If you have ever had pests in your crawl space, you know what a nuisance they are. Not only will your home start to sound like a haunted house with all the squeaking, scratching, and gnawing in the middle of the night, but the damage pests cause can be mind-blowing.
When rats or mice enter your crawl space they leave droppings everywhere and they destroy everything in their way of food. If you do not take immediate action, you can end up with destroyed insulation and damaged wooden beams. Pests can even compromise the structural stability of your home. That is why you need to make sure that animals such as raccoons, rats, mice, and possums never get to enter your crawl space.
Keep in mind that should pests get into your crawl space or basement, they will soon enough find their way into your living space looking for more food and comfort. A lot of homeowners become aware that they have a pest problem early on but may not address it right away.
It is important to monitor the health of your crawl space regularly. While doing that, make sure to keep your eyes open for telltale signs of pest infestation. If you notice pest droppings all over your crawl space, nests, tunnels, scratch or grease marks, as well as damaged plants, you probably have pests underneath your home. Also, pay attention to damaged wood. Many species of pests can damage your wooden beams and compromise your home’s stability. Another sign that you have unwelcome guests in your crawl space is scratching sounds.
If you have established that pests have invaded your space, take the following steps to get rid of them.
1) Deny Them Food
Pests don’t come to your home to see how you decorated it. They come looking for food, especially during the winter season when their food supplies are limited. Make sure your kitchen is always clean, don’t leave dirty dishes to soak in the sink overnight, and store the food you keep in your pantry in airtight plastic containers. If they manage to get to the food, pests will quickly turn your home into their home. However, if they don’t find anything, they won’t stick around.
2) Ensure Your Trash Can Is Airtight
Make sure that your trash bin is sealed with an airtight lid. This way, mice, rats, and other rodents won’t be able to get into your trash looking for leftovers.
3) Set Snap Traps
Mousetraps are an easy and affordable way to get rid of rodents. You can find them in your local hardware store and they come with reusable snap traps. These traps have entries from both sides of the trap and a detachable bait cup. Lure mice into the trap with food they love. With these traps, you will need to be persistent. Check them every few days and reset them, and soon you will manage to knock down your mice population.
4) Close the Crawl Space
Regardless of whether you have a pest problem on your hands, you should consider encapsulating your crawl space. A moisture barrier can help you keep moisture levels under control, which will positively reflect even on your utility bills, not to mention that you will prevent mold growth. Since pests are drawn to dark and moist places, encapsulation will make your crawl space much less comfortable for pests.
5) Bar Entry from the Outside
Mice only need an opening not larger than a quarter to squeeze into your crawl space. Once they are in there, they will cause damage, gnaw your beams, leave droppings, and breed. Since they multiply incredibly fast, two small mice can turn into 200 mice in less than a year.
If you have a vented crawl space, make sure you seal the vents. Not only will you make it more difficult for pests to get inside, but you will also prevent the moisture-laden air from entering your home. Look for cracks as well and have them fixed by a crawl space and foundation repair professional.
6) Don’t Store Organic Materials
Do you keep stacks of old newspapers or your firewood near your home? If so, this could potentially invite pests into your home. These items can attract various pests that will then move into your crawl space and breed there. Make sure to keep these items away from your home’s foundation and crawl space.
7) Exterminate Rodents with Professional Assistance
If you have a problem with pests in your crawl space, one option is to use pesticides to exterminate them. However, this can be dangerous to you and your family. It’s best to contact a professional exterminator who will be able to handle eradication with the proper means and safety gear.
Are you worried that pests have invaded your St. Louis, MO, home? Contact professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems and schedule an inspection and a free crawl space quote.