According to the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the best ways to administer pest control around your home is to create pest barriers. Many homeowners have open spaces under decks and porches that lead to crawl spaces.
1. Lattice with Screening Material
In order to create an obstacle for pests to have easy access, install lattice fencing. This material will create a roadblock for any pesky varmints trying to infiltrate the area and at the same time create an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home. The lattice can be purchased in checkerboard designs of either vertical or diagonal configurations.
If design appears to be too large to control the smaller pest issue, then couple the lattice with a backdrop of metal screen that can be purchased in ¼” and ½ “ diameters. It can be stapled to the back of the lattice and virtually invisible from the sidewalk or driveway to your home. Most animals are not able to chew through metal as they would be if you chose slats of wood to complement your lattice material.
2. Caulking and Cementing
If your crawl space is surrounded by the foundation of your home, take some time to walk the entire perimeter of the house and note any cracks or holes in the foundation. More than likely, a varmint will take advantage of these irregularities and burrow their way into your crawl space.
Once you have assessed the areas that need repair (this includes holes as small as ¼” in diameter), use a caulk gun and fill in all the cracks and holes in your foundation and in your siding as well. If your foundation is wood, then use wood filler for caulking.
When the holes are filled, many animals will still try to gain access by burrowing under the ground. This is when you should consider digging a trench around your home and putting in a concrete footing around your entire foundation for additional security against pest infiltration.
3. Vapor Cushions and Hedge Removal
According to home improvement experts at HGTV.com, crawl spaces are a petri dish for moisture. Most animals love crawl spaces because they are filled with moisture. So, your aim needs to be to reduce that moisture to prevent varmints from being attracted to the environment under your home.
The best way to do this is to install a vapor barrier inside your crawl space. It is material made from a thick plastic or rubber and stapled to the entire interior of the space including the ground. For further reduction of moisture, it is wise to remove any bushes, hedges, and dense landscaping that is a close circumference to the crawl space area. These elements create moisture, attract the pests, and soften the ground which allows animals a much easier way to dig their way through to the crawl space.