít spray flowering/budding plants due to toxicity to pollinators.

Bi-fenthrin was one of my favorites for pest control, except for fleas and roaches. A compressed air sprayer is good indoors and out. It stays put but beware of whats below when spraying the top of basement walls. Otherwise it stays put as opposed to migrating. I wouldnít be concerned near the furnace or air handler.

In an unfinished basement/garagae you can spray at top and base of walls as a general spray. In living areas I would confine spraying to underneath furniture and appliances. If you have cracks/gaps in baseboard than direct injection into the gap is good. Simply spraying baseboard in general is useless. Have a cloth with you to wipe up any excess or puddling.

Strategy wise if youíve never sprayed the basement before, Iíd spray it now and see if you find dead/dying insects that you didnít know were there. Then just spray basement/interior on an as needed basis while maintaining exterior spray regularly. Thatís how I do my own house. On exterior you could consider bi-fenthrin granules, too. Especially in wet season as the granules need moisture to dissolve. Longer residual too. Still would need to spray soffits and such though.

Equipment wise I use both compressed air sprayer and trigger bottles. Both work well in particular areas. Only spray to the point of run off as the label should state. That is a tricky one to define though. The idea is that if your spray is running down the wall or puddling, then that is too much and is wasteful. In areas where you want to use as little volume as possible, consider using a higher concentration as that will allow you to use less water. The label will give a range of concentrations. Of the top of my head, I think the range is .03% to .06% but double check that.

A saving grace of bi-fenthrin is that it is non-staining unless over applied. Even then it is easily cleaned up with wet cloth. Hope this helps.
 
 

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