Protecting Your Home From Critters
In the Pacific Northwest, we long to see the sun this time of year. We endured months and months of dreary rain, while on just a few occasions, the sun teased us, poking its bashful head out from behind the clouds. We want to see more of it and to see our cold soil start to warm, and our flowers begin to bloom.
Portland, Oregon is beautiful in the spring. Birds chirp their morning songs, and bees work furiously in our gardens. Yes, there are lots of birds and bees, and most notably when it comes to wildlife. This is when raccoons, opossums, skunks, and many other types of critters make their babies and the soon-to-be Mama’s of these babies are looking for a nice warm place to give birth.
Unfortunately, your crawl space is the perfect spot for this to happen. It is secluded, safe, and warm. Now, bringing life into this world is a beautiful thing, but it is also kind of a disgusting thing at the same time, and you don’t want it to happen under your house!
These critters will tear apart your air ducts, pull down your insulation, and make a mess of your vapor barrier. Trust me; you want no part of this under your house. This will cost thousands to repair and can bring a significant amount of contamination.
The good news is that it is relatively easy to avoid. It takes a pest control professional to get them out, but it takes very little to keep them from getting in. What you will need to do is walk around your home and look for entry points. Since these animals are as big or bigger than a typical cat, you are looking for large openings. This is almost always in the form of a missing screen on your foundation vents. Go along your foundation and try to lightly push on the screen to check if they are damaged or loose. If you find anything that could be big enough for a critter, here are a few steps to follow:
1. Put a crumpled up piece of newspaper in the opening. If you check the area the next morning and the newspaper is pushed into the crawl space, a critter probably went under your home. If it is pushed out, then a critter may have come out of the crawl space.
2. In either of these cases, you probably have a critter living under your home, and you might want to give me a call at New Leaf Pest Control to be safe in checking out the area.
3. If the newspaper stays in place, you may decide to fix the screen yourself. I do this using 1/4 screen mesh and small 1/4 self-tapping screws. These can be drilled directly into the plastic part of the foundation vent, or you can use masonry screws and go straight into the foundation. In both cases, it is better to do this from the crawl space for aesthetic purposes.
If you have any issues with wildlife that you do not want to handle on your own, I would be happy to assist you. Shoot me your questions and comments.