Many people seem to worry more about the effects of moisture on their Florida crawl space than of pests. And that’s understandable because much talk always centers on water damage and not pest infestation. The truth is that pests are just as harmful, if not as destructive, as moisture. You don’t have to wait to prove what we’re saying is true. By then, it could be too late to stop the pests that have invaded the crawl space or reverse the damage.
Routine cleaning can help curb the pests that threaten this space. On top of it, a couple of measures will help you stay on top of things. But first, let’s look at reasons why pests get into the crawl space of many homes.
Why do pests invade the crawl spaces?
Pests may be drawn to your crawl space for the following reasons. One is the perennially high moisture levels down there. During hot and dry months, this space provides pests with a haven where they can quench their thirst and feed.
Your crawl space could also be attractive to pests because it’s near a food source or rich in food. Insects, organic materials such as leaves and rotting wood as well as spiders and ants that are present all make for a tasty meal. And that’s why pests come in there.
When it’s raining and cold, pests will find this space a much better shelter than their natural hideouts. It’s not only warm and dry but a place where they can stay comfortably without disturbance.
Dealing with pests in the crawl space
As much as the presence of pests can in the crawl space unsettling, there’s so much you can do to ensure they don’t destroy this space or cause problems in your home. Here are proven ways to tackle pests.
No crawl space system is as effective as encapsulation with a plastic vapor barrier to lock out pests. Use a 20-mil plastic sheet on the crawl space floor and walls. Make sure seams are taped properly and all beams and wooden joists secured as well.
When pests overrun your crawl space, the best course of action is to eradicate them with pesticides. Apply the pesticides on tunnels, routes and any organic material that pests are likely to chew. Better still, use food baits. Do it consistently and within a short time and the pest menace will be no more.
Install a dehumidifier
Sealing the crawl space with a plastic vapor is not enough to stop condensation or moisture from building up in your crawl space. Go a step further and install an energy-efficient dehumidifier to remove moisture from the atmosphere. Aim for at least 50% humidity or thereabouts. At this level, your crawl space will become dry and less attractive to pests.
Seal openings, gaps, and cracks
A mouse only needs a gap that’s roughly a quarter of an inch wide to enter your crawl space. Vents, loose seals and cracks are all avenues that pests and insects can use. Inspect your crawl space and find out where the loopholes are, then seal them completely.
Go to your local hardware store and get a couple of mouse traps, then set them right on the tracks or tunnels or where pests enter or exit the crawl space. On a good day, you can catch more than half a dozen. You can use food as bait.
Pests love a dirty and debris-filled crawl space as it creates the perfect environment for them to hide and breed. When you get into the crawl space, clear out all the debris, damaged insulation, and old personal items you no longer use. This will deny them the chance to multiply and infest the crawl space.
Keep food away
If you’re going to keep food in the crawl space, you can expect mice, rats, and cockroaches to find and devour it. So don’t store food down in this area as it’s going to give pests the motivation to come in.
Not sure what to do with your dirty or debris-filled crawl space? Why not schedule a free crawl space inspection and get estimates for cleaning and fixing this space. We’re happy to offer you lasting solutions and tips to keep your crawl space clean and free of pests!