- Posted by gordonb
- On June 7, 2022
- 0 Comments
CREATURES IN YOUR CRAWLSPACE! While this sounds like the title of a cheesy horror movie, the safety of your home and its occupants can be threatened by unwanted invaders in the crawlspace under your feet. From opossums, to rodents, to insects, to feral cats, a wide variety of creatures see a crawlspace as an idyllic place to settle down with their families and they each pose a threat with their own set of potential dangers and diseases. First, let’s look at what likes to sneak down and set up camp under there, and then we will look at how they can be dangerous, and finally, what specific signals to watch out for in determining if you have unwanted guests.
The list is actually pretty long, but for the purposes of simplicity, let’s break it down into categories: large, medium, and small.
Larger animals can find a way in despite their size. Here in North Carolina, you can often find opossums, raccoons, foxes, skunks, and feral cats underneath your floorboards. Because crawlspaces tend to be warm and spacious enough for a nest, even these bigger guys see it as a prime spot for their young. It doesn’t help that many of these kinds of animals like to chew on insulation and wiring, causing potential hazards with even one trip under you.
Medium animals get inside more easily and can be more difficult to remove because of their size. Rabbits, rats, and mice are the most common in crawlspaces, and they can be overlooked relatively easily without a watchful eye. They also love chewing on wiring and will use whatever is closest to tear apart to make burrows and nests. Their litters tend to be larger and more frequent as well, making a small problem into a big one in a short period of time.
Small creatures can actually end up being the most problematic. Insects and spiders are often the most difficult to get rid of and surprisingly can wreak the most havoc. Termites, black widows, invasive ant species, and wolf spiders are all native to North Carolina, and their presence in a crawlspace also likely means a presence in your home above it as well. They move through cracks and crevices easily and quickly, suddenly appearing as if from nowhere. But meanwhile, they are multiplying under you, out of sight.
Dangers and Diseases:
Large animals can pose a whole host of potential problems. Feral cats can destroy your ecosystem and spread diseases like rabies at alarming rates. Opossums, foxes, skunks and raccoons are all known to carry a wide variety of diseases that can spread to humans like leptospirosis, tularemia, and various parasites. The danger to the human residents and household pets is high enough where the slightest chance of an unwanted critter squatter warrants a call to your local animal control company.
Medium animals like mice, rats, and rabbits carry even more scary diseases like hantavirus, salmonella and LCMV. What’s especially frightening is that most people catch diseases from these little guys from the airborne contamination caused from a collection of their droppings. By ignoring them, you could be putting your entire household in serious danger.
Small Creatures perhaps are the biggest problem. People think of insects and spiders as a common pest that need to be killed when noticed. But when they invade, they rarely leave. And many species can cause such high allergens that asthmatics can be triggered. In addition, some species of wolf spiders are known to be aggressive and will actually chase humans for the offense of being in “their” space.
Signs that you should not ignore:
- Broken screens, growing cracks, or any other means of entrance to the crawlspace from outside.
- Sounds of movement, scratching, screeching, and shuffling.
- Smells, even slight ones, of ammonia, urine, feces, or rotting flesh/fruit.
- Tufts of insulation, stripped wires, or interrupted electricity.
- Droppings of any kind close to the edge of the crawlspace outdoors.
- The alerts from household pets like cats and dogs.
- Actual frequent sightings of any of these creatures near your home. They could be underneath it.
IMPORTANT! We have all read online about home remedies to rid your estate of such creatures wherever they are hiding, but not only are these tricks and tips often ineffective, but your attempt to set them up or trap the invaders could result in you coming into contact with the very dangers or diseases that caused you to try and rid yourself of them. Always contact a qualified professional instead, like the experts at Critter Control of the Triangle. Call them at the first signs at 919.382.0651.