8 Killer Ways to Keep Critters Out of Your Crawlspace

If you’ve ever had a possum in your crawlspace or are just dealing with ants and roaches, you know how it can seem like a fruitless game of “whack-a-mole.” You barely score a hit on one pest, when another shows up. The trick to pest management in a crawlspace is to create barriers to keep them out in the first place. Once they are in, however, you have to get them out before you can seal them out for good. Here’s how.

It’s like any other time you have unwanted guests in your home: You find a way to make it very uncomfortable for them to stay there and then you lock them out.

1- Remove Debris, Trees, and Plants Near Your Home
Ideally, you should have a bit of a dead space between your landscaping and your crawlspace. This not only helps you drain water away from the home, but it also dissuades insects from getting too close to your home. By removing hiding spaces and leaving that area exposed, the bigger critters too.

2- Create a No-Pass, Deadly, Barrier
Spray the perimeter of your home with pesticides. This creates a no-pass barrier for critters like ants, roaches, and other insects. Repeat on a regular schedule to make sure the effect doesn’t wear off. Pest management companies will always remind you when it’s time to spray, if you choose a maintenance program with them.

3- Plug Screens, Vents, and Holes in Foundation
It’s sad to say, but a mouse only needs a hole the size of a dime to make it in your home. You need to seal up the crawlspace so that insects and rodents don’t have a way to get in. Repair screens and caulk up holes.

4- Reduce Moisture In the Crawlspace
Every living creature needs water to live, so reduce moisture by laying down a vapor barrier in the crawlspace. This will make your crawlspace less hospitable. If you notice moisture build-up in the crawlspace, make sure your gutters are in good shape and the water drains away from the home.

5- Trap Any Existing Insects or Rodents
Lay out traps for roaches, mice, or other unwelcome visitors. Bait them regularly and keep throwing the old bait out and adding new bait until you no longer are catching anything and there are few signs of new visitors.

6- Monitor Your Crawlspace Regularly
Every season can open up new holes in screens or create new opportunities for infestations. So, have your crawlspace inspected regularly and keep a lid on bugs and other critters. Professionals can spot entry points far more easily due to the experience they get dealing with many different critter scenarios, so don’t be afraid to get help in this area.

7- Drive Them Out with Unwelcome Smells
If you still can’t figure out where they’re coming in from, some people swear by mothballs, but then your house smells like it too and they aren’t too environmentally-friendly. Instead, you can opt for laying down some ammonia-soaked rags, cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil, or for the big guys, like possums and squirrels use fox urine granules.

8- Create a Noise Nuisance
There are electronic ultrasonic devices that are inaudible to humans, but that are like putting heavy metal music on all night for the animal and insect kingdom. They are affordable and easily plugged into any outlet. They work on ants mice, spiders, and roaches so that they have the added benefit of being a one-stop shop.

When To Call For Help

Some bugs, like bed bugs, require treatments that require a professional. They may need to be baked out of the home or require pesticides that are not available to the general public. Snakes can be poisonous and aren’t easily handled without an exterminator. Squirrels can carry rabies. Know when you can do things on your own and when it’s time to call in the big guns. Once they start mating, it’s much harder to exterminate a brood than a single interloper. The sooner you get the job done, the better it will be in the end.

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