How to Keep Pests Out of Your Crawl Space
Pests are not only annoying and disturbing, but they can as well pose threats on the health of both the occupants and the structure of the house.
Rats, for instance, are opportunist omnivorous eaters which eat whatever they can find. They do not just consume fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, grains, seeds, or other edible food items, but they likewise bite up non-edible things like wirings, furniture, ceilings, walls, foundation, and other parts of the house that are made from woods or light materials. Not only that, their feces, droppings, urine, and bite can contaminate your foods and drinks, spreading certain diseases like leptospirosis, ratbite fever, salmonellosis, and murine typhus more quickly.
Thus, they need to be eliminated at once as soon as spotted. Early action is needed not only to minimize the nuisance and health risks they provide but most especially to prevent them from propagating and spreading across different parts of your home, which can make pest control more challenging.
Where do pests usually thrive?
Most often than not, pests thrive in dark, damp, dirty, and secluded places like in the crawl space. Pests like rodents and rats can slowly burrow from the outside ground of your home into your open, dirt crawl space where they will live and propagate. Left unnoticed and unaddress, this small pest burrowing problem can lead to more serious pest infestation issues and can wreak havoc to your entire home.
What kind of pests can be found in the crawl space?
The crawl space is not only a favorite dwelling place of rodents like rats and mice, but also of other insects and pests like carpenter ants, roaches, powderpost beetles, hornets, termites, wasps, crickets, and wood-eating organisms, to name a few. All these pests and insects can affect the structure and health of your house especially if they start to get out of the crawl space and penetrate your home.
How to keep pests out of the crawl space
Thankfully, there are ways to keep pests out of the crawl space. Below are some of them.
1. Hygiene methods
This method basically involves keeping your house, yard, and crawl space clean at all times. Good hygiene methods like keeping all the rubbish into the trash bin, securing the garbage bins, and regular cleaning and disinfecting can prevent pests from getting attracted into your home. Whilst, dirty environment can invite different types of pests.
2. Biological control method
This method involves using the natural enemies of pests to control their growth and minimize their number without the use of chemicals. For instance, using good mouser cats like American Shorthair cats and Maine Coons to control rats in the crawl space and in other parts of the house.
3. Moisture control methods
The key to effective crawl space pest control is to manage the moisture level in the area. Here are a few ways to do this.
Encapsulation is about sealing off and waterproofing the crawl space by covering the area with impervious materials like swimming pool liner or heavy-duty polyethylene barrier to keep it dry and clean.
- Installing a rat slab
While other moisture control methods like encapsulation, insulation, installing a vapor barrier, and using ventilators can help keep the moisture level in the crawl space low, they typically don’t offer a lasting solution. For instance, if you opt to use encapsulation, vapor barrier, and insulation, the pests will likely bite and eat up the materials, thus affecting their effectivity.
The best option available, though, is to pour in concrete all over the crawl space. By installing a rat slab, you will have a solid barrier between the ground and your house which the pests can’t possibly consume.