Keeping Your Decking A Critter Free Zone

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Decking is one of the most popular features for homeowners that like to spend time relaxing outside in their garden.  The addition provides a great space to sit and read a book or entertain friends and family.

However, as you can see in the photograph above, the underneath of decking does also make an ideal place for critters to make their nests and many homeowners will have a problem at some stage.  Here we consider how you can protect your decking against an infestation of rats or other critters.

Laying poison

The first option of ridding yourself of critters is to lay some poison around the decking area.  This isn’t a particularly humane method and the animals will suffer greatly before they finally die.  Whilst many people won’t feel too badly about poisoning rats; do you really want to poison a bigger creature like a raccoon?  If you do go down the poison route then you are left with the problem of having to locate the body or suffer that nasty odour as it decomposes.

Going for traps

Your next option is to lay some traps to either kill or trap the animal.  If you are dealing with a smaller animal then traps are capable of killing the instantly, meaning no suffering.  However, with larger creatures the trap is less likely to kill outright and you are again left with an animal in great pain.

We advise that you should go for humane traps that enable you to release the critter into the wild a safe distance from your home – this should especially be the case when your troublesome guest is of the larger variety.

A modern solution

A more recent answer to dealing with the critter problem is available thanks to modern technology.  These electronic repellents emit ultrasonic sound waves that irritate critters, but which are undetectable by humans.

An age old solution

Perhaps the most traditional solution to dealing with a critter problem is to leave it to a cat or dog.  In most instances having cat a cat or dog present on the premises will mean that animals such as rats won’t even consider building a nest under your decking.

However, a raccoon won’t always be deterred by a cat or dog and on occasion may even attack them.  The best way to deal with raccoons is by trapping them or calling an expert in.  Leaving it to the family pet can lead to expensive vet bills and a lot of heartache.  Cats and dogs should also be a considered purchase and we would never recommend buying one just to get rid of some critters, unless you are really sure that you want to add a pet to the family.

Adapting your decking

The final solution available to you is a preventative measure rather than dealing with the problem once it occurs.  By sealing off all the access routes to the space under your decking you can effectively make it a no-go area.  One way of doing this is to add fascias to block off the gap between the ground and the underside of the decking.  However, many homeowners don’t find this approach aesthetically appealing.  Another option that is just as affective, but that looks better, is installation of trellising.  Before fitting the trellis you can attach chicken wire to both sides of the timber structure to ensure that even the smallest of critters doesn’t get through.  Once you have fitted the trellis you then have the option of planting climbing plants that will add a nice touch of nature to your decking area.