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Pests in Your Crawlspace

crawl space under home

If not properly insulated, dry and protected, crawlspaces attract all kinds of pests and rodents. Find out what to watch for and how to prevent a pest infestation in your crawlspace.

What Types of Pests Invade Crawlspaces

Primarily, moist, humid conditions attract all kinds of pests and rodents and encourage them to take up residence in your crawlspace. Here are some of the most common invaders:
  • Spiders
  • Cockroaches
  • Earwigs
  • Silverfish
  • Spiders
  • Snakes
  • Mice
  • Rats
While some of these pests are harmless, some of them are destructive, spread disease and can destroy structural elements of your home. Pest droppings and rodent feces and urine emit foul odors and release airborne viruses into air circulating throughout your home. Rodents and pests like mice and termites chew through insulation and wood. Bigger destructive rodents like possums, skunks and raccoons may also settle in. These larger rodents increase the risk of spreading disease, rabies, viruses and tick or flea infestations. If they choose your crawlspace as a nesting place, the babies may attract even more wild predators.

Signs of a Pest Infestation

Inspect your crawlspace seasonaly and keep an eye out for signs of unwelcome pests and rodents. Always wear a mask during inspections to avoid inhaling nasty fumes and dust. Here are some of the common signs of a pest invasion in your crawlspace:

Foul Odors

Urine, feces and other fluid secretions can leave behind foul, pungent odors.

Droppings

Droppings are usually small, but typically hard and dry.

Bite or Chew Marks

Inspect the space for chew marks or damage, especially to wood.

Shredded Insulation

Rodents love using insulation for warmth, to keep dry and especially to line their nests. Other signs of nesting are piles of sticks, brush or twigs.

Burrowing Holes

Watch for signs of burrowing such as holes dug in the ground where rodents head underground for protection or warmth.

What Attracts Pests to a Crawlspace

Here are some of the things that attracts pests and rodents to your crawlspace:
  • Damp, musty conditions.
  • Cracks and holes in crawlspace walls.
  • Overgrown shrubs, bushes or brush.
  • Rotting wood.
  • Garbage or storage of containers holding crumbs (like a cooler).

Conclusion

Breathing in pest-infested air coming from your crawl space is neither pleasant nor healthy. For solutions to keep your crawlspace dry and free from pests, contact the professionals at RCS in Santa Rosa. We offer tried and true solutions to eliminate pests and improve air quality in your home.

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Common Warm Weather Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

rodent pest

While summer has its benefits, it also has a few downsides. One of the most common is the emergence of various pests. These not only are annoying to deal with but can sometimes cause serious structural damage. Below you’ll discover some to watch out for and how you can prevent them from getting near your home.

3 Regular Summer Pests

Ticks: Ticks might be small but they can cause serious problems, including Lyme disease. While they don’t necessarily cause structural damage, they can populate quickly. Because of this, if they enter your home you’ll notice they’ll spread swiftly through it. Termites: Termites are yet another problem to watch out for. Known for their voracious appetite, these insects will slowly eat away at your home’s structure. This can cause it to shift and eventually crumble. Ants: As with termites, ants can wear down your residence’s foundation. They enjoy wood and will build their nests in it. They’ll also send out brigades in search of water and food. Because of this, you might notice a large presence in your bathroom or kitchen.

How to Prevent Them

If you want to make sure to avoid having to deal with these pesky creatures keep these tips in mind. Remove Standing Water: Many insects thrive with water puddles. These give them space to lay eggs. It also keeps them hydrated during the hot weather. By sweeping away the standing water or filling holes with gravel, you can naturally decrease their population. Seal Cracks: Some pests will sneak into cracks to enter your home. This gives them the ability to walk through your walls and find an adequate area to make a nest. If you don’t catch them in time, they’ll quickly spread throughout your living space. To avoid this, inspect your crawl space and foundation for cracks. You might also want to examine your windows and doors for any crevices. If you notice some, spread some caulking over them. Clear Garbage and Waste: You’ll also want to be diligent at getting rid of loose garbage and other debris around your home. These can serve as both a food source and hiding spot for these pests. If you must keep these items outside, make sure to place debris in thick trash bags. You’ll also want to do a thorough cleaning of the containers and area every so often. Warm weather can unfortunately result in many unsightly and sometimes dangerous creatures. If you suspect your home might have some, contact RCS in Sonoma County. We’ll send a team out to inspect your residence and get to work eliminating any traces of them.

