Let’s face it. Frost and precipitation aren’t the only risk factors threatening your crawl space in winter. Pest and rodent infestation are real threats too. Careful! These creatures can cause a lot of damage. From tearing down your insulation to eating away wooden structures, they can weaken and degrade the crawl space.
Telltale signs that pests are already present in your home include foul smells, animal droppings, and signs of burrowing. Scratching sounds, holes in the walls, and mice sightings are other notable signs of pest activity.
Preventing Pests and Rodents
Mice, opossums, and other winter pests multiply fast. Within a short time, they can take over your home. You have to take decisive steps to protect your Charlotte, NC, home starting with the crawl space. Here are some useful tips to get you started.
1. Clean your crawl space.
A dark, dirty, and moist crawl space is an open invitation for pests and rodents into your home. Rocks and debris in the crawl space create the perfect hiding spot for pests and rodents. And these animals won’t just hide there, but they will breed as well. By removing unnecessary items from your crawl space and cleaning it, you eliminate spots where pests and rodents can cozy up.
2. Seal any cracks or holes.
Even the tiniest cracks or holes in your crawl space can serve as an entryway for cockroaches and other bugs. Rats and mice too can squeeze themselves through small gaps too. Inspect the interior and exterior of your crawl space for cracks, unsealed openings, and corners and seal them. Spray foam is a smarter option than caulk for sealing as it expands to fill larger gaps. If the holes or cracks are too large, contact a local crawl space repair contractor to fix them, as you may need certain foundation repair solutions.
3. Remove low-hanging shrubbery around your home.
If the exterior of your home is overgrown with brush and bushes, pests will initially seek shelter within those bushes before making their way into your home as the weather gets colder. Make sure to trim or clear any bushes and low-hanging shrubbery near your home.
4. Store all recycling and trash bins in sealed-off areas.
Raccoons are a common nuisance during winter. Usually, these animals enter homes and scavenge leftover food in trash bins. To ward them off, consider storing your trash bins in an enclosed area like the garage or shed. The area surrounding the bins should be kept clean at all times since even small crumbs of food can attract hungry pests.
5. Keep boxes off the ground.
Storage boxes serve as the perfect hiding and breeding spot for many pests. To prevent this, store your boxes off the floor and out of their reach. Not only will the elevated level deter pests from making a home in your boxes, but it will also protect your property from moisture damage.
6. Leave firewood outside.
While we all love having a wood-burning stove warm up our homes during winter, storing firewood indoors is one temptation you should avoid. Remember that during the winter months, pests are actively looking for warm places to call home. Do not make it easy for them. Store your firewood outside at least 20 feet away from your home.
7. Encapsulate your crawl space.
If you already have a pest problem in your crawl space, chances are you have a moisture problem too. One great way of dealing with moisture issues is by covering it with a 20-mil plastic vapor barrier. What crawl space encapsulation does is lock out outside air that’s moist and reduces pests’ interest of entering your home. By enclosing the crawl space with a plastic liner, you’re also improving indoor air quality and making your home energy efficient.
Waterproofing the crawl space and keeping animals out of your home should be your two top priorities before winter arrives. If you suspect that pests, insects, or rodents have invaded your Charlotte, NC, crawl space, contact Mount Valley Foundation Services for a free crawl space repair inspection and quote. We will seal up this space to lock any pests out.