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What’s the Deal with Crawl Spaces and Pests?

Because of their natural dark, humid conditions, crawl spaces are a favorite of pests. Here’s why and how you can fight them off.

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snakes living in your crawl space

There’s no doubt that crawl space foundations are some of the most popular choices across the United States. These substructures are budget-friendly, durable, and don’t require level land to construct. However, just like all man-made structures, crawl spaces are prone to several problems such as humidity and pests. In the following, we’ll explain why rodents and insects love the area under your floors so much and how you can fend them off.  

Dust Mite Droppings  

Most people think about mice, rats, and cockroaches when you mention pests. Yet, they’re not the only pests that can occupy your crawl space area. Dust mites – microscopic parasites that thrive on skin flakes – can also take over your crawl space. Their droppings are the most common allergen that homeowners with asthma and allergies react to.  

Dust mites live in your bedding, carpet, and furniture. They don’t drink water, but they absorb it from the air that’s at least 50% humid. Although they won’t live in your crawl space, dust mites will depend on the humidity in it. Therefore, it is essential to encapsulate your crawl space and install a dehumidifier to prevent them from endangering you and your family.  

What Other Pests Enjoy Damp and Dark Crawl Spaces?

Aside from dust mites, numerous other pests can infest your crawl space. The damage and danger they offer might vary, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any activity. Here are some of the most common pests that invade crawl spaces in Winston-Salem.  

Ants  

Crawl spaces are more than attractive for ants because they’re dark and humid. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with these insects is that they live in colonies. With their great numbers, ants will damage wooden elements under your floors in no time as they search for food and shelter.  

Crickets  

Like ants, crickets enjoy nesting in dark and damp environments. They also come in great numbers and live in colonies. The biggest problem with them is that they eat almost everything. From fungus to wood and fabric, they’ll damage anything in the crawl space and move on to your living space.  

Rats and Mice  

Even if these rodents mostly strike in the winter, they can occupy your crawl space in the summertime too. What makes them so dangerous is the fact that they carry numerous diseases. This means that they can infect you and your family if you don’t eliminate them in time.  

Snakes  

Although snakes won’t endanger the structural integrity of your home, they’re the most dangerous of all pests. If they feel threatened, they will attack you and your family. They enjoy the dark and humid crawl space and will look for food in the form of other pests.  

Bees and Wasps  

It’s no secret that during summer, bees and wasps will show up around your home. However, they can nest in your crawl space. Even if they don’t pose harm to elements you keep in storage, they can sting and endanger your safety.  

Besides these pests, you can count on many more – including bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, and spiders – if you don’t act in time. Not all pests are equally dangerous, but they can all cause serious troubles both structurally and health-wise.  

How to Keep Your Crawl Space Unsuitable for Pest Infestation  

First, you’ll need to keep your crawl space clean and tidy. Hire a professional who will remove any debris from your crawl space, so they don’t end up being a great hiding spot for all the previously mentioned pests. 

Another easy tip to improve your situation is to trim nearby bushes. Overgrown foliage can provide cover for pests to nest. Once they find their home in the bushes, it won’t be long before they begin to explore cracks and entry points in your foundation.  

In addition to the previous two tips, you should have your crawl space insulation inspected by a professional. If you have wet insulation, pests will begin to gather below your floors. This is especially true if you have fiberglass insulation in your crawl space. We suggest that you contact professionals to replace it with proper, damage-proof insulation as soon as possible.  

Crawl Space Encapsulation  

Even if the previous three solutions are great, you can’t rely on them to fully address your pest problem. To be more effective, you’ll need to contact professionals to encapsulate your crawl space. This process refers to sealing the area to reduce humidity and prevent any leaks. By doing so, you’ll lower the risk of pest and mold infestation.  

Encapsulation involves lining the floors and walls with a plastic vapor barrier. In addition to that, crawl space repair experts can seal crawl space vents with vent covers. This will make entering your crawl space very difficult for pests. You can also install a dehumidifier to manage the humidity levels as well as an interior drainage system and a sump pump to eliminate possible water leaks.  

If you want to encapsulate your crawl space, contact Tar Heel Basement Systems for your free inspection. With the helping hand of our experienced team, you’ll refurbish your home and minimize the odds of pest infestation for years to come. 

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Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Location

3333 Air Park Road
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

Winston-Salem/High Point Location

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Winston-Salem, NC 27103