How to Prevent Pests in the Crawl Space

What’s Worse Than Pests in the Crawl Space?

Damp, dirt crawl spaces are an inviting space for pests and insects. It is hard to imagine a crawl space without them. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. A crawl space can be a healthy, clean environment free from pests and insects. Here is how to prevent pests in the crawl space:

There are three basic elements of a closed crawl space system that help keep insects and pests out of the crawl space. Remember, this advice should be a part of a complete system and not one element without the other. For instance, just closing the vents and not waterproofing the crawl space could actually create a bigger problem.

1. Close the Vents

Just having the vents at all creates an easy access for insects and small pests. Open vents are even more inviting. And a damaged vent is even worse. A damaged vent can allow for even bigger pests like rats and raccoons to enter the crawl space. Closing the vents is just part of a closed crawl space system, and you have to waterproof, insulate and line the crawl space to make this an effective tool to controlling pests.

2. Waterproof the Crawl Space

Waterproofing the crawl space will most definitely help prevent bugs and insects. Ask any pest control specialist, and they will tell you bugs need moisture to live. The best environments for insects are damp, dark; therefore, the best way to prevent insects is to keep the area dry.

3. Line the Crawl Space

Lining the crawl space with heavy duty plastic and completely sealing the crawl space will also help prevent bugs. Just think, if the crawl space is completely encapsulated, there are no access points for pests and insects to enter the crawl space.

The researchers in Advanced Energy’s crawl space study of 2005 were surprised to find these additional results about pests in crawl spaces. The researchers found a 70% decrease in bugs and insects when they waterproofed, closed, and lined the crawl space compared to the control groups of dirt, vented crawl spaces.

The other benefits of a closed crawl space are increased energy efficiency, better indoor air quality throughout the whole house, and a clean storage area under the house.

The best rule of thumb when thinking about crawl spaces is to treat them like mini basements as part of the house. You would never have a dirt wall in your living room with all the windows open and wonder why you had a bug problem! It just makes sense when you close the crawl space, your bug problem with decrease dramatically.

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