Many houses, especially in areas where basements are not common, have crawlspaces. Crawlspaces play a couple of important roles in your home. For one thing, they provide access to areas under your home for inspections and for repairs. Crawlspaces also play a critical role in ensuring your home has proper ventilation. One drawback to crawlspaces, however, is that they are a convenient way for insects, rodents and other pests to get into your home. Here are some of the top ways to keep pests out of your crawlspace.
Seal it properly
Your crawlspace by design has openings for venting, and there may be other small unintended openings as well. Making sure it is sealed properly will help to keep critters out. Fill in any small holes or cracks with caulk and use hardware cloth, which is a type of insect screening, on the vents. This should help to keep all but the tiniest insects out of your crawlspace.
Treat it for pests
Whenever you have your home treated to prevent pests, make sure not to neglect your crawlspace. If you have a termite treatment done, for example, your crawlspace should be included. Any type of pest spray you use also should be applied to your crawlspace area. Making sure to put down pest treatments in your crawlspace will help to keep unwanted critters away.
Nothing draws pets to an area more than moisture, and your crawlspace is prone to moisture buildup. Your crawlspace can get wet when it rains, and the vents also can get moisture buildup in them as moist air moves through. Standing water in your crawlspace from rains can attract larger critters, while moisture buildup can lead to mold and wood rot that can attract smaller critters such as ants and termites. Installing a vapor barrier on the ground is one way to prevent water from infiltrating your crawlspace. Vapor barriers also can prevent moisture from building up on surfaces as well.
Encapsulate your crawlspace
If other prevention measures aren’t working, then you may need to take the step of encapsulating your crawlspace. This involves removing the vents, hooking up your crawlspace to your HVAC system and insulating it thoroughly. The big advantage to encapsulation is that if done properly, it can eliminate moisture problems and also eliminate many of the pathways that critters use to enter your crawlspace. The big drawback is that it can be much more expensive than other critter prevention methods because you have to do a lot of work and route your HVAC system into the space.
There are a number of ways to prevent critters from getting in your crawlspace. The method you choose will likely depend on the extent of the problem and how much money you are willing to spend.