Termites are nasty critters that work their way into your home and destroy it from the inside out. My name is Linda, and I am a pest control specialist. I have seen many homes and other buildings absolutely destroyed by termites. A termite infestation can cause a great deal of time and money to fix, and I'd like to tell you how to avoid having termites in the first place. I'll also discuss the clues that you have termites in your home and what to do if you already have an infestation. You can fix a termite problem, but you should act as quickly as possible. Let me be your guide.
If you are like most homeowners, you probably don't even think about your crawl space most days. It's usually only a concern when you need to go into it to service a broken pipe or similar home repair job. Unfortunately, a crawl space can be an inviting place to rodents and other small mammals. It's warm and protected, with water and food just a short jaunt away through the floor boards. The following tips can help you prevent pests in this forgotten area of your home.
Tip #1: Get rid of any localized water sources
Access to water is a must for most animals dwelling beneath the house. Unfortunately, humidity emanating from the ground often provides this moisture. You can prevent this by layinga vapor barrier over the ground. These are typically made of rubber or thick plastic and they keep moisture from coming into your crawl space. As an added benefit, a drier crawl space is also less welcoming to insect pests.
Tip #2: Seal off the crawl space
Sealing the crawl space requires the proper tools, since you want to keep pests out while still allowing the space to ventilate. This means leaving vents in any coverings placed over crawl space openings. Hardware cloth, which is a fine metal mesh, works perfectly. It doesn't block airflow but it does block animals, which can't chew through the metal wires.
Tip #3: Clear the area
Many animal pests can be quite persistent if they think your crawlspace will make a good home, and many – like raccoons – have the means to force entry. You don't want to give them cover to work or a place nearby to den until they decide to break into the crawl space. This means cleaning up any falen leaves or brush piles against the house. You should also trim back bushes and shrubs so they aren't pressed right against the crawl space. Most animals prefer to stay under cover, so they are less likely to try to get into your crawl space if it will force them out into the open.
If an animal pest does get into your crawl space, you will need to call in a pest control professional. Larger animals, like raccoons or skunks, are typically captured in nonlethal traps and transported elsewhere. Smaller pests, like mice, are usually baited into lethal traps. You don't want to use poisons because they are hazardous to predators and you can end up with dead mice in your walls. For more information, contact a local exterminator.