Is your home keeping a dirty little secret? Maybe, and it might be closer than you think. Here’s what you need to know about rodents in crawl spaces and how to keep them out. 

What is a crawl space? 

A crawl space is an open area between the ground and the underside of a house. It’s like a creepy little basement, usually 3 to 4 feet deep. Crawl spaces are a type of building foundation that are often found built beneath homes without a functional basement or houses with a concrete slab or combination foundation. Most crawl spaces are made using cinder blocks with a brick facing. Some have concrete flooring, while others have gravel or soil. 

What is a crawl space for? 

Crawl spaces are meant to allow easy access to plumbing, electrical wiring, and ductwork. This makes installation and repairs easier. In addition, a crawl space keeps the house off the ground, providing protection from damage in flood areas. This can also be helpful in preventing pest infestations, especially in termite-prone areas. 

Does my house have a crawl space? 

Of course, if you really need to know the answer to this question, you might have to do a bit more investigating that just reading this blog post, but we’ll try to help. Houses that often have crawl spaces include doublewide manufactured homes (or pre-fab homes), modular homes, traditional or older homes, and homes without a functional basement. In these types of homes, the crawl space can usually be accessed from the outside or inside of the home.  

What types of pests might be in a crawl space? 

Crawl spaces are known for being a perfect area for pests. If not properly maintained, a crawl space will be damp and warm, providing perfect conditions for many types of pests. Rodents, such as mice and rats, and insects, such as termites, carpenter ants, cockroaches, crickets, and more, can all infest a crawl space. 

Why do rodents like crawl spaces? 

Rodents are attracted to crawl spaces because they are often warm, damp, and protected from the elements. In addition, a poorly-maintained crawl space will supply plenty of entry points for rodents to find food, such as trash. Crawl spaces are usually not monitored by homeowners, so rodents can live lavishly for months without being discovered.  

How can you tell if a crawl space has rodents in it?  

There are a few telltale signs of rodents in crawl spaces.  

  • Scratching or scurrying noises in the walls or ceilings, especially at night
  • Foul odors
  • Signs of tunneling
  • Holes chewed in the walls 
  • Piles of dirt or rodent excrement
  • Sightings 

What happens if rodents get into a crawl space? 

Besides just being gross, rodents can wreak havoc on and from your crawl space. They can destroy insulation and gnaw through wiring and air ducts, creating fire hazards. They often carry parasites and a number of diseases, which could be transmitted to a human via the rodent’s urine or fecal droppings.  

Once inside your crawl space, the rodents are able to easily gain access to the main interior of your home. They can follow heated air ducts, electrical wiring, or water pipes into your house, which leaves you vulnerable to a new set of problems.  

How can I prevent rodents from getting into my home’s crawl space? 

There are several steps you can take to prevent rodents from infesting your home’s crawl space.  

  • Do not store food or papers (or really, anything) in your crawl space. This will only make the crawl space more attractive to them , and rodents can chew through cabinets to get to food and will destroy paper materials to use for bedding. 
  • Seal all openings that may provide an entry point for pests, including gaps between the foundation and framing, spaces under doors, penetrations for wires, pipes, and vents.  
  • Routinely inspect your crawl space for signs of rodents or other pests. Just knowing what to look for can be a big help in preventing a full-blown infestation. 
  • A damp environment is appealing to many types of pests. Control moisture by using a vapor barrier, installing ventilators, or using a crawl space encapsulation. 
  • Get help from a professional who can get rid of existing pests and help prevent future infestations.  

YES Pest Pros can help prevent rodents in crawl spaces. 

By far, the easiest and most effective way to remedy a pest problem in your crawl space is to get help from YES Pest Pros. Whether you’re sure your crawl space needs attention, or you just want to be sure, we can help. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.