The lack of a regular human presence in crawl spaces leaves them especially vulnerable to intrusions from pests. The unwanted critters leave odors and sometimes damage insulation, wiring, and more. Here are six ways to help make a crawl space less appealing to all pests.
#1. Eliminate the Moisture
Pests are like all living creatures and need shelter, food, and water. Damp crawl spaces encourage pest traffic because it instantly offers two of the three needs the animals or insects seek. Repair any leaky pipes and consider the installation of a vapor barrier to prevent condensation. A professional contractor can install products like sheets of polyethylene to prevent moisture issues.
#2. Keep Food Out
Never store animal feed, pet food, or human food items in a crawl space. Even items packed in plastic bins could emit enough odor to lure some pests. Mice and rats are adept creatures at detecting odors. Of the 10 creatures on the planet with the most dedicated scent genes, rats are in second place, and mice are in sixth place.
#3. Close all Openings
Ease of access appeals to anyone looking for a home. Any cracks or gaps that lead to the crawlspace are a lure to pests. Close all openings, and do not forget to seal any spaces left open around plumbing pipes or where fuel lines or electrical conduit enters the home.
#4. Remove Hiding Areas
A place to remain undetected while outside the home also encourages pest infestations. Shrubs along the perimeter of the home, debris in the yard, and any piles of natural material near the house could harbor pests of all type. Stacks of firewood, for example, can offer a hiding spot for mice, spiders, termites, and skunks, among many others. Remove all debris, and trim back bushes or other vegetation next to the home.
#5 Add Some Concrete
Concrete footings and floors in a crawlspace can help keep pests out. Concrete reduces the dampness common with a dirt floor, and it stops animals from burrowing through the dirt. Concrete footings are also less appealing to wood burrowing insects than wood supports.
#6. Call Pest Services
Pest removal may be necessary if the home already has an infestation, or in areas where the pest population is large. The homeowner will need to discuss with the removal expert if their services are a one-time removal or if the home needs a continued program to remain pest-free.
Do not feel discouraged with the amount of effort it may take to pest-proof a crawl space. The hard work is done to protect the area initially. Once protected, a small amount of maintenance and an occasional inspection should be enough to keep the area pest-free.