When you live in Florida and you have a crawl space under your home, it is natural to be worried about water damage. After all, this type of foundation can be problematic in humid conditions. Moisture in your crawl space can lead to wood rot, mold growth, and even compromise the structural stability of your home. However, when it comes to your foundation, there is one more thing you should protect it against, and that is pests. These tiny creatures can inhabit your crawl space and even cause as much damage as water. Pests are very destructive and you surely do not want them in your house. Several measures can help you keep these pests away from your home. First, let’s take a look at why pests invade crawl spaces.
Why Do Pests Invade Crawl Spaces?
There are several reasons why pests would want to inhabit your crawl space. First, if this space is not properly waterproofed, there are high moisture levels down there. During hot summer months when finding water can be a problem, your crawl space offers pests a haven where they can eat and drink in peace. Also, your crawl space may be under your kitchen, which means that there is a source of food nearby. Your crawl space also could be full of leaves and debris, as well as insects that can all become dinner for your uninvited guests. In addition, whether it is too hot or cool outside, pests can find shelter in your crawl space and stay there without any disturbance.
Dealing with Pests in the Crawl Space
Luckily there are many things you can do to make your home less attractive to pests and minimize the risk of pest invasion. Since pests can cause a lot of damage, consider trying out these strategies.
Since you have a crawl space, you have probably heard about all the advantages of encapsulation. It keeps the moisture out, therefore preventing wood rot as well as mold growth. However, encapsulation has another benefit. It creates a barrier and protects your crawl space from pests. Therefore, contact your local crawl space repair experts and have them encapsulate your crawl space. They will use a 20-mil plastic vapor barrier and cover the floor and walls. They will make sure that all the seams are taped properly and that all beams and joists are secured, making it difficult for pests to enter this area.
If you have noticed that pests are running wild all over your crawl space, it is time to take drastic measures, and by that, we mean using pesticides. Contact your local exterminator who will apply these chemicals in tunnels, routes, and any organic material that pests can gnaw. As a less drastic measure, they can place mouse traps on the tracks where mice enter or exit your crawl space and use food to lure them into a trap.
Install a Dehumidifier
Encapsulation is a great way to lower the level of moisture in your crawl space, but it won’t completely keep those levels under control. This is why crawl space professionals often recommend combining encapsulation with a dehumidifier. This energy-efficient appliance will remove moisture from the air and keep your crawl space dry and less attractive to pests. You should aim for at least 50% humidity. Although you can find dehumidifiers in a lot of stores, ask your local crawl space experts for guidance. Professional dehumidifiers are usually the only ones that have enough power to keep the moisture levels in the entire crawl space under control.
Seal Openings, Gaps, and Cracks
Do you know that a mouse can squeeze its way into your crawl space through a hole that’s roughly a quarter of an inch wide? That means that vents, loose seals, and cracks can easily become entryways for various pests. If your crawl space has open vents, now is the time to seal them. Not only will you make it more difficult for pests to enter, but you will prevent the moisture-laden air from coming in. Also, seal all the cracks and other passageways pests can use to invade your home.
Pests thrive in the dirt! They love places that are full of debris as this is the perfect environment for them to live in peace and breed. Therefore, hire a professional who will remove everything from the debris and damaged insulation, to the old items you don’t plan on using ever again. This will make your crawl space far less attractive to pests.
Keep Food Away
Storing bags of flour or sugar in the crawl space can easily attract pests such as mice, rats, and cockroaches that will find your supplies and devour them. So, avoid keeping your food down there and pests will have less motivation to come in.
Does your crawl space need to be fixed? Or maybe you wish to install a vapor barrier? If so, contact your local crawl space experts in Florida and schedule a free crawl space inspection and quote.