Home is a place where everyone in your family should feel safe and comfortable. For our own families at SouthernDry, we want our homes to be a refuge from the pressures of daily life, and that includes freedom from the health and property risks that can happen when you have pests living in your basement or crawl space.
In Alabama, especially around the Birmingham area, the most common pests that can invade your house through the crawl space and basement areas may include silverfish, roaches, spiders, termites, rodents, and ants. Spiders can be a tough call, because a few of them are natural predators that help keep the populations of other pests under control, but that doesn’t neccisarily mean you want to share your home with them.
How do pests get into crawl spaces and basements?
Depending on the seasonal conditions around your home, most of them show up in search of food, water, warmth, or a combination of the three. Many have adapted in amazing ways to get through tiny — sometimes nearly invisible — separations in your foundation or ground floor building materials where you’d never imagine they could fit.
Once inside, crawl space pests can quickly establish nests and reproduce at alarming rates. Many are only active at night, so they can get a head start before you even know they’re there. Pests like silverfish, termites, and carpenter ants can cause serious property damage, but even the ones that don’t physically destroy your house can pose health risks for your family.
What attracts basement and crawl space pests?
First, know that many of these creatures have been around for thousands if not millions of years and they’re part of the world’s natural order. You can have a perfectly maintained and ordered home and yard, and some of them are going to show up no matter what — that’s what they do. That said, there are some conditions you can watch out for to help minimize your exposure.
Moisture accumulation is a big draw for unwanted crawly visitors. This can show up as condensation around basement or crawl space appliances, leaky plumbing, or improper drainage of exterior water that finds its way through gaps in your foundation or seeps through basement walls. Food sources like exposed wood, spilled garbage, or even things like a forgotten bag of wild bird seed that’s been stored and left to decay can be a pest magnet.
Tips to maintain your basement or crawl space to help prevent pests from making it their permanent home
At least once a year, maybe during your usual spring cleaning or winterizing cycle, it’s a good idea to do a whole-house inspection. Make a quick visual check of all the places you can reach that could hold food or moisture that might attract basement or crawl space pests. Clear out what you can and make a note of any new or unusual signs of water accumulation. These might include building material stains, mineral bloom on block work, or musty odors.
What to do if you think you have a rodent or insect problem in your basement or crawl space
If you think you might have a pest infestation, there are two things you should do right away. First, consult a pest removal professional to make sure that you get rid of not only the visible pests, but also their eggs or nesting areas so that you eliminate their reproduction cycle. Once you know you’ve cleared the immediate problem, it’s time to think about prevention.
The best bug and insect solution? Sealing your crawl space or basement and improving air quality
One of the most effective ways to eliminate unwanted moisture is a process known as crawl space encapsulation. It’s a general term for an engineered assortment of vapor and moisture barriers that keep your crawl space clean and dry. Depending on how moisture prone your property is, it’s possible to add dehumidification to help control airborne moisture. In tougher cases with heavier drainage issues, there are sump pumps designed for these kinds of spaces that can remove larger volumes of water that attack your home from outside.
Our team isn’t scared of bugs, rodents or even snakes! We can get the job done right
SouthernDry has been a trusted basement and crawl space repair expert for years in the Birmingham area, and we proudly serve most of Alabama. We can help you “shut the door” on common pests with affordable and proven preventive measures like vapor barriers, wall linings, floor linings, drainage options, sump pumps, dehumidifiers, insulation and advanced sealing techniques that will improve the living experience for your whole family.