Critters in Your Crawl Space? How to Manage Your Animal Neighbors
April showers do bring May flowers. But they can also bring moisture into your home and crawl space, which can lead to other problems like critters in your crawl space. Although homeowners can find rodents and larger animals in any season, spring is often a time when many homeowners discover critters in the crawl space. After a long winter, some hibernating animals, such as groundhogs, will awaken and make their presence under your home known. Other animals looking for dens to birth and raise their young will make their way inside, often to your crawl space. If you hear scratching from under your home, are experiencing foul odors from your crawl space, or see animal droppings by your crawl space, it’s time to follow the steps below to remove your critter problem and protect your health and home.
Professionally Remove the Animals
Critters in your crawl space can be dangerous to your home as well as the health of your family and pets. Virginia homeowners are susceptible to animals such as mice, foxes, opossums, raccoons, and skunks, which can carry parasites too small to see with the human eye. They can also bring with them ticks and lice, which carry their own diseases harmful to human health. Once inside, they can chew and scratch materials such as insulation and wood, which can cause serious damage to your home’s air filtration, structure, and even foundation. Because coming into contact with critters could mean disease transmission or injury if the rodent or animal becomes aggressive, it’s important to contact a wildlife removal professional to displace them. According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, it is illegal to trap and relocate animals, so be sure to utilize a professional for safety and legal compliance.
Ensure that Openings to Your Home Are Sealed Off
Common Virginia animals like mice and rats can fit through spaces as small as the diameter of a pencil, so examining your crawl space for even small openings is an important step in keeping critters out of your crawl space. Check for gaps by basement window wells and cracks in the foundation, as well as openings by vents, air ducts, piping, wiring, and HVAC units. Small gaps can be filled in using caulk and holes with steel wool to help dissuade rodents from entering as those materials are harder to chew through. Professional crawl space services can also inspect your home and seal up openings to your crawl space.
Encapsulate Your Crawl Space
Crawl space encapsulation seals off your crawl space from critters and moisture, which often attracts animals in the first place. Through encapsulation, you can create an environment that is less attractive to pests and animals, and healthier for your home with added benefits of moisture control and mold prevention. Additionally, while you may prevent small rodents from entering your crawl space by sealing up any cracks, animals that burrow under homes can still make it through. Encapsulating your crawl space makes it much harder for burrowing animals to find their way into your home. Virginia residents can minimize the risk of moles, squirrels, skunks, and groundhogs scratching or digging their way into your crawl space through encapsulation.
Remove Brush and Hedging From Next to Your Home
Once you have gotten rid of the animals or pests in your crawl space and sealed it off to keep critters out, you should take the extra step of removing brush, hedging, or wood piles from next to your home. These organic materials hold moisture and attract pests and unwelcome animals in your home. Consider placing rocks around the perimeter of your home instead of mulch and make sure any hanging trees or shrubs do not touch the house as that creates easy access for critters to enter your home.
Get a Free Crawl Space Encapsulation Estimate
Our crawl space experts know how to properly seal up your space to prevent future animal infestations and create an environment that is healthier for your home and family. Contact us today for a free estimate.
Since 2008, Managed Services Group has provided comprehensive moisture control and basement waterproofing services to homeowners throughout the Greater Richmond area. As a licensed and insured Class A contractor, we have the experience and knowledge to back up our passion for home improvement. Give us a call today at 804-972-3007 (434-299-9382 for Charlottesville) for a free estimate. We’ll schedule an inspection with you, make a recommendation, and, in most cases, give you an estimate right on the spot.