Whether it leaves you hopping mad or gives you a frog in your throat, an amphibian invasion of your basement via your basement or egress windows can be absolutely maddening.
Whether you view these frogs as cute critters, annoying pests, or anything in between, you probably don’t want them invading your personal space.
What’s worse, if you don’t act quickly, the frogs in question might not just hop into your basement but die there as well.
That isn’t something you or the frog want, which is why you’ll want to take the following steps to make sure that your egress windows and basement space remain frog-free.
Why Does This Happen?
First, it’s worth asking – why do frogs hop down into your basement in the first place? Why do they enter a huge walled off place where they’re walled off from the outside world and trapped there forever, as if they were a bunch of froggy Fortunatos from “The Cask of Amontillado?”
Thankfully, it’s nothing as dramatic as that, though left unchecked the situation can still turn quite tragic. The main reason frogs suffer this fate is that they hop down into basements and then find themselves unable to hop back out given how high the walls are.
Once they hop into your basement from an egress window, there could be several feet between them and the ledge from which they entered, leaving them unable to hop back up and out of your home.
What’s more, some frogs are protected in the US and Europe due to their endangered status. It would be even more tragic if a frog who’s dangling near extinction dies in your basement because of an open egress window – but even with the open egress window, why are frogs attracted there in the first place?
As much as their continued presence may be baffling or annoying, you may actually end up thanking frogs for showing up because the reason they hop down into your basement area in the first place is typically a water problem on your end.
Frogs love moisture and need to live close to it, even when on land. If your basement and the area around it is stone dry, chances are it won’t appear too tempting.
On the other hand, if you have water in or near your basement, that combined with the space’s naturally dark and cool nature may well attract frogs.
In other words, if you start to see a lot of frogs frequenting your basement, there’s a fair chance you have a plumbing problem, standing water due to rain or floods, or something similar.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at eight of the most effective methods for keeping frogs out of your egress window space and basement.
Method #1: Keep the Egress Window Shut
The most basic and obvious way to keep your space frog-free is simply to keep the egress window shut. This isn’t always possible, of course, and isn’t foolproof, which is why there are other methods listed here, but it’s still keeping your egress window shut when you aren’t using it.
Method #2: Consider Your Sump Pump and Drainage
As mentioned above, plumbing problems can be one of the main things that attract frogs to your basement. While they typically enter through your egress window, some frogs are also able to come in via a sump pump.
Failure to keep the lid on your sump pump or to properly drain it can lead to a buildup of scummy pond-like water that’s perfect for frogs, and they’ll take advantage of it.
You should thus make sure to drain your sump pump properly, which means making sure that the water is flushed out into the sewer or another plumbing system.
If you simply flush the water outside instead, the frogs will start to congregate there (if they haven’t already) and as the saying goes, it’s just a hop, a skip, and a jump away from your egress window and basement, starting the whole process over again.
Method #3: Drain the Area and Clear Weeds and Debris
Even if you don’t have a buildup or water in your sump pump or basement itself, frogs can be attracted by other sources of standing water, including:
- Swamp land
- Koi ponds
- Puddles on your lawn
The latter should be drained, while the other water features should either be drained all the way or have pumps and covers installed to keep them dry when you’re not using them and keep frogs out.
In addition to proper drainage, therefore, you also need to make sure that the area around your basement and any egress windows and openings are clear of weeds. You’ll want to clear away other forms of debris as well, such as leaves and twigs from bushes nearby.
The combination of these factors should leave frogs with no easy place to hide, which in turn will leave them more exposed and easier for you to spot, helping you shoo them away long before they get near your egress window and into your basement.
Method #4: Eliminate Frog Food
As with any other animal, food is a huge motivation for frogs. When it’s present, they can go to great lengths to get it, even if it means hopping down into a dangerous area like your basement. Remove the food, and you remove the incentive for such dangerous daredevil stunts on their part.
The most common source of food for frogs are insects, so finding ways to get rid of them can have the added benefit of shooing away frogs from your property and thus keeping them from your egress window.
Just as frogs congregating near your egress window and basement may point to a plumbing problem, it may also indicate a hidden insect buffet for them to enjoy, and thus an infestation you need to handle before it gets out of hand.
Organic insecticides are your friend here. They can ward off the insects that are attracting the frogs.
In addition, you might want to consider nixing lighting fixtures near your basement egress window, as insects tend to flock toward them like, well, moths to a flame (or fluorescent light), bringing their froggy predators along with them.
Finally, some frogs can eat scraps of food or pet food laying around, so you’ll want to clean these up and keep them away from entry points to your home such as these egress windows.
Make sure any sacks or containers of pet food you may keep in the basement are fully covered and the sacks aren’t open.
Method #5: Remove Reproductive Areas
In addition to food, reproduction is another key drive that motivates all animals, frogs included. If they think that your basement is a nice place to lay their eggs, or have done so before, chances are they’ll hop down there again, or die trying.
In addition to keeping the space from becoming too damp, you’ll also want to scoop up any eggs you see and clear out any tadpoles. Leaving them in dry areas will let the next generation of frogs die off, ending the invasion.
On the other hand, if you want to be more humane, you could also place these in watery containers and transport them to an appropriately damp area where they can grow up normally.
Method #6: Natural Repellents
There are plenty of easy DIY natural frog repellents that can be used to get them away from your egress windows, including:
- Citric acid
- Salt and saltwater
- Concentrated caffeine
- Coffee grounds
- Vinegar and water
It’s important to note that the first three options are all painful and often lethal for frogs.
If you don’t want to kill them, the scent of coffee grounds and a water-vinegar solution (which will cause an uncomfortable burning sensation on its feet but leave it unharmed and able to hop away) are better.
Method #7: Chemical Repellents
If the previous list of natural frog repellents hasn’t done the trick, you may need to up your game (and arsenal) with chemical-based ones. Snake repellents and herbicides are examples of chemical-based repellents that can ward off frogs.
However, this should only be done as a last result since they are more toxic and can thus seriously harm or kill them.
Method #8: Adding Mesh to the Windows and Sump Pumps
Finally, if closing the windows isn’t an option, and if frogs just keep getting into your sump pump and pipes, mesh barriers may be the answer. Be sure to measure the area before purchasing any mesh and affix it to the area carefully, so water gets in and frogs don’t.
Frogs are a vital part of ecosystems around the world. If you can avoid killing them, it’s advisable that you do so, and instead endeavor to remove them in a humane way.
Whatever the cause of the froggy invasion of your egress windows, however, one or more of these methods should be able to stop the frogs from coming back once and for all.