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3 Signs Your Home Has Rat Damage

rat in yard

Wall holes, chewed wires, and feces piles - these are just a few unpleasant side effects of having rats take over your home. But, sometimes, their presence isn’t always obvious. Here are a few signs to watch out for and some tips to keep them away.

Three Signs Your Home Has Rat Damage

You Hear Running in the Walls: A common sign that your home has rats is that you hear them scurrying through the walls. This pest loves the dark and damp conditions of crawl spaces, attics, and basements. To get to the different sections, they’ll chew through the walls and create tunnels. The sound of them running in the walls indicates that they’re moving to different portions of your home - something which can be very concerning. You Notice Droppings: Another sure indicator that your living space has rats is that you notice their feces. This unsightly mess leaves behind feces that are about ¾-inch long making them look like rice grains. You can tell if they’re fresh or not by looking at the color. If they look gray, they’ve been there for a while. But, if they’re black, it's recent. There Are Holes in Food Containers and Around the Walls: To get what they need, rats will chew into things. To satisfy their appetite, they’ll search for food. If they can’t easily obtain it, they’ll gnaw at the containers until they can. Rats will also bite into your walls so they can find good living conditions. This passageway is very obvious and looks like a small, open doorway in your baseboards.

How to Prevent Rats

Close Vents: Most of the time, open vents are what encourage rats to sneak into your home. If outdoor vents are propped open, this creature will slide inside and crawl through them. Because the vents connect to your duct system, any debris they leave behind will get sorted into your home’s air circulation. It will also lead them to your attic where they could end up making a nest. Don’t Leave Food Outdoors: Leaving open trash cans or food outdoors will only invite rats to your residence. You’ll want to make sure to keep edible items sealed and away from your home. Use Peppermint Oil: Rats detest peppermint oil. By placing a few cotton balls soaked in it around their nest or in areas where they might sneak in, you easily deter them. Rats are pesky animals that can cause severe home damage. If you’re concerned you might have a pest problem or want to ensure it doesn’t happen, give RCS a call. We’ll send a team out to inspect your home and get to work quickly fixing any issues.

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Can Termite Damage Be Reversed?

dry rot termite damage

Many homeowners around Sonoma County don’t realize that they have termite damage until it’s too late. While termite destruction can usually be fixed, this sometimes isn’t the case. Below you’ll find more information about their destructive habits and how you can prevent them.

What are Termites?

Termites are small insects that are often mistaken for ants. Unlike ants, termites are white and enjoy munching on wood while hiding in dark environments.

How Destructive are Termites?

Despite their small size, termites can be very harmful. Once they begin eating wooden structures, they won’t stop. This will cause small holes to form and could create a structural imbalance. At first, you might only have a handful of termites. Over time though, they will create nests which will significantly boost their population.

Can You Reverse Termite Damage?

In many cases, termite damage can be reversed, but it depends on how badly the structure is affected. The first thing to do is call a professional who will quickly remove the termites. Once these insects are gone, they will inspect the area and see what they have destroyed. This will give them a better idea of the problem and how they can fix it. Keep in mind that this can be expensive. To prevent a pricey problem, it’s important to contact a termite professional as soon as you notice issues.

3 Ways to Prevent Termites

Remove Wood Piles Around Your Home: Termites love wood. If you have wood piles resting near your home, this can become a haven for them. Once they eat this, they will spread into your home’s foundation to find its wooden structure. This is why it’s important to keep wood piles well away from your living space. Prevent Moisture: Moisture helps termites chew through wood easier. Without it, they will have a tougher time doing so. Because of this, remove as much moisture as you can around your home. Make sure there aren’t leaks and that your sprinklers are pointed away from your foundation. Inspect Your Home and Seal Gaps: It’s also a good idea to do an inspection of your home and seal any cracks, especially in your crawl space. This won’t only block termites but prevent moisture. Termites are pesky insects that can cause incredible damage if not stopped. If you suspect you might have a termite problem, contact RCS. We can help reger you to a qualified termite specialist and offer tips as to how to prevent these creatures from returning.

