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We have a crawlspace about 2 feet tall under the house. (Scary!) Looks like it has a black plastic barrier on the ground (which I believe is just dirt).

How should one dress to crawl under there, and what precautions are necessary. I'm talking about coastal North Carolina in the spring.

Is a pair of jeans and a shirt good enough or is an environmental suit of some sort necessary? I don't see bugs or anything else, but there certainly could be spiders or other things that sting, and I know the area has fire ants, although they may not be under there. But, I'd hate to disturb them. What is standard practice?

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It really comes down to how 'icky' you think spiders, mice and rats are. ;) – DA01 Apr 10 '13 at 22:09
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Unfortunately I have to work in crawl spaces a lot. I don a cheap Tyvek jump suit/coveralls with a hood over my regular clothes. You can find them in the paint dept of Lowe's or HD for about $20. I also wear boots, mechanics gloves and some safety glasses. There are always some bugs, spiders, and I've met a woodchuck or two. Take a good flashlight and check ahead of you carefully to avoid any unpleasant encounters. At least we don't have poisonous snakes in Maine!!!!!! OMG!!!!! Good Luck.

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Thanks, that's kind of what I was thinking. I'll check in Lowes and HD next time I'm there. – Patrick Moloney Apr 11 '13 at 0:37

Knee pads. Without them you'll be in great pain.

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I think this specific situation is more like a crawl-on-your-stomach space. Not really high enough to get up on your knees. – Patrick Moloney Apr 11 '13 at 18:01


  • Eye protection. Plastic safety glasses or something like that to prevent dirt getting into your eyes.
  • Dust mask or respirator. You don't want to breathe in the dust/bad air in that area.


  • Headlamp. This allows you to see much better in there and both hands to work with.

When I go into crawl spaces I use old clothes and sneakers that I consider disposable. Then I just throw them in the trash once the work is complete.

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Do NOT go down there without leather or heavy duty rubber gloves with cuffs like sanitation workers use. It's like a super power when you can just swat the black widows & brown recluses dead as soon as you see them. I second getting the Tyvek suit to protect your work clothes. Get the kind with a hood and you won't have to worry about spiders down your neck. Also, wear high-top boots, and put rubber bands around the cuffs of your pants if the Tyvek doesn't have their own stretch cuffs. This should keep the crawlies out. Eye protection is great for keeping the falling dust out of your eyes. I also like to take something like a short-handled broom to clear the way of cobwebs and anything else that might be ahead.

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