How to Prevent Animals From Getting Under Your Deck
While you want your outdoor deck to get plenty of use, you may want to deter any uninvited guests.
Luckily, there are some easy and effective prevention methods to keep animals from getting under your deck. Following some simple steps, you can make your deck a less hospitable environment and less accessible to wild animals.
Read on to learn more.
Typical Creatures That May Settle Under your Deck
Typically, an animal will attempt to create a den in a small space (such as below your deck) as a safe space to have their offspring. You’ll want to prevent this to contain local wildlife numbers, as well as avoid the chance of spreading disease among these colonies.
So, don’t be surprised to find one of these creatures settled in underneath your deck. Many animals are even small enough to hide under your deck for months at a time without you knowing. You can prevent animals from nesting under your deck by both making it harder for them to access, and less hospitable if they get inside.
Despite their cute faces, wild animals cohabitating so close to humans is only asking for trouble. This includes potential damage to your deck or property.
If these animals feel threatened, they may feel compelled to protect themselves. With creatures such as skunks and raccoons, it’s best to give them a respectful distance and try some of the safe methods below to discourage them from nesting under your deck.
Check To See if an Animal is Under Your Deck
Before you start pest-proofing under your deck, check and make sure one isn’t living there already, so you don’t end up accidentally trapping it in the process.
While it may seem like a good idea to just take a flashlight and do a quick check, you don’t want to antagonize the creature, as it will most likely choose to defend its position and stay under your deck longer.
Instead, try placing newspaper, or a hefty amount of flour around the entrances. If none of these items are moved or agitated, you’re safe to start sealing off your deck.
How to Stop Animals From Going Under a Deck
If you suspect you may already have an infestation, your best course of action would be to contact a human wildlife relocation center and ask for their help. Before then, try some of the below preventative measures:
1. Remove Temptations
Begin by picking up any trash, litter, fallen fruit, or any other incentives.
Tighten up trash bags, fasten lids to any trash cans, and make sure they are securely closed. Anything edible to skunks and other small animals can tempt them to come closer. However, if no temptations exist, these little creatures will move on.
This is also a great opportunity to rake up any stray twigs or leaves that raccoons could use to make a nest.
2. Trenches and Fences
Fencing off the underside of decks is a solid method to keep both animals and small children from exploring underneath. When building a fence, or installing one, make sure your materials are sturdy enough to withstand some agitation.
If you’re considering using wood, choose a hard, thick grain so animals can’t chew or scratch through it. Similarly, if you plan on building a metal mesh fence, make sure it is a strong mesh, and that the fence is three feet or higher so that animals don’t climb or try to get through the fence. Make sure you secure them and leave no gaps around the edges.
Fences leaning outward and trenches at the base of the fence can discourage climbing-savvy animals. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to dig trenches a foot and a half to two feet wide and two feet deep. Check out these fencing techniques for more insight.
3. Radio Interference
An extra layer of defense that’s sure to deter animals is an excess of human noise. Simply set up a radio and tune it to a talk radio show, or maybe even some music, and this is sure to get rid of any critters.
The radio doesn’t necessarily have to be set up under your deck. You can set up the radio on the deck patio, or nearby, at a low to mid-volume so animals won’t be tempted to explore near your yard.
4. Remove Potential Hiding Places
If you tend to keep any old cars, trailers, boats, or piles of lumber in the backyard, the best thing is to find a separate place for them. Often, animals can just as likely use any of these as alternative dens and will find a way in if it is possible to warm themselves in the winter.
By using tarps, fences, or trenches, you can just as easily deter critters from attempting to nest in one of these areas. Always check these places beforehand to make sure there are no animals already living there before taking action yourself.
What to do if an Animal Makes a Home Under a Deck
If, at any point, an animal makes a home under your deck, the best option is to get professional help. A lot of times, animals can get very defensive and stay rooted under your deck, and it can be dangerous to try and extract them yourself.
Whenever this happens, you can rely on the professional experience of Wildlife Control to safely remove the animal with minimal damage done to your property.
Looking for More Information?
Our experts at Deck & Docks can help if you have any questions about how to keep your deck safe, or keep wild animals from burrowing underneath. We can also provide the best quality materials to help keep your deck protected and in tip-top shape. Contact us today to learn more!