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5 Signs of Termite Damage

termite damage santa rosa

Your home will unfortunately come into contact with many pests that could cause destruction if not removed. One of the most common is termites. While they might not be obvious, they can cause significant damage. Below you’ll discover more behind these menacing insects and some signs that they might be causing damage around your living space.

What are Termites?

Termites are tiny insects that look similar to ants. However, unlike ants, they have a white body and are only about ¼-inch long.

Are Termites Dangerous?

This invisible creature isn’t necessarily dangerous to human health like rats or cockroaches, but their damage can be. When termites strike, they will wear down certain home parts which could cause structural damage. This could also result in irritating dust and mold spores that could spread throughout your home.

5 Signs of Termite Damage

Mud Tubes on Walls and Ceilings: One of the most obvious signs that you have termite damage is if you see mud tubes on your home’s walls or ceilings. These are tunnels for the termites to travel through to get to different parts of their colony. Termites will make these tubes out of dirt and mud and pack them tightly on the wall to ensure they stay protected from predators. Small Holes in the Wall: Termites will eat holes into the wall where they can later leave fecal matter. These holes are very small and will look like black specks. Wing Piles: If you notice piles of wings on the floor, you probably have a termite problem. Young termites need wings to fly to their new habitat. Once they arrive, they will discard their wings. While the wings can be found indoors, they are usually located around your home’s foundation. Buckling Floors: Buckling floors might look like water damage, but they could be a sign of termites. Termites will form small tunnels beneath the floor which can weaken it. This will result in it warping and making creaking sounds as you walk across it. Clicking Sounds Behind Your Walls: Another sign you might have a termite infestation is if you hear clicking sounds behind your walls. Termites will hit their heads against wood to make this sound as a way to warn other colony members of potential danger. Termites can be very harmful to both your home and health if not eradicated. RCS offers reconstruction contract work to quickly fix any destruction these pesky insects might have caused.

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3 Common Home Pests

rodent post

Many homeowners have to watch out for nasty pests that like to live in their home. While these can be unsightly to find running around in your living space, they can also bring diseases. Because of this, it’s important to get rid of them as soon as possible. Below you’ll find more about why they are so dangerous and some of the most common types found in homes.

The Dangers of Pests in the Home

Pests aren’t only a nuisance, but can bring serious health hazards with them. Some of the most common problems they cause include:
  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthma attacks
  • Lyme disease
  • Headaches
  • Fevers

3 Common Home Pests

Cockroaches: Cockroaches can quickly populate and spread a foul odor throughout your home. They often get into your residence by hiding in bags, furniture, or pipes. Rodents: Rodents can spread numerous diseases, some of which can be fatal. They leave behind urine, droppings, and saliva that can be difficult to see at first. These pests tend to enter homes through cracks, vents, and chimney openings. Termites: Termites are notorious home pests. Because of their small size, they can be invisible to the human eye, but their damage is very obvious once it begins. Termite damage can result in buckling floors, wood dust, and mud tubes on the edges of walls.

How to Prevent Them

There are a few different ways you can safely prevent these pests from stopping by your living space. Apply Peppermint Oil to Areas: To keep pests away, consider applying peppermint oil to areas they congregate in. You can put about five drops on a cotton ball and then place it around the spots of concern. This will help deter rodents and numerous types of insects. Make Sure to Clean: One of the most common reasons pests enter the home is because they’re looking for a place to live or find food. It’s crucial to clean up any leftover food and trash and ensure your trash cans are tightly closed to prevent enticing pests. Seal Gaps Around Doors and Windows: If there are gaps around your doors or windows, it can invite pests to crawl through. You can do this by applying a layer of caulking around the edges. You could also tape weather stripping around them. Finding pests crawling through your home can be a huge inconvenience and health risk. By keeping these tips in mind, you can keep them away. If you’re currently experiencing rodent  problems in your home, RCS can help. We offer a rat dropping clean-up service that ensures these hazardous particles are quickly and safely removed.

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