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What to Do When Animals Crawl Under Your Deck

Deck skirtingThe surface of your deck may be an outdoor paradise, but look beneath most decks the picture isn’t so pretty. Weeds, insects, moss and even critters often take up residence under cedar decking. Washington homeowners can often find rabbits, skunks, opossums, raccoons and even snakes living in that murky, cobwebby space.

While there’s no fool-proof way to prevent critters from moving in beneath your cedar deck, Vancouver residents can take the following measures to get rid of an unwanted infestation:

1. Set traps. Trapping is the most humane way to remove an animal from beneath your cedar decking. Washington residents can find live-animal traps at many home improvement stores. These allow you trap and relocate the animal. Use extreme caution when approaching a trapped animal.

2. Call an exterminator. If the infestation is more than you can handle, or if you’d rather play it safe, a pest control professional can help clear out the area beneath your cedar deck. Vancouver homeowners who are concerned about chemicals may want to seek out a company that practices green pest control.

3. Water with moth balls. Many homeowners have found moth balls to be an effective deterrent for many creepy-crawlies. You can try placing moth balls around the area, or dissolve moth crystals into a watering can and use it to “water” the area beneath your cedar deck. Vancouver homeowners should keep in mind, however, that moth balls are caustic and poisonous; for a safer alternative, try placing ammonia-soaked rags.

4. Install deck skirting. The best way to keep pests away from your underdeck is to fence it in with lattice or another deck skirting material. While it won’t keep every animal out, it is effective against larger critters. Just remember to build an access door for future deck maintenance.

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One Response to “What to Do When Animals Crawl Under Your Deck”

  1. John Nacc says:

    A trapper told me that the biggest mistake is to completely skirt the deck, as that invites animals in to nest as they feel safe. When we build a paverdeck, we leave an opening approx 2-feet wide and have never had issues with animals – the science is that if a fox (higher up the food chain) can get in, then smaller animals won’t nest there.

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