What's Lurking in Your Crawlspace? A Guide to Common Crawlspace Creepers
Pests can’t resist a wet, moldy crawlspace. The disgusting environment creates ideal nesting conditions and hiding spots for animals and insects. Once inside, they lay nests, die, and create odors that waft upstairs.
Curious about the types of critters you might find in your below-grade space? Read on to learn about some common crawlspace creepers!
Silverfish are wingless insects that love to creep around your home during nighttime. They favor moist environments and consume things like carpet, tapestries, books, dandruff, plaster, and other insects. They’re hardy pests, as they can exist for long periods without food if water is available.
House centipedes move quickly and have long, creepy legs. Maybe you’ve seen one darting along a wall or under a piece of furniture? While house centipedes kill other pests, they remain unwelcome guests in your home.
Termites might be one of the most destructive creatures to enter your home. They destroy wood—including weight-bearing joists and beams under your house. This can lead to exorbitant costs and repairs that are disruptive to your family’s life.
Cockroaches require no introduction; they’re one of the most despised insects in history. They spoil food, bite, worsen allergies, stink, and carry bacteria. No one wants these pests anywhere near their home.
Crickets can infest a below-grade space due to mating habits. They also chirp—sometimes incessantly. They consume a variety of fabrics, including wool and cotton, but also will eat human or pet food. They are attracted to dank, moist environments, so an unprotected crawlspace is their ultimate haven. Once inside, they mate—creating more crickets that can ascend into the upper levels of your home.
Spiders go where their prey is, so they will enter your crawlspace to eat insects. Most spiders are harmless (black widows and brown recluses aside), but it’s understandable that you might not want a coterie of them hanging around your home.
Rodents—including chipmunks, voles, mice, and rats—often seek out crawlspaces to shelter from the elements. Some people store trash nearby, so crawlspaces are conveniently located to a food source. Rodents carry parasites, contaminate food, worsen allergies, and chew electrical wires!
Lizards, frogs, and toads favor areas with high humidity and rotting wood. These conditions attract their favorite meal—insects. Unfortunately, lizards and other reptiles can find their way into the upper portion of a home. Most reptiles (including snakes) carry salmonella, which can sicken and even kill human beings.
Snakes often retreat into the depths of a crawlspace to shelter. After all, there’s plenty to eat when rodents and other small animals have made it a home. As an animal that must regulate its body temperature, a cool and peaceful crawlspace is the perfect environment for a snake. Snakes are harmless unless provoked, but they certainly qualify as an animal you don’t want inside your home.
Raccoons, possums, skunks, rabbits, foxes, and cats sometimes get inside crawlspaces. Feral cats, especially, will go inside to shelter and find warmth. Unfortunately, they can get trapped and eventually die. This is preventable, so there’s no reason not to keep it from happening! It’s better to have precautionary measures in place to protect our furry friends.
How can you keep pests and animals out of your crawlspace?
A good strategy starts with encapsulating the area with a vapor or moisture barrier. Master Services offers our CleanSpace® system, which shields crawlspaces from humidity and standing water. Composed of mold-resistant material, it brightens the area and deters pests. It protects your structure and insulation from rot while helping to mitigate energy spending.
Homeowners also should consider airtight crawlspace doors. Our EverLast™ Door forms an airtight, waterproof seal—keeping pests, cold, and humidity outside. This door is made from inorganic plastics and foams, making it the best alternative to traditional wooden doors, which are prone to warping and rotting.
CleanSpace® Crawl Space Vent Covers are another good idea. These attach mechanically to form an airtight bond with the vent, preventing water and animals from entering your home. It also helps regulate the temperature inside your crawlspace, which helps with energy costs.
Our SaniDry Sedona Dehumidifier is another way to prevent moisture—and critters—from infiltrating your home. It creates a dry, sanitary environment that repels insects and other pests. The dehumidifier can even improve the air quality of your home!
Don’t let your home become a haven for creatures that create odors, destroy structural components, and gnaw on electrical wiring. If you suspect that pests are inside your crawlspace—or want to prevent them from getting in—contact Master Services today. We will perform a free inspection to determine the best course of action to protect your crawlspace from pests.