Food Storage In The Basement


If you are storing your emergency food supply in the basement, or garage, or other such similar place, here are a few thoughts which might help you avoid some problems.

Bugs and insects tend to crawl along the edges of the floor and walls. Take a look and you might notice bug droppings ‘residue’ along the edges of the floor in some areas.

Knowing that many basement insects behave this way, it might be a good idea to NOT place any food storage directly up against a wall. Leave a gap of an inch or two.

Also, clean up those ‘droppings’. Get a bucket of water and your favorite detergent and use a rag to clean up the trail of bug crap. This trail acts as a scent trail and will only keep the super highway in action.

Having said that, sealed pails, bins with lids, and packaging which seal out the external environment, are going to be okay from insects and crawly critters (unless they were inside the containment to begin with), so it’s best to contain your long term food storage this way.

Foods stored up on shelves will be a little better off from easy pickins by the bugs – although some of them may still find their way there. The thing is though, if the food is properly sealed and contained, there will be no attraction for the insects – and no problem.

Be aware that the packaging of many foods is vastly inferior for long term storage (or storage in a basement environment). Consider re-packaging or using bins with covers to hold some foods which may be especially susceptible to infestation or moisture. While the lids of ordinary bins are not hermetically sealed (typically just a snug fit), they will help slow down any problems.

The typical basement maintains a somewhat steady temperature and is usually cooler than the rest of the house (good for food storage), But beware of excess humidity (bad for food storage). Basements are often somewhat damp. It makes sense to get yourself a humidity gauge and see what it is. 50% or less is good. 60% is marginal. Anything more and moisture will more readily find it’s way into porous packaging.

If you have chronic humidity in your basement, then get yourself a dehumidifier.

Look around for mouse turds. If you say ANY, then there’s a problem. Mice can chew there way into surprising places. This will become a very big problem for your valuable food storage. Get mouse traps. Look for any tiny gap where they may have come inside from outside. Seal it up.


Regularly check on your food storage. You have invested all this time and money into building up food storage for your preparedness, so don’t lose it to insects, mice, or humidity!

Once in awhile, exam it. All of it. Look behind boxes, pails, containers, bins, and look for signs of problems. If you see any, nip it in the bud, so to speak. Keep the basement environment clean.

Any further suggestions?