Rats love to use crawl spaces as hiding spots. Crawl spaces are warmer than the outside during the winter, and rats can use the insulation in crawl spaces to build their nests. Unfortunately, rats nesting in a crawl space can do quite a bit of damage. They can destroy insulation and chew through electrical wiring. If your home has a crawl space, you'll need to keep rats out in order to prevent them from damaging your home. To find out how you can keep rats from invading your crawl space, read on.
Seal off All the Entry Points with Steel Mesh
The most important step in keeping rats out of your crawl space is to use steel mesh to seal off all the points where they're able to enter. Home improvement stores sell fine steel mesh that's specifically designed for rodent control. The holes in the mesh are too small for rats to get through, and they won't be able to chew through it. You can easily cut the mesh using kitchen shears and tape it to holes in your foundation and vents in your crawl space walls.
For rounded areas such as where pipes and electrical wires run through your crawl space walls, you can wad up the steel mesh and put it inside the openings. Tape over the opening to make sure rats can't simply push the mesh out. Rats won't be able to get through the mesh in order to chew apart the tape, so it will prevent them from using these openings to get inside your crawl space.
Cave in the Tunnels Rats Use to Burrow Inside
Rats will burrow through the soil in order to get inside your crawl space. Even if you've encapsulated your crawl space and have a plastic vapor barrier over the ground, rats can burrow underneath it and chew through it in order to get inside.
Search around your home's foundation and inside your crawl space for tunnel openings. Fill them in using a hand trowel to make sure rats can't use them anymore. If you have a vapor barrier in your crawl space, look for any areas the rats have chewed through and put tape over them.
Keep Food and Water Sources Out of Your Yard
Preventing rats from coming to your yard in the first place provides an extra layer of defense against them getting inside your crawl space. Make sure that you don't leave any trash or standing water outside since that will attract them to your yard. If you have fruit or nut trees in your yard, make sure you regularly pick up any fruits or nuts that fall off of them so that rats aren't able to eat them.
If you don't want to enter your cramped crawl space or if you need help finding all the ways rats are getting in, call a rodent control service for help. Crawl spaces have multiple ways for rats to get inside, so it can be difficult to find them all on your own. A professional rodent control service will seal off even the tiniest crevices that allow rats to enter your crawl space, making sure that you won't have to encounter rats nesting in your crawl space again.