When it comes to protecting the crawl space, talk MOSTLY centers on encapsulating it to keep moisture at bay and the home energy efficient. Controlling crawl space pests comes as an added benefit or an afterthought. That shouldn’t be the case, as pests and rodents have easy access to the crawl space. If it’s open, they can follow electrical wires, ducts, and water pipes right into your home.
Steps to Take to Protect the Crawl Space
Just like cold air and moisture, rodents in the crawl space are bad news for your Fargo, ND, home. If you don’t take steps to protect it, you can be sure of the fate that will befall you. From chewing your belongings to introducing lice to leaving droppings, their destructive nature knows no bounds. To get rid of crawling insects and pesky pests, here’s what you should do:
Don’t keep food in the crawl space. Given that pests breed and live in this space, the last thing you’d want to do is to keep food there. Rats and mice will chew through your locked wooden cabinets and eat any food that’s inside. As they do so, they will leave droppings, which may contaminate your food.
Lower humidity and remove stagnant water. Rodents and insects generally thrive in wet or humid conditions. So clear out any water on the floor and moisture from the atmosphere. To control moisture, install a dehumidifier.
Seal cracks and openings. When it comes to invading a home, pests follow the least stressful path. Small cracks, vents and other openings make it easy for them to enter your home. Find those access points and seal them properly with spray foam, a much better option than caulk.
Create a dirt barrier. Pests tend to burrow their way into a crawl space if the floor is made of dirt. Adding a plastic barrier can help stop pests from entering this space.
Set mouse traps. Cleaning your crawl space won’t deter mice from re-entering your crawl space. After all, it’s where they breed and close to their source of food. Some mice will still want to come and re-establish their presence. To stop them, lay traps in strategic places within the crawl space.
Use rat poison. Rodent activity may continue for a while. So aside from laying traps with baits to catch mice, we also recommend you use rat poison to eliminate crawl space rodents and pests. You can mix the poison with a portion of food and leave it on the path that pests like to use.
Get a cat. Funny as it may sound, getting a cat to patrol your home and the below-the-ground space is another way of controlling rodents. Cats are good hunters, and since they’re nocturnal, they will be able to hunt down rats that torment you.
Trim bushes nearby. If the outside of your home near the crawl space has overgrown bushes or brush, chances are pests are sheltering there and will soon enter your home. Clear out the bush using branch trimmers or a slasher. This will force them out of their hiding places.
Clear out debris and rocks. Both create the perfect hiding place for pests. Plus they can tear your plastic encapsulation, exposing your crawl space to moisture and critters. By removing foreign objects, you will eliminate the pest hideouts, meaning they won’t have anywhere to conceal themselves.
Remove damp or rotten beams. If you have moisture issues, your beams are going to rot. Crawl space rodents and insects love chewing soft materials. And the damp, rotting beams make the easiest of things to chew in that space.
Install lighting. Dark and damp conditions draw pests and insects into the crawl space. Under the cover of darkness, they can forage for food and breed. Lighting will force them out of your crawl space. Plus, you will be able to notice their presence easily.
Encapsulate the crawl space. Lastly, ensure that you seal the crawl space floor and walls using a thick 20-mil plastic vapor barrier. Double tape the material using sealing tape, and cover vents as well. This way, you will lock out pests and insects.
Do you suspect that your crawl space is infested with rodents and crawling insects? Schedule a free crawl space inspection with a basement and crawl space contractor in Fargo, ND, to get a true and accurate picture of the crawl space along with handy solutions an idea of what it could cost to clean the crawl space up.