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Is it a waterbug? Silverfish? What’s crawling in my basement?

August 11, 2014

When it comes to the creepy-crawlies that inhabit our basements, it’s no surprise to learn they might be among the worst pests to invade your home. Basements and crawl spaces are the perfect living and breeding ground for many unwanted pests, attracted to the cool, damp area and often left regularly undisturbed. But dealing with these pests properly first requires being able to identify what they are and where they are hiding.

Waterbugs, also known as the Oriental Cockroach, are a common pest found in cool, damp areas around the house. Waterbugs look like common cockroaches (they are in the same family) and are recognizable by their dark brown bodies, short antennae and wings. Unlike the common cockroach, the waterbug is a slow and sluggish mover. Silverfish get their name from their resemblance to small, silver-colored fish or krill, and are characterized by a strange blue-silver or a smoky brown coloring, and three long bristles on their tail end. They are nocturnal pests that thrive in cool and damp areas, are swift moving and easily hide in small cracks in floors or walls.

As these creatures crawl around your house and feed, they also release harmful waste that may contain disease and bacteria. Silverfish tend to feed on paper, cloth, carpets or wallpaper. Waterbugs are more attracted to garbage or decaying food. Worst of all, both waterbugs and silverfish can reproduce quickly – and because of their secretive tendencies and hidden locations, an infestation can happen fast and quickly become too much to handle without professional help. As an infestation gets worse, items such as clothing, books and papers could be destroyed. Signs of an infestation can be found by checking clothing and closets, kitchen and bath waste receptacles, the garbage disposal and your basement or crawl space.

Keeping your basement dry and clean is the first step for prevention. Also, all storage items and garbage should be in sealed plastic containers or bins to help you avoid attracting these bothersome basement pests. While waterbugs and silverfish are the most common basement dwellers in central Ohio, other common pests include earwigs, centipedes, beetles and crickets. Contact a professional for help with preventing and eliminating these crawling pests – especially if you suspect an invasion.

Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter.

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award

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