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5 Tips to Avoid Crawl Space Pests

A lot of homeowners do their best to protect their foundation and ensure its health. After all, their homes are probably their largest investments and the foundation is the structural element responsible for their stability. However, this is not an easy task, especially because crawl spaces are prone to moisture. That same moisture attracts various pests that present a whole new problem.

Having your crawl space invaded by pests is no picnic, and getting rid of them can be daunting. This is why it is always better to do everything in your power to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Knowing what attracts them can help you plan a clever strategy.

Whether you want to keep pests from invading your home or find a way to get rid of those that are already in your crawl space, watch the video from our friends at Groundworks and then read the following for more information!

What Attracts Pests to Crawl Spaces?

crawl space water intrusion and failing insulation

Moisture in the crawl space is one of the biggest reasons why pests would target your foundation. Pests thrive in humid and dark conditions, so your moist crawl space creates the perfect conditions for them to breed.

Another reason why pests would inhabit the space underneath your home is the variety of food. Rotting wood, as well as various insects, presents a great menu for many pests. Since all the food they need to survive is right there in your crawl space, they have no reason to leave. 

Comfortable temperatures and elevated humidity (above 50%) in the crawl space are also reasons why pests are attracted to this area. Since crawl spaces are secluded and dark, mice and rats can build their nests there without worrying that someone will disturb them. 

Finally, if your crawl space is not protected in any way, pests won’t have any problem entering it. They can access it via open vents, foundation cracks, and joints, or through tunnels on the dirt floor. 

Controlling Crawl Space Pests

If you have noticed that pests have inhabited your home, they could be originating from your crawl space. Quick action is key to protecting your home and family.

Here are five ways you can drastically reduce pest activity in your crawl space. 

1. Use Biocides and Pesticides 

If instead of catching and releasing them someplace else you wish to eliminate pests for good, you can hire an exterminator who will apply pesticides or traps. 

2. Seal Gaps, Cracks, and Openings 

Rodents such as mice need only an opening the size of a quarter to squeeze into your crawl space, nest there, and cause damage. To prevent them from entering, sealing the vents is a step in the right direction.

During the 1950s it was thought that vents lowered the chances of mold growth, so every home with a crawl space needed to have them. However, in time it has been proven that they do more damage than good.

By hiring a crawl space expert to seal the vents, you will not only keep the pests out but also lower the humidity levels in your crawl space. Apart from sealing the vents,  our specialists can also fill any cracks to keep pests from entering. 

3. Encapsulate the Crawl Space 

Although using pesticides gives instant results, they will not be permanent. Your crawl space could still be exposed to new pest invasions.

encapsulated crawl space with dehumidifier and sump pump

That is why encapsulation is so important. By covering the walls and floor with a durable vapor barrier, you can make it difficult for pests to enter your crawl space.

Such a project should be handled by a professional. They will easily install a 20-mil plastic barrier that is tear-proof and will keep moisture out. 

4. Dehumidify the Crawl Space 

While encapsulating the crawl space is a way to protect your home against moisture, it won’t keep moisture levels under control on its own.

With a dehumidifier, you will be able to regulate the moisture content in this space. However, make sure you get one with enough power. Those sold in local stores are usually not strong enough.

Ask your local crawl space experts about a dehumidifier that will keep the humidity levels in the range of 45% to 50%. These levels make your crawl space less attractive to rats and mice since they like more humid places. 

5. Store Food Away 

Some homeowners use crawl space as storage. It is not a problem when they store tools and other objects, but storing food that attracts various pests is. If you don’t want to deal with a pest invasion, make sure you keep your food in the kitchen and your pantry, not in your crawl space. 

Contact Tar Heel for Trusted Crawl Space Encapsulation

Crawl space pests can wreak havoc on your home’s safety and your family’s health. Protect both by addressing the issue for good with professional crawl space encapsulation, waterproofing, and dehumidification.

Make sure that everything is in order with your crawl space by scheduling a free inspection and quote with one of Tar Heel Basement Systems’ specialists. They will assess the situation and recommend suitable solutions for your problem. 

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