How to Get an Animal out of a Crawlspace

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Things You'll Need

  • Glue board traps, approximately 350 sq. inches

  • Plywood, 1/4" x 24" x 18"

  • Brass tacks

  • Vegetable oil

  • 5 rags

  • Ammonia

  • Mothballs

  • Radio

  • Powerful weather-resistant light


Secure the crawl space to prevent future occupancy. Driving an animal out of the crawl space is only a temporary solution to the problem. Prevent other animals from moving in by securing all entry points with wood, brick, screen, fence or mesh.


Seek appropriate medical care if you receive any injuries from the animals. Wild animals may become aggressive when you attempt to remove them from the crawl space. Use caution to avoid bites and scratches.

Animals may decide that your crawl space would make an ideal home.

Animals seeking shelter may intrude into the crawl space under your home. The crawl space is designed to give access to your home's piping and utility systems and to create an insulating gap between your house and the ground. If animals move into the crawl space, they can damage your house, create noise at all times of the day or night, cause odors, and even become aggressive to protect their new shelter. While poison may seem like a solution, it is not humane and the animal may die and decompose in the crawl space. Safer and more humane removal solutions are available.


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Small Animals

Step 1

Tack the glue boards to the plywood.

Affix the glue boards to the plywood with the brass tacks. Glue boards are cardboard sheets covered with a tacky, glue-like substance. Small animals become stuck in the glue when they attempt to cross over the traps. Hardware stores and exterminators usually sell these traps.


Step 2

Place the plywood board into the crawl space. Position the board against a wall where animals are likely to cross.

Step 3

Check the traps daily. For humane concerns, do not allow the animals to remain mired in the glue any longer than necessary.

Step 4

Remove the occupied trap from the crawlspace and carry it far away from the house. Be extremely cautious because the trapped animal may become aggressive.

Step 5

Vegetable oil breaks down the glue to release the animal unharmed.

Pour vegetable oil on and around the trapped animal. The oil will slowly break down the glue so the animal can escape unharmed back into the wild.


Large Animals

Step 1

Place ammonia-soaked rags in the crawl space. Most larger animals are repelled by the scent of ammonia, so ammonia-soaked rags will discourage the animal from remaining in the crawl space. Place the rags along the walls and by any openings into the crawl space.

Step 2

The smell of mothballs will repel animals.

Scatter mothballs across the crawl space floor. Animals also find the scent of mothballs to be noxious. Add a few extra balls in the corners and at the openings to the crawl space.


Step 3

Expose the animals to loud music and lights. Animals cherish a dark, quiet shelter, so you can drive them out of the crawl space by being a bad neighbor. Place a blaring radio and a powerful weather-resistant light into the crawl space. The light may be a portable flood lamp or a high-powered flashlight.