Discover the Best Ways to Keep Rats Out of Crawl Spaces and What Attracts the Rodent to That Area of the House
Crawl spaces offer the perfect combination of humidity, darkness, and stable temperatures, making them attractive spots for rats and other pests to nest and seek shelter. These narrow spots between a home’s first floor and the ground offer additional support for living areas above them. They also serve as a buffer between the house and the ground.
However, they are also usually unfinished and cramped, making them out-of-the-way spaces that many homeowners never visit. Pipes and vents typically run through these areas, and rats can exploit various entry points. Gaps and cracks in the foundation, openings around pipes and wires, and spaces under doors can all serve as a beacon to these scurrying critters.
Signs of Rats in Crawl Spaces
Finding rats in a crawl space is no easy feat. Residents must be willing to crawl into the darkest corners of a house to look for signs these pests have invaded. Signs of a rat infestation in a crawl space area commonly include:
- Burrows: If the crawl space has a soil floor, rats will likely burrow inside.
- Droppings: Each rat can produce up to 50 pellets of fecal matter every day, making it a telltale sign of their presence. But these droppings can be difficult to locate sometimes. Rats prefer to pick a specific area as their bathroom, a behavior known as “latrining.”
- Insulation Damage: Rats love nesting behind insulation and often disturb materials as they move around.
- Rat Tracks: Dark, greasy-looking rub marks are like runways where rats enter, exit, and travel along floors, beams, and other areas
- Odor: Experienced professionals can spot a rat infestation by the strong smell, which is a combination of droppings, urine, and possibly dead rats.
H2: How to Get Rid of Rats in Crawl Spaces
Effective rat control no longer relies on dangerous poisons to eliminate the problem. Although these chemicals were once the go-to solution, today’s pest control industry relies on an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for efficacy, safety, and less harm to the ecosystem.
Poisons can harm people, pets, and other wildlife, but IPM methods identify the infestation as well as how and why the pests are getting inside. Additional steps include:
- Removing rats from the premises
- Repairing damaged areas of the structure, replacing insulation, and sealing entry points
- Cleaning and disinfecting the area to avoid health risks and minimize the chances of attracting future infestations
- Taking ongoing steps like monitoring, routine maintenance pest control, and exclusion to keep crawl spaces and the property rat-free and pest-free
Rat-Proofing Your Crawl Space
Homeowners, renters, and businesses can take preventive steps to rat-proof their crawl spaces. Keeping food away from the crawl space and eliminating moisture and humidity are two practical steps in making the crawl space less inviting for rats and other pests that thrive in humid conditions.
Crawl space vapor barriers and a dehumidifier can help. Ensuring landscaping is graded to divert moisture from the foundation and installing gutters to keep rainwater away from the property can also help remedy moisture problems in the crawl space.
Are Rat Slabs in Crawl Spaces Enough to Prevent Infestations?
Rat slabs are thin layers of concrete poured over the dirt floor of a crawl space. It forms an impermeable layer that rats and other pests can’t burrow through. On its own, this method is effective, but it doesn’t address every way that rats can enter the space.
Wildlife exclusion systems like Cat-Guard’s Trench Guard provide a rigid, chemical-free barrier. It gets installed using underground trenching to prevent rats and other pets from burrowing into crawl spaces and other subterranean areas while also sealing off cracks, gaps, and other openings.
Frequently Asked Questions
With more than 30 years in the pest control business, Catseye Pest Control has treated rat infestations of all types. Some of the questions we commonly get about dealing with rats in crawl spaces include the following:
Is it Common to Have Rats in a Crawl Space?
More than 14 million homes across the United States deal with rodents every year. Given the warm, damp condition in many crawl spaces and the easy access and shelter they offer, these spaces are relatively common spots for rats to create nests.
How Do I Keep Rats Out of My Crawl Space?
The most effective way to keep rats out permanently is by eliminating any moisture and food sources and sealing off entry points. Even small gaps, cracks, and openings can act like an open door to these pests. Wildlife exclusion systems that prevent rats from burrowing under the foundation offer a permanent, chemical-free, long-term solution.
How Do I Get Rid of Rats Under My House?
Rats can be incredibly destructive. They also carry more than 35 diseases and can be aggressive when threatened. Professional pest control is the best way to get rid of rats in crawl spaces and underground areas. Experienced pros can safely handle removal and elimination to restore peace of mind while keeping homes and loved ones safe.
Should I Put Rat Poison in My Crawl Space?
No. Rodenticides are a tool that can be an effective component of a greater rodent control plan.
However, rodenticides should only be utilized by a licensed and trained professional in conjunction with other approaches such as exclusion, environmental modification, sanitation improvements, and other methods.
Schedule a Free Inspection to Identify and Eliminate Rats in Your Crawl Space
Catseye Pest Control has more than three decades of experience and expertise in managing pests, rodents, and wildlife for homeowners, renters, and commercial clients. From removal to monitoring and disinfection to exclusion — we do it all.
Our multi-step process starts with a free, detailed inspection that allows us to assess the situation, search for entry points, and develop a plan tailored to each client’s unique property. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a free inspection.