Keeping Creepy Crawlies From Creeping Into Your Crawlspace
Your crawl space is an area prone to a pest invasion. Many insects and mice enjoy areas with dark, moist conditions, making it an area they will most likely harbor themselves in if they make their way into your home. To keep your crawl space free from intruders, try doing some of the following steps.
Check The Exterior
Walk around the perimeter of your home, ensuring that there are no apparent cracks in your foundation or exterior walls where critters can slide on through. If you find a crevice that looks suspicious, use some caulk to fill in smaller voids and wood to cover up larger holes. Large damaged portions of wood or siding will need to be completely replaced. Fill in gaps around window panes and doorways to your crawl space as well.
Add A Protective Barrier
A protective vapor barrier between your crawl space and the outdoor walls can help keep it from retaining excessive moisture. Place large pieces of plastic or rubber membrane against the walls of your crawl space to help keep it drier. This will also make it more difficult for pests to gain entry to the area.
Move Brush Away
If your home has hedges or other brush near the foundation, it should be moved to another location. Keeping this vegetation close to the home will help trap moisture in the ground nearby, making it an area pests will gather. It is a good idea to relocate firewood to an area well out of the perimeter of the home for the same reason.
Add Some Concrete
Rats can burrow to about 36" below ground level. To help keep pests from trying to dig down to get into the crawl space, dig a trench around the perimeter of your foundation. Filling this with concrete will add protection that will help keep burrowing insects and rodents from gaining entry through underground crawl space walls.
Do A Complete Clean-Out
Clean your crawl space out in its entirety. Removing dirt and any potential food sources will help deter pests from wanting to get inside. Bring a vacuum into the area to remove webs that may hold small insects, as these can be food sources for larger pests. Go through any belongings you have in your crawl space to make sure they are not being used as a food source. For example, any cardboard boxes will make a meal for cellulose-eating roaches and termites. Remove these and place your belongings inside plastic bins instead.
There are pest deterrents you can try placing around the perimeter of your home to help keep your crawl space from becoming a nesting area. Peppermint oil is a natural deterrent that mice will stay away from. Vinegar can be sprayed on exterior walls to help ward off an insect infestation.
For additional advice concerning pest removal, contact a professional in your area.