Your deck is meant to be a place of enjoyment. It should be a relaxing respite for you and your family to take in the beauty of the outdoors. What it is not meant to be is a haven for raccoons, possums, mice or snakes. These animals and others like to take up residence in dry, dark areas; and the space beneath decks are prime real estate in their opinion.
To keep animals from setting up housekeeping beneath your deck, the best precaution to take is to create a barrier. The most common type of barrier is a trench and fence combination. You can implement this method by digging a trench that is twelve inches deep and twelve inches wide. Once you’ve dug the trench, erect either mesh or wire fencing over it and attach it securely to your deck posts. Fill the trench back in with soil.
For those who don’t feel the trench approach is aesthetically appealing, there are still things you can do to keep unwanted critters from your deck. You could also remove any weeds or other vegetation from beneath your deck and put down landscaping mesh material to keep out regrowth. Animals won’t be as interested in your deck if their isn’t a dense patch of growth beneath it in which they can burrow and hide.
If you suspect that an animal is already occupying the space, you can set out ammonia-soaked cloths or mothballs to hurry their departure. The unpleasant scent will cause them to scurry. If you aren’t sure if animals are beneath your deck or not, you can sprinkle flour around any openings and check periodically for footprints over the course of a couple of days. You definitely want to make sure nothing is living under the deck before you build your barricade.
With these preventive methods, you can ensure that your deck is only enjoyed by you and your family. It doesn’t take much to keep your deck free of unwanted visitors that could cause damage to your property.