Even if you have a new home, you may be surprised to find pests sneaking in. Where are they coming from? Why are they attracted to your home, and how do they get in? Here’s a hint: it may start under your home. Between 15 and 20% of new homes are built over crawl spaces, and if you aren’t careful, a poorly maintained crawl space can introduce as many pests into your home as a broken attic window or a damp unfinished basement. Here are some common crawl space issues and the pests they introduce.
- Dampness and excessive moisture
Lots of nasty creepy crawlies love damp spaces and may take the opportunity to venture up into your home from their home base in your crawl space. Pill bugs, roly polys, millipedes, centipedes, and termites all thrive in moisture, not to mention molds. There are plenty of fixes for a humid crawl space ranging from small like a crawl space vapor barrier, to heavy duty moisture removal solutions like a sump pump installation.
- Your crawl space insulation is nonexistent
Some pests like certain kinds of insulation; for example, mice tolerate and even enjoy nesting in fiberglass insulation in attics. But the right kind of insulation or lining in your crawl space will act as an effective barrier against ants and other invasive critters. Ants are attracted to glues in certain insulations and liners. An insulation professional will know what materials to use to avoid tempting pests.
- Your crawl space insulation needs replacement
If your crawl space insulation is old, damaged, or just an inferior material, it will need replacing eventually. Mice and insects especially love nesting in certain older and cheap insulation materials. Make sure to invest in a good quality material for your new insulation, and waterproof your space as much as possible to avoid future moisture damage and mold.
- Your crawl space door is loose or the wrong fit
If your crawl space doors are loose or just plain fitted wrong in the first place, then you invite humidity, insects, and rodents into your home with a nice convenient opening. Make sure that you have the right size door for the entranceway, and tighten up hinges and latches. Check for other cracks and holes around your crawl space that could be passageways for pests.
Your crawl space doesn’t have to be a lair for creepy-crawly critters to hang out under your home. Simply keep things dry, properly insulated, and air-tight and you should see minimal pests invading. Check up on your crawl space every once in a while to make sure your maintenance is holding